(Senate - April 29, 2019)

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[Pages S2469-S2477]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, for the leader, is there a message at 
the desk in reference to S.J. Res. 7?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair lays before the Senate a 
communication of the Secretary of the Senate regarding that matter.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

                                             United States Senate,

                                      Office of the Secretary,

                                                   April 29, 2019.
     Hon. Michael R. Pence,
     President of the Senate,
     U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. President: On Wednesday, April 17, 2019, the 
     President of the United States sent by messenger the attached 
     sealed envelope addressed to the President of the Senate 
     dated April 17, 2019, said to contain a veto message on the 
     bill S.J. Res. 7, a Joint Resolution to direct the removal of 
     United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic 
     of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress. The 
     Senate not being in session on the last day which the 
     President had for the return of this bill under the 
     provisions of the Constitution of the United States, in order 
     to protect the interests of the Senate so that it might have 
     the opportunity to reconsider the bill, I accepted the 
     message at 10:20 a.m., and I now present to you the 
     President's veto message, with the accompanying papers, for 
     disposition by the Senate.
                                                   Julie E. Adams,
                                          Secretary of the Senate.

  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, for the leader, is the veto message with 
the papers attached at the desk?
  Mr. GRASSLEY. For the leader, I ask unanimous consent that the veto 
message on S.J. Res. 7 be considered as having been read and that it be 
printed in the Record and spread in full upon the Journal.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The veto message is ordered to be printed in the Record as follows:

To the Senate of the United States:
  I am returning herewith without my approval S.J. Res. 7, a joint 
resolution that purports to direct the President to remove United 
States Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting the Republic of 
Yemen, with certain exceptions. This resolution is an unnecessary, 
dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering 
the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today 
and in the future.
  This joint resolution is unnecessary because, apart from 
counterterrorism operations against al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula 
and ISIS, the United States is not engaged in hostilities in or 
affecting Yemen. For example, there are no United States military 
personnel in Yemen commanding, participating in, or accompanying 
military forces of the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis in 
hostilities in or affecting Yemen.
  Since 2015, the United States has provided limited support to member 
countries of the Saudi-led coalition, including intelligence sharing, 
logistics support, and, until recently, in-flight refueling of non-
United States aircraft. All of this support is consistent with 
applicable Arms Export Control Act authorities, statutory authorities 
that permit the Department of Defense to provide logistics support to 
foreign countries, and the President's constitutional power as 
Commander in Chief. None of this support has introduced United States 
military personnel into hostilities.
  We are providing this support for many reasons. First and foremost, 
it is our duty to protect the safety of the more than 80,000 Americans 
who reside in certain coalition countries that have been subject to 
Houthi attacks from Yemen. Houthis, supported by Iran, have used 
missiles, armed drones, and explosive boats to attack civilian and 
military targets in those coalition countries, including areas 
frequented by American citizens, such as the airport in Riyadh, Saudi 
Arabia. In addition, the conflict in Yemen represents a ``cheap'' and 
inexpensive way for Iran to cause trouble for the United States and for 
our ally, Saudi Arabia.
  S.J. Res. 7 is also dangerous. The Congress should not seek to 

[[Page S2470]]

certain tactical operations, such as in-flight refueling, or require 
military engagements to adhere to arbitrary timelines. Doing so would 
interfere with the President's constitutional authority as Commander in 
Chief of the Armed Forces, and could endanger our service members by 
impairing their ability to efficiently and effectively conduct military 
engagements and to withdraw in an orderly manner at the appropriate 
  The joint resolution would also harm the foreign policy of the United 
States. Its efforts to curtail certain forms of military support would 
harm our bilateral relationships, negatively affect our ongoing efforts 
to prevent civilian casualties and prevent the spread of terrorist 
organizations such as al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS, and 
embolden Iran's malign activities in Yemen.
  We cannot end the conflict in Yemen through political documents like 
S.J. Res. 7. Peace in Yemen requires a negotiated settlement. 
Unfortunately, inaction by the Senate has left vacant key diplomatic 
positions, impeding our ability to engage regional partners in support 
of the United Nations-led peace process. To help end the conflict, 
promote humanitarian and commercial access, prevent civilian 
casualties, enhance efforts to recover American hostages in Yemen, and 
defeat terrorists that seek to harm the United States, the Senate must 
act to confirm my nominees for many critical foreign policy positions.
  I agree with the Congress about the need to address our engagements 
in foreign wars. As I said in my State of the Union address in 
February, great nations do not fight endless wars. My Administration is 
currently accelerating negotiations to end our military engagement in 
Afghanistan and drawing down troops in Syria, where we recently 
succeeded in eliminating 100 percent of the ISIS caliphate. 
Congressional engagement in those endeavors would be far more 
productive than expending time and effort trying to enact this 
unnecessary and dangerous resolution that interferes with our foreign 
policy with respect to Yemen.
  For these reasons, it is my duty to return S.J. Res. 7 to the Senate 
without my approval.
                                                     Donald J. Trump.  
                                       The White House, April 16, 2019.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa.

                       Electing Senate Chaplains

  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, for 1 minute, I will speak to a piece of 
history of the Senate.
  I call to the Senate's attention this fact: When the Senate first 
convened in 1789 at Federal Hall in New York City, one of the Senate's 
first orders of business was to appoint a committee to recommend a 
candidate for Chaplain. On April 25, 1789, the Senate elected the Right 
Reverend Samuel Provost, Episcopal bishop of New York, as its first 
  That means 230 years ago this week, the Senate elected its first 
Chaplain, and since then the Senate has had 62 people serve in the 
position as Chaplain of the Senate.


