EXECUTIVE SESSION; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 177
(Senate - November 06, 2019)

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[Pages S6413-S6421]
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                           EXECUTIVE SESSION


                           EXECUTIVE CALENDAR

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
proceed to executive session and resume consideration of the following 
nomination, which the clerk will report.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read the nomination of Lee 
Philip Rudofsky, of Arkansas, to be United States District Judge for 
the Eastern District of Arkansas.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                                S. 1699

  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, last Friday was an exciting day. I was home 
in Sioux Falls, SD, to mark a huge milestone for the city and for South 
Dakota--the unveiling of Sioux Falls' first 5G small cells. By the end 
of this month, Sioux Falls will have a working, albeit limited, 5G 
network--one of the first cities in the entire country to have one.
  Most people take internet access for granted these days. We assume 
that anywhere we go, we will be able to access our GPS, check Facebook, 
or send a text message. But the truth is that there are still areas in 
the United States where it can be difficult to get reliable internet 
access. Some of those areas are in South Dakota. That is why expanding 
access to broadband internet in rural communities has been a priority 
of mine since I came to the Senate. While it can be nice to turn off 
our phones and take a break, in this day and age, Americans need 
reliable internet access.
  More and more of the business of daily life is being conducted over 
the internet, from scheduling appointments to figuring out the shortest 
way from point A to point B. The internet has already become an 
integral part of commerce. Small businesses and farms in areas without 
dependable access miss out on a lot of opportunities that most 
businesses take for granted.
  Both as chairman and as a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation Committee, I have had the chance to draw attention to 
the state of broadband access in rural communities. I have conducted 
numerous hearings with testimony from rural broadband providers, 
farmers, Tribal representatives, and Federal officials both in 
Washington and in my home State of South Dakota.
  Over the past several years, we have seen the number of Americans 
lacking access to broadband decrease significantly, but there is more 
work that needs to be done. With the advent of 5G technology, we now 
have to expand our efforts to make deploying 5G technology to rural 
communities a priority.
  Most of us think today's internet is pretty fast. We get traffic 
updates that are basically in real time. We receive emails seconds 
after they have been sent. We stream our favorite shows at home or on 
the go. But 5G will make 4G look like dialup. It will deliver 
lightning-fast speeds up to 100 times faster than what today's 
technology delivers. That is hard to imagine. After all, as I said, 
today's technology seems pretty fast, but 5G will enable near-instant 
responsiveness from our phones and other devices.
  However, 5G is about a lot more than streaming more shows on more 
devices or receiving emails instantly. In addition to being up to 100 
times faster than current speeds, 5G will be vastly more responsive 
than 4G technology, and we will be able to connect 100 times the number 
of devices that can be connected with 4G. Because of this, 5G will 
enable massive breakthroughs in healthcare, transportation, 
agriculture, and other key industries.
  5G will bring new opportunities and benefits to rural communities in 
particular. 5G will pave the way for the widespread adoption of 
precision agriculture, which uses tools like robotics and remote 
monitoring to help farmers manage their fields and boost their crop 
yields. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that precision 
agriculture will reduce farmers' operational costs by up to $25 per 
acre and increase farmers' yields by up to 70 percent by the year 2050. 
5G will also make it easier for residents of rural communities to 
access business and educational opportunities and long-distance 
  The technology for 5G is already here, and it is actually being 
implemented, as Friday's event in Sioux Falls demonstrates.
  There is more work to be done before 5G is a reality across the 
United States. In order to deploy 5G, wireless providers need access to 
sufficient spectrum, and they need to be able to deploy the 
infrastructure needed to support the technology in a reasonable and 
timely manner.
  Last year, the President signed into law my bipartisan MOBILE NOW 
Act. It was legislation that I introduced to help secure adequate 
spectrum for 5G technology. Earlier this year, Senator Schatz and I 
reintroduced the STREAMLINE Small Cell Deployment Act to address the 
other part of the 5G equation, and that is infrastructure. 5G 
technology will require not just traditional cell phone towers but 
small antennas called small cells that can often be attached to 
existing infrastructure, like utility poles or buildings.
  While the Federal Communications Commission, under Chairman Pai, has 
modernized its regulations on small cell siting, there is more work to 
be done, and that is where my bill, the STREAMLINE Act, comes in. The 
STREAMLINE Act will expedite the deployment of small cells while 
respecting the role of State and local governments in making deployment 
  Importantly, it will make it more affordable to bring 5G to rural 
areas by addressing the costs of small cell deployment. 5G has 
tremendous promise for rural areas, but it will only deliver on that 
promise if we ensure that 5G cells are actually deployed in these 
areas. I am proud that we have made a good start in South Dakota. Sioux 
Falls' mayor, Paul TenHaken, has worked aggressively to remove barriers 
to telecommunications investment in Sioux Falls.
  Nationally, we urgently need to take action to remove the final 
barriers to large-scale 5G deployment. While we have made good progress 
in securing low- and high-band spectrum, China and South Korea are far 
ahead of us in opening up midband spectrum to 5G. If we don't want 
China or South Korea to win the race to 5G and seize the economic 
benefits that 5G will bring, we need to substantially increase the 
amount of midband spectrum available to U.S. companies, and we need to 
do it quickly.
  We also need to take action on legislation such as my STREAMLINE Act 
to pave the way for the widespread deployment of 5G infrastructure. 
America can lead the world in the 5G revolution. The technology is 
here. We just need to take the final steps to bring 5G into our 
  I look forward to continuing to work to support the nationwide 
deployment of 5G with all of the benefits it can bring to the American 
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.

[[Page S6414]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                   Recognition of the Minority Leader

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic leader is recognized.

