May 13, 2020 - Issue: Vol. 166, No. 90 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 2nd Session
USA FREEDOM REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2020; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 90
(Senate - May 13, 2020)
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[Pages S2388-S2412] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] USA FREEDOM REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2020 The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will proceed to the consideration of H.R. 6172, which the clerk will report. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: A bill (H.R. 6172) to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to prohibit the production of certain business records, and for other purposes. Mr. McCONNELL. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. SCHUMER. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Recognition of the Minority Leader The Democratic leader is recognized. Tribute to Hickey Freeman Mr. SCHUMER. Madam President, first, as you know, when I speak on the floor, I remove my mask, but there is a special reason to keep this mask on today. This mask was made by Hickey Freeman, in Rochester, NY-- by American labor, union labor, by a grand and proud and generous company that has been in Rochester for the last three centuries--the 1800s, 1900s, and now the 2000s. It is a wonderful company, and it has kept good-paying jobs in America to make fine clothing. It started making the masks, and it has given them to a local hospital at cost. So I salute Hickey Freeman. I salute the great trades men and women who work there. May they continue for hundreds of more years to provide jobs in Rochester and help when we need help. Coronavirus Madam President, yesterday, the House Democrats unveiled new legislation to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The American people need their government to act strongly, decisively, wisely, and this new legislation is the urgent and necessary response to what this crisis demands. As any one of us could have guessed, the Republican leader is rather predictably responding against the House Democratic bill to address the COVID crisis. His response is predictable because, for weeks, Leader McConnell has been preemptively slandering any legislation that has come out of the House as being ``a partisan wish list''--long before he even saw the bill. It was a paint-by-numbers response from the Republican leader. It continues to be. It didn't matter what was in the bill. In his eyes, not in the eyes of almost every American, it was going to be a far-left, partisan wish list. To fit the preordained narrative, last night, Senate Republicans were latching onto provisions that account for 0.0003 percent of the total bill--0.0003 percent. Talk about grasping at straws. It is so predictable that the Republican leader would oppose the bill before he would see what was in it, and now that it is so necessary for so many Americans, it is predictable that the Republicans are just saying no. [[Page S2389]] The Republican leader also called the bill aspirational. The Republican leader should know that it is not aspirational when a family can't feed its children; that it is not aspirational when Americans, for the first time, are worried about losing their homes and being evicted from their apartments; that it is not aspirational when Americans are facing a health crisis in which every one of us is afraid we might come down with a dangerous illness or spread it to a loved one. It is not aspirational. We are talking about urgent and necessary relief, but out of reflective, knee-jerk partisanship, the Republican leadership in the Senate basically declared the House bill dead on arrival before it was even announced. It is a shocking and incomprehensible position to take at this moment of national crisis. It would be one thing for the Republican leadership to say: Well, let's sit down and negotiate, and let's talk about where both parties can come together to do something for the Nation's well- being at this time of urgent crisis. Yet it has taken the position that there is absolutely no urgency to do anything at all. On Monday, here is what the Republican leader said. ``Republicans,'' he said, ``have yet to feel the urgency to act immediately.'' What will it take? Are they so wrapped around the hard-right ideology that they can't see the real needs of the American people? Is there no urgency with testing? Talk to your local businesses. Talk to your local mayors. Talk to your Governors. See if there is no urgency on testing. Is there no urgency to provide relief to renters and homeowners? no urgency to prevent firefighters, police officers, and teachers from being laid off by State and local governments whose budgets are underwater in both blue and red States? I would like to know how many of my Republican colleagues actually oppose providing the assurance to State and local governments so teachers in Iowa, firefighters in North Carolina, and police officers in Kentucky don't get laid off. The support our States need is in the House bill. It is very close to what the Governors--Democratic and Republican--have asked for. Leader McConnell frequently highlights the heroism of our essential workers, and I applaud him for that. Yet why don't we, in addition to giving speeches on the floor, put a little money in their pockets for the extra expenses they are undergoing? Why isn't there an urgency to provide them with hazard pay? That is in the House bill. Leader McConnell and President Trump have placed a great emphasis on reopening the country as quickly as possible. That is something we all want to see. So how do we achieve that safely? Far and away, the most important factor in reopening the economy is testing. We are far behind where we should be, despite the President's lies and mistruths about testing. Fauci made that clear yesterday. Remember that our President said on March 6, I think it was, that anyone who wants a test can have a test. That is even not true today. Deluding the American people and running from the truth to say what pops into your head so it sounds good to the media for that moment, which seems to be the President's MO, doesn't help. It doesn't help. Everyone knows, until this crisis is over and on into the