  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, additionally for 1 minute, I would like 
to speak to the issue of healthcare. Some elected officials are 
proposing radical changes to our healthcare system. These proposals 
include Medicare for All, Medicare buy-in, Medicaid for All, and 
expansion of the Affordable Healthcare Act. All of these are versions 
of completely government-run healthcare.
  Americans don't support a government-run healthcare system when they 
are told about the tradeoffs. Medicare for All would eliminate private 
health insurance companies. Medicare for All would require middle-class 
Americans to pay much more in taxes. Medicare for All would threaten 
the benefits that current Medicare beneficiaries receive, and those 
people who have paid into the system for a lifetime should not have 
Medicare, which has been part of the social fabric of America, put in 
jeopardy by loading more people into it.
  Government-run healthcare is a slogan, not an answer.
  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. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                        Prescription Drug Costs

  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I want to call my colleagues' attention 
to an issue that has affected many families in Iowa and throughout the 
country, and that issue is the cost of prescription drugs. The cost of 
prescription drugs is an issue that comes up at almost every Q and A I 
hold with Iowans at my annual 99-county meetings. During the last 
Easter break, which was just completed, I did 20 of those 99 counties.
  In the last 2 months, I started a bipartisan investigation with my 
colleague, Ranking Member Wyden of the Finance Committee, into the 
pricing of insulin. That investigation extends to insulin manufacturers 
and pharmacy benefit managers. We need to find out how manufacturers 
price their insulin products, and we need to find out if pharmacy 
benefit managers are negotiating the lowest drug price possible from 
manufacturers on behalf of insurance plans.
  This isn't my first drug pricing investigation. In recent years, I 
have investigated Gilead's pricing of hepatitis C drugs. The names of 
those drugs are Sovaldi and Harvoni. I have been investigating Mylan's 
EpiPen price increase.
  Let me tell you, oversight by Congress in doing our constitutional 
job does accomplish things. I have said it before and I will say it 
again because you can't say it too often: Congress has a constitutional 
responsibility to engage in robust and aggressive oversight of the 
Federal Government and its programs.
  My EpiPen investigation is a perfect example. Several years ago, I 
began to receive letters, phone calls, and emails from my constituents 
about the rapidly increasing, high price of the EpiPen. In 2007, a pack 
of two EpiPens cost $100. By 2016, it had skyrocketed to over $600. Of 
course, anybody paying it or even anybody hearing about it knows that 
to be a substantial price increase. I wanted to find out what was 
happening and what could be done to fix this problem of dramatically 
increasing prices and maybe unwarranted prices.
  My investigative and policy focus soon turned to the Medicaid Drug 
Rebate Program administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid 
Services. The Medicaid Drug Rebate Program is a contributing factor 
that has played a part in how much money the government and the 
taxpayers pay for some drugs, and, as you will find out, the waste of 
some taxpayers' money.
  Now, as a condition for participating in the program, drug companies 
have to pay a rebate to the Federal Government and the States for the 
drugs they offer. Generally speaking, the rebate dollar amount is 
contingent on whether the drug is considered a brand name drug or 
generic drug. A brand name drug pays a rebate of the greater of 23.1 
percent of the average manufacturer price or the difference between 
that and the drug's best price.
  In the rebate program, the dollar amount is raised if the average 
manufacturer price has increased faster than the rate of inflation. A 
generic drug's rebate is 13 percent of the average manufacturer's 
  Unfortunately, the rebate program has not worked as it was designed 
to work. Drug companies have been able to game the system by paying 
smaller rebates than they are supposed to, and, of course, the taxpayer 
foots the bill.
  EpiPen is a perfect example of this gaming of the system. This is how 
the scheme works. Mylan classified the EpiPen as a generic under the 
Medicaid Drug Rebate Program rather than as a brand name drug. After I 
asked those at CMS about that classification, they told me the EpiPen 
should not have been classified as a generic. Of course, because of 
this incorrect classification, Mylan only had to pay a 13-percent 
rebate instead of the 23.1-percent rebate. That means less money was 
returned by the company to the Federal taxpayers and to the States' 

  According to CMS, from 2011 to 2015, total Medicaid spending on the 
EpiPen was $960 million. After rebates, net Medicaid spending was still 
approximately $797 million. As opposed to Medicaid spending, Medicare 
spending on the EpiPen in those same years was

[[Page S2471]]

$335 million. Taxpayers and the States' taxpayers were also on the hook 
for these exorbitant overpayments for the better part of 10 years.
  When I saw what was happening, I asked the Health and Human Services' 
inspector general to look into these practices. Based on data already 
on file, the inspector general was able to calculate the potential lost 
rebate value dating back to 2006. The inspector general found that the 
taxpayers may have overpaid for the EpiPen by as much as $1.27 billion 
over a 10-year period of time because of the incorrect classification. 
Eventually, Mylan settled a False Claims Act case with the Obama 
administration's Justice Department for $465 million. Now, that $465 
million is a far cry from how much Mylan got from the taxpayers while 
it was pulling off this charade--in other words, $800 million less.
  Upon learning of the settlement, I expressed my extreme 
disappointment to the Justice Department. It just didn't seem that the 
taxpayers had been made whole. Obviously, they had not been. According 
to Attorney General Miller of my State of Iowa, my home State received 
$1.5 million from the settlement. However, after my having made 
repeated requests to justify how much that amount has made Iowa whole, 
I have not received an answer yet. So, not only did Mylan's steep price 
hike for one of the most widely needed drugs in this country hit 
families hard, but it also hit the taxpayers' bottom line. We shouldn't 
have to depend on lawyers and lawsuits to get the taxpayers' money 
back. Government Agencies should be responsibly overseeing any program 
that they are in charge of.
  During the course of my investigation, it became clear that CMS 
didn't believe that it had the legal authority to require drug 
companies to reclassify drugs and impose civil monetary penalties for 
incorrectly classifying drugs. Except for a few emails sent from CMS to 
Mylan's representatives that questioned EpiPen's classification, for 
years CMS did nothing. In other words, CMS was not doing its job, and 
Mylan was taking advantage of it.
  The inspector general has also stated that he lacked the legal 
authority to affirmatively pursue penalties for the submission of 
inaccurate drug classification data. As a result, Mylan was able to 
escape accountability for a long time, which cost taxpayers billions of 
dollars. This is just one case. Other drug manufacturers are gaming the 
system as well.
  In a December 2017 report, the inspector general found that 885 drugs 
may have been potentially misclassified. Specifically, the inspector 
general found that from 2012 to 2016, Medicaid may have lost $1.3 
billion in rebates for just 10 potentially misclassified drugs with the 
highest total of reimbursement. It is clear that the law needed to 
change to provide much needed clarity on who had what authorities and 
in order to hold the government, as well as the private sector, 
  As a result of the findings in my EpiPen investigation, I, along with 
my colleague Senator Wyden, drafted--and Congress later passed--the 
Right Rebate Act. That all happened just a short period of time ago. 
The act, which passed with strong bipartisan support, fixes the 
problems that I identified through my investigation.
  It closes the loophole that has allowed pharmaceutical manufacturers 
to misclassify their drugs and overcharge the taxpayers by billions of 
  The bill provides the HHS Secretary the authority to require drug 
manufacturers to reclassify their drugs and impose civil monetary 
penalties when drugs are knowingly misclassified.
  It provides HHS with additional authorities to monitor drug 
manufacturers that participate in the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, and 
the legislation provides the States the ability to recover incorrect 
rebate amounts.
  Finally, the bill imposes reporting and transparency requirements on 
HHS. An example of additional reporting requires the Secretary to 
submit a report to Congress on an annual basis that describes four 
things: one, the covered drugs that have been misclassified; two, the 
steps that have been taken to reclassify the drugs; three, the actions 
the Secretary has taken to ensure the payment of any rebate amounts 
which were unpaid; four, an accounting of how funds have been used for 
the oversight and enforcement of this new law.
  All of these fixes and updates are now in place because my 
constituents contacted me about the real-world problems they were 
paying for and that were affecting their health as well as their 
wallets. I instructed my oversight staff to investigate the problem. 
They acquired the evidence, uncovered the facts, and, obviously, 
exposed the holes in the existing law. Then, I instructed my policy 
staff to take those findings to plug the holes and solve the problem 
with new legislation, which is now law. This is exactly the purpose of 
oversight. This is exactly how oversight is done.
  Pretty simply, this isn't like reinventing the wheel every time. This 
is oversight 101. Oversight means to bring transparency, and 
transparency is meant to bring accountability. Oversight works, plain 
and simple, and the Right Rebate Act that Senator Wyden and I brought 
to passage is proof that oversight is working.
  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. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                            Border Security