                          Impeachment Inquiry

  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, the House of Representatives continues to 
interview key witnesses as part of its impeachment inquiry. Each 
witness has reportedly added details and context to the central focus 
of the inquiry; that the President allegedly pressured a foreign leader 
to interfere in domestic politics and used the power of his office for 
personal political gain.
  The House must follow the facts where they lead and continue the 
investigation until all the facts come out. When and if there is a 
potential trial in the Senate, it will be our job to impartially look 
at all the evidence and come to our own independent judgment.
  I remind my colleagues of this fact because in recent days a few of 
my colleagues seem to be jumping to conclusions. We all know about our 
colleagues in the House Republican caucus who have made a show of 
storming classified hearings, even though many of them could 
participate in those hearings, who have shifted their defenses of the 
President on a nearly daily basis, who only weeks ago made the idea of 
no quid pro quo the linchpin of their argument in support of the 
President but now admit that the President might have engaged in a quid 
pro quo, but there is nothing wrong with that.
  In the House, the shifting sands of argument to embrace, to almost 
kneel at the feet of the President is appalling. They contradict 
themselves. They turn themselves into pretzels before all of the facts 
come out because they just blindly want to say that the President is 
right. That is not how the Constitution asks us to conduct ourselves as 
  In the Senate, we are beginning to get that germ of coming to 
conclusions before we hear all the facts, before a trial occurs. That 
nasty germ is spreading. Senior Members said yesterday that they will 
refuse to read any transcript from the House investigation because they 
have written the whole process off as a bunch of BS. If they were using 
taxpayer dollars, much needed foreign aid--an important part of our 
foreign policy tool--to gain an advantage on a political rival, if that 
is true, that is BS? Our Senate Judiciary chairman knows better, but 
his blind loyalties, his abject following of whatever President Trump 
wants, it seems, make him say things like that.
  Yesterday, Leader McConnell stepped over the line, in my judgment, 
when he said that if an impeachment vote were held today, the President 
would be acquitted. Instead of speculating about the hypothetical trial 
or writing off the entire process before it has even concluded, how 
about we all wait for the facts to come out? That is our job.
  Facts can be stubborn things. Just yesterday we learned that a key 
figure provided supplementary testimony that he told a top Ukraine 
official that U.S. military assistance was conditioned on an 
announcement by Ukraine that it was opening the investigations 
President Trump requested. Instead of leaping to the President's 
defense to declare no quid pro quo as many House Republicans did--a 
claim now contradicted by several witnesses--everyone should wait for 
the facts to come out. Fairness demands that of us.
  Before I move on to another topic, there is another troubling 
development in this area--efforts by the White House and a Member of 
this Chamber to disclose the identity of the whistleblower. Let me 
repeat that. The White House and even a Member of this Chamber are 
openly advocating that Federal whistleblower protections be violated, 
that laws be broken, and the health and safety of the whistleblower and 
their family be put at risk. Shame, shame--it is just outrageous.
  We are in an extraordinary moment of history when Republicans over 
only a few weeks have shifted from saying that no laws were broken to 
saying that laws were broken but it is not impeachable to outright 
advocating that laws be broken. This is wrong. This is against 
democracy. This is against the grain of this country that we have been 
so proud of for 200-some-odd years. Whistleblowers who stand up for the 
Constitution should not be targeted by the President or powerful 
Members of the legislative branch, for sure. And even if you don't 
agree with that, you have to agree that it is the law and you shouldn't 
break it. We are a nation of laws. President Trump should hear that. So 
should the junior Senator from Kentucky--please.
  On a good note, I was pleased to hear that several of my Republican 
colleagues stood up yesterday and did the right thing. They defended 
the whistleblower's legal protections, including a Member of the 
Republican Senate leadership. Later today, I hope these Senators--and, 
indeed, all Senators--join Democrats in approving a resolution offered 
by my colleague Senator Hirono that supports the whistleblower 
protections. Senator Hirono will be asking unanimous consent to pass 
it, and we should, for the sake of the safety of this whistleblower, 
whether you like what he or she did or you don't, for the sake of rule 
of law, and for the sake of what balance of power is all about.

                          Judicial Nominations

  Mr. President, later today President Trump will give remarks from the 
White House on the Judiciary, presumably to give himself one big pat on 
the back for the Federal bench. He is good at that. He likes doing 
that. He does that almost more than governing.
  As a Senator, I have now worked with four separate administrations, 
Democrat and Republican, on the appointment of Federal judges. I can 
say with perfect confidence that over the last 3 years, President Trump 
has nominated and Senate Republicans have approved the most unqualified 
and radical nominees in my time in this body.
  The list of unqualified nominees is so long that for the sake of 
time, let's only consider nominees for the past 3 weeks. Justin Walker, 
confirmed last week to the Western District of Kentucky, has never 
tried a case and was deemed ``unqualified'' to serve as a judge by the 
American Bar Association. Sarah Pitlyk, under consideration for a seat 
in the Eastern District of Missouri, has never tried a case, examined a 
witness, or picked a jury. Lawrence VanDyke is up after that. The ABA 
found that their interviewees with experience with Mr. VanDyke said he 
was ``arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking knowledge of the day-
to-day practice including procedural rules.''
  How the heck do we put these people on the bench? Forget ideology for 
a moment. I understand that the President is not going to nominate 
people who might ideologically agree with me, but these people are 
abjectly unqualified based on their persons--who they are, how they 
behave in the courtroom, their knowledge, their experience. This is a 
lifetime appointment and one of the most important appointments we 
have, and when the ABA finds that a nominee was ``arrogant, lazy, an 
ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-to-day practice 
including procedural rules'' and we go ahead and nominate him, what is 
the matter here?
  Even more damaging, President Trump has nominated judges who are way 
out on the very extremes of jurisprudence. They are rightwing 
ideologues with views cut against the majority of Americans on nearly 
every issue. The judges he is nominating disagree with the vast 
majority of Americans on issue after issue after issue. Whether it is 
women's health and the right of a woman to make her own medical 
decisions, whether it is legal protections for LGBTQ Americans, whether 
it is the right of workers and collective bargaining, whether it is 
fair access to the ballot box and voting rights, whether it is the most 
commonsense gun laws and environmental protections, these nominees have 
views way to the right of even the average Republican, let alone the 
average American.
  President Trump has nominated several judges who have been so extreme 
and overtly racist that my Republican colleagues who are loathe to 
oppose President Trump on anything have actually opposed him so that 
those few nominees didn't get on the bench. The nominations of these 
hard-right people are way over--hurting the average American, siding 
with big special interests over working Americans over and over again, 
finding every excuse to side with the rich and the powerful over the 
working class people. This is what President Trump calls an 

[[Page S6415]]

  I understand why the President and Leader McConnell try to celebrate 
judicial nominees. They hardly have a legislative accomplishment to 
name. The truth is, when it comes to judicial picks, the President and 
Senate Republicans should be downright ashamed of their record.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.