future, we are going to need personal protective equipment to begin safely returning to work. As I mentioned, I wore this mask on the floor--a mask made in Rochester by Hickey Freeman. The House bill includes crucial support for the supply chain and manufacturing of PPE. Should we wait on that? Is that not urgent? Is ambulance workers and healthcare workers not having the PPE they need not urgent? Who believes that? Does Leader McConnell? Does President Trump? Do our Republican colleagues? It is just baffling that at this time of, probably, the greatest crisis we have faced in decades, both in health and economically, the Senate Republican leadership, instead of working with the Democrats to find common ground on these crucial issues, has decided it will be against taking urgent and necessary action to help the American people--in a time of national crisis--unless, of course, that means there being liability protections for big corporations. That seems to be their No. 1 concern. More than 30 million Americans are now unemployed, and more than 80,000 Americans have died. Just how many lost jobs, lost businesses, lost lives will it take before Senate Republicans begin to feel the urgency Madam President, on another matter, last week, Americans learned that the Trump White House had blocked the release of a document by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that contained guidance for safely reopening up the country. According to media reports, this guidance was painstakingly prepared by the CDC to help the country determine when and how it could begin easing social distancing without causing undo risk to public health--the further spread of COVID, the recurrence of a second wave, and more infections and more deaths. The CDC guidance includes detailed information and flowcharts to help guide States, local governments, businesses, schools, churches, religious institutions, and individuals as they consider these very challenging questions. Businesses want to know how and when to open. Citizens want to know how they should behave to protect themselves, yet get the country open. The CDC guidance includes detailed information and flowcharts to help. Now, a version of this document appeared in the media, but we still don't have the official document as completed by the CDC. Of course, all Americans, regardless of where they live or what parties they belong to, want to get back to normal as quickly as possible. I know every Member of the Senate wants that to happen as soon as it possibly can. I certainly do. Yet making the wrong decisions about when, where, and how fast to reopen could result in the loss of precious lives that could be saved, and the recurrence of a COVID second wave--God forbid-- could be worse than the first. In order to make these decisions widely, the country needs guidance from the Nation's best medical and scientific experts. These are literally matters of life and of death, and that is exactly why the CDC prepared this guidance. Yet the White House has blocked the release of the CDC guidance, reportedly so the President and his political appointees can make changes to it. As we all know, the President is not a doctor, and the President is not a scientist. Many don't even believe he is a stable genius like he thinks he is. It has become painfully clear over the past 2 months how unfamiliar he is with the disciplines of science and medicine. Anyone who would say drink bleach--use bleach--to protect yourself is not much of a medical expert. So it is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine any legitimate, constructive purpose in the desire by the President or his staff to edit the CDC's work. I wish President Trump and his aides could be trusted to tell the American people the truth about this public health crisis. I wish they could be trusted not to engage in the political censorship of the medical and scientific judgments of our Nation's foremost experts, but at this point in the crisis, after all of the faults, after all of the disinformation, after all of the transparent attempts at political spin, every American knows full well that the President and his staff simply cannot be trusted to tell the truth about the coronavirus. Just yesterday, the President claimed that COVID-19 cases are falling everywhere in America, but another report that is also yet to be released by the President's own coronavirus task force is said to show that its infection rates are spiking to new heights in a number of large and small communities around the country--places in Tennessee and Iowa, Texas and Kentucky. The point is that America needs and must have the candid guidance of our best scientists that is unfiltered, unedited, and uncensored by President Trump or his political minions. The CDC report on reopening the country is an important piece of guidance, and the Senate should unanimously support the uncensored release of that document. Therefore, I will now offer a very simple and brief unanimous consent request, and I hope all Senators will support it Unanimous Consent Request--S. Res. 572 Madam President, I ask unanimous consent the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of S. Res. 572, expressing the sense of the Senate that [[Page S2390]] the report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, entitled ``Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework,'' be released immediately. I further ask that the resolution be agreed to 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? The Senator from Indiana. Mr. BRAUN. Madam President, in reserving the right to object, in my mind, the argument that the White House and the task force have not been transparent is a faux argument by the minority leader. He is really trying to let career regulators at agencies like the CDC bog down the economy again with bureaucratic hurdles. I probably know that as well as any Senator here because, 12 years ago, I fought to reform healthcare and its related agencies that bogged the system down--a system that has given us healthcare costs that are double that of any other across the country. We will get back to that, but 80 Senators on both sides of the aisle weighed in on that before the coronavirus raised its ugly head. The White House and the task force have been beyond transparent in the midst of this outbreak, indeed, in