  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, with the 2-week hiatus we have had here in 
Washington, DC, so we could be back home visiting with our 
constituents, some things have not changed; they are just the way they 
were when we left, and that would include the heart-breaking stories 
that illustrate the situation along our southwest border.
  I have talked, as you might imagine coming from Texas, with a lot of 
Border Patrol personnel who found migrants crammed in parts of cars 
that you didn't even know exist. I visited the unmarked graves of those 
who have been abandoned by their human smugglers in essentially desert 
conditions and left to die. I have seen the disgusting stash houses, 
where dozens of migrants are held at a time to avoid being caught 
before they are transported up through the Interstate Highway System to 
distant locations.
  I could fill a book with all of the sights I have seen and the 
stories I have heard over the years, and I am sure, with the stories 
compiled by the Border Patrol agents and officers, we could fill an 
entire library.
  The story, though, really is about how ruthless and inhumane and 
completely reckless and thoughtless with regard to human life these 
criminal organizations truly are.
  One headline, though, during this recess period, stopped me in my 
tracks. Even this, I thought, could not be the case. It read:

       A 3-year-old was found alone in a field by Border Patrol 
     agents. His name and phone numbers were [written] on his 

  A toddler, not even old enough to talk to the agents who found him, 
was abandoned.
  Customs and Border Protection believes the boy was part of a larger 
group trying to enter the United States with their human smugglers. 
When the group encountered Border Patrol agents, the adults ran into 
the Rio Grande River and back to Mexico, leaving the little boy all by 
  He was, as the Border Patrol does in every instance, taken into 
custody and treated well. He was taken to a hospital for a medical 
evaluation, and, miraculously, he was found to be in good condition.
  While the agents tried to track down the boy's family, one 
supervisory patrol agent purchased clothing for him out of his own 
pocket; other personnel entertained the little boy, watching movies and 
playing games.
  These agents aren't just patrolling the border to catch illegal 
crossers; they are now being forced, because of the crisis at the 
border, to act as caregivers for some of the most vulnerable 
individuals they come across. Unfortunately, what that means is, they 
are also diverted from their No. 1 job, which is law enforcement and to 
protect the security and safety of the American people along our 
borders. They are now diverted from that mission, as well as their 
counterdrug mission, essentially handing out diapers and juice boxes 
for little boys and little girls.

[[Page S2472]]

  I think this should be a reminder for some of our colleagues who seem 
to think that the status quo along the border is just hunky-dory that 
it is far from humane. Many of our colleagues have said: Well, we need 
to abolish ICE because somehow that is inhumane; enforcing the laws 
passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, that somehow 
is beyond the pale.
  Enforcing the law isn't inhumane. Apprehending people who try to 
illegally enter into the United States or import their poison so it can 
be used by Americans who then overdose and lose their lives due to 
consuming those drugs, that is inhumane. What is inhumane and lacks 
simple compassion is doing nothing to stop this practice. Leaving 
security gaps that are exploited by smugglers, traffickers, and 
criminal organizations who have zero regard for human life is inhumane. 
These people, the drugs, the contraband are mere commodities to these 
criminal organizations. They don't care anything about them.
  Giving people an opportunity to smuggle an innocent child across our 
border alone and leaving him to die in the desert is not humane. Making 
criminal cartels rich by exploiting our porous border is inexcusable.
  To be clear, the criminal organizations perpetuating this cycle are 
the bad guys, not our law enforcement personnel who work to protect our 
border at substantial risk to themselves and who take compassionate 
care of those in their custody.
  I think one of the reasons this story garnered so much attention is 
because that is not what the average person imagines the Border Patrol 
encounters at the border, but increasingly it is. The Border Patrol 
encounters unaccompanied children and families consisting of one adult 
and one or more children along the border because the criminal 
organizations that smuggle them to the border are exploiting gaps and 
vulnerabilities in our asylum laws.
  Many people believe the typical migrant is an adult traveling alone, 
but more likely than not, that is not the case, and, in fact, it is 
becoming less and less common.
  In fact, according to the most recent statics, there is no new net 
migration from Mexico. Almost all of the migration into the United 
States, either by people who illegally enter or asylum seekers, is from 
countries other than Mexico, most notably Central America, but, 
literally, those could be merely the transit points for people coming 
from all over the world, up through Mexico, into the United States.

