EXECUTIVE SESSION; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 94
(Senate - June 05, 2019)

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[Pages S3238-S3245]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                           EXECUTIVE SESSION

                                 ______
                                 

                           EXECUTIVE CALENDAR

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I move to proceed to executive session 
to consider Calendar No. 217.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The motion was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the nomination.
  The senior assistant bill clerk read the nomination of Edward F. 
Crawford, of Ohio, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary 
of the United States of America to Ireland.


                             Cloture Motion

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I send a cloture motion to the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motion having been presented under 
rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to read the motion.
  The senior assistant 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 Edward F. Crawford, of Ohio, to be Ambassador 
     Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of 
     America to Ireland.
         Mitch McConnell, David Perdue, John Thune, Roy Blunt, 
           Thom Tillis, Roger F. Wicker, Marco Rubio, James E. 
           Risch, Bill Cassidy, Mike Rounds, John Cornyn, Mike 
           Crapo, Johnny Isakson, John Boozman, Kevin Cramer, Mike 
           Braun, Pat Roberts.

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
mandatory quorum calls for the cloture motions be waived.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.


                       75th Anniversary of D-day

  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. President, I want to talk a little bit about what we 
will be talking about around the country and around the world tomorrow. 
Tomorrow is the 75th anniversary of D-Day. There aren't a lot of days 
known in history around the world by just one letter, but June 6, 1944, 
is known that way. It is the greatest amphibious battlefield landing 
ever and probably the single greatest military operation in history. It 
was done to liberate people in Europe from one of the most savage 
regimes that ever existed.
  At 15 minutes past midnight, 18,000 paratroopers began to step out of 
their planes high above Normandy, France, going in behind what would be 
the landing the next day. Below them, there were about 200,000 people 
streaming toward the Continent on almost 7,000 ships, with about 1 
million others to follow after that landing was made on D-Day.
  A journalist who wrote about the battle noted that by 4:30 that 
morning, the Stars and Stripes flew for the first time over a town 
liberated by Americans in France in World War II.
  So a lot happened from midnight to 4:30, but a lot more was going to 
happen that day. Americans led the operation, but there were also 
troops from Britain, from Poland, from Norway, from Canada, and even 
French troops returning to help free their own country were there. They 
were told that when you land in Normandy, you will have only one 
friend: God. I am sure there was lots of praying going on that day.

[[Page S3239]]

  It became known in literature and on film as ``The Longest Day,'' and 
it gave the Allies the threshold they needed to free the Continent from 
the crush of the Third Reich. There was clearly chaos--that many people 
doing that many things in that many different ways. There were 
missteps, and there was bad luck, but in the end, there was an 
unimaginable amount of courage and sacrifice and just simple providence 
in what happened that day.
  When one landing group was landed in the wrong place, a place they 
weren't supposed to land, the commanding general, Theodore Roosevelt, 
who was the son of the former President Theodore Roosevelt, told one of 
his officers just to keep on bringing the men ashore. He said: ``We are 
going to start the war from right here.'' It is not where they intended 
to be, but it is where they were, and in their view and General 
Roosevelt's view that day, where we are is where we are going to start; 
there is no going back now. They didn't go back.