its holding an unprecedented number of daily press briefings and in its allowing for a free flow of information that has been central to the White House's reopening efforts. This is not about transparency, and the White House is always going to be in favor of transparency. The President comes from a world of entrepreneurs, one in which we embrace competition. This is about the minority leader's trying to use the bureaucracy at the CDC to bog down the economy. From this point forward, we have to make sure that we adhere to everything the healthcare experts have told us, but we have to be able to do a couple of things at once, which means having a smart restart to the economy. The CDC and other health agencies were targets of the White House's deregulation efforts from day one, and they were the most challenging regulatory agencies to rein in. The Democrats and the bureaucrats, who are content with the status quo, have been blocking efforts to deregulate since President Trump took office. How can we do that when decades have brought us to the point at which the healthcare system, in general, doesn't make sense to a mainstream entrepreneur like me, who has found that a different dynamic works? The CDC, for example, was in the driver's seat during the initial stages of the outbreak. Its missteps on testing forced us to take a one-size- fits-all approach, which didn't make sense to many of us. We could have handled this in a way so as not to have now put us on the precipice of there being an even greater calamity. The inability to conduct early and wide testing in the United States, caused by the CDC's and FDA's overly prescriptive stodginess, prolonged the testing process in the early stages when it should have been expedited. The result has been one-size-fits-all, which we are contending with currently. Thanks to the White House's efforts to fight off the regulatory swamp at the CDC and its efforts to fix the testing problems caused by regulators, we now lead the world in testing. Yesterday, I submitted for the Record, from that over 2-hour briefing with the healthcare experts, that timeline referred to. It happened from late January through early March. Senator Schumer wants to release the CDC's version of the reopening guidance, but the White House and senior health officials rejected the initial CDC recommendations in that version because the recommendations were overly proscriptive, infringed upon religious rights, and risked further damaging the economy. Are we really going to let the CDC shutter the economy for a second time, like it did with testing, by its dictating overly proscriptive guidelines? President Trump's deregulatory agenda has proven to be an immediate success because we have gone from being initially mired in bureaucratic hurdles to our leading the world in testing and successfully flattening the curve and fighting the virus. I spoke to a CEO of a pharmaceutical company, which is headquartered in Indiana, who said the very same thing. It was stymied from the get- go. It, among other pharmaceutical companies, has put together an entrepreneurial effort to tackle this. It is not going to be done by trying to tie its hands. It is close to getting testing where it is going to work for all of us. I have a business that three of my four kids run. We want to make sure we have testing to make sure that we can bring employees into a healthy environment and take care of customers. All businesses share that concern. The minority leader and Democrats do not want to reopen the economy because, I think, frankly, we had the best one I have ever seen, in the 37 years I was the CEO of a Main Street company, that went from a little company like the minority leader always talks about. We share that interest. I was disappointed when the PPP did come out that they weren't helped first. We got that fixed. Let's stay focused on that. We keep moving the goalposts for reopening. If we do that, we risk, in economic terms, what is called demand and supply destruction, and there would not be enough Federal dollars to remedy that. The White House proactively gave us the appropriate roadmap to get the economy back on track. We should not leave something as important as reopening the country to career regulators at the CDC, an agency that set back our response efforts due to their overly prescriptive approach. U.S. testing exploded once the White House's efforts to increase testing and fight off the regulatory bureaucrats won out. The same thing will happen with reopening the economy, using the reopening guidance as a roadmap under the President's leadership. I object. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard. The Democratic leader. Mr. SCHUMER. Madam President, two quick points. My friend, who is my friend from Indiana, said the White House has always been transparent and believed in transparency. Does any American believe that? Does any Senator believe that? Does my friend from Indiana actually believe that the White House has always been transparent? Second, he has said that America leads the world in testing. Does any independent scientist believe that? Is there anyone who believes we are leading in testing; that we have done as President Trump said--that we have accomplished everything in testing? Does anyone outside the White House and their acolytes believe that? I doubt it. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority whip is recognized Coronavirus Mr. THUNE. Madam President, so far Congress has passed four coronavirus relief bills that have provided $2.4 trillion to meet the coronavirus crisis. Our goal has been to provide a comprehensive response addressing not just the medical priorities but also the economic impact this virus has had on so many American families. We have provided funding for coronavirus testing, for medical care, for personal protective equipment for frontline medical personnel, for vaccine and treatment development, for veterans, for nutrition programs, for first responders, for unemployment benefits, for elementary schools, high schools, and colleges, for farmers and ranchers. The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act, the third relief bill we passed, provided nearly $350 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses keep employees on their payroll during this crisis. When