  From October 2018 to March 2019, a 6-month period, more than 360,000 
people--360,000 people--were apprehended along the southwest border. 
That is a remarkably high number for this point in the year, based on 
historical statistics. Only about one-third of them were single adults, 
more than half were traveling as a family unit, and the rest were 
unaccompanied children, like this 3-year-old little boy. He was found 
by agents in the Rio Grande Valley, far and away the busiest Border 
Patrol sector in the country. In fact, more than 40 percent of all 
unaccompanied children are apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley sector.
  These numbers are far from normal. Unsurprisingly, our Border Patrol 
and Customs and Border Protection agents, our local communities, the 
nongovernmental organizations, the churches, and others who try to lend 
a helping hand to these migrants coming across the border are not 
equipped to handle this huge surge of humanity.
  Customs agents are being pulled off inspection duty to help process 
the apprehended migrants. Security checkpoints are being shut down. The 
flow of legitimate trade and travel is being impacted. Individuals are 
then being released because there is simply not enough space to hold 
them, even though they violated our laws or have not yet proven their 
right to an immigration benefit under our asylum system.
  I had a group of manufacturers come see me before the latest break. 
They told me that from Juarez to El Paso, which is right across the Rio 
Grande River--that because commerce was backed up, the truck traffic 
that was transporting car parts as part of a just-in-time inventory 
program to manufacturers on the American side, they literally had to 
hire an airplane to fly 11 minutes from Juarez to El Paso. Car 
manufacturers that operate in Texas, Missouri, and other parts of the 
country, depend on this cross-border supply chain for their products. 
Eventually, if we don't do something about this flood of humanity and 
the blockage it is creating to legitimate trade and commerce across our 
ports of entry, we are going to see Americans lose their jobs because 
it simply was uncontemplated by anybody in that business that they 
would have to suffer those kinds of delays. Instead of a 1-hour delay 
coming across the ports of entry carrying manufactured goods that can 
be assembled in the United States or otherwise used in products made 
here, some are taking as much as 24 hours to get across. People are 
literally sleeping in their truck because they can't get through the 
ports of entry, in part, because the Customs and Border agents are 
being diverted, like I said earlier, handing out juice boxes, handing 
out diapers, taking care of this huge flood of humanity coming across 
our border.
  Don't just take my word for it. I remember when President Obama made 
comments talking about a humanitarian crisis. He called it a 
humanitarian and security crisis back in June of 2014. At that time, we 
saw as many as 135,000 during the month of May and June 2014 
apprehended at the border. Just to put that in context, in February and 
March of this year, 180,000 people were detained at the border--back 
when President Obama called it a humanitarian and security crisis, 
135,000; February and March 2019, 180,000.
  Simply put, this is a manmade disaster, and the only one that can fix 
it is the U.S. Congress, and it is going to get nothing but worse.
  All of the pull factors, the things that attract people to come 
across the border to take advantage of these gaps in our asylum laws, 
are going to do nothing but attract more and more and more people.
  Certainly, we all understand, as a matter of simple human compassion, 
why people would want to leave if they can't get a job, if they can't 
provide for their families where they live, but we simply cannot 
continue to accept the tens of thousands. Now, indeed, in a 2-month 
period of time, 180,000 new people have been coming into the country 
essentially jumping in line ahead of others who are trying to legally 
immigrate to the United States. It is overwhelming for our communities 
and our Border Patrol and our Customs agents.
  We know many of these migrants pay smugglers to lead them on this 
dangerous journey north or have to pay others a tax to pass through 
territories along the way, including the so-called plazas which are 
adjacent to the U.S.-Mexico border. So while migrants and vulnerable 
children are being left for dead in the desert, and we are struggling 
to manage a devastating humanitarian crisis, these criminal 
organizations are getting richer and richer. This is part of how they 
do business.
  While it is hard to know exactly how much money these groups are 
making, a recent study by RAND estimated that revenues to smugglers 
moving migrants from Northern Triangle countries--that is in Central 
America--range from about $200 million to about $2.3 billion in 2017 
alone. These are the same people, again, who are commodity agnostic, 
who care nothing about human life. They will move migrants for economic 
purposes. They will move people who are being sex trafficked, and they 
will move drugs, some of which contributed to the 70,000 Americans who 
died of drug overdoses last year, since Mexico is responsible for about 
90 percent of the heroin and much of the fentanyl that comes across our 
southwestern border.
  Of course, all of this is tax-free. You better believe these networks 
and their operations will only continue to get richer and richer and 
more and more ruthless and more and more dangerous.
  If you think these problems are going to go away on their own, you 
are wrong. The number of children and family units found along our 
border is already climbing at an appalling pace, and we need to take 
action to alleviate the strain on our personnel on the southern border 
and to eliminate the clogs and delays in legitimate trading commerce 
that is the lifeblood of our Nation, as well as our counterparts in 
  Unfortunately, rather than trying to put out the fire, many folks 
here in

[[Page S2473]]

Washington would rather fan the flames. The topic of border security 
has become a hot button, a zero-sum game that people seem to be willing 
to talk about more than look for solutions.
  As we all know, that is not how to get things done around here. We 
need to work together to try to come up with solutions to change our 
asylum laws in a way that is both compassionate and one that respects 
the rule of law and allows us to control this vast flood of humanity 
seeking to enter our country and take advantage of our asylum laws.
  I have been speaking with our colleagues here in the Senate, as well 
as those in the House, on both sides of the aisle, about commonsense 
reforms, what they might look like, and where we might find common 
ground. We can't wait to do comprehensive immigration reform in order 
to fix this particular problem where children and families turn 
themselves in at the border because of these flaws in our asylum laws. 
We need to address that and to do what we can, but once we accomplish 
that, we need to move on to do other things that we know we need to do 
in the best interest of our country and in the best interest of the 
rule of law.
  I think it is amazing what you can accomplish when you talk to other 
Members of Congress instead of just the news cameras, but that seems to 
be solely where the conversation is occurring--for the benefit of news 
cameras. We have had some productive discussions about how we can 
provide our frontline officers and agents with the resources they 
need--staffing, authorities, infrastructure, and technology.
  I, for one, am here and ready to talk to anyone who is willing to 
work in good faith to provide relief for the humanitarian crisis 
occurring on our southern border. That is what President Obama called 
it, and it has gotten much worse. It doesn't help to be labeling this 
some sort of fake emergency, as some of our colleagues on the other 
side of the Capitol have. To deny reality is a pretty big impediment to 
trying to solve the problem.
  I hope our colleagues on both sides of the aisle can take stock of 
the situation, accept the facts, and muster the courage to put politics 
aside and work together to create a much needed and long-overdue reform 
of our immigration policies because this problem is not going away. 
There were 76,000 people detained at the border in February and 103,000 
detained at the border in March. There is no good reason why the 
103,000 will not grow to 150,000, to 200,000, or to 250,000.
  All of the same pieces are in place and all of the same flaws are 
being exploited by these transnational criminal organizations to move 
people into the country, where they can essentially circumvent our 
immigration enforcement and border security measures. It is going to do 
nothing but get worse when it comes to impediments getting in place of 
lawful commerce and trade, which are so important to our economy and 
the economy of Mexico and our common border.
  With that, 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. DURBIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                         Tribute to R.D. Moore