                   Unanimous Consent Request--S. 2603

  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, when I first came to the Senate, I was 
asked to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and I considered it 
quite an honor. It is an extraordinary committee with a rich history of 
involvement in some of the most important issues of our time, and that 
has been the case for generations.
  Recently, when it was reformed, I was asked on which subcommittee I 
wanted to serve. I chose the Immigration Subcommittee. I took it for 
two reasons. First, I am a lucky American. My mother was an immigrant 
to this country. She was brought here at the age of 2 from Lithuania. 
Her mother, who brought her, didn't speak English, but my mom was a 
pretty smart little girl. She spoke English and Lithuanian, and she was 
the translator for the family. They even called her into a courtroom as 
a little girl to translate for a person who was being charged so that 
they understood the law. My mother was an extraordinary woman. She had 
an eighth grade education, but was one of the smartest people I have 
ever known. I guess that is a son talking, but you might expect it.
  I often thought I was lucky that she lived long enough to see me 
sworn into the U.S. Senate. This immigrant girl, who became an American 
citizen, saw her son become the 47th Senator from the State of 
Illinois. That is my story. That is my family's story. That is 
America's story. That is who we are.
  We are a Nation of immigrants. But for those blessed to be able to 
trace back their roots to indigenous people and Native Americans, all 
of us have come to this country--either ourselves personally, our 
parents, or grandparents.
  Immigration means a lot to me because I think the diversity of this 
country is its strength. The fact that people were willing to sacrifice 
so much to come to the United States of America tells me something 
about them. Many of them risked everything. They left everything 
behind--left behind their families, their places of worship, their 
language, their culture, their food--and came to a place they had never 
seen before because they heard what America was all about--a land of 
opportunity. So I wanted to be on that subcommittee.
  The second reason I wanted to be on the subcommittee is that the 
immigration laws of the United States are a disaster. They are terribly 
broken. They do not serve our Nation, either in terms of security or 
bringing the diversity we need for our future. I have known this for a 
long time.
  It was 6 or 7 years ago that we put together a group of Senators, 
four Democrats, four Republicans. John McCain was leading the 
Republicans with Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake. On the 
Democratic side was Senator Schumer, who just spoke on the floor; 
Senator Menendez of New Jersey; Senator Bennet of Colorado; and I. We 
sat down for months, night after night, looking at every section of the 
immigration law--this broken law--to say: How will we change this? How 
can we reach political compromises and serve the best needs of this 
Nation? And we came up with it.
  We came up with this comprehensive bill and brought it to the floor 
of the Senate, and it passed with 68 votes. We finally found a 
bipartisan answer--just exactly what the American people sent us to do.
  We sent our work product over to the House of Representatives, and 
they refused to even consider it. They wouldn't bring our bill up for a 
vote. They wouldn't debate it, wouldn't offer an amendment, an 
alternative substitute--nothing. And here we sit with this broken 
immigration system.
  I want to describe to my colleagues--or at least those listening in 
the Senate--one of the issues that came up recently. Here is what it 
comes down to. There are people who come to the United States to work. 
Many of them come on what is known as an H-1B visa. It is a specialty 
visa, and it says that in this situation, this company cannot find an 
American to fill the job and wants to bring a talented person from 
another company on a temporary visa to work. Thousands come under this 
program each year. Many of them come from the country of India. They 
are trained engineers, by and large, but they are also doctors, and 
they are professionals who are needed in communities all across our 
  Well, we have run into a problem because once they are here and have 
been here for some time, many of them want to stay. That in and of 
itself is a good thing, as far as I am concerned. If they are 
productive employees making a business profitable, creating new jobs in 
the process, I want them to stay. Some of them were actually educated 
in the United States and are using that education, working here, but 
now they want to be permanent residents in this country.
  There is a difficulty in the problem because we limit the number of 
people who can apply for what is known as green cards--employment-based 
visas--each year. The limitation is 140,000. It may sound like a lot, 
but believe me, there are hundreds of thousands more who are seeking 
these visas.
  We have a problem particularly when it comes to those of Indian 
descent. The problem is the fact that so many of them have come to fill 
these temporary work jobs and are applying for green cards that there 
are many more applications for green cards than there are actual cards 
to be issued. There are only 140,000 total each year for the entire 
world. There are over 500,000 Indians who have come to this country and 
are asking for green card status. The law also says that no more than 7 
percent can come from any 1 country of the 140,000. If you do the 
simple math of about 10,000 each year and with there being over 500,000 
Indians waiting, imagine what that means. It means that many of them 
will never live long enough to qualify for a green card. So this has 
become very controversial. Many of them are desperate, and they should 
be, for their plights are now so uncertain.

  It is complicated by the fact that if you come here in an employment-
based situation--on a temporary visa, an H-1B--you can bring your 
family with you, meaning your spouse and your children. Yet, if you 
stay here for a period of time and if your children reach the age of 
21, they can no longer stay based on their parent's visa. Frankly, they 
are subject to deportation, and some are deported.
  The other night, I met a large group of these Indians in the State of 
Illinois who came to me pleading for help. I want to help them. I hope 
they understand and those who are listening understand as well that 
when it comes to immigration, I am in favor of border security and of 
orderly immigration, but I am in favor of immigration and the diversity 
it brings to this country and the talent it brings to this country.
  I have a bill before us, known as the RELIEF Act. It would lift that 
cap of 140,000 so we could absorb more people each year into our 
country who have been here already or who have been working here 
already and whose families have been established here already but who 
just want a chance to, ultimately, apply for citizenship. That is what 
my bill would do.
  It would do two other things, and I want to bring these points up for 
those who are considering my unanimous consent request that I am about 
to make. I want them to understand how personal and important this is 
to the people I am talking about.
  One of the provisions I mentioned relates to the fact that if you 
bring children to the United States while you are working on those 
temporary visas, those children are protected until they reach the age 
of 21, but they are then subject to deportation. I cannot tell you the 
emotional scenes I have witnessed in the last few weeks as these 
parents have introduced me to their children and have said to me: 
Senator, I am in this long line waiting for a green card. My 12-year-
old daughter could end up being 21 years old and deported while I am 
still waiting. I want to take care of her. I want her to have a chance 
to go to school, and I want her to have a bright future. Yet her fate 
is tied to the fact that there are not enough green cards for me to 
stay in this country.