the program ran out of money, we provided another $310 billion to ensure that as many small businesses as possible were able to take advantage of this help. The CARES Act also appropriated $293 billion for direct payments to American citizens to help them get through this difficult time. At this point, government agencies are focused on getting all of the aid we passed out the door. Some programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program, have been up and running practically since day one. More than 4 million businesses have applied for or already received forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, enabling millions of workers to keep their [[Page S2391]] jobs. The vast majority of direct payments to American citizens, approximately 130 million so far, have been sent out. Other aid is still in the process of getting out the door. The Department of Agriculture recently announced it will use funds appropriated in the CARES Act, plus other money, to issue direct payments to farmers and ranchers affected by this crisis. These payments are expected to reach farmers and ranchers in late May or early June. Over the course of four coronavirus bills, we provided more than $500 billion to State and local governments. That is equal to roughly 25 percent of the yearly operating budgets of the 50 States combined. That money includes at least $185 billion for unemployment benefits, $150 billion for general relief funds for States, localities, and Tribes; $45 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund; nearly $26 billion for nutrition programs; $13 billion for school districts; $4 billion to help the homeless; more than $1 billion for first responders; and there is so much more. On top of that, Congress directed the Federal Reserve to provide an additional $500 billion in loans to help States and municipalities manage cashflow issues during the pandemic. A lot of the money that we have provided has already been sent to States while some is still in the process of being disbursed. Meanwhile, States are in the process of figuring out how to spend the money they have received--some they have spent and some they have not--which brings me to an important point. My friends across the aisle are pushing for more money, more money, more money. Yesterday, the House of Representatives unveiled a $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill--that is right, $3 trillion. But we haven't yet seen the effects of the money we have provided already. It is difficult to understand how Democrats can call for an additional $3 trillion--all money borrowed, I might add, on the backs of younger workers and our children and grandchildren--when they haven't even seen what existing funds have been used for or whether they have been used at all. Nobody is questioning--nobody is questioning that we may need additional money to address this crisis. Republicans have stepped up and appropriated $2.4 trillion--roughly, 50 percent of the entire Federal budget for 2020. That is an extraordinary amount of money, but these are extraordinary circumstances, and they call for an extraordinary response. But it is important to remember that every dollar of what we have appropriated for coronavirus is borrowed money, and today's young workers and our children and grandchildren are going to be paying for this borrowing. We are putting an incredible burden on younger generations. We have an absolute obligation to make sure that we are only appropriating what is really needed. The way we find out what is really needed is by carefully monitoring the implementation of the $2.4 trillion that we have already provided, not by rushing to provide trillions more before we know whether and where they are needed. Once the money we have already provided has been fully allocated, we will have a better sense of where we may need to appropriate additional funds and where we have spent enough. It is also important to remember that there are other things we can do in Congress besides borrowing money that younger generations will have to pay. Yesterday, the leader came down to the floor to talk about the liability protections the Republicans are pursuing for healthcare workers, businesses, and others on the frontline in response to reopening. As the leader noted, hundreds of coronavirus lawsuits have already been filed around the country, and these lawsuits represent a real threat to our economic recovery. Doctors and hospitals, for example, are making extraordinary efforts to protect patients and healthcare workers but are still reluctant to resume noncoronavirus- related medical care for fear of being sued if a patient were somehow exposed to the disease in the process of receiving care. Businesses are worried that they can be held responsible if one of their employees develops coronavirus, even if the business took every reasonable precaution to discourage infection. There is obviously a place for lawsuits when individuals or businesses engage in gross negligence or intentional misconduct. We will not be giving a free pass to anyone who fails in their basic duties during this crisis, but we need to make sure that medical professionals and small businesses and others can get back to running their operations and employing Americans without worrying that an army of trial lawyers is about to descend. There are undoubtedly other things we can do to help Americans get back to work and deal with the effects of coronavirus without spending trillions of dollars, everything from regulatory reform to ensuring that frontline volunteers don't face surprise tax bills. That is not to say that we will not be providing additional funding. In fact, it is likely that we will have to appropriate more money for the coronavirus response, but as I have already said, it is absolutely essential--essential--that we consider further investment carefully and only spend money where it is truly needed. My friends across the aisle tend to think that government money and government programs are the solution literally to every crisis. They are happy to throw taxpayer dollars around without thought to the consequences of future generations. Disturbingly, more than one Democrat has indicated that they would like to take advantage of this crisis to remake America in their own far-left image. That is not a responsible response. Republicans are going to continue to do everything we can to help Americans through this crisis. We are committed to meeting the country's needs while spending taxpayer dollars responsibly and with an eye to the burden we are placing on younger workers and future generations of Americans. We undoubtedly have more difficult days ahead, but our country is strong and so are the American people. We are going to get through this. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic whip is recognized Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, I came to the floor this morning to listen to the statements made by the other side of the aisle in reaction to the proposal of Speaker Pelosi to deal with the coronavirus and the national emergency we face. The Republican leader, Senator McConnell of Kentucky, as well as his whip, repeated their theme on the issue of the liability facing businesses and others because of the COVID virus pandemic which we are facing. In fact, the leader, Senator McConnell, has gone so far as to declare that there is a ``redline''--his words, a ``redline''--to bar any further assistance to State and local governments and other entities until we address this so-called liability question. He has gone so far as to say that he will refuse to fund the money that has been proposed officially by the Democrats to help our police, firefighters, paramedics, and teachers unless we provide guaranteed business immunity from COVID-19 lawsuits--lawsuits that might be brought by workers and consumers. Senator McConnell's guaranteed business immunity is an invitation, sadly, for irresponsible corporations to cut corners when it comes to protecting workers as well as protecting their customers. The McConnell redline threat will result in more people being infected by the coronavirus and more people getting sick--exactly the opposite of what we should be doing as a matter of policy. We also heard today, both from Senators McConnell and Thune, that there is no urgency in continuing to provide assistance across America because of the economic crisis that we face and certainly the public health crisis we face. I couldn't disagree more on both counts--the McConnell redline on guaranteeing business immunity as well as the argument that we have done enough. Let's sit back and wait and see what happens. I couldn't disagree more. Yesterday, we had a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Graham held the hearing and the title was ``Examining the Liability During the COVID-19 Pandemic.'' That hearing took place yesterday afternoon after Senator McConnell had come to the floor and had spoken about the concerns of businesses about lawsuits against them related to the COVID-19 virus. [[Page S2392]] In fact, Senator McConnell came to the floor yesterday morning and characterized the lawsuits that were being filed and pending because of this pandemic, and the words he used to characterize them were very explicit. He called it an ``epidemic of frivolous lawsuits.'' He referred to the ``minefield'' created by these lawsuits. He went so far as to call them a ``tidal wave''--``tidal wave,'' his words on the floor of the U.S. Senate when it came to these lawsuits related to COVID-19. So I went into this with my staff and said: Tell me about this tidal wave of lawsuits. Here is what we discovered about this so-called tidal wave of lawsuits. As of Monday, there are 958 COVID-related cases that had been discovered in a tracking database of lawsuits filed in the United States--958. But then we took a closer look. How many of these lawsuits were malpractice suits being brought against hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses, medical professionals? Nine. Nine lawsuits. There have been 1.3 million Americans diagnosed as infected by the COVID-19 virus, and 9 lawsuits have been filed. Senator McConnell calls that a tidal wave. A tidal wave? It is barely a ripple. We added 27 other cases for personal injury. We are up to 36 cases out of 1.3 million Americans who have been diagnosed as infected--36 cases. That is not to say that they are all serious or all frivolous. No way of saying. I am counting all lawsuits of personal injury and medical malpractice brought because of COVID-19. We took a look at other lawsuits. There are 260 lawsuits that have been filed by prisoners in jails arguing that they were held in an unhealthy, unsanitary, and unsafe condition. Is that what the Senator wants to stop? Does he consider that a tidal wave of lawsuits? There are 171 cases brought against insurance companies. In other words, a business is suing an insurance company over the coverage they have in their insurance policy. Is that one of the avalanche of lawsuits that Senator McConnell is talking about? There are 95 contract cases and 79 civil rights cases. We took a look at the civil rights cases being filed with mention of COVID-19, and, you know, many of them were being filed by businesses arguing that they should be allowed to reopen. Is Senator McConnell suggesting that we should be prohibiting those lawsuits as well? What it comes down to is this. There is no tidal wave of lawsuits. We shouldn't condition helping businesses, unemployed people, and individuals across America because of this phantom threat of lawsuits. I am surprised that they didn't refer to a caravan of trial lawyers coming up to the courthouses across America. It just isn't there. Yesterday, in a hearing, we had some excellent witnesses. One of the better witnesses, I will be happy to concede, was a person brought in by the Republican Senators. His name is Kevin Smartt. Kevin is the chief executive officer and president of Kwik Chek Food Stores out of Bonham, TX. He was speaking on behalf of the National Association of Convenience Stores. He told the story of what he has done with his businesses and outlets and 600 employees to make it safer for them. He has really gone, based on his testimony, to great lengths to create a safe workplace. But Listen to what Kevin Smartt said about the problems he faces. Here is his testimony: ``This was a challenge [mitigating the threat] because the guidance provided by the CDC, [OSHA] as well as state and local governments often conflicted with one another in addition to being vague and difficult to follow.'' What he was looking for