  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, it is hard to imagine that the U.S. 
Congress was once guarded by a lone watchman, but when the legislative 
branch of our government moved from Philadelphia to Washington, DC, 
that was the case. His name was John Golding. He was charged with 
protecting the U.S. Congress. A generation later, after several 
incidents, President John Quincy Adams asked that a Capitol Police 
Force be created. It was created with four officers working 15-hour 
shifts. Today, there are over 2,000 officers and civilians who work for 
the Capitol Police.
  When you put it in perspective, 3 million to 5 million people from 
all over America and all over the world come to this building complex 
each year to personally witness the foundation--at least on the 
congressional side--of our democracy. We want to make certain they are 
  We know we live in a dangerous world. The threats facing Congress 
today are far different than at the time of John Golding. Our exposure 
to risk is higher, as we learn every day and every week about horrible 
shooting incidents that occur. One, of course, did occur in the Capitol 
not that many years ago. We know we have the best protection possible 
in this increasingly dangerous world thanks to the dedicated, talented, 
and committed men and women of the Capitol Police Force.
  There is an important reason why I have been able to do my job as the 
Democratic whip for 14 years. It is because R.D. Moore, a member of the 
Capitol Police team, has led my security detail during that period of 
time. At the end of this month, R.D. is retiring after 39 years of 
service to his country and more than 30 years with the U.S. Capitol 
  Renoard Moore joined the Capitol Police in 1988, after serving 9 
years in the U.S. Army. He also served with the Dignitary Protection 
Division, protecting the Senate and House leadership.
  In 2005, when I joined the Senate leadership, R.D. became part of not 
just my Senate family but my family. As a team leader, he has been 
responsible for keeping the detail up-to-date on the logistics of every 
event and making critical decisions for the safety and security of our 
office team. Simply put, R.D. has been an important part of my life 
every day that he has been willing to put his life on the line for me. 
He has become an honorary Illinoisan in the process due to countless 
trips he has made back to my home State. There is even reason to 
believe we have made him a Cubs fan, but I am not going to say that 
with certainty.
  Even with his commitment to duty, R.D. has always found time for his 
own family, putting thousands of miles on his car each year to travel 
across the country to Kentucky, Michigan, and other places to visit his 
mother, his siblings, and his cousins. Whether it was in Michigan, 
Kentucky, or North Carolina, he found the time for family. No matter 
where he was, R.D. was always willing and able to respond to a phone 
call or email from his extended family.
  I am going to miss R.D. personally, and our office is also going to 
miss him. He is a caring, larger than life presence and one of the best 
known members of the Capitol Police detail here on Capitol Hill. If 
someone had a rough day, R.D. was always there with a piece of wrapped 
candy and a smile. If any of us needed advice on new technology, R.D. 
always seemed to be on top of it, whether it was the latest smartwatch 
or smartphone or something else that I basically didn't understand. His 
great sense of humor was a calming influence in the most stressful of 
times that we faced. He always took his job seriously, but he never 
took himself seriously.
  As R.D. Moore retires this week, I want to thank him personally and 
wish him well. I do it personally and on behalf of my wife, Loretta, my 
entire family, and the entire Durbin Senate staff. He is a dedicated 
law enforcement professional who should be remembered in the Capitol, 
along with all of his colleagues on the Capitol Police who each and 
every day come to work, put on their badges, and risk their lives to 
keep this building and the people who come here safe. I want to 
congratulate Special Agent R.D. Moore on a job well done.

                       Remembering Richard Lugar

  Mr. President, I want to take a moment to celebrate the life of an 
exceptional American, a statesman, a gentleman, and a friend. Senator 
Richard Lugar of Indiana passed away yesterday. He was a man of great 
intellect and accomplishment and very little ego. He possessed an 
overabundance of the best qualities of American character.
  He was a problem-solver. He believed that America can and must be a 
force for good in the world, and he was a visionary who had a genius 
for devising thoughtful, effective solutions to complex problems before 
many people even knew they existed.
  When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, many people believed naively 
that the threat of nuclear Armageddon that had haunted the world for 
nearly 50 years was over, but Senator Lugar

[[Page S2474]]