[[Page S6416]]

  One of the provisions in the RELIEF Act that I urge my colleagues to 
consider when I make this unanimous consent request is that if you 
apply for a green card as a parent, the age of your children at that 
moment is basically frozen for legal purposes. Those children cannot 
age out while you are waiting in line if you applied while they were 
still minors. This will protect these children from deportation. This 
is one of the most important and humane things we can do.
  The second thing is, if we are going to establish any standards or 
quotas for those who are allowed in this country to have employment-
based visas and green cards, we shouldn't count the spouses and 
dependent children. Let's just count those who are, frankly, going to 
work as engineers and doctors in our communities.
  The net result of the RELIEF Act is to create a realistic way to lift 
the cap in order to allow more to come in each year who are qualified, 
who have already been vetted, and who have gone through the background 
checks. It is not to penalize the minor children who might age out 
while their parents are waiting. We should make sure the spouses and 
dependent children aren't counted toward any ultimate quota.
  The RELIEF Act would lift country caps that limit the number of green 
cards that go to immigrants from any particular country. These country 
caps have contributed to this terrible backlog that we currently have. 
Yet lifting these caps alone will not clear the green card backlog. 
Without more green cards, which is what I am calling for, the current 
backlog of 800,000 people total--I mentioned 500,000 were from India--
who are waiting for employment-based green cards will actually increase 
if we don't lift the cap by 300,000 in the next 10 years.
  The RELIEF Act is not novel or controversial. You will remember that 
earlier I talked about a comprehensive immigration bill. What I am 
proposing today is included in it. It is a bipartisan proposal, and it 
is one that, I think, we should return to in order to solve the 
  The RELIEF Act has been endorsed by many national business, 
immigrant, and labor organizations, including the New American Economy, 
the National Education Association, the American Immigration Lawyers 
Association, United We Dream, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, South 
Asian Americans Leading Together, United Chinese Americans, the 
National Iranian American Council, the Institute of Electrical and 
Electronics Engineers, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive 
Association, which, incidentally, is the largest Greek-American 
organization, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which is the largest 
Irish-American organization.
  In light of the failure of our immigration subcommittee's taking any 
action to solve this problem, I will ask for unanimous consent to move 
this bill forward.
  To those who are considering whether they will accept or reject it, 
meet with these people in your State. Sit down with them, and hear of 
the plights they face today. They are trying to follow the law, and the 
law is not responsive.
  Mr. President, as in legislative session, I ask unanimous consent 
that the Committee on the Judiciary be discharged from further 
consideration of S. 2603 and that the Senate proceed to its immediate 
consideration. I further ask unanimous consent 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 (Mr. Sasse). Is there objection?
  The Senator from North Carolina.
  Mr. TILLIS. Mr. President, in reserving the right to object, I come 
to the floor to, first, compliment Senator Durbin on his remarkable 
story and his family's story about legal immigration to this country. 
It is something I support. I think we should all consider it a 
compliment when people want to leave the countries of their births to 
come to the United States, for they know what we know--that it is a 
great place in which to live and thrive.
  I have a concern with the unanimous consent request before us, the 
RELIEF Act. Senator Durbin and I have worked on a couple of immigration 
issues on which we have bridged the gap but have not quite gotten 
  First off, it could lay the groundwork for a significant increase in 
legal immigration, but I am also concerned with the mechanics we find 
ourselves in right now. As I understand it, the RELIEF Act has six 
cosponsors--all Democrats. Yet there is another bill that is moving 
through the Senate right now that was offered by Senator Lee. It has 
been offered in other Congresses, but it is actually making headway. It 
has 35 cosponsors, and 15 of them are Democrats. They include Senator 
Harris, of California, and Senator Duckworth, the junior Senator of 
Illinois. I believe this is a very narrowly focused effort to address a 
lot of the concerns that Senator Durbin has.
  I do not believe Senator Durbin has the support of the Senate to take 
this through regular order at this point, let alone through unanimous 
consent. I hope Senator Durbin and others will recognize that we do 
have a shortage of high-skilled workers in this country and that we do 
need to fix a number of problems, but I don't think they can be fixed 
with the RELIEF Act.
  I encourage Senator Durbin to work with Senator Lee and with the 34 
other Senate Members on a bipartisan basis to address this so we can 
bring the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act to the floor and 
send it to the House for its consideration.
  Because of the lack of consensus on many of the provisions in the 
RELIEF Act, I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, the Senator from North Carolina and I both 
serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee. What I have asked for is a 
hearing before the Immigration Subcommittee so Senator Lee can bring 
his bill forward and so I can bring my bill forward so we can try to 
work out the differences between us. That is usually how the Senate 
operates. Unfortunately, last week, on the floor, Senator Lee announced 
that he was opposed to having any hearing on his bill. He didn't want 
there to be a hearing and a markup. I think it is unfortunate. It 
really will not lead us to having a bipartisan agreement that might 
actually solve this problem.
  I also think there is a fundamental flaw in Senator Lee's approach. 
He would take care of the issues facing those from India at the expense 
of the issues of the immigrants from virtually every other country, for 
they would be denied the opportunity to apply for green cards while we 
would be taking care of the backlog from this one nation. I don't think 
that is the way to approach this.
  As the Senator from North Carolina said, if we truly believe more 
legal immigration of those with talents would be good for America, this 
is our chance to do it. At this point, I am disappointed. I have told 
these families who come to see me regularly that I will continue to 
fight for them--to give them a chance to protect their children and to 
have a future in America.
  I hope Senator Lee will reconsider and allow for a hearing to take 
place so we can move this bill forward and not just exchange unanimous 
consent requests on the floor.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Carolina.

