January 17, 2019 - Issue: Vol. 165, No. 10 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 1st Session
NO TAXPAYER FUNDING FOR ABORTION AND ABORTION INSURANCE FULL DISCLOSURE ACT OF 2019--Motion to Proceed; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 10
(Senate - January 17, 2019)
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[Pages S288-S292] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] NO TAXPAYER FUNDING FOR ABORTION AND ABORTION INSURANCE FULL DISCLOSURE ACT OF 2019--Motion to Proceed The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 109, which the clerk will report. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: Motion to proceed to the consideration of S. 109, a bill to prohibit taxpayer funded abortions. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will be 30 minutes of debate, equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. Mr. McCONNELL. I yield back our time. Mr. SCHUMER. I yield back our time. The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time is yielded back. Pursuant to rule XXII, the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: Cloture Motion We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to proceed to Calendar No. 11, S. 109, a bill to prohibit taxpayer funded abortions. =========================== NOTE =========================== On page S288, January 17, 2019, second column, the following appears: CLOTURE MOTION We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to proceed to Calendar No. 11, S. 109, a bill to prohibit taxpayer funded abortion. The online Record has been corrected to read: CLOTURE MOTION We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to proceed to Calendar No. 11, S. 109, a bill to prohibit taxpayer funded abortions. ========================= END NOTE ========================= Mitch McConnell, Mike Crapo, Mike Rounds, James M. Inhofe, John Barrasso, David Perdue, John Kennedy, John Thune, Thom Tillis, James E. Risch, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Pat Roberts, John Boozman, James Lankford, Michael B. Enzi, Roger F. Wicker, John Cornyn. 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 the motion to proceed to S. 109, a bill to prohibit taxpayer funded abortions, shall be brought to a close? The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. The clerk will call the roll. The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll. Mr. THUNE. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Alexander), the Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Burr), the Senator from Idaho (Mr. Crapo), the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Graham), and the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. Paul). Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Alexander) would have voted ``yea.'' The Senator from Kentucky (Mr. Paul) would have voted ``yea.'' The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber desiring to vote? The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 48, nays 47, as follows: [Rollcall Vote No. 7 Leg.] YEAS--48 Barrasso Blackburn Blunt Boozman Braun Capito Casey Cassidy Cornyn Cotton Cramer Cruz Daines Enzi Ernst Fischer Gardner Grassley Hawley Hoeven Hyde-Smith Inhofe Isakson Johnson Kennedy Lankford Lee Manchin McConnell McSally Moran Perdue Portman Risch Roberts Romney Rounds Rubio Sasse Scott (FL) Scott (SC) Shelby Sullivan Thune Tillis Toomey Wicker Young NAYS--47 Baldwin Bennet Blumenthal Booker Brown Cantwell Cardin Carper Collins Coons Cortez Masto Duckworth Durbin Feinstein Gillibrand Harris Hassan Heinrich Hirono Jones Kaine King Klobuchar Leahy Markey Menendez Merkley Murkowski Murphy Murray Peters Reed Rosen Sanders Schatz Schumer Shaheen Sinema Smith Stabenow Tester Udall Van Hollen Warner Warren Whitehouse Wyden NOT VOTING--5 Alexander Burr Crapo Graham Paul The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 48, and the nays are 47. Three-fifths of Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is rejected. The Democratic leader. Unanimous Consent Request--H.J. Res. 30 Mr. SCHUMER. We spent the past few days debating the resolution of disapproval of the Treasury Department's plan to relax sanctions on Russia. We have made clear that Treasury's plan is insufficient and lets Putin and his cronies off the hook. We have made clear that Putin's malign activities around the globe have not abated. We have made clear that there is no reason to relieve sanctions on one of our chief adversaries when there has been no reconciliation and in exchange for nothing. Earlier this week, 10 brave Republicans joined us on the motion to proceed and again on cloture, but it was not enough for passage. So many other Republicans who have campaigned that Democrats are not tough enough on Putin, when they had a chance to be tough on Putin, ran for the exits. I just want to let my colleagues know that the House was different and in this case far more courageous. The House passed the same resolution of disapproval 362 to 53. Republicans by more than a 2-to-1 ratio--more than 2 to 1--voted to not allow the loosening of sanctions on Deripaska's Rusal, as 136 of them joined with the unanimous--unanimous--support of House Democrats to pass the resolution. So two votes--two small votes--stand in the way of passage here in the Senate. Let the overwhelming bipartisan House vote be a message to my Republican friends in the Senate. We should pass this resolution. We should not let Putin get his way simply because Donald Trump has always wanted him to--too often. So I am going to shortly reconsider the resolution before it expires tonight at midnight. I strongly urge my friend the leader not to block the request and give Republican Senators a chance to change their minds on this incredibly important motion. [[Page S289]] So I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of Calendar No. 14, H.J. Res. 30; that the joint resolution be considered read for a third time and the Senate vote on passage with a 60-vote affirmative threshold, with no intervening action or debate; and that if the joint resolution fails to achieve 60 votes for passage, it be returned to the calendar. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Mr. McCONNELL. I object. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard. The Senator from Virginia. Unanimous Consent Request--H.R. 21 Mr. KAINE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of Calendar No. 5, H.R. 21, making appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019. I further ask that the bill be considered read a third time and passed and that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there an objection? Mr. McCONNELL. Objection. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard. The Senator from Virginia Mr. KAINE. Mr. President, I would like to speak on the preceding motion, but before I do, I would like to yield my time to my colleague from New Mexico. Mr. UDALL. Senator Kaine is yielding to me to talk about the Interior Department in the bill. Let me just thank him for his vigilance. When we have 800,000 Federal employees across this country and their families hurting, he has been vigilant with this. I know that in the Commonwealth of Virginia he and Senator Warner are very concerned, as are Senator Heinrich and myself about what is happening in New Mexico. I want to speak a little bit about the Interior Department bill, where I am the ranking Democrat. I rise today to call on this body to take action and immediately end the shutdown that is causing tragic consequences in the lives of Americans. We are on day 27 of the shutdown, the longest in our Nation's history. Every day my constituents in New Mexico are asking me what are we doing to end this senseless shutdown. So I am here on the Senate floor demanding that we open the government, demanding that we do our jobs as a coequal branch of government, demanding that we pass bipartisan appropriations bills. I have the privilege of serving as the ranking member of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, and I know how critical the Interior bill is, particularly to my home State of New Mexico and to States across the West and across the country. The Interior bill funds basic services like healthcare and public safety for 2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives through the Indian Health Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This bill keeps our air and water clean through the work of the Environmental Protection Agency. This bill protects and preserves national parks and other treasured public lands and helps to support small businesses that depend on them. The Agencies in this bill fund science, wildlife protection, energy development, and arts and cultural programs in every State, and they employ tens of thousands of Americans. There is no reason why they should be shuttered. They are simply too important. This shutdown is particularly devastating for Indian Country. Every day the President continues to treat Tribal programs like hostages for political gain. By his action he endangers families across Indian Country. Multiple health clinics that serve urban Indians have closed their doors, forced to turn hundreds of patients away. Tribal court programs are in jeopardy. Food distribution and social service programs are on the chopping block. Law enforcement services are stretched to the breaking point. Thousands of Tribal members are furloughed--all to devastating effect. Indian Country is paying the price for every day that the President's reckless shutdown continues. These are people's lives and livelihoods on the line. Our government is completely failing to uphold its trust and treaty obligations to Native Americans, and all for what? A wildly expensive and ineffective wall that this Nation doesn't want and a vanity project for a President who is not putting the best interests of this country first. It doesn't make any sense. We need to pass the Interior appropriations bill so we can reopen the entire National Park System, along with other public lands, and do so safely. Already, we have heard about the tragic impacts of the shutdown on our parks, including thousand-year-old Joshua trees cut down in California, and fossils that have been looted at Carlsbad Caverns in my home State of New Mexico. We can't let this kind of damage happen to our most treasured places, and we must ensure that small businesses that depend on our public lands--from fishing guides to gas stations and hotels--are able to thrive and keep our economy strong. Across the board, this shutdown is hurting businesses, contractors, and Federal workers. Even the President's own Council of Economic Advisers has released figures doubling the expected impacts to the economy. Think about that. The President's own aides admit