  One of the men who joined the fight that day--and there were millions 
who would eventually--with hundreds of thousands that day was Ralph 
Goldsticker from the Marine Corps Reserve.
  He had signed up for the Army Aviation Cadet Corps right after Pearl 
Harbor. He said, when talking about this later, that his parents were 
scared silly when they found out he had signed up immediately to become 
a flyer in what would become World War II.
  He flew 35 missions as a bombardier flying in a B-17 Flying Fortress, 
including two missions on D-Day. His first mission that day was to help 
take out the big German guns that guarded the beach where British 
troops were landing. He remembers the skies being so thick with 
airplanes that he had to fly from southern England all the way back to 
Scotland just to get in line to head to France.
  Later that afternoon, he flew a second mission to attack German 
reinforcements who were headed to the beaches. Ralph was awarded the 
French Legion of Honor medal in recognition of his service.
  You know, he was just one of thousands of Missourians from the lowest 
private to General Omar Bradley, who was commanding the American troops 
who were part of that mission, and many of them would never return.
  We just had a series of votes a little earlier than we would normally 
have in the week because 17 or so of our colleagues are going to be 
part of the D-Day celebration on this 75th anniversary. I had an 
opportunity myself to be in Normandy a few years ago. We were in 
Normandy at the Normandy American Cemetery, where there were 7,000 
graves out in front of us.
  On what was a private trip, not a government trip, we were fortunate 
to have a good guide who understood the war and the cemetery. He took 
us through the cemetery, and then he took us over and sat us down on 
the stone wall with the English Channel to our backs and those 7,000 
graves out in front of us. As we sat there at that spot, he flipped 
open his computer and on his computer he had some video of General 
Eisenhower and Walter Cronkite sitting exactly on that same spot on 
June 6, 1964, the 20th anniversary of D-Day.
  General Eisenhower, of course, gave the orders in spite of weather 
and other things, hoping it would work out as it was supposed to. As 
for what happened on D-Day and what happened later, he said to Walter 
Cronkite something like this: You know, Walter, my son John graduated 
from West Point on D-Day. Many times over the last 20 years I thought 
about him and his wife and the family they have and the opportunities 
they have had, and I thought about these young men--Eisenhower said, 
looking at those graves--and I thought about these young men and what 
they didn't get to do because of what they were asked to do.
  That, by the way, was the same commanding general who had that famous 
note in his wallet that day, stating that he would take full 
responsibility for what happened if it didn't go well. That was the 
kind of leader he was.
  I mentioned that there were 18,000 paratroopers. He was told that 70 
percent of those paratroopers would not survive the day. There is a 
statue here in the Rotunda of this building that is based on a photo of 
Eisenhower the day before D-Day, surrounded by those young 
paratroopers. They were 18, 19, and 20, and maybe even a few younger 
than 18 surrounding him. They had been told that he wouldn't want to 
talk to them, but when he got there, it was obvious that he was there 
to see them. That statue in the Rotunda shows Eisenhower making a 
gesture. Nobody knew for years what that particular hand gesture was, 
but it turns out that he was talking to a young man from Idaho, and he 
was talking about fly fishing. So that gesture of Eisenhower in this 
building, if you are in this building looking at that statue, is 
Eisenhower the day before D-Day, talking to a young man about fly 
fishing. Again, he had been told that 70 percent of those paratroopers 
would not survive the day because of what he and others were asking 
them to do.
  The numbers weren't that bad, but they turned out to be plenty bad. 
The Germans had released water in an area behind Normandy in an 
unexpected way. So many of those paratroopers who expected to land on 
the ground instead went into flooded lands and drowned. Other things 
happened that couldn't have been planned for and weren't planned for, 
but they were there to do that job.
  The fighting that first day, D-Day, paved the way for more men to 
come ashore. It began the long push from France into Germany and, for 
them, into history. I think there will be slightly more than a dozen D-
Day survivors at that 75th anniversary. You don't have to do the math 
very long to know that if you were in the military on D-Day, you would 
be in your nineties today, and they are going to be there with our 
colleagues and others celebrating what they did and what they were 
willing to do.
  One observer wrote on D-Day: There never had been a dawn like this 
one--700 ships, 200,000 people ready to land and establish the 
beginning of the end of World War II. So on D-Day, we remember again 
the sacrifice of those thousands of soldiers, sailors, and airmen. We 
honor their courage and devotion to the cause of liberty. We serve them 
by continuing to remain strong and preparing to fight for freedom 
everywhere. That means doing all we can for the men and women who 
defend us today. It means we carry the legacy of the generations that 
fought 75 years ago on D-Day and every other war where Americans fought 
and died.
  They deserve our gratitude today and every day. We need to continue 
to understand the importance of our alliances and our willingness to 
stand for freedom. D-Day is a great day and this is a great, great week 
to be reminded of that.
  I yield back.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I appreciate the remembrances of D-Day from 
Senator Blunt, the distinguished senior Senator from Missouri.
  It is always memorable attending D-Day events. The first one I went 
to--and you just spoke of the distinguished Kansan, Dwight Eisenhower--
was with Robert Dole for the 40th anniversary. President Reagan asked 
the two of us to represent him in Italy when we first landed, while 
President Reagan went to Normandy. Subsequently, I went with a 
delegation with President Clinton and then with President George W. 
Bush, and, lastly, with President Obama. I found the experience 
overwhelming each time.
  Last year--it was actually on my birthday--Dick Shelby and I were 
there and laid a wreath in Normandy. Nobody can walk by there--first, 
seeing all the graves and realizing that they are only some of the 
remains--and then walking to the cliffs and looking down, and not 
wonder how anybody could have had the courage to face such withering 
fire. For some who survived, it seemed like the enemy was using a paint 
brush and just wiping people out. You would see them falling all 
around.
  A well-respected doctor from our home town in Montpelier had never 
talked about it. On the 50th anniversary we asked him if he would join 
us there. He is not a wealthy man. He treated a lot of the poor Italian 
immigrants for nothing. My mother was a first generation Italian 
American, and she always talked with him. She and my father and others 
raised money for him to go, and after that for the first time he could 
talk about it.

[[Page S3240]]

  He came back and talked about it. He was a medic and a little guy. He 
went off the boat with all of his gear and just sank. He would have 
drowned, but somebody pulled him up and brought him to the shore. He 
turned to say thank you, and the man who rescued him was shot dead.
  He refused to leave the beach. He just treated one person after 
another, and his story is not unusual. So many did that. So I thank my 
friend from Missouri for what he said.