                   Unanimous Consent Request--S. 2059

  Mr. TILLIS. Mr. President, I come to talk about another issue of 
immigration that concerns me in North Carolina, and I think it is 
something about which every American should be concerned. It is the 
sanctuary policies that have been implemented in counties and cities 
and, at least in one case, statewide.
  ``Sanctuary city'' sounds like a great concept as the United States 
is a sanctuary to which so many people seek to immigrate. Yet the 
policy of the sanctuary city actually breaks down the relationship 
between Federal authorities and local authorities. I think this is 
dangerous and could potentially--and not only potentially--have serious 
consequences in communities. I will use a few examples.
  Over the past year in North Carolina, we have had over 500 people who 
have been released who had been arrested by local authorities. Many of 
them had been arrested for having committed serious crimes. They had 
been charged with murder, rape, indecent liberties

[[Page S6417]]

with a child, heroin trafficking--a very, very long list--in cities 
just 25 minutes from where I live, down in Charlotte, in Mecklenburg 
County. They arrest people but not simply because they are illegally 
present. In fact, you can find virtually no instance in which a local 
authority would arrest somebody just because one is illegally present. 
The people who are in these jails have been charged with crimes, and in 
many cases they have been serious crimes.
  Two weeks ago in Mecklenburg County, the Mecklenburg County sheriff 
had made the decision to release four people--one who had been charged 
with murder, two who had been charged with indecent liberties with a 
minor, and one who had been charged with heroin trafficking. They had 
been illegally present but had not been in jail because they had simply 
crossed the border or had had their visas expire. They had been in jail 
because they had committed serious crimes.
  When Immigration and Customs Enforcement hears about these folks who 
have been detained, they issue what they call detainer orders. A 
detainer order is a request to hold a person in jail for at least 48 
hours so ICE can go to the jail, interview him, and determine whether 
they want to transfer him into ICE's custody and potentially deport 
  This is a very dangerous policy that has actually, ultimately, 
resulted in other people being harmed. Think about those people being 
released who have been charged with rape or murder or heroin 
trafficking. They go back into the community and cause harm to someone 
  What I have decided we need to do is to at least provide a private 
right of civil action to a victim of that unwise decision. If that 
charged murderer or heroin trafficker goes out and assaults someone or 
murders someone--in some cases, someone who has a DWI is charged with 
vehicular homicide and goes back out and while under the influence 
harms someone else in, say, an automobile accident--I think the person 
who gets harmed or, sadly, his survivor should be able to bring a case 
against that governmental entity that has the sanctuary policy.
  For those who think sanctuary policies are safe and that only safe 
people are being released, this shouldn't be an issue to them--right?--
because no harm is going to occur. Yet, if harm occurs, I believe the 
victim should have a right to seek restitution.
  Our bill is fairly simple. It is called the Justice for Victims of 
Sanctuary Cities Act. It is a bill that reads, if you as a governmental 
entity refuse to cooperate with ICE and then release someone who does 
harm to someone else, that person has the right to sue that 
governmental entity.
  Our governments in the United States--the local governments and State 
governments--have the right to say they are immune, that they can't be 
sued. They have that right, and I respect that right. Yet, if they 
refuse to allow themselves to build their cases in court and say that 
what they did was appropriate and safe, then it should come at the 
consequence of the Federal funding for which they would otherwise be 
qualified to receive.
  Again, if sanctuary cities are safe and if all we are doing is 
releasing people who are not threats to the community, this should be a 
nonissue for any sanctuary jurisdiction. It would only be an issue if 
there is a victim as a result of the jurisdiction's political 
  That is why we have introduced the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary 
Cities Act. In fact, we listened to some of the sanctuary 
jurisdictions, and they said: Well, we could get into legal trouble if 
we hold them for 48 hours, and for that reason we release them after a 
judge has ordered their release.
  We have another bill that addresses that problem so that liability 
will go away. We are hearing what they have to say and trying to 
address it in additional legislation.
  But I think this is a bill that makes sense, and I think it is 
something that law enforcement, county commissions, and city councils 
should take a look at.
  I think they should work with ICE. Here is the last reason why I 
think working with ICE is very important: ICE has a legal 
responsibility to pursue these people if they are released by the local 
  Here is what happens. You release somebody who is charged with murder 
or vehicular homicide or heroin trafficking or rape. You release them 
in the community, and ICE has to go pursue them in the community.
  So instead of allowing ICE to go into a jail and have a safe transfer 
from one jail into the ICE detainee system, they have to actually 
create a task force. They have got to go into a community, and they 
have to apprehend them. They have a statutory responsibility to do 
  Ironically, in some of those instances, the very law enforcement 
agency that released them now has to go into the field and back them up 
if it is a dangerous situation when they are trying to apprehend this 
person whom ICE has a legal responsibility to apprehend.
  I think this is a commonsense bill. Hopefully, it is one that will 
give sanctuary cities some pause before they release somebody charged 
with murder or rape or heroin trafficking--a potentially dangerous 
person--back into the community, whom the Federal authorities have to 
pursue no matter what.
  Mr. President, as in legislative session, I ask unanimous consent 
that the Committee on Judiciary be discharged from further 
consideration of S. 2059 and the Senate proceed to its immediate 
  I ask unanimous consent 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.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. DURBIN. Reserving the right to object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, there is more to the story. What he just 
described to you seems pretty obvious: A dangerous person, subject to 
deportation, why release them into the community? That is a perfectly 
valid point, one that we ought to be discussing and debating. But there 
is more to the story, and here is what it comes down to: Why did the 
major city police chiefs across the United States oppose what the 
Senator from North Carolina has just suggested? Because they know that 
if the Federal Government and its immigration authorities are going to 
use local police to enforce immigration laws, it is going to change 
their ability to keep communities and neighborhoods safe.
  Now, why would I say that? Let me give you an example. It was just 
about 4 months ago when ICE officials pulled over a young woman and 
said to her: Are you here in the United States legally? She said: I am; 
I am protected by a program call DACA.
  They said: We want to go to your home.
  They went to her home, and her grandmother was there. They asked her 
grandmother for proof of her citizenship. Her grandmother had 
overstayed her visitor's visa. They deported her grandmother.
  So the local police are fearful that if they are now going to be 
recruited to enforce immigration laws, they will not get cooperation in 
the community when it comes to fighting crime.
  Let me give you an example that is timely. On Halloween night, in a 
section of Chicago, the little kids were out with their parents in a 
Hispanic neighborhood, walking along, and a little girl, 7 years old, 
named Giselle Zamago was shot twice. She barely survived. They got her 
to the hospital, and they saved her life. She is making a miraculous 
  What is important about this story and relevant to what the Senator 
from North Carolina asks is the fact that now community members have 
come forward to the police to help them find the shooter. They have 
arrested a 15-year-old gang member. This gang member was aiming at a 
32-year-old gang rival standing next to the little girl, and he wasn't 
worth a damn when it came to shooting a gun. This poor little girl was 
  What the police in Chicago are telling me is that we need the 
community to be willing to talk to the police and not be afraid 
somebody is going to follow someone home and check whether their 
grandmother is here legally in the United States.
  That is why the whole question of sanctuary cities is boiling up and 