knew better. Working with Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia, then chairman of 
the Senate Armed Services Committee and a Democrat, Senator Lugar 
crafted a bipartisan response, the Soviet Threat Reduction Act of 1991, 
to prevent the huge arsenals, once controlled by the Soviet Union, from 
falling into the hands of terrorists and other murderers.
  The bill created the CTR Program, the Cooperative Threat Reduction 
Program, within the Department of Defense, better known as Nunn-Lugar, 
and led to the deactivation of more than 7,600 nuclear warheads. Before 
Nunn-Lugar, there were enough nuclear weapons and materials in the 
former Soviet Republic to destroy a good portion of the world. Much of 
these armaments of nuclear Armageddon were housed in ramshackle, 
degraded facilities watched over by guards who hadn't been paid in 
months and were sometimes drunk on duty. It was like a fire sale for 
terrorists and madmen. Under Nunn-Lugar, Dick Lugar urged America to 
actually pay off our old adversary to secure these nuclear stockpiles, 
and America and the world were safer as a result.
  Sadly, today, leaders in both the White House and the Kremlin seem to 
be rushing to discard the nuclear arms agreements and rebuild nuclear 
arsenals. That is absolutely the last thing in the world we should see 
happening. We can only hope that the inspiration and success of Nunn-
Lugar will cause them to rethink this. The state of our world is 
perilous enough without reigniting a nuclear arms race.
  I want to make a personal note. I am deeply and personally grateful 
to Senator Richard Lugar for agreeing, in 2010, to be one of the two 
Republican cosponsors of the DREAM Act. It is a bill that I introduced 
many years ago to give those undocumented young people brought here as 
infants and toddlers and children a path to legal status and 
citizenship. It is the kind of thing that when you ask the American 
people whether it is the right thing to do, they don't hesitate. 
Republicans, Democrats, Independents--they believe these young people 
should have a chance to go to school, make America a better place, and 
not worry about their citizenship status.
  It was always difficult to find Republicans to join me in this 
effort, except for Dick Lugar. Dick Lugar time and again stepped up and 
said: I am going to do this. America was recovering from the great 
recession at that time, and anti-immigrant sentiment was already strong 
and growing. It was being exploited, as we see today, almost on a daily 
  Standing up for these Dreamers, who were not legal in the United 
States and couldn't vote in the United States, was an act of political 
decency and courage--just what you might expect from Senator Dick Lugar 
of Indiana. And 2 years later, after 36 years as a Senator and a 
statesman, Senator Lugar lost his seat in a primary challenge to a tea 
party firebrand. Analysts suggested that his support for Dreamers was 
one of the reasons he was defeated.
  After that election, Dick Lugar defended his support for the DREAM 
Act and other decisions that may have hurt him in the primary, and he 
said: ``[Those] were the right votes for our country.'' He added: ``I 
stand by them without regrets.''
  Dick Lugar was also a cosigner of a letter, which I sent to then-
President Barack Obama. When we couldn't pass the DREAM Act, Senator 
Lugar joined me in sending a letter to the President, asking if there 
was anything he could do by Executive order that might give these young 
people a chance--just a chance--to prove themselves and become part of 
America's future. Dick Lugar and I were the two cosigners of that 
letter that went to the President.
  It was that letter and the thought behind it which led to the 
creation of DACA, a program that 790,000 of these young people signed 
up for. They paid their filing fees; they went through their criminal 
background checks; they checked all the boxes; and they were given, 
under the DACA Program, 2 years to go to school in the United States 
and work in the United States without fear of deportation. It had to be 
renewed every 2 years, but it was Dick Lugar who stuck his neck out to 
help me with that letter as well. When others just wouldn't join me, he 
did and did it willingly. I will never forget him, and neither should 
anyone else.
  Our friend Dick Lugar is gone, but he left a legacy of courage, 
decency, civility, service, and statesmanship that we would all do well 
to emulate and for which I am personally grateful. Dick Lugar was the 
best of the U.S. Senate on a bipartisan basis. This Republican 
colleague of mine was someone I came to respect time and again because 
he always put country before politics.
  Loretta and I got to know his wife Char. Char and he were married 
when they met in college and became fast friends and built a family 
around that friendship and their love--a wonderful couple, great to be 
with and to spend many hours together. I extend my condolences, along 
with Loretta's, to Char, Senator Lugar's beloved wife of more than 60 
years; to their sons, Mark, Bob, John, David, and their families; and 
to Senator Lugar's many friends.
  When I think of an internationalist hailing from the Midwest who 
could stand there smack-dab in the middle of this country with all of 
that flatland and look in every direction and see how important the 
rest of the world was to us, I think of Dick Lugar, and I think of the 
contribution he made to the State of Indiana and to America and to the 
U.S. Senate every day of his public service.
  Most people don't know that he also had a passion for planting trees. 
It was one of the things we used to talk about. He would buy farmland 
and plant trees. I think it is a suitable metaphor for his life that 
planting a tree is like planting a good idea. Maybe it will not come to 
full growth in your lifetime, but if it is good solid stock, it is 
going to be something that is a legacy for generations to come.
  Senator Dick Lugar's contribution to Indiana, to America, and to the 
U.S. Senate planted many trees that will benefit future generations to 
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Ernst). The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam 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 majority leader is recognized.

                        Poway Synagogue Shooting

  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, on Saturday, on the final day of 
Passover, our Nation once again came face to face with the violent 
hatred of anti-Semitism--barely 6 months since the murders at the Tree 
of Life in Pittsburgh, and, again, gunfire in a synagogue. Again, a 
place of reverent worship for our Jewish brothers and sisters was 
thrown into deadly chaos--this time at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in 
  Three people--the synagogue's founding rabbi, an 8-year old girl, and 
her uncle visiting from Israel--were injured by gunfire. Lori Kaye, who 
attended the service with her husband and 22-year-old daughter to 
deliver a prayer of mourning for her own late mother, was killed when 
she threw herself between the rabbi and the shooter. Ms. Kaye has been 
described as ``the example of kindness to the fullest extent,'' and 
now, in the words of the rabbi who oversees Chabad of San Diego County, 
she has ``lost her life solely for living as a Jew.''
  According to some reports, that 8-year-old girl, in her young life, 
has already had to flee incoming rocket attacks in Gaza and then, here 
in America, has seen her family home subjected to anti-Semitic 
graffiti, and now she has been shot--shot at her synagogue.
  Here is what she said yesterday:

       I never thought that was going to happen to me . . . it's a 
     safe place; you're supposed to feel safe.

  Well, in an abhorrent way, it may be fitting that our Nation will 
spend the week of Yom Hashoah, the Holocaust Remembrance Day observed 
in Israel and worldwide, keenly focused on the disturbing rise in anti-
Semitism within our own borders and around the globe.
  Recent attacks on Muslims in New Zealand and Christians in Sri Lanka 
remind us that religious hatred exists in many forms, but, of course, 
the Jewish people have long been subjected to a unique degree of 
disgusting prejudice, and it is paired too often with indifference from 

[[Page S2475]]

  Just in the last few days, the New York Times published a 
transparently anti-Semitic political cartoon in its international 
edition--not just online. It ran in print. The Times compounded the 
error by issuing an initial correction that failed to accurately 
apologize for the blatant anti-Semitic tropes in which the cartoon 
trafficked. Fortunately, the Times has since finally published what 
appears to be a genuine apology.
  This episode, as one of the New York Times own columnists explained, 
``was an astonishing act of ignorance of anti-Semitism . . . at a 
publication that is otherwise hyperalert to nearly every conceivable 
expression of prejudice.''
  In other words, even important institutions that strive to meet 
progressive sensibilities can often be blind to anti-Jewish prejudice 
and attitudes in a way that would never be tolerated for a second where 
most other vulnerable groups are concerned.
  Combined with all the troubling statistics I have discussed on the 
floor in the past, it could just not be clearer that rising anti-
Semitism requires swift action. Here is just one example. We know that 
anti-Semitism often masquerades as political opposition to Israel in an 
attempt to appear--to appear--more legitimate. But today, as hate for 
the Jewish people makes headlines with alarming frequency, this charade 
is being seen for what it is, and the Senate recently took action to 
condemn it flat out. Included in the S. 1 legislation the Senate passed 
earlier this year was a provision to help State and local governments 
push back against the influence of the BDS movement and to enable 
communities to shut off the flow of taxpayer dollars to entities that 
support these anti-Israel boycotters. Unfortunately, Democratic leaders 
in the House have not seen fit to take up this straightforward measure. 
Even as they have struggled to swiftly and clearly condemn instances of 
anti-Semitism within their own ranks, they have also let this important 
provision in S. 1 languish. It is still sitting over in the House.
  The infectious threat of anti-Semitism is serious. Much more must be 
done the world over to ensure that it finds no home in modern society.
  I just want to close with the inspiring comments from the rabbi in 
the San Diego Chabad. He said:

       In the face of senseless hate, we commit to live proudly as 
     Jews in this glorious country. We strongly believe that love 
     is exponentially more powerful than hate.