                             Cuba Sanctions

  Mr. President, there are foreign policies that are thoughtful, that 
reflect lessons learned from history, and that advance our national 
interests. Let me talk about others.
  I have been here for a lot of years. I was fortunate to come here at 
the time of President Ford and have known and seen every President 
since. I have seen some dumb policies by administrations over the 
years, both by Republicans and Democrats. I want to speak briefly about 
one of them because it is not just dumb. It is an embarrassment. It is 
going to hurt a lot of Americans. It is going to hurt a lot of good 
people in Cuba, and there is no denying that.
  I refer to the decision announced by the Treasury Department 
yesterday to severely restrict travel by Americans to Cuba. Why? 
Because Cuba supports Nicolas Maduro.
  The administration has reinstituted the failed policy of the Cold War 
restrictions on the right of every American citizen to travel to Cuba, 
even though the overwhelming majority of Americans, Republicans and 
Democrats alike, opposes such restrictions. It means cruise ships will 
stop sailing there. Educational and cultural exchanges will shut down. 
Sports teams will stay home. School trips will end. Trade missions will 
end. American farmers who could export products to Cuba are going to be 
shut out as well as other American companies.
  I have to ask: What kind of government thinks it has a right to tell 
its citizens where they can travel and where they can spend their own 
money? Ironically, not the Cuban Government, despite its repressive 
policies. Cubans can travel to the United States if we grant them a 
visa.
  Russia is kleptocracy with nuclear weapons pointed at us, that 
invades its neighbors, supports President Assad and Nicolas Maduro, 
interferes with our elections, and opposes the United States at every 
turn in the U.N. Security Council. But Americans can travel to Russia 
without restriction, just as Russians can travel here.
  Iran has brutally repressive government, but it does not have laws 
and regulations to prevent its citizens from traveling to the United 
States or Americans from traveling there.
  Nicaragua is led by a corrupt dictator, but Nicaraguans can travel to 
any country that will accept them, and Americans are free to travel 
there.
  In fact, Americans can travel anywhere in the world without 
restriction, except to North Korea and now Cuba, whose people could not 
be more welcoming of Americans.
  How do I know this? Because unlike the people in the White House and 
the Treasury Department who have never ever been to Cuba, I have been 
there. My wife Marcelle has been there. Our granddaughter Sophia has 
been there.
  This administration's policy is being guided by a couple of hard-
liners in the National Security Council who have never set foot in Cuba 
but are on a crusade to pressure the Cuban Government to change its 
policies. After 50 years of trying and failing to get Cuba to change 
its policies, they continue to believe that one way to do that is by 
preventing Americans who believe in democracy from traveling to Cuba 
and spending their own money there.
  Of all the paternalistic, anachronistic, and hypocritical policies, 
that is beneath the world's oldest democracy. We tried it for 50 years, 
from the time I was in college. It failed. In fact, it backfired. As we 
blocked access to Cuba, the Cuban authorities solidified their control.
  This will backfire, too. If past experience is any guide, it will 
cause them to intensify their support for Maduro.
  We all want Maduro gone, but are we so blinded by arrogance, ideology 
and stupidity that we are destined to keep repeating our mistakes?
  If this policy makes sense for Cuba, why not for other repressive 
governments whose policies we disagree with, like China? They have 
imprisoned a million of their Uyghur citizens. Their military is deeply 
involved in the economy. Yet millions of Americans go to China without 
restriction.
  Egypt has destroyed what fragile democratic institutions existed 
there. They have locked up thousands of political opponents, as well as 
American citizens. Yet President Trump calls President al Sisi a great 
friend--a man who locks up Americans, locks up people who disagree with 
him.
  Saudi Arabia commits war crimes in Yemen, they treat women as 
property, and they murdered Jamal Khashoggi and other dissidents. The 
Crown Prince, who we know was involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, 
is apparently untouchable, and our President and Secretary of State 
seem to prefer it that way. But Americans can still travel to Saudi 
Arabia without reservation.
  These regulations are an insult to every American. They are a 
disgrace to a free society. Since when is it the role of the Federal 
Government to say where Americans can travel and spend their own money, 
absent some threat to national security or their own health and safety, 
neither of which exists in Cuba?
  It is not going to hurt the leaders in Cuba. They are not going to 
submit to bullying. If anything, it will harden their attitude toward 
the United States.
  I know who it will hurt. It will hurt the people who most deserve our 
help--the Cuban families who own small businesses, who rent out rooms 
in their apartments, who own their own taxis and restaurants. Artisans 
and musicians. People who otherwise subsist on meager government 
salaries and rations and benefit enormously when Americans visit Cuba.
  Marcelle and I have met with many of these people--young people 
especially--who have Airb&bs, who have started their own small 
businesses. They work extremely hard within a system stacked against 
them, and they need American customers. The White House just slammed 
the door on them.
  Of course we disagree with the Cuban Government. On many things we 
strongly disagree. But we disagree with many governments over Venezuela 
and other issues. Does that give the Treasury Department the right to 
tell Americans they can't travel there?
  What if the Treasury Department imposed such restrictions on travel 
by Members of Congress? What if they said ``after today, Members of 
Congress can no longer travel to China or Russia''. There is not a 
single Senator, Republican or Democrat, who would stand for that. What 
hypocrisy.
  Freedom to travel is a right. It is fundamental. It is part of who we 
are as Americans. We travel. We explore. We meet people. We share our 
values. We build relationships with people we agree with and disagree 
with. Are we willing to stand by and let the right of private Americans 
to travel be trampled this way?
  I will have more to say about this self-defeatist policy when I 
introduce the bipartisan Freedom for Americans to Travel to Cuba Act.
  I urge all Senators to not let the same old, worn out, Cold War, 
isolationist, fearmongering, failed arguments about Cuba stand in the 
way of common sense.
  I see one of my very good friends on the floor, the Senator from 
Ohio.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cramer). The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I thank my friend and colleague and one-
time President pro tempore of this body, Senator Leahy.


                       75th Anniversary of D-Day

  Mr. President, I am here on the floor today to talk about D-Day, to 
talk about how we would remember the 75th anniversary tomorrow of a 
turning point in World War II: June 6, 1944, the invasion of Normandy.
  Historian Douglas Brinkley has written that D-Day was both the single 
most important in the 20th century and one of the bloodiest and most 
tragic, too, in terms of loss of life.
  On D-Day, our fleets set forth from the rocky shores of Britain to 
reach the fog-shrouded beaches of Normandy. On board the thousands of 
ships and planes were our fathers and grandfathers and great-
grandfathers--some no older than 18 years old--who would bravely 
venture ashore in a show of determination and duty. There were

[[Page S3241]]