this shutdown is worse than they anticipated. This is totally unacceptable, but it is not too late to change the situation. We can end this shutdown today. All it takes is for enough of my Republican colleagues and friends to find the courage to join us to pass these appropriations bills and to send a message to the White House that we need to reopen the government. I want to say to them, let's join together to make sure that Tribal health clinics are open and Tribal law enforcement officers are on patrol. Let's work side by side to reopen the entire National Park System and other public lands and ensure that there are enough staff members on the ground to protect our Nation's most cherished national and cultural resources. Let's pass these bipartisan appropriations bills without delay. I don't understand how this Chamber can stand by and watch the devastating effects of this shutdown on our Nation. In New Mexico alone, we estimate that there are at least 10,800 Federal workers who are working without pay or are furloughed outright. Nationwide, there are an estimated 800,000 Federal workers and as many as 2 million Federal contractors who may be affected. We are talking about millions of people's paychecks being held hostage for a border wall that the American public doesn't support. Yesterday I stood on this floor and talked about the impacts this shutdown is having on the Ornelas family of Carlsbad, NM. They are depending on a paycheck from the Department of Interior to help keep their family afloat as they deal with a disabled son who had two brain surgeries. The Ornelas family was already dealing with one of the worst crises a family can go through, and now they have to worry about how to pay for basic necessities. They are just one example of the lives at stake. It is not just Federal workers and Federal contractors. Every single American relies on the Federal Government for essential public safety and security. The Food and Drug Administration shut down--contaminated food can kill thousands. TSA agents and FAA air traffic controllers we rely on to keep air traffic safe are unpaid. In a massive irony, President Trump's shutdown means the Department of Homeland Security is unpaid. There are an estimated 2,000 New Mexicans we rely on for border security, international trade, and immigration work who are unpaid. This really truly is madness. For their sake and for the sake of all Americans who are affected by this tragic situation, we need to end this shutdown now. The consequences of inaction are too great. Once again, let me thank Senator Kaine for his passion on this issue, for his vigilance in terms of bringing this issue, and fighting with all of us on the floor. I yield to Senator Kaine. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia. Mr. KAINE. I will briefly conclude my comments recognizing my colleague from Indiana is also on the floor. I thank the Senator from New Mexico for his words. He spoke about the [[Page S290]] motion I just made. I will be on the floor tomorrow and Saturday and next week--Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday--to share stories that have been shared with me and are being shared with me every day by Virginians affected and the Agencies the Senator from New Mexico discussed and others. Just to clarify, the motion that I made earlier was to pass a House bill that is pending before us. It is an appropriation for the remainder of the fiscal year for the following Departments and Agencies: Department of Interior; Environmental Protection Agency; Forest Service; Department of Treasury, including the IRS; Judiciary; Executive Office of the President--we are trying to fund the Executive Office of the President; the District of Columbia; Department of Agriculture, including the Food Stamp Program; the Food and Drug Administration; Department of Transportation; Department of Housing and Urban Development; Department of Commerce; Department of Justice, including the FBI; science-related Agencies, including NASA; the Department of State and several related and independent Agencies. That was the motion that I made that was objected to by the majority leader. Three items quickly. There are three levels of surreal illogic to the position we are in. The first is, we are having a legitimate debate between Congress and the President on border security and immigration reform. That is a very legitimate debate, in which there are intellectually respectable differences of opinion. If we are having a debate about that, why would we punish the workers who are charged with administering the Food Stamp Program? Why punish workers in the National Forest and National Parks? Why punish the citizens who need those services? The first level of illogic to the position we are in is we are punishing both workers and the citizens who need services completely unconnected with the border and immigration reform issue. Surreal illogic No. 2. If we are having a debate about safety and security on the border, why would we demand Customs and Border Patrol folks work without pay? Those who are affected and who are part of the Agencies dealing with the dispute are, by all accounts, the frontline people who are dealing with this--immigration judges, Custom and Border Patrol folks, ICE agents, DEA agents, the Coast Guard, which interdicts drugs, FBI, U.S. marshals, BATF agents--why would we make their lives harder when they