[[Page S6418]]

the police chiefs in major cities have basically said: This is too 
simplistic. Let's sit down and do this carefully, not as the Senator 
from North Carolina has proposed.
  The last point I want to make is this. If you visit the Senate 
Chamber this week in Washington and want to see deliberation on 
legislation, you are out of luck. There are no bills--no substantive 
legislative bills--scheduled to be considered on the floor of the U.S. 
Senate this week, but it is not an unusual week. We hardly ever take up 
legislation in the committees and bring it to the floor for debate in 
the Senate.
  So the real question I have is why the Senator from North Carolina--
who is in the Republican majority, who serves on the Senate Judiciary 
Committee, who could ask for a markup of his bill if he wished--has 
decided instead to bypass the whole process and just say: I want to 
take this bill straight to the Senate with no debate. He is in the 
majority. We could bring this bill to the floor for debate and for 
amendment. We could bring it before the committee for a markup, but he 
chose not to do that.
  Sadly, it is a commentary on what has happened to the Senate floor. 
It has become a legislative graveyard. We just don't do what the Senate 
used to do--debate amendments, deliberate, agree on things, and 
compromise. It doesn't happen anymore under Senator McConnell. It is 
unfortunate. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from North Carolina.
  Mr. TILLIS. Mr. President, maybe just to add another chapter to that 
story, first, we did have a hearing on this bill about 2 weeks ago in 
Judiciary. That is the first step before you move to a markup.
  I will be asking for a markup on this bill because I think it is a 
bill that is a commonsense bill. It is a bill that actually has a safe-
harbor provision for people in the community who may be illegally 
present who want to work with law enforcement. We are listening to the 
concerns that law enforcement have expressed. We have addressed them, 
like so many times we have addressed these sorts of matters before.
  So we will have a markup on the bill, we will have a vote out of 
committee, and I hope that we have a vote on this floor, because at the 
end of the day, some of the examples that Senator Durbin noted are sad 
and should be avoided, but the real sad examples are the people who are 
dying, being raped, and being poisoned by people who were detained and 
could have been transferred into ICE custody and deported to make our 
communities safer, including the communities of illegally present 
people, who are less safe as a result of the current sanctuary 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I am going to yield to the Senator from 
Iowa who has waited patiently on a separate issue that he and I are 
working on together and allow him to speak first if he wishes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa.

                        Prescription Drug Costs

  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I thank Senator Durbin. He and I are 
working on something that successfully passed the Senate last year and 
was not agreed to by the House of Representatives. So we are back to 
bring some transparency to pricing of drugs, and that is what I want to 
speak about now.
  I am here to share a secret with the American people. It is about 
prescription drug pricing. As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, 
it is no secret that one of my biggest priorities is to rein in the 
soaring costs of prescription medicine. It is no secret that Americans 
are having a hard time paying for medicine. It is no secret that Big 
Pharma doesn't want us to change the status quo.
  In fact, Big Pharma is spending big money to stop Congress and the 
Trump administration from legislating a cure of these high prices. That 
is the secret. They want to keep drug pricing a secret from the 
American people. So what does that mean? It means that Big Pharma wants 
to keep secrecy baked in when it benefits Big Pharma.
  Right now, the very murky drug pricing supply chain is a mystery to 
consumers. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to what consumers will 
owe at the pharmacy counter when they pick up their prescriptions. 
American taxpayers, American seniors, and this U.S. Senator are fed up 
with the lack of consumer information when it comes to pharmaceuticals. 
That is why I am working to inject some Midwestern common sense into 
prescription drug pricing.
  As you can see, I am working with my friend Senator Durbin. We have 
teamed up before on issues that naysayers said couldn't get done.
  You might recall that President Trump signed our FIRST STEP Act into 
law last year. The landmark reforms are protecting public safety, 
saving taxpayer dollars, and bringing fairness to the criminal justice 
  Today, we are teaming up once again to fix an injustice with 
prescription drug advertising.
  Big Pharma spends billions of dollars a year advertising to the U.S. 
consumers. The FDA regulates what these direct-to-consumer ads must 
tell consumers. For example, advertisers must include in their ads 
potential side effects. You hear it all the time on TV--things about 
nausea, diarrhea, depression, weight gain, or even death if you might 
buy one of their drugs.
  But let me tell you what seems to scare Big Pharma to death--price 
transparency. They do not want to tell consumers how much a drug costs 
when they saturate the airwaves with advertising that shows happy 
families enjoying the grandkids, celebrating birthdays, and going on 
  Senator Durbin and I believe that Americans have a right to know 
about the price of drugs, like they need to know the side effects of 
drugs or the value of drugs. Consumers should then know what the 
advertised drug costs.
  It happens that the Trump administration agrees with Senator Durbin 
and this Senator on that point, but, of course, Big Pharma sued to stop 
the Department of Health and Human Services' regulations from taking 
  It is up to Congress, then, to change the law. That is what Senator 
Durbin and I are here to talk about today.
  Almost exactly 1 year ago, I said here on the floor of the Senate 
that it is time for Big Pharma to talk turkey on this subject. Yet here 
we are again, 1 year later, and Big Pharma has ridden the taxpayers' 
gravy train for another 12 months, and part of that gravy train is 
keeping the price of drugs off of the television screens when they 
advertise all of the value of the drugs and the dangers and the side 
effects of those drugs.
  As Americans get ready to count their blessings around the 
Thanksgiving table a couple weeks from now, I hope they can count on 
all 100 Members of the Senate to approve the Durbin-Grassley bill.
  There is no good reason to oppose it unless you would rather keep 
secrets for Big Pharma.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, let me thank my colleague from Iowa.
  Senator Grassley and I are friends, colleagues, and we work together 
on a lot of issues. We come to this body with different political 
philosophies, but occasionally our ideas converge, and this is one of 
  We know that the pharmaceutical industry spends $6 billion a year on 
television advertising. If you have never seen a drug ad on TV, I know 
one thing for sure: You don't own a TV. You can't get away from them. 
Every time you turn around, there is another ad. And what are they 
telling you in the ads? Don't take this drug if you are allergic to 
this drug.
  How are you supposed to know that?
  You may die if you take this drug. They tell you everything under the 
Sun, except a very fundamental fact, as Senator Grassley has pointed 
out: How much does this cost?
  Xarelto--I know it takes a long time for the drug Xarelto to finally 
reach the point where the average consumer, the average American, can 
even spell it, let alone pronounce it, so they can go ask their doctor 
for it. And do you know how much Xarelto costs--this blood thinner--
each month? It is about $520 a month. But it is not the most heavily 
advertised drug on television.
  At least a few months ago, the most heavily advertised drug was 