160,000 soldiers who crossed the English Channel that day. On their 
backs were rucksacks, some weighing over 80 pounds. But really on their 
backs was the fate of our allies in Europe and, really, the fate of the 
free world. Were our men to fail that day, Europe might well have 
fallen to Hitler once and for all.
  Many of our best and brightest young Americans did fall. We lost more 
than 10,000 men that day.
  The Nazis had spent 2 years fortifying the coast to prepare for this 
moment. It was Hitler's so-called Atlantic Wall. The beautiful 
coastline of northern France was covered in barbed wire, landmines, and 
bunkers. Hell had come to Earth to greet our men as they landed, and 
still they fought on gallantly.
  At the end of the largest amphibious invasion in history, we stood 
victorious, battered but unbroken. On we marched, through France, 
through Belgium, and finally into Germany. The world would never be the 
same.
  Even today among the beautiful flowers and fields of Normandy, you 
can feel the lingering presence of those who died that day in service 
of liberating Europe, and you can see it, as I have, at the stark, 
orderly U.S. military cemeteries, where row after row of white crosses 
and Stars of David stand defiant, representing lives lost in a noble 
cause. Though much has happened in the following 75 years, we can never 
lose sight of the valor and sacrifice displayed by our Armed Forces on 
that day.
  On Memorial Day, I spoke at the National Veterans Memorial Museum in 
Columbus, OH, and also at a cemetery in Grove City, OH. In both 
ceremonies, there were World War II veterans present and up front. To 
see the generations of veterans and family members there to honor the 
fallen was to see the living embodiment of the stories we ought to 
remember from a war that recedes further into the past with each 
passing year.
  Stories of valor like that displayed by Jim ``Pee Wee'' Martin, from 
Dayton, OH. On that day, he and the rest of the 506th Parachute 
Infantry Regiment parachuted through German lines in the dark of 
predawn. Jim was wounded but fought bravely, earning the Purple Heart 
and Bronze Star for his D-Day efforts.
  Stories of sacrifice like that of the Napier Brothers of Warren 
County in Southwest Ohio. All five served in the war. Two of the 
brothers of the five landed at D-Day. One died there on the beaches, 
never to come home to Ohio.
  These are stories to be preserved for the generations to come. The 
memory of D-Day and, indeed, all of World War II must never be lost. 
That is why I was proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the 
aisle earlier today to show through our resolution the gratitude and 
appreciation of the Senate for the courage shown by our troops who 
participated in the Normandy landings that day.
  Since I have been a Member of the Senate, I have come to this floor 
often on D-Day to recite a very special prayer given by President 
Roosevelt on that fateful day. It was expected that Franklin Delano 
Roosevelt would give a speech when the invasion took place, as he had 
done many times before, called the fireside chats from the White House. 
But on the morning of D-Day, FDR was moved to prayer instead. That 
famous prayer has become known as the D-Day prayer. It is my 
understanding that President Trump actually recited this prayer just 
yesterday in the United Kingdom at an event that preceded the official 
ceremonies tomorrow commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
  The words are powerful and deserve to be remembered for generations 
to come. In 2013, I introduced legislation, the World War II Memorial 
Act, which directs the Secretary of the Interior to install a plaque to 
be placed on or near the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in 
Washington, DC, with the words of the D-Day prayer. I like that because 
it adds more context and more interpretation to that beautiful World 
War II Memorial. It was the Ohio Christian Alliance president, Chris 
Long, who first came to me with this good idea of placing this plaque 
on or near the memorial, given its history and importance.
  Since that legislation was signed into law in 2014, we have worked 
hard with the National Park Service, the Friends of the National World 
War II Memorial, and the two Federal commissions that are required to 
approve any permanent structure on the National Mall. It has been 5 
years now--actually longer than America's involvement in World War II--
and although we do not yet have this plaque placed, we have made 
progress.
  The commissions have approved the location of the plaque to be just 
north of the World War II Memorial at the Circle of Remembrance. If you 
have been to the memorial, you come from the Washington Monument, and 
you see the Circle of Remembrance on the right. The commissions have 
also approved initial design concepts for the plaque, which must comply 
with the Commemorative Works Act.
  We are moving forward with this project, by the way, without any 
Federal funding. We are relying on private fundraising, not taxpayer 
dollars.
  We had hoped to have the plaque in place, of course, for the 75th 
anniversary tomorrow. I am disappointed we don't, but, instead, we will 
preview tomorrow the placement of a temporary plaque with the words of 
the prayer at the chosen location, the Circle of Remembrance, next to 
the World War II Memorial. At our event tomorrow--which will include 
the chairman of the Friends of the National World War II Memorial; 
officials from the National Park Service; Chris Long, president of the 
Ohio Christian Alliance; and a number of World War II veterans--we will 
also lead a reading of the D-Day prayer. I am looking forward to that 
tomorrow.
  The temporary plaque, by the way, was generously donated to the 
Friends of the National World War II Memorial by Mr. John Nau, a member 
of the National Parks Foundation Board, who felt strongly about at 
least having a temporary plaque in place.
  We are hopeful that the permanent plaque will be placed at the Circle 
very soon.
  The fact that a prayer was offered that day, on D-Day, by the 
Commander in Chief is historic in and of itself, but I think it is the 
content of the prayer that makes it so worthy of remembrance. If I may, 
I would now like to read the D-Day prayer.
  FDR began:

       My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you 
     about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of 
     the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in 
     another and greater operation. It has come to pass with 
     success thus far.
       And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in 
     prayer:
       Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have 
     set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our 
     Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free 
     a suffering humanity.
       Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, 
     stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
       They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and 
     hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. 
     Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return 
     again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the 
     righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.
       They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without 
     rest--until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by 
     noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the 
     violences of war.
       For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They 
     fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end 
     conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice 
     arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They 
     yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the 
     haven of home.
       Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive 
     them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
       And for us at home--fathers, mothers, children, wives, 
     sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas--whose thoughts 
     and prayers are ever with them--help us, Almighty God, to 
     rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of 
     great sacrifice.
       Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single 
     day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the 
     desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a 
     continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again 
     when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, 
     invoking Thy help to our efforts.
       Give us strength, too--strength in our daily tasks, to 
     redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the 
     material support of our armed forces.
       And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, 
     to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our 
     sons wheresoever they may be.
       And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in 
     our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. 
     Let not

[[Page S3242]]

     the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the 
     impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but 
     fleeting moment, let not these deter us in our unconquerable 
     purpose.
       With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces 
     of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and 
     racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and 
     with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a 
     sure peace, a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy 
     men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, 
     reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.
       Thy will be done, Almighty God.
       Amen.

  I think you will agree with me that these profound words deserve to 
be made a permanent part of our broader World War II Memorial for a 
noble day that we must never forget.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.