are the safety and security professionals who are charged with dealing with the issue we are trying to figure out? The final level of surreal illogic, as I yield to my colleague from Indiana, is this. I want to thank all my colleagues because a week ago, by unanimous consent, we passed a backpay bill that the President signed yesterday. Now we have guaranteed that the Federal Treasury will write a check for the paychecks for all of these workers. It is actually probably going to be more because to close and restart actually costs a little bit more. We agreed to pay backpay in this and any future shutdown to these workers. So if we are going to pay them anyway, why wouldn't we want them to be serving Americans instead of being furloughed? If we are going to pay them anyway--if the Federal Treasury is going to write that check-- wouldn't it be better if they are in their offices answering phones, processing food stamp applications, and serving their fellow Americans than locked out of their offices? We bar Federal workers from striking because of the need for continuous government operations, but we are locking them out of their offices while we have agreed to give them full payment for the work they would have been doing had we not locked them out. That is not fiscally smart. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana. March for Life Mr. YOUNG. Mr. President, I rise to talk about an issue that is very important to my constituents in my State of Indiana. It is also an issue that is very close to my heart--the sanctity of life. Tomorrow we know thousands of pro-life advocates from around the country, including many Hoosiers, will convene in Washington for the March for Life. This is the world's largest annual pro-life demonstration. You may not be able to tell this by watching today's television or movies, but there is bipartisan agreement among most Americans that we must protect human life. This is no old-fashioned point of view. In fact, a recent survey of millennials showed that 70 percent supported limits such as parental notification, blocking abortions at 5 months of pregnancy, and ending government funding for abortion. In Indiana, concerned citizens from all corners of the State are fighting tirelessly to protect pro-life principles. These are the unsung heroes of the pro-life movement--those who have dedicated their lives to saving innocent children. These and other Hoosiers, of course, elected me to represent their interests in the Senate, but they also elected me to represent their values. I have been proud to work on legislation that reflects those values. Already in this new Congress, I have joined dozens of my Senate colleagues on a letter to President Trump asking for a public commitment to only support pro-life legislative and administrative policies. To be clear, this President has indeed been supportive of pro-life policies, but House Democrats have already indicated they intend to move forward with pro-abortion legislation this Congress. We would like the President to let the House know that he is going to veto any kind of legislation that doesn't respect the sanctity of life. I have also joined several of my colleagues this week to sponsor the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act of 2019, which we just voted on. This bill would have established a governmentwide statutory prohibition on taxpayer subsidies for abortion or abortion coverage. Federal taxpayer dollars should absolutely not be used to fund abortion. I am incredibly disappointed that my colleagues didn't join me in voting to pass this important legislation today. I will continue looking for ways to advance this needed reform. I am also a cosponsor of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which ensures that a baby who survives an abortion will receive the same treatment as any child naturally born premature at the very same age. We must do all we can to protect innocent life. Before being elected to the Senate, I sat on the board of directors of the Hannah House in Bloomington, IN. This is a maternity home that offers women loving support during their pregnancy. I also spent 2 years as a smalltown attorney in Southern Indiana. During that time, I offered free legal services to parents who wanted to adopt. I am passionate about helping children find loving forever homes and helping caring adults become parents. I have come to appreciate firsthand, through my own life experiences, the importance of advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves. We are divided on so many issues today, but protecting the lives of unborn children should not be one of those issues. I will continue working on legislation that advances pro-life values, and I am hopeful we can soon turn these actions into law. I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. DAINES. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. March For Life Mr. DAINES. Mr. President, this week, folks from all over the country--all ages, all backgrounds, and all walks of life--are coming together to celebrate and highlight one of the single most important priorities of this Nation, and that is protecting the unborn. In fact, tomorrow, nearly 100,000 of these folks will march right here in Washington, DC, at the March for Life rally. In fact, I will be speaking at that rally tomorrow. As American citizens, I believe in our founding principle that all men and all women are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Every human life must be valued. Every human life must be protected from conception until [[Page S291]] death. We must stand to protect the most vulnerable in our society, and that includes the unborn. I am grateful that under President Trump's leadership and the Republican-led U.S. Senate, we have delivered some of the strongest pro-life results in history. In fact, in the last Congress, this Republican-led Senate confirmed 85 conservative judges. That includes a record-setting 30 circuit court judges. We also confirmed 53 district court judges and two new Supreme Court Justices. I remember when I left the private sector to come to public service that when the Senate put a judge on the bench, that meant these were lifetime appointments. We can pass laws here. Laws can be changed in the current Congress. Laws can be changed in a future Congress. But these judges are lifetime appointments. Despite the great progress we have made over the last couple of years, there is plenty of work to be done. In fact, just this week, I was grateful and thankful to see 48 of my Senate colleagues join me in sending a letter to President Trump urging him to stop any legislation--any legislation--that is coming out of the House that would erode pro-life protections. The good news is, this is a battle we are winning, and this is a battle we must absolutely win. Thank you. I yield back. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska. Government Funding Mr. SULLIVAN. Mr. President, a couple of days ago I came to the floor to talk about the partial government shutdown, how it is impacting different parts of my State--the Great State of Alaska--and, in particular, how it is impacting the men and women in the U.S. Coast Guard. I think we all recognize as we are trying to work through this partial government shutdown that a lot of Federal workers are being impacted, but let me talk about the Coast Guard because I think it is a little different than almost any other group of Federal workers. On Tuesday, these brave men and women did not receive a paycheck. They didn't receive a paycheck, and they are the only branch of the U.S. military right now, out there around the world and around the globe, risking their lives for the American people, who are not getting paid. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines--we love them all. They are working hard. They are getting paid. The men and women of the Coast Guard are not getting paid. That is wrong. That is particularly wrong. They can't leave the Coast Guard. They would get court-martialed. They are working hard, saving lives in my State, certainly--in Alaska--all the time, and they are not getting paid when the other services are getting paid. So what did we do? A number of us, Democrats and Republicans--almost one-quarter of the Members of the U.S. Senate--cosponsored a bill that says: Let's pay the Coast Guard. Let's pay the Coast Guard right now so they are treated fairly, like the other men and women serving in our military. That was a good start. I was optimistic then. It has been a bit of a roller coaster ride, but, to be honest, I couldn't imagine that this bill wouldn't sail through. We are not going to be able to fix everything right now, but this is one we can start working on, on these individual issues, and there is a lot of talk of doing it. Last week, I had the opportunity to raise this with the President and his administration and the Secretary of Homeland Security, and we continued to press this issue all week with the OMB Director, the Chief of Staff of the White House, and the President himself, and he said this week that he was going to support the bill. That is important. Now you have the executive branch, the President of the United States, and he will sign it. He said it. I was in a meeting with him yesterday, and he said he is 100 percent supportive of this bill. It is bipartisan. There are actually more Democrats than Republicans on the bill right now. What we did, trying to move this quickly, is we said: All right, the President is going to sign it. We have a quarter of the Senate. It is a bipartisan bill. Let's move it. We moved to hotline it. What does that mean? To try to get this bill to be moved through unanimous consent through the Senate, a hotline means you are going to try to move it real fast and everybody is going to vote on it. That started today. By noon, every Republican Member of the U.S. Senate said: Good to go--cleared, hot. Let's pay the men and women of the Coast Guard. I had the opportunity to talk to a local public radio program in Kodiak, the largest Coast Guard station in the country. I had the opportunity to say to my fellow Alaskans that I am pretty optimistic. We have moved. We have a lot of cosponsors--25 percent of the Senate, Democrats and Republicans--and the President of the United States. Bingo, Republicans have said we are good to go on it. I have certainly started working with some of my Democratic colleagues who are also optimistic. Why would we block this? Why would we block this? Remember, they are the only men and women in the U.S. military not getting paid right now, and we have a solution. So I come to the floor, and I hate to admit it because 2 hours ago I was pretty optimistic, but I am getting word that my colleagues--the Democrats and the minority