  Madam President, on a totally different matter, when I last spoke 
here on the floor, the Senate had taken an important step toward 
restoring the sort of comity and efficiency that once governed our 
consideration of uncontroversial nominations. In the face of across-
the-board, systematic opposition and delaying tactics for even the most 
politically uncontroversial of the President's nominees, the Senate 
took action and brought this chapter of pure partisan calculation to an 
  Subsequently, we began doing business at a more normal, more 
reasonable pace. We confirmed a number of qualified public servants who 
still went on to receive bipartisan support for confirmation and did so 
in a fraction of the time it had been taking.
  So today we will continue yet another slate of well-qualified 
candidates for service in the executive branch and on the Federal 
courts. We will consider three individuals to join the President's 
team, beginning with William Cooper of Maryland to serve as General 
Counsel to the Department of Energy. Then, we will consider five 
nominees to fill Federal district court vacancies in Texas, Alabama, 
Florida, Puerto Rico, and Pennsylvania.
  There is still so much work to be done. Two years of unprecedented 
obstruction can't be reversed overnight, but we have taken some 
important steps in the right direction, and this week we will take 
several more.

                       Remembering Richard Lugar

  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, on one final matter, I know many of 
our colleagues were as sad as I was to learn yesterday that our 
esteemed former colleague, Senator Dick Lugar, had died at the age of 
  Many Members, past and present, knew Dick Lugar as a senior peer who 
always seemed to have the perfect advice or the exact perspective you 
needed to hear. More recently, others got to know Dick as a wise 
mentor. He felt a personal responsibility to help newcomers on both 
sides of the aisle learn the ropes and make an impact.
  As I was reflecting yesterday on Dick's towering legacy, I found 
myself admiring all the ways he was really the consummate U.S. Senator. 
He was a total patriot who put principle first but also a highly 
talented politician and a savvy deal maker. Yet somehow his personal 
reputation and character managed to be even more impressive than those 
achievements. I literally don't think anybody on Capitol Hill had a bad 
word to say about Senator Dick Lugar. His intellect, his commitment, 
his prudence, his kindness, and his deliberate focus on mentoring the 
next generation of leaders--this man was the complete package--a total 
gentleman, thoroughly impressive.
  So a lot of Dick's legacy lies in all the people he mentored and 
encouraged. Here I can testify firsthand. Dick was running the 
senatorial committee back in 1984 when I decided to try to run for the 
Senate. As you can imagine, as a local official, I had not exactly 
built a national profile, and I didn't have a whole lot of people in my 
corner. But Dick, thankfully, saw some potential. That was an unusual 
lapse of judgment, I would add, but he thought he saw potential and 
took a chance on a young Kentuckian.
  Of course, the rest of the world knows Dick Lugar best for his 
towering impact on U.S. foreign policy and world affairs. His interest 
in international affairs dated back to his and his brother's success at 
drumming up more export business to turn around the family factory, and 
it blossomed into something remarkable.
  For years, he represented one of our Nation's most listened to and 
most respected voices when it came to our role in the world. Whether he 
happened to be chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee or ranking 
member at a given time, the respect for his expertise was universal.
  His most famous accomplishments, for good reason, involved his work 
on arms control. The 1991 Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threats Reduction 
Program stepped into the breach at a critical moment as the Soviet 
Union was dissolving. It took action to dismantle and decommission 
nuclear weapons before they could disappear or fall into the wrong 
hands. Those efforts, which were expanded after September 11 into the 
Global Threat Reduction Initiative, have neutralized literally 
thousands of warheads, hundreds of missiles, and other deadly chemical 
and biological weapons. Nations which once ranked in the global top 10 
largest nuclear arsenals were certified as nuclear-free. The entire 
world is safer as a result.
  These early efforts helped set a new tone right from the start of the 
post-Cold War era. Dick understood it was time to turn the page on Cold 
War competition. America would extend our hand and seek to work 
together with Russia and former Soviet states to build a safer world.
  Consistent with Dick's leadership and guidance, Republicans and 
Democrats alike took a deliberately magnanimous approach. For decades, 
we sought to work with Moscow, instead of against it, to welcome Russia 
back into the community of sovereign nations.
  As an aside, the general foreign policy consensus about Dick's 
approach to the former Soviet Union is especially worth remembering 
today. It demonstrates that Putin's hostility toward the West and our 
interests is not the result of American hostility toward Russia. The 
source of this hostility emanates from the Kremlin.
  ``Deliberately magnanimous'' is really the Lugar doctrine in a 
nutshell, from friendship to foreign policy.
  Dick also built a formidable legacy on agriculture and food security 
as chairman and ranking member of the Agriculture Committee--everything 
from working on the farm bill and fighting for Hoosier families to 
international questions of aid and development.
  The good news is, on these and other subjects, Dick's legacy did not 
end with his Senate retirement, and it will not even end now. The Lugar 
Center--which has thrived under not only his name but his active 
leadership since retiring from the Senate--will continue

[[Page S2476]]

to serve as a home to thoughtful research and an important voice in 
national policy conversations.
  Of course, that Center isn't even the finest part of the ongoing 
Lugar legacy. That would be the family Dick and his beloved wife Char 
built together. They have been an inseparable team since their days as 
coclass presidents at Denison University. Today that team includes 
their four sons, Mark, Bob, John, and David, 13 grandchildren, and 17 
  So we mourn Dick's passing, but we celebrate this life he lived so 
well and so fully. Our friend left us at 87 years old with the 
affection and gratitude of his colleagues, with the respect of his 
country and leaders around the world, with the love of his beautiful 
family, and with a world that is measurably safer for his work--a 
remarkable legacy that suits a remarkable man.
  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. Madam 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 minority leader is recognized.

                        Poway Synagogue Shooting

  Mr. SCHUMER. Madam President, before I begin the bulk of my remarks, 
I want to take a moment to express my heartfelt condolences to the 
victims of the shooting on Saturday, in California, when a gunman 
opened fire in a synagogue during services after yelling anti-Semitic 
slurs. His heinous attack left a 60-year-old woman dead, the rabbi 
wounded, a man and an 8-year-old girl with shrapnel wounds.
  We have seen so many different houses of worship attacked in recent 
weeks. Just 1 week ago on Easter Sunday, hundreds of Christian Sri 
Lankans were massacred in their churches. What happened at the 
synagogue in California is rooted in the same White supremacist hatred 
and bile that drove attacks against the Tree of Life synagogue in 
Pittsburgh; mosques in New Zealand, and the Mother Emanuel Church in 
  We must recommit ourselves today and every day to fighting anti-
Semitism and all forms of bigotry in our country and around the world.