                                Ukraine

  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I want to spend a few moments talking 
about a trip I took overseas last week. After honoring our fallen 
soldiers here at home in Central Ohio and in Southwest Ohio, I traveled 
to Ukraine, where I had a meeting scheduled with Ukraine's new 
President, Volodymyr Zelensky. On my way there, I stopped in London for 
trade meetings and briefings by our Ambassador and our excellent U.S. 
Embassy personnel there.
  I was very eager to meet President Zelensky. First of all, along with 
my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I have been a longtime 
supporter of Ukraine's quest for self-determination, democracy, and 
freedom from Russian aggression. As cochair and cofounder of the Senate 
Ukraine Caucus, along with my colleague Dick Durbin of Illinois, I have 
been proud to take the lead since the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 in 
giving Ukrainians the lethal and nonlethal aid they need to defend 
themselves from aggression in Crimea and the Donbass region.
  Second, I share that enthusiasm for Ukraine that is held by so many 
of my constituents, friends of mine, particularly in Cleveland and that 
area, who are proud members of the Ukrainian diaspora.
  Third, I was very impressed with President Zelensky's election 
victory, in part because he received a remarkable 73 percent of the 
vote. I also thought his focus on reform and change was important for 
the country. I wanted to meet with him and learn more about how and why 
his appeals for unity largely succeeded.
  Fourth, I wanted to hear more about his plans to fight the aggression 
from Russia on his eastern border, fight corruption at home, and put in 
place the reforms that will make his country stronger.
  Finally, I wanted to tell him we are with him. The United States 
stands by Ukraine, and the ties between our two countries can deepen 
even further. We want to help Ukraine succeed in this historic moment.
  I can report to my colleagues that I came away impressed from the 
meeting with President Zelensky. I was encouraged. We talked for about 
an hour and covered a broad range of topics. He is smart, engaging, and 
determined.
  We had a good discussion about Russian aggression in Crimea and in 
the Donbass region. President Zelensky has been out to the contact 
line, which is where the fighting is occurring. I was there last year. 
There is a real war going on, and 13,000 people have been killed on the 
eastern border of Ukraine, on that contact line. He spoke frankly about 
the bravery of his troops but also about their needs in terms of the 
weapons systems and basic conditions. We talked about the Russian 
propaganda along the eastern border and the efforts to jam Ukrainian TV 
signals to sow the seeds for dissension for the people of the Donbass 
region. We talked about some ideas that would help to counter that 
propaganda, the jamming, and the disinformation, and I have already 
been in touch with the State Department about those ideas.
  We also talked about the 24 Ukrainian sailors who were captured by 
the Russians last November 25 in the Kerch Strait in the Azov Sea. At 
that time, President Trump rightly refused to meet with President Putin 
until those sailors were free. President Zelensky and I talked about 
how to keep the pressure on Moscow to do the right thing. I gave 
President Zelensky my commitment to do everything in our power here in 
the Senate to keep these 24 sailors front and center until the crisis 
is resolved.
  Recently, the United Nations issued a statement about these sailors, 
by the way. It read that they should be sent back to Ukraine, that 
their taking was wrong.
  I told President Zelensky that he is now the face of reform in 
Ukraine and, indeed, for those of us who are watching around the world. 
He acknowledged that with a smile. He said that his commitment to 
reform is real, but he also had no illusions about how hard reform will 
be. Whether we are talking about fighting corruption, fighting for 
transparency in government, or fighting for civilian control of the 
military, I am very hopeful he will have the continued courage to see 
it through. He understands it is the only path forward and, frankly, is 
a linchpin of the U.S. partnership with Ukraine. As a matter of law, it 
is also a condition on our future defense assistance.
  Finally, we talked about the importance of the Ukrainian diaspora in 
the United States--about 2 million people strong, thousands of whom 
live in Ohio, my constituents--and about how they are putting great 
hopes in his leadership and are willing to do all they can to help.
  As I said, it was a very productive meeting, and I am grateful for 
his time. Of all of the messages of that discussion, the one that was 
the most important to me was when I asked him how he could win by 73 
percent of the vote. He said:

       It was not about me. It was about change and reform and the 
     betterment of the people of Ukraine.

  It was a modest and appropriate response.
  The messages of our discussion were reinforced in my meetings 
afterward with Lieutenant General Ruslan Khomchak. He is the new chief 
of the general staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine--a man with great 
experience and knowledge. He was confident and well informed, and we 
had an open and detailed talk about how the United States can be 
helpful.
  I have already begun to talk to my colleagues on the Armed Services 
Committee and in the Trump administration about those specifics and 
some requests that he had.
  So, my colleagues, I return from this brief trip to Ukraine hopeful--
hopeful that Ukraine is ready to write the next chapter of its long 
history and that it will be a chapter of freedom with a government and 
society that benefits all of its citizens. The United States of America 
must continue to be a good friend and ally in that quest. I am 
certainly determined to do my part to make it so.
  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.
  Ms. BALDWIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                   Unanimous Consent Request--S. 1556

  Ms. BALDWIN. I rise today to once again speak about the ongoing 
threat in the Trump administration to the healthcare and guaranteed 
protections that millions of American families depend upon. President 
Trump has tried to pass through the Congress repeal plans that would 
take people's healthcare away and allow insurance companies to 
discriminate against people with preexisting health conditions or 
refuse to serve them at all.
  When that legislative repeal effort failed in 2017, instead of 
working in a bipartisan way to lower healthcare costs and improve 
access to care for all Americans, President Trump turned to another 
tactic--sabotaging our healthcare system--and there are more Americans 
uninsured today than there were when he took office.
  The Trump administration has even gone to court. They have gone to 
court to support a lawsuit that would overturn the Affordable Care Act, 
including its provisions that protect people with preexisting health 
conditions from discrimination. Just think about that. He is asking a 
court to strike down healthcare protections for Americans. If he 
succeeds, insurance companies will once again be able to deny coverage 
or charge much higher premiums

[[Page S3243]]