and stated in his sworn testimony were guidelines for a safe workplace, guidelines for a safe business place, and they don't exist. One of the reasons came up earlier this morning when Senator Schumer came to the floor and said: We want to see the CDC guidelines released so businesses and individuals across America can see how to deal with this threat in the workplace. There was an objection on the Republican side of the aisle for the publication of these CDC guidelines. They can't have it both ways. They can't argue through Senator McConnell that we should have guaranteed business immunity from liability and then basically say to the businesses, as Mr. Smartt told us, there are no guidelines. You see, that is a defense in any lawsuit. We live by the guidelines. We have appropriate social distancing. We put up the plastic shields to protect employees and customers. We have people wearing masks. Those are all good defenses in any lawsuit that might be brought, but the Republicans want it both ways: guaranteed immunity for the business but no guidelines from the government as to what is a safe practice. Mr. Smartt said that makes his job next to impossible in his important business in Texas. But there were numbers given to us yesterday that really did show a tidal wave. Marc Perrone is the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers. He testified before our committee, and during the course of his testimony he told us that 162 of his workers--those who are in grocery stores, food processing, and particularly in meat processing, 162--have died from COVID-19. Now, working in a meatpacking plant is something I know a little bit about. I worked my way through college--12 months--in a meatpacking plant in East St. Louis, IL. It is dirty, hot, and dangerous work, elbow to elbow with fellow workers. I saw it firsthand. It has changed--I am sure--over the years, but the fundamentals are still there, and that is the danger of that workplace. The most dangerous workplace in America--meat processing. There have been 162 deaths and 25,000 of Marc Perrone's workers who have been infected so far with COVID-19. So, if you want to talk about a tidal wave, we ought to take a look at what those workers in meat processing are facing right now. Some companies are, conscientiously, trying to do the right thing and make their workplace better and safer and test their employees. I salute all of them. There are good people who are leading these businesses, and they are making good decisions, but they need the guidelines and standards of the CDC and OSHA. And the Republicans just objected to publishing those standards. I want to tell you, there is a way through this pandemic in a sensible fashion that is fair to business and fair to workers as well. This notion that giving guaranteed immunity to businesses across the board is the answer is just plain wrong. Those businesses--many of them--will take advantage of that umbrella of protection from any lawsuits. They will cut corners. More people will be infected, and there will be more bad results. Conscientious businesses like the one represented yesterday on the Republican side in the Senate Judiciary Committee deserve what Mr. Smartt is asking for--standards we can stand by and live with. HEROES Act Mr. President, let me say a word about this HEROES Act that was released yesterday by Speaker Pelosi. Yes, she has asked for more money to be spent. We have to decide whether it is worth spending. Is it worth giving more direct economic payments to families across America? I supported President Trump's call for those payments in the first round. Does he believe, do we believe, does the Senate believe that $1,200 is the end of the story for people who are struggling these days, facing unemployment, facing the hardships that are part of our economy? The flood of people at our food banks tells us that people need more resources to provide the basics for their family. Senator McConnell has told us that is not an urgent need. Well, he ought to go to a food bank in Kentucky and take a look around. He is going to see a lot of people--not just Democrats but Republicans and Independents--facing the hardships of this economy. To say it is not urgent that we provide money to hospitals--I will tell you, even in the areas of Illinois--smalltown, rural Illinois-- hospitals are struggling even if they don't have COVID virus infections to deal with. They are struggling because of the economy and people who are leery about going forward with elective surgery and outpatient treatment. One thing to keep in mind: Even if you happen to have a hospital in a remote, rural area with little or no infection from the COVID virus, if you want [[Page S2393]] to return to elective surgery, good medical practice requires that you test the patient before the surgery to see if they are positive for COVID virus. Hospitals I have talked to are also testing the drivers who are going to take the patient home after the procedure. We need testing so that these hospitals, even in areas not directly affected by this pandemic, can get back in business and keep their doors open. What a tragedy it is, in any State, to lose hospitals in rural areas. Speaker Pelosi, in her bill, the HEROES Act, calls for additional funds for these hospitals. I think there is a sense of urgency to that. Clearly, Senator McConnell does not. The notion that we would honor the people who are working on the frontlines to make sure that they would be able to continue to serve us and to risk their lives for us in treating the patients--I think that is a priority, and there is a sense of urgency, and I think Speaker Pelosi was correct in including that money to give those first responders, health workers, and others a helping hand. And let me say that this notion that we shouldn't be helping State and local governments--who in the world do we think is on the frontline in the battle against this national emergency, this pandemic? It is the doctors, of course, and the nurses, of course, but it is also our first responders, our policemen, our firefighters, and even our teachers. If we don't provide the resources that have been lost to the States and localities because of this pandemic, there will be cutbacks in pay and layoffs for sure. Is that how we are going to answer this national emergency? I