                       Remembering Richard Lugar

  Madam President, I also want to share a word on the passing of our 
friend and former colleague, Dick Lugar of Indiana. Dick personified 
the Senate at its best--honest, decent, and with an eye for consensus. 
He represented the kind of thoughtful bipartisanship that is so missing 
in our politics today. His work on the Foreign Relations Committee--
twice as its leader--made the world a safer and fairer place, whether 
it was combating proliferation of nuclear weapons, apartheid in South 
Africa, or world hunger.
  His legacy as a legislator and as a man is something for all of us to 
aspire to. Senator Lugar will be greatly missed.

                             Mueller Report

  Madam President, while Congress was away during the State work 
period, Attorney General Barr released a redacted version of Special 
Counsel Mueller's report to Congress and to the American people.
  The report documents, yet again, a concerted effort by President 
Putin to interfere and influence our elections and to assist the 
current President.
  Members of the Trump campaign were aware of, and at times amplified, 
that foreign influence campaign, including President Trump himself, for 
the likely purpose of winning a Presidential election. That alone 
constitutes attacks on our democracy.
  Just as alarming was the behavior of the President and his team 
concerning Special Counsel Mueller's investigation itself. Special 
Counsel Mueller's report documents a persistent effort by the President 
to stonewall, thwart, and undermine the legitimacy of the Mueller 
investigation. The report includes no less than 11 instances during 
which the President may have obstructed justice.
  There is no question that the President engaged in a pattern of 
intimidation and interference with the Federal investigation. Special 
Counsel Mueller explicitly states in his report that if he could have 
exonerated the President on the charge of criminal obstruction of 
justice, then he would have, but ``evidence about the President's 
actions and intent . . . prevent us from conclusively determining that 
no criminal conduct occurred.''
  Also, it appears that the Justice Department's policy against the 
indictment of sitting Presidents played an important role in the 
special counsel's analysis. Now the Congress and the American people 
must grapple with this damning portrait of a President who was 
dishonest, lawless, and regularly abused the powers of his office.
  The House of Representatives is going to pursue hearings. The Senate 
will hear from Attorney General Barr this week, where he must answer 
for his mischaracterizations of the special counsel's findings, his 
outrageously partisan press conference, and, in general, his failure to 
behave with the impartiality demanded of the Office of Attorney 
  Special Counsel Mueller must testify before Congress to further 
explain the findings in his report and provide clarity on areas where 
the Attorney General twisted his words, and Congress must be given 
access to an unredacted version of the report. Knowing Attorney General 
Barr's conduct, we cannot trust him to be a clean pair of hands in all 
of this.
  So while many on the other side of the aisle want to move on from 
these issues, we simply cannot move on. Congress--Democrats and 
Republicans--must grapple with the facts of the Mueller report. We must 
defend our democracy, and, yes, hold the President accountable. These 
are not partisan issues. This is about our country, the sanctity of our 
elections, and the future of the Presidency.
  In the wake of the Mueller report, I have been asked a lot, what are 
Democrats going to do with the Mueller report? Well, the real question 
should be, what are my Republican friends going to do with it?

                            Disaster Relief

  Madam President, Congress shamefully recessed for the State work 
period without passing relief for Americans who are affected by natural 
disasters that occurred recently. This needs to be a top legislative 
priority over the next few weeks. We are already one-third of the way 
into 2019, and millions of Americans are still waiting for us to 
provide necessary funding so they can recover and rebuild from 
disasters that happened months ago--in some cases, longer than that.
  The Democratic position is clear: We support an ``all of the above'' 
approach that provides relief for every American affected by natural 
disasters--Americans in the Midwest, Americans in the South, Americans 
on the West Coast, and, yes, Americans in Puerto Rico.

  Everyone knows why Senate Republicans have blocked our proposals, and 
that is because President Trump has shown a borderline obsessive 
hostility to the people in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, my Republican 
colleagues have followed President Trump's lead. It has caused us to 
fail in our responsibility to provide long overdue aid to Americans 
struggling to piece their lives back together after hurricanes, floods, 
fires and droughts.
  Well, my friends on the other side have had a few weeks to think 
about it. I sincerely hope we can press the reset button. We have a 
legislative proposal introduced by my friend Congresswoman Lowey that 
takes care of all of these disaster victims, and it is ready to go in 
the House.
  So as we get back to legislative business this week, I urge my 
colleagues to put politics aside. Let's do the right thing. Let's tell 
President Trump that his obsessive nastiness to Puerto Rico, unfounded 
by fact, is not going to prevent millions of people in the Middle West, 
the West, and the South from getting the relief they need. Let's 
provide disaster relief for every American who needs it.


  Madam President, tomorrow morning, at the Democrats' request, the 
Speaker and I will meet with President Trump at the White House to 
discuss the glaring need to invest in our Nation's infrastructure. 
During the Presidential campaign, Candidate Trump promised a trillion-
dollar infrastructure bill. It was one of the few areas where most 
Democrats, myself included, believed we could find common

[[Page S2477]]

ground with the President after he was elected.
  Unfortunately, it has been over 2 years. The President hasn't 
proposed anything close to a trillion-dollar investment and has shown 
little interest in pursuing an infrastructure bill in Congress. Senate 
Democrats, however, have put together a trillion-dollar infrastructure 
investment, a real plan that invests Federal dollars not just in roads, 
bridges, and highways--as important as they are, and they are--but also 
in schools, housing, electric grids, rural broadband, and green energy.

  There are several different ways to pay for such a bill. For example, 
by reversing only the most egregious giveaways in President Trump's tax 
bill--those given to the wealthiest of the wealthy--and raising the 
corporate tax rate a smidge, we could finance the entirety of a $1 
trillion infrastructure bill.

  So, while we look forward to an open discussion tomorrow, it is 
important to remember two things. First, our country has large 
infrastructure demands. We need to go big and address roads and bridges 
but also schools, housing, broadband, green energy, and more. Second, 
we need to remember that since the Republicans have handed out a 
mammoth tax break to big corporations and the already wealthy, it would 
be extraordinarily unfair to ask the middle class to shoulder the cost 
of an infrastructure bill. The Tax Code shouldn't be made any more 
regressive than it is now in order to pay for an infrastructure bill.
  We look forward to our discussion tomorrow, and, hopefully, the 
President will have an open mind.
  I yield the floor.