for the more than 130 million Americans who have some sort of 
preexisting health condition, including more than 2 million who live in 
the State of Wisconsin.
  What is the President's plan to protect people with preexisting 
conditions? He doesn't have one. He never has. And I have to say that I 
doubt he ever will. In fact, this administration has expanded what I 
call junk insurance plans. These are insurance plans that can deny 
coverage to people with preexisting health conditions, and they don't 
have to cover basic and essential health services, like prescription 
drugs or emergency room visits or maternity care. Most of these junk 
plans don't cover those things.
  When I spoke about this expansion of what I call junk insurance on 
the Senate floor 2 weeks ago, one of my Republican colleagues responded 
and claimed that these plans preserve preexisting conditions 
protections and essential health benefits. So today I wanted to clarify 
the record, and let's look at the fine print together.
  One of the junk plans currently available in my home State of 
Wisconsin reads, ``This plan has a preexisting limitation provision 
that may prevent coverage from applying to medical conditions that 
existed prior to this plan's effective date.''
  Another junk plan that is sold in Wisconsin states that the plan does 
not comply with the guaranteed essential benefits provided by the 
Affordable Care Act. To quote directly, the description reads: ``This 
coverage is not required to comply with certain federal market 
requirements for health insurance, principally those contained in the 
Affordable Care Act.'' The tiny fine print on this particular junk plan 
instructs individuals to check their coverage carefully to make sure 
they are ``aware of any exclusions or limitation regarding coverage of 
pre-existing conditions or health benefits (such as hospitalization, 
emergency services, maternity care, preventive care, prescription 
drugs, and mental health and substance use disorder services). Your 
certificate might also have lifetime and/or annual dollar limits on 
health benefits.''
  The Affordable Care Act protects people against these insurance 
company abuses. Yet the expansion of these junk plans puts the power 
back in the hands of big insurance companies.
  Let me be clear. American families do not want to go back to the days 
when health insurers could discriminate against people with preexisting 
health conditions, women, and seniors by denying them coverage or 
charging them higher premiums simply because they get sick.
  As I have said in this Chamber many times, the people of Wisconsin 
want both parties in Congress to work together to make things better by 
making healthcare more affordable.
  I have heard from several Wisconsinites who want to know why the 
President is working to repeal the Affordable Care Act and take away 
their protections by expanding these junk plans. They are frightened 
that if this sabotage of our health system continues, insurance 
companies will again be able to deny coverage or charge higher premiums 
for the more than 130 million Americans who have preexisting health 
conditions, again, including more than 2 million in my home State of 
Wisconsin.
  I heard from Keri from Baraboo. Keri is a three-time cancer 
survivor--two breast cancer diagnoses and one melanoma. She experienced 
her first diagnosis at age 29. Now at age 61, Keri is able to get the 
healthcare she needs without being punished financially for having a 
preexisting condition. Keri is worried that if the Affordable Care Act 
is repealed, she could lose her health coverage or could be charged 
more because of her preexisting condition.
  Another Wisconsinite, Keith in Brookfield, recently wrote in to my 
office about what healthcare means to him and his family. Keith and his 
son both have type 1 diabetes. Both of them have health insurance 
through the Affordable Care marketplace that allows them to afford the 
insulin, glucose test strips, and other medications they need. If the 
Affordable Care Act is repealed, Keith and his son likely would not 
even be eligible to purchase one of these junk insurance plans. They 
could be denied coverage entirely due to their preexisting condition.
  We really need to act to stop this sabotage now. I want to protect 
the guaranteed healthcare protections that millions of Americans depend 
on. That is why I have introduced legislation, with my colleague, 
Senator Doug Jones of Alabama, to overturn the Trump administration's 
expansion of junk insurance plans, because we should be increasing 
access to affordable, high-quality healthcare options.
  The entire Senate Democratic caucus supports this legislation, along 
with the two Independents who caucus with us. The Nation's top 
healthcare organizations, representing tens of thousands of the 
Nation's physicians, patients, medical students, and other health 
experts, support this legislation.
  Anyone who says they support healthcare coverage for people with 
preexisting conditions should support this bill.
  Mr. President, as in legislative session, I ask unanimous consent 
that the HELP Committee be discharged from further consideration of S. 
1556; that the Senate proceed to its immediate consideration; that the 
bill be considered read a third time and passed; and that the motions 
to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no 
intervening action or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, let me just 
say that the plans to which the Senator from Wisconsin is referring are 
plans that tens of thousands of people are buying, and one of the 
reasons they are buying them is because it allows them to buy the 
insurance they want at a price they can afford.
  I can tell you, as I am sure the Presiding Officer can and probably 
everybody here can, when they travel across the country and talk with 
the farmers and ranchers and people who are buying their insurance on 
the individual market, the individual market has blown up. It has 
exploded. People are paying $3,000 a month in premiums--$36,000 a 
year--and have huge deductibles. So what they are doing is they are 
dropping coverage because they can't afford it. One of the reasons they 
can't afford it is because, under ObamaCare, there were so many 
mandates and requirements, it drove up the price. So they have these 
skyrocketing premiums, higher deductibles, and higher copays.
  I think that is precisely why the administration decided that, let's 
take these plans and give people an opportunity to buy the insurance 
they want at a price they can afford.
  Literally tens of thousands of Americans are now in these plans. What 
the Senator from Wisconsin is saying is, we are going to throw all 
these people off these plans. What does that do? That puts them back 
out, probably uninsured, which is what a lot of farmers and ranchers in 
places in South Dakota are doing--they are just dropping coverage 
because they can't afford it. Who can afford to pay $3,000 a month? 
That is what ObamaCare has left us. That is why we need new solutions. 
This solution is one that allows people to buy a plan they want at a 
price they can afford, coupled with association health plans--which 
Democrats, I think, here in the Senate are also objecting to and 
opposing--which are also giving individuals opportunities to join 
larger groups and spread their risk and drive down their premiums. We 
need plans that people in this country can afford, or more and more 
people are going to be in the ranks of the uninsured.
  So, Mr. President, I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Ms. BALDWIN. Mr. President, I am disappointed that my Republican 
colleagues have once again chosen to object to protecting people with 
preexisting conditions.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, would my colleague yield?
  Ms. BALDWIN. Senator, I would be happy to yield.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I appreciate my colleague. I am in such 
strong support of her legislation, the No Junk Plans Act. I will speak 
briefly on it after the Senator has concluded her important remarks. 
But apropos of what the distinguished Senator from South Dakota just 
said, isn't it correct that of course a plan is more affordable if it 
doesn't cover anything? I would be interested in my colleague's 
reaction to that, as she is the lead sponsor.