[[Page S6419]]

Psoriatic arthritis? Remember that ad that showed the person with the 
little red spot on her elbow, and they said if you take HUMIRA this may 
help relieve psoriasis, the patchy skin and such?
  Now, there are serious cases of psoriasis--don't get me wrong--but 
the notion that we would take Humira to clear up psoriasis belies 
reality. Here is the reality. Humira costs $5,500 a month. Now, I am 
not going to win any bathing suit contests nor have perfectly clear 
skin, but it is beyond anybody's mind that we would spend $5,500 a 
month to get rid of the little patch on your elbow.
  Why won't they tell us what it costs? Because they know it is a 
stunning number, $5,500 a month. So what Senator Grassley and I did a 
year ago was to say to the pharmaceutical companies: Go ahead and run 
your ads, but in the ad, disclose how much your drug costs.
  I think it is going to create pressure on these pharmaceutical 
companies when they decide to raise Humira to $6,500 a month. The 
American consumers are going to know in fact what is going on. We 
passed it. We passed our bill in the Senate. We sent it over to the 
conference committee, and it died over in the House of Representatives. 
But things have changed in the House. There is a new Democratic 
majority there. I think we have got a better chance of passing it.
  Later on today, I am going to ask for unanimous consent on this very 
simple bill directed to consumer advertising to say to pharmaceutical 
companies: Disclose in your ad how much your drug costs. That is it. 
Just disclose it. We have come up with the price that they have to 
declare each year as their standard price for the drug. Disclose that 
price to the American people. We think that folks will slow down 
deciding to buy Humira at $5,500 a month to deal with a little red 
patch on their elbow. It is beyond belief.
  So later on, I will make this unanimous consent, and I ask for 
unanimous consent now--since I appear to be the only one on the Senate 
floor now--to speak on a different topic for a moment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection.


  Mr. President, it was 19 years ago I introduced a bill called the 
DREAM Act. And the DREAM Act said if you came to the United States 
under the age of 18, if you grew up in this country, went to school, no 
problems with the law, you ought to be given a chance at some point 
later in life to earn your way to legal status and citizenship.
  That was the bill. It was introduced, as I mentioned, about 19 years 
ago. It has never become the law of the land, but at one point, I went 
to one of my Senate cosponsors that happened to be running for 
President, named Barack Obama, and said to him: Can you do anything as 
President to help in this situation? So many of these young people who 
are undocumented, they are living in the only country they have known, 
and they have no future because of their immigration status.
  He created the DACA program, and under the DACA program, if you 
qualified as I just described, you would come forward and pay $500 or 
$600 for a filing fee, go through a criminal background check, and if 
you were approved, you would be allowed to stay in the United States 
for 2 years at a time under this DACA protection, renewable every 2 
years. And you would be able to stay without fear of deportation and be 
allowed to legally work in this country.
  President Obama agreed to do it, and when he did, 800,000 young 
people came forward and received DACA protection. For the longest time, 
President Trump would give speeches talking about these wonderful young 
people who deserved to have a chance to have a future in the United 
States. Then in September of 2017, he changed his mind. When he changed 
his mind, unfortunately, he eliminated the DACA program.
  Now, it is being contested in court, and next week, 6 days from now, 
across the street, in the Supreme Court, they are going to argue 
whether the President had the power to end this program. As you might 
imagine, there are almost 800,000 young people who are listening 
carefully to those arguments and waiting for the decision of the 
Supreme Court. They currently have temporary protection because of the 
pending lawsuit. But if they lose in the Supreme Court, they will be 
subject to deportation. That would be a sad outcome, and in many cases, 
it would be a tragic outcome.
  I am hoping that my colleagues in the Senate will follow this 
carefully. This is one thing we ought to agree on. Senator Lindsey 
Graham, conservative Republican from South Carolina, is my cosponsor of 
the DREAM Act, and he has joined with me in saying that we ought to 
make legal status available to these young people through the DREAM 
Act. I hope that ends up being the case.
  I would like to close by telling a story on the floor here about this 
young man. His name is Ernestor De La Rosa. This is the 118th story I 
have told on the floor of the Senate about Dreamers, people protected 
by DACA. He is, as I said, the 118th example I can give to my 
colleagues in the Senate and those following this debate as to why we 
need to have DACA or the DREAM Act as the law of the land.
  Let me tell the story. Ernestor was brought to the United States from 
Mexico when he was a child. He grew up in the Midwest in Dodge City, 
KS, and came to the United States legally. He applied for a green card 
while he was still in legal status. He wanted to become a lawful 
permanent resident, but the line for green cards was too long. You 
might remember an earlier statement I made in debate today. The line 
was so long that Ernestor's visa expired before he received his green 
card. Under the laws of America, he was undocumented.
  It is not well-known that millions of undocumented immigrants came to 
the United States legally in the first place, but they are unable to 
become permanent legal residents because our immigration system is 
  Here is what Ernestor says about it: ``We all hear comments about 
`Get back in line and do it legally.' Well, we tried. But the system 
right now is so complex that it takes up to 20 years to attain legal 
  When he first arrived, Ernestor, from Mexico, did not speak or read 
English, but he worked hard and became an honor student in his school. 
He earned an associate's degree from Dodge City Community College and a 
bachelor's degree from Fort Hays State University and a master's in 
public administration from Wichita State University.