leader--are now saying: Maybe we are just going to block this. I am not sure why. Nobody has come down here to say why. We are running the hotline on the Democratic side. So maybe that is just a rumor. I hope it is just a rumor. Why would you block it? Come on, my colleagues on the other side. Why would you block it? We are not going to fix everything tonight, but we could fix this tonight. Let me talk a little bit about my State. Some of you have probably seen the ``Deadliest Catch'' and those kind of shows about Alaska. Look at the men and women who are out there keeping our fishermen--American fishermen--safe. On average, every month in the State of Alaska the Coast Guard saves 22 lives--in 1 month, on average, in one State--and it assists 53 people, reports and investigates 25 maritime casualties, conducts close to 20 security boardings and over 20 security patrols. If you are in trouble on the high seas in Alaska, which is a bad place to be, the seas are never too rough or the skies never too dismal for the Coast Guard to come out and rescue you. We have seen it time and again, but it is not just in Alaska. It is all over the country, and it is all over the world. I talked to the Commandant of the Coast Guard just yesterday. I said: Mr. Commandant, Admiral, I think we are close. The President is good to go. I think most of the Senators are good to go. The bill has 25 cosponsors. He reminded me that he has men and women in the Coast Guard deployed in the Persian Gulf doing anti-piracy operations alongside U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy personnel--right now, in the Persian Gulf, Marines, Coast Guard, and Navy--and guess who is not getting paid. Does anyone think that should be a tolerated situation? The answer is no. The answer is no. Again, I hope this is a rumor, and that the hotline is happening right now on the Democratic side. We have cleared it--good to go. Every Republican has signed off on this. I hope that this is just a rumor-- that tonight the Democrats will clear this and we will get it to the House. The Coast Guard said they can start cutting checks again within 24 hours. The President will sign this. So there should be no reason not to do this. The partial government shutdown is negatively impacting Federal workers. The President's request, in my view, for border security is imminently reasonable. I hope the Speaker will view it that way. A lot of her members are. We are all working for this. We are all working for a solution. Senator Johnson put out a bill that I joined as a cosponsor that would immediately pay all workers who are currently working without pay. This would expand the idea of what we are doing with the Coast Guard bill. I think it is a good idea. That is a start, but the Coast Guard bill right now has momentum. It has momentum. We could get this done in 24 hours. It is not a complete solution, but we have the White House, and it should be the Senate and, hopefully, the House getting ready to find a solution for at least for some of the men and women in the Federal workforce. But as I like to emphasize, they are not just any Federal workers. All of [[Page S292]] them are important--there is no doubt--but when you are the only members of the military not getting paid for risking your lives for your country and we can fix it here tonight in the Senate, that is what we should be doing. I certainly hope this bill isn't being blocked unreasonably. As I mentioned, it is not a complete solution, but it is the start of a solution. For the life of me, I can't understand why this bill would be blocked. More importantly, the men and women of the Coast Guard will not understand why this bill is being blocked. Communities that support and depend on the Coast Guard--like Kodiak, AK--will not understand why this bill is being blocked. These young men and women, who love their country and have chosen to serve and protect us, are not going to understand why this bill is being blocked tonight. I don't want to use the word plead, but I am asking my colleagues on the Democratic side to do the right thing and pass this bill tonight. Every single American who is aware of this situation knows that it is inequitable when the other members of the military--who are out there risking their lives just like the men and women of the Coast Guard--are getting paid and the men and women of the Coast Guard aren't. We are on the verge of a solution. Passing this bill will take care of at least one issue that we are all trying to resolve. Again, I urge my Democratic colleagues--because all of my Republican colleagues have already passed this bill in the hotline. I urge my colleagues to take up this bill, do the right thing, and support the men and women of the Coast Guard, who are not being treated equal to their brothers and sisters in the other branches of the military. Until then, I am going to continue to fight for this. I am going to continue to raise the issue. We have made a lot of progress, including getting the White House and the President on board and getting all of our Members here on the Republican side of the Senate on board. I am hopeful, with more advocacy and more reasoning with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, that we will also get there, move this to the House quickly, and get the men and women of the Coast Guard the paychecks they are needing. I yield the floor. ____________________