[[Page S3244]]

  I remember being in Wisconsin and seeing the wonderful support folks 
there have from my colleague because she has been a leader on these 
issues.
  I am just curious, because certainly my friend from South Dakota, who 
is a distinguished member of the Finance Committee and works with 
Senator Cortez Masto and me, often works with us on matters. But unless 
I am missing something, he said that what he is interested in is care 
that is more affordable. But it doesn't cover anything. What are my 
colleague's thoughts on that?
  Ms. BALDWIN. I would concur and say that the reason they have earned 
the nickname ``junk plans'' is because, frankly, some of them are 
hardly worth the paper they are written on.
  First of all, they do not have to comply with some of the very 
important protections we included as part of the Affordable Care Act--
otherwise known as ObamaCare--especially to protect people who have 
been ill once before or have been injured once before, people who have 
a preexisting health condition, maybe a chronic condition that will 
require medical care throughout their lives.
  In the old days, which apparently the Republican Senator wants to 
return to, there were all sorts of abuses, I would argue, that 
insurance companies could employ in order to limit their exposure, if 
you will. They had annual limits. They had lifetime limits. They had 
the capacity to drop somebody from coverage after an illness developed. 
They had the capacity to say: No, we are not going to offer you 
insurance. They certainly had the capacity to charge discriminatory 
premiums based on the preexisting condition. That causes great concern.
  I just recently saw a report about how much a typical--put it this 
way: a woman with a breast cancer diagnosis who requires chemotherapy 
and radiation treatment and medication--how much she would be 
anticipated to spend out-of-pocket if she had a junk plan at the time 
that diagnosis was made. It was, on average, $40,000.
  We also need to talk about another impact these junk plans have, and 
that is, if you think you have a really good chance of being healthy 
for the next year, and you decide ``This is a risk I can take,'' you 
are then fundamentally changing the structure of the marketplace for 
everyone else. You can anticipate that this is a choice healthier, 
maybe younger people will make, and it has a distorting impact on 
premiums in the marketplace. In fact, that is why these plans were 
curtailed under the previous administration. Now, this administration 
is greatly expanding these. They are no longer short term. They are 
long term, and a lot of harm will come.
  I want to conclude and say that when we have an administration that 
first fought legislatively to repeal the Affordable Care Act and then 
acted administratively to undermine and sabotage the Affordable Care 
Act through all sorts of administrative Executive actions, including 
defunding the State navigators who helped people make wise selections 
for their insurance and also limiting the open enrollment period, and 
when we have an administration that has decided to go to court and 
asked the court to strike down a U.S. law in its entirety, we know 
there is sabotage going on.
  I think the choice for the American people couldn't be clearer. We 
want to make things better, and the administration--enabled by some of 
my Senate Republican colleagues--is walking down a path that has led to 
2 million people losing their health insurance and others at grave risk 
of losing it in the future.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, before she leaves the floor, I want to tell 
my colleague from Wisconsin--and I think I speak for the distinguished 
Senator from Nevada as well--we are counting on our colleague from 
Wisconsin to come back to this floor again and again to try to pass her 
bill. I just want to tell her I will be with her every step of the way 
because I think, colleagues, without the bill from the distinguished 
Senator from Wisconsin, what we are looking at is a new golden age for 
scam artists peddling insurance that isn't worth much more than the 
paper it is written on.
  I was struck by my friend from Wisconsin's mentioning the old days of 
junk insurance.
  Well, I was around for those old days. I remember when the health 
insurance system in this country was basically for the healthy and 
wealthy. If you were healthy, no sweat, you could get insurance. If you 
were wealthy, you just went off and paid the bills. But the insurance 
companies could go out there and clobber people with preexisting 
conditions. So that was junk insurance.
  But I am even older than that. I remember when I was director of the 
Oregon Gray Panthers. I would go to a senior's house, and they would 
pull out a shoebox full of policies--10 or 15 policies. The 
distinguished Senator from Nevada, who has done so much consumer 
advocacy for consumers, I am sure knows about this challenge with 
seniors. These policies weren't worth the paper they were written on. 
They had--because I am kind of a lawyer in name only--what were called 
subrogation clauses. So if you had two policies, and they basically 
covered the same thing, both of them would try to squirm out of 
covering it. Talk about junk insurance.
  Finally, I got elected to Congress, like my colleague activist, and 
we passed a law that said we are going to get rid of that system and 
that you could have really only one policy, except in unusual 
situations. There were strong consumer protections.
  But if you look at what the Trump golden age of scams is going to 
bring back, there are going to be lots of people who are going to get 
clobbered, and, as my colleagues know, the people who are really going 
to get hit by this are, for example, older women who are pre-Medicare, 
because very often, in their late fifties and early sixties, they have 
a lot of difficulty trying to find jobs that pay good salaries and jobs 
that have good healthcare coverage.
  I am so appreciative of what my colleague is talking about.
  We are going to hear a lot of buzz words. Opponents of the Baldwin 
legislation are going to talk about how they are offering flexibility 
and they are offering patient-centered care. But that is just a bunch 
of eyewash because what they really do, as you touched on, is to fail 
to give patients care when they most need care.
  Today, Americans ought to be protected from these worthless, 
predatory scams. One of the things that I was proudest of, really, 
before my colleagues came here, is a piece of legislation I wrote, the 
Healthy Americans Act. A number of Republican Senators were cosponsors 
of this bill. It had airtight, loophole-free protection to ensure that 
people with preexisting conditions didn't face discrimination.
  By and large, we got that provision into the Affordable Care Act. It 
meant, as John McCain knew--we often talked about it--that healthcare 
would no longer be there just for the healthy and the wealthy. There 
would be real protections for those with preexisting conditions.
  For all practical purposes, that was really one of the two or three 
centerpieces of the Affordable Care Act, because, talk about a new age 
in insurance, that was it. Healthcare insurance would no longer be 
there for the healthy and wealthy only.
  Senator Baldwin is here, and what she is trying to do--I am looking 
at that clock--is trying to keep the Trump people from turning it back. 
That is what they want to do when Senator Baldwin talks about the old 
days--a forced march back to the days when the insurance companies 
could really, in many instances, just beat the stuffing out of 
vulnerable people.
  I thank my colleague for what she is doing. I heard just a little bit 
about it before I came over. I basically said: Let's hold off on things 
for a couple of hours so I can go out there and stand with Senator 
Baldwin and her allies.
  I say to the Senator: To me, what is important is that you have been 
here today, and it is going to be even more important that you come 
back again and again and again so that that clock continues to move 
forward in terms of American healthcare and not go backward. I thank my 
colleague.
  We are really delighted to have Senator Cortez Masto on the Senate 
Finance Committee, where she has been doing a lot of good work in 
healthcare