believe there is a profound sense of urgency here as well. I notice that a couple of my colleagues are on the floor to speak, so I will wrap up my remarks by saying we need to stick with this program of helping America get back on its feet. We need to stand by the individuals who are struggling to feed their families and going to food banks to try to get by. We need to stand by those who are drawing unemployment insurance today with additional Federal help, trying to keep their families together while they are looking for a job and waiting for the economy to rebound. We need to stand by the small businesses that cannot survive if we don't continue our assistance. This notion that because it was Speaker Pelosi who suggested it, it has to be a bad idea is just plain wrong and selfish. Look at her proposals on their merits. They mirror what we have started to do with the CARES Act and need to continue to do. As I said yesterday, you don't build a bridge halfway across a river. You build it all the way. Let's build it to the point where our economy can rebound with strength and people can get back to work. Let's stand by the workers and their families and the businesses and support the HEROES Act that has been introduced in the House of Representatives. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Perdue). The Senator from Louisiana Unanimous Consent Request Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I am honored to follow my friend, the senior Senator from Illinois. I enjoyed his comments very much. As the Presiding Officer knows, this Congress has passed, I think, four bills to provide money to the American people, to the American healthcare delivery system, and to businesswomen and businessmen throughout our country to fight the coronavirus and the damage it has done to our public health and also to our economy. We have spent and will spend--because all of the money is not yet spent--about $3 trillion. That is $3,000,000,000,000. That is $3,000 billion. We don't even take in that much money in a year. We take in, in revenue, about 90 percent of that. So we borrow the money. I voted for the bills. We had to do it. The Federal Reserve, through its lending facilities, including but not limited to its 13(3) lending facilities, will probably spend at least another $3 trillion. I asked one of the senior officials at the Federal Reserve yesterday, and he told me that in the past 2 months the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve has doubled. Now, many of the transactions conducted by the Federal Reserve, of course, are loans, but we know that all of the loans aren't going to be paid back. And since the Federal Reserve can't lose money, we are going to have to appropriate probably even more money than we appropriated in the CARES Act to backstop those losses. So we are up to $6 trillion, let's say. Speaker Pelosi, as the Presiding Officer knows, has introduced a new bill that would spend another $3 trillion that, of course, we will have to borrow. Some Americans think we just print the money. We don't. We issue Treasury securities, which is just basically a bond. We borrow the money from people--from many Americans, many foreigners, including but not limited to China, and we have to pay that money back. So now we are up to $9 trillion--that is 9,000,000,000,000--and our total debt is--that is going to put us at about $28 trillion. I am not going to repeat the zeroes again. I think I have made my point. Now, Speaker Pelosi's bill is not going to pass the U.S. Senate in its present form. You don't have to be a senior at the University of Georgia to know that. It has provisions in it--for one thing, it costs $3 trillion, as I just pointed out. For another thing, it will expand the Affordable Care Act, which, of course, is controversial in the Senate. It will change our election laws dramatically. Some have suggested that Speaker Pelosi's bill will basically federalize elections, take them away from our States, which is certainly not contemplated and I think is forbidden by the U.S. Constitution. Speaker Pelosi's bill will dramatically change our immigration laws. It will provide amnesty for people who are in our country illegally during the coronavirus pandemic. It will provide a lot of money-- hundreds of millions of dollars--to people who are in our country illegally. Some will like that. Some will not like that. But the point I am trying to make is it will be controversial. Speaker Pelosi's bill will release many of our Federal prisoners during the coronavirus unless the Bureau of Prisons can affirmatively show that those prisoners are not going to go out and commit a violent crime. In other words, the Bureau of Prisons has to prove that John Doe, the prisoner who is being released, is not going to go out and commit a violent crime. That is an impossible standard, of course, to meet. Speaker Pelosi's bill is very pro-cannabis. I don't know how the Presiding Officer feels about cannabis--that is your business--but it is controversial in the U.S. Senate. I think it mentions cannabis something like 28 times. Finally, Speaker Pelosi's bill addresses, in many respects, the subject of race. For example, it directs every Federal agency to keep deposits in minority-owned banks. I am not suggesting that that is good or bad. I am just suggesting to you it will be very controversial. And, for that reason, the bill is not going to pass this body in its present form. Now, that sets up three scenarios. One scenario is that Speaker Pelosi, of course, she knows her bill isn't going to pass, and she doesn't intend for it to pass. It is what we call a messaging bill: She is sending a message on behalf of her party with an eye toward the November elections. It is done around here all the time. So one scenario is it is just a messaging bill, and it is political pageantry. There is a second possibility; that this is her opening bid and that the leadership in the Senate on the Democratic side and the leadership in the Senate on the Republican side and the Republican leadership in the House and Speaker Pelosi and probably Treasury Secretary Mnuchin will then sit down and negotiate, without much input, quite frankly, from Members of the Senate. I don't know how it works in the House. They will sit down and come up with something, and then they will come back