  Because of his immigration status, Ernestor was not eligible for any 
Federal financial aid as a student. How did he get through school? He 
worked two jobs. Here is what he says about that experience: ``Often 
kids my age enjoy the college lifestyle, hanging out with friends and 
partying. But I wasn't able to do that. I was so disciplined, I said to 
myself I cannot fail a class, because I am going to have to pay out of 
my pocket take it again.''
  What is Ernestor doing today? He is the assistant city manager of 
Dodge City, KS. He manages a budget of more than $55 million and 
directly oversees 20 employees. He is responsible for his city's 
legislative affairs, working with Federal, State, and local 
representatives on issues such as housing, transportation, and energy.
  Here is what he says about his job: ``I love this profession because 
I am able to make a difference in my community and advocate to meet the 
needs of our residents. It is rewarding and fulfilling to serve this 
great city.''
  Imagine that. Ernestor came to Dodge City unable to speak or read 
English. Now, he is the assistant city manager. This is his story, but 
it is also America's story. Without DACA, which protected him, gave him 
a right to this job, none of this would have been possible.
  Ernestor's dream is to become an American citizen and to advance from 
assistant city manager to city manager, so he can continue to make a 
difference in people's lives, but that can only happen if we do 
something here on the floor of the United States Senate.
  The U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure called the 
American Dream and Promise Act that would provide for Dreamers, as 
mentioned earlier, and would provide for this young man. Senator 
McConnell refuses to allow us to debate this bill on the floor of the 
United States Senate. It is unfortunate.
  Next week, guys like Ernestor and hundreds of thousands of Dreamers 

[[Page S6420]]

going to be focused right across the street on the Supreme Court. They 
are counting on the Supreme Court to do the right thing and reject 
President Trump's repeal of DACA.
  They are counting on us who serve in the Senate to solve this crisis 
that the President has created and give this young man and thousands 
like him a chance. It would be an American tragedy to deport this young 
man after all he has achieved and send him back to Mexico, where he 
hasn't lived since he was a little boy.
  Will the majority leader give him a chance? I hope so. The Senate 
should give the American Dream and Promise Act a vote.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arkansas.

                           Global Hostage Act

  Mr. COTTON. Mr President, this week marks the 40th anniversary of the 
Iran hostage crisis, when 66 Americans were seized by an armed mob 
fueled by the anti-American ravings of Iran's revolution clerics. 
Fifty-two of those Americans were held captive for 444 days, during 
which time they were paraded on television and used as pawns by Iran's 
theocratic dictators.
  Those Americans would finally come home safely, thanks to a pressure 
campaign of financial sanctions and trade embargoes by the United 
States and their partners, but not everyone came home safely from Iran. 
Before the crisis ended, five American airmen and three marines lay 
dead, killed in an ill-fated rescue mission necessitated by Iran's 
lawless deeds.
  This week's anniversary is a useful reminder of the true nature of 
the regime in Tehran. Behind Iran's smooth talking, Western-educated 
diplomats are a band of radical clerics that act more like a criminal 
gang than the rulers of a sovereign nation.
  Consider how the regime commemorated the 40th anniversary of their 
crime--not with apologies, like a civilized nation might. No, with 
anti-American rallies where uniformed soldiers--uniformed soldiers, not 
clerics, not activists--uniformed soldiers led chants of ``Death to 
America'' and ``Death to Israel.''
  In other words, Iran is unreformed and unrepentant. It still takes 
and holds hostages to this very day--businessmen, professors, 
engineers, fathers, and mothers, all just bargaining chips to the 
Ayatollahs. That is why I have a bill to impose new and substantial 
costs on these kidnappers. The Global Hostage Act would require the 
President to sanction foreign officials who take Americans as their 
  The goal of our bill is clear: If you take Americans hostage, we will 
make your life miserable. You will not be able to travel here. You will 
not be able to bank here. You will not be able to send your kids to 
fancy schools here. You will be treated like the pariah you are, which 
is precisely what the Ayatollahs remain 40 years after they took their 
first American hostages.
  Mr. President, I ask consent that the following remarks be entered in 
a separate part of the journal.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection.

                   Nomination of Lee Philip Rudofsky

  Mr. COTTON. Mr. President, I would like to say a few words about Lee 
Philip Rudofsky, the President's nominee to the United States District 
Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
  In a few minutes, this body will vote to move ahead with this 
nomination. Lee has a long and impressive resume, from Harvard Law 
School to the White House Office of Legal Counsel, to Kirkland & Ellis, 
and beyond. His early career and qualifications speak for themselves. 
Lee is no stranger to serving Arkansans. He was our State's very first 
solicitor general. Lee left a good job at Wal-Mart to take that 
position and face the many challenges that come with it. He also moved 
3 hours from his loving wife and three young kids to work around the 
clock for the people of Arkansas.
  That hard work paid off for all of us. According to esteemed members 
of Arkansas' legal community from both parties, Lee ``established 
Arkansas Solicitor General's Office as one of the finest legal 
practices in the State of Arkansas.''
  He has subsequently become a respected professor and recruiter at one 
of our State's two law schools, and Lee is also a leader at his local 
synagogue and a member of the local chapter of the American Inns of 
  After the Senate votes to confirm him later this week, Lee will draw 
from this deep well of experience as he continues to serve the people 
of Arkansas with devotion and distinction. He will bring to the bench 
his intelligence, character, and, above all, commitment to the rule of 
law and the administration of equal justice under the law.
  I was honored to introduce Lee before the Judiciary Committee earlier 
this year. I am now honored, again, to speak on his behalf today. Lee 
is an exceptional selection for the Federal bench. I am happy to call 
him friend, and soon I look forward to calling him a judge.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. COTTON. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. COTTON. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to start the votes 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                             Cloture Motion

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Pursuant to rule XXII, the Chair lays before 
the Senate the pending cloture motion, which the clerk will state.
  The bill 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 nomination 
     of Lee Philip Rudofsky, of Arkansas, to be United States 
     District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
         Richard C. Shelby, Mike Crapo, John Cornyn, Roy Blunt, 
           Thom Tillis, Shelley Moore Capito, Roger F. Wicker, 
           Lisa Murkowski, Mike Rounds, Pat Roberts, John Boozman, 
           Mike Rounds, Rick Scott, John Barrasso, Kevin Cramer, 
           Richard Burr, Mitch McConnell.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call has been waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on the 
nomination of Lee Philip Rudofsky, of Arkansas, to be United States 
District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas, shall be brought 
to a close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. THUNE. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator 
from North Carolina (Mr. Burr) and the Senator from Georgia (Mr. 
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Colorado (Mr. Bennet), 
the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. Booker), the Senator from California 
(Ms. Harris), the Senator from Minnesota (Ms. Klobuchar), the Senator 
from Vermont (Mr. Sanders), and the Senator from Massachusetts (Ms. 
Warren) are necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Lankford). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 51, nays 41, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 346 Ex.]


     Scott (FL)
     Scott (SC)


     Cortez Masto
     Van Hollen

[[Page S6421]]


                             NOT VOTING--8

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 51, the nays are 
  The motion is agreed to.