[[Page S3245]]

for consumers and seniors. I look forward to her remarks and to working 
with both of my colleagues.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.
  Ms. CORTEZ MASTO. Mr. President, let me just say, on behalf of the 
State of Nevada, that I am so appreciative that I get to work with my 
colleagues from Wisconsin and Oregon. I thank them for their commitment 
because this is the No. 1 issue in the State of Nevada.
  I say to Senator Baldwin: What you are doing is really standing up 
for people and their right to have access to affordable healthcare in 
this country when they need it, access to medication when they need it, 
and the comfort in knowing that if they purchase a plan, if something, 
God forbid, should happen to them, then, they will have access to that 
medication and those doctors when they need it. Thank you for your hard 
work.
  I stand today because I want to tell you about one of these people in 
the State of Nevada. Her name is Carol Elewski. She is from Reno, NV. 
Carol has chronic asthma. She manages it with medications that cost up 
to $400 a month--$400 a month.
  In October of 2016, Carol had such a bad asthma attack that she was 
admitted to the hospital for 10 days as doctors struggled to get her 
breathing under control. Thankfully, today Carol's health is stable, 
but because of her preexisting condition and high prescription drug 
costs, she depends on the protections of the Affordable Care Act to 
keep her healthcare costs in check.
  This administration, as we have heard today from my colleagues, keeps 
chipping away at those protections. Literally, we have heard from the 
President that he is proud of sabotaging the Affordable Care Act. He 
has weakened the ACA by expanding access to these junk plans. These 
short-term, limited-duration plans don't cover essential services, like 
prescription drugs, emergency rooms visits, and maternity care.
  Today, I am joining my colleagues to, once again, urge that we do 
away with these scam insurance policies. These plans appeal to 
consumers because they are low cost, but they are also low benefit, as 
we have heard. Many people who purchase them don't realize just how 
limited the coverage is. All those details are in the fine print of the 
policies in dense legal jargon, and it is nearly impossible to 
understand. I am an attorney, and I will tell you that even attorneys 
have difficulty understanding that dense legal jargon in some of these 
policies. Consumers don't know that the plans they are signing up for--
because of the dense legal jargon and because they are not given 
specifics, and there is not enough transparency--don't even cover their 
preexisting conditions. Consumers may not realize that their coverage 
has annual or lifetime spending caps.
  Take Carol, for instance. Let's say she had signed up for a junk plan 
instead of an ACA-compliant plan--an easy mistake to make, since 
companies hide the differences between the two. With the junk plan, 
Carol's insurance could have refused to cover her healthcare costs 
because of her asthma. They could have denied payment for the emergency 
treatment she needed when she literally could not breathe, and they 
could have declined coverage for the essential medications she needs to 
keep the asthma in check.
  Under these junk plans, women who get pregnant don't get coverage for 
prenatal care or for delivering their babies. People with lifelong 
genetic conditions, like cystic fibrosis, can be denied coverage, as 
can those facing mental health issues.
  What is more, even if you don't buy a junk healthcare plan, these 
plans' very existence drives up our healthcare costs in this country. 
That is because younger, healthier people are more likely to risk 
choosing a limited junk plan because those plans are cheaper. That 
leaves the rest of the population, including many women and children, 
in a much more expensive insurance pool.
  Estimates say that junk plans could cost a family of four with an ACA 
plan over $3,000 in increased insurance premiums every year. The No 
Junk Plans Act that Senator Baldwin has introduced undoes the 
administration's order that allowed insurance companies to offer 
consumers up to 3 years of deceptive, skimpy coverage.
  Under the No Junk Plans Act, customers can only use these short-term 
plans for 90 days. The plans would work the way they were intended--as 
a bridge between coverage at one job and the next.
  I hear this all the time in Nevada. Americans have told us time and 
again what they want their healthcare to do: to cover preexisting 
conditions, keep down prescription drug costs, include women's health, 
cover mental health, and pay for emergency rooms visits.
  I am going to continue to fight for what the American people want, 
and that is the comprehensive coverage of the Affordable Care Act.
  We cannot let the administration succeed in doing an end-run around 
the ACA. The House has already passed legislation to do away with these 
flimsy and deceptive junk plans. Now it is time for the Senate to step 
up and do the same.
  Thank you.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
  (The remarks of Senator Udall pertaining to the submission of S. 1753 
are printed in today's Record under ``Submitted Resolutions.'')
  Mr. LEE. I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.


                      Recognizing the Senate Pages

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, today is the last day of the session 
for the Senate pages who served during the spring semester. I want to 
thank them for their hard work and service to the Senate over the last 
4 months. I wish you all well as you return to your home States with a 
greater appreciation for the Senate and our work here.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the list of pages 
graduating this week be printed in the Congressional Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

       Meg Balaji
       Elizabeth Bates
       Craig Birckhead-Morton
       Jackson Cargill
       Olivia Castilla
       Michael Cathy
       Brooke Culp
       William Deaton
       Gabe Fanning
       Caroline Ferry
       Cameron Fowler
       Sophie Hart
       Laura Hartman
       Ruthie Kesri
       Joe Lesser
       Dan McDermott
       George Moore
       Virginia Pillion
       Katerina Retzlaff
       Bella Sandoval-Encinas
       Matthew Shabino
       Caleb Shriver
       Hunter Steinlage
       Kara Swain
       Colby Switser
       Teagan Thompson
       John Wahlig III
       Jamie Yoder

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I might just add that, frequently, it 
is difficult to go back to boring high school. So I hope you are all 
able to acclimate yourselves to the real world again and always 
remember your experience here in the greatest deliberative body in the 
world.

                          ____________________