to us. I am in labor, not management. They will come back to us and say: Here it is; take it or leave it--without much input from us individually. That has happened before. It has happened a lot before. Then we have a choice. We can either say, geez, you know, we weren't a part of this process, or we can moan and groan and grumble and then just follow our leaders into the chute. We can moo and follow our leaders into the chute like cattle and vote for it. [[Page S2394]] The third scenario, with respect to the Speaker's bill, would be that the second scenario happens but the Members of the Senate and the Members of the House bow up and say: Uh-uh. Not this time. We are not going to moo and follow our leadership into the chute like cattle. We don't agree with what they did. That is a particular danger in the House because, again, you don't have to be in Mensa to understand that Speaker Pelosi has drafted a bill to address the interests and concerns of the leftwing of her party in the House. So I can see a third scenario, where the powers that be negotiate what they see as a compromise and that compromise is taken back to the House and the liberal Members of the House--I don't use ``liberal'' and ``conservative'' in a pejorative sense--the liberal Members of the House say: The short answer is no. The long answer is hell no; we are not going to vote for that. That could also happen in the Senate on my side of the aisle. Our leaders could negotiate a package and come back and say: OK. Here is the deal. The liability provision is going to cost you $1 trillion in extra spending. I can see some Republicans--one of them is standing right over here. I don't speak for him, but he is my good friend from Florida who is going to have some heartburn if that happens. And then nothing happens. We have appropriated, as I mentioned--I don't want to belabor the point--$3 trillion, another $3 trillion if you add the Federal Reserve. Some of that money went to States and local governments--$150 billion. My State got about $3 billion. Many of the States need that money. I am not saying that we aren't going to have to share, sacrifice here. I am not saying that we shouldn't ask our State and local governments to submit to us revenue estimates. I am not saying that we shouldn't ask them to pare down their budgets. We ought to pare down ours as well. But, to me, it is undeniable that States and local governments have sustained damage from the coronavirus. For God's sake, their economy has been shut down. If you are a State that relies on sales tax, nobody has been buying anything--or at least not like they did before. If you are a State that relies on income tax, income tax hasn't been coming in because nobody has been open. Now, some of my colleagues believe that we should not give the States any latitude to use any of that $150 billion to address revenue shortfalls. And I understand that point of view. I do. You take Florida, for example. In a few moments, Senator Scott is going to speak. He was Governor of Florida for 8 years, did an incredible job, balanced their budget, grew employment dramatically. And I can understand--I am not speaking for my good friend, the Senator, but I can understand how someone in the Senate would say: Well, no. Every Governor needs to go reform his entire State government. But that is not going to happen--at least not within the next year. In the meantime, I believe that State and local governments have sustained damage, and I think that is just a natural fact. They have. I have a bill, S. 3608. It is called the Coronavirus Relief Fund Flexibility for State and Local Government Act. Senator Sullivan has another bill that does somewhat the same thing as mine. I think Senator Rounds has a bill. All my bill would do is this. That $150 billion we have already spent, which now has been given to the States and local governments, says it can only be used for coronavirus expenses. My bill will change that. My bill would not spend a single, solitary new dollar. Let me say that again. My bill will not add to our spending. It just says that the Governors have additional flexibility to spend the $150 billion that we have already given them. They can't spend it to bail out their pension systems. My bill prohibits that. They can spend it to address a revenue shortfall, which many of them have. We will never agree in this body about which State is well-managed and which State is not well-managed. One person's trash is another person's treasure. I have personal feelings. Senator Scott does. I see my good friend Senator Warner is here. He was a very distinguished Governor of Virginia. He will probably have a different point of view. There is one thing we can agree on. There is real danger that Speaker Pelosi's bill is not going to pass. It is not going to pass today, and it may not pass tomorrow, and it may not pass in June. The second thing we can agree on is that our States and our cities have sustained debt, and we can take off the handcuffs and allow the money we have already given them to try to help them repair that damage as we recover from this horrible pandemic. For that reason, I am going to ask for unanimous consent not that we pass the bill. I am going to ask in a second for unanimous consent that we just vote on my bill. We don't vote enough around here. I came up here to deliberate and decide. I didn't come up here to issue press releases and participate in delay and stultification. I want to do an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. Instead, we want an honest week's pay for an honest day's work. All I want to do is have a vote on my bill. If you don't like it, you can chew it up, spit it out, step on it, and vote no in front of God and country. But if you like it, you can vote for it, and let's be Senators again. For that reason, Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that, at a time to be determined by the majority leader in consultation with the Democratic leader, the Committee on Appropriations be discharged from further consideration of S. 3608--that is my bill--and the Senate proceed to its immediate consideration. I further ask that there be 2 hours of debate--see, we will have plenty of debate--equally divided between the proponents and the opponents of the bill; and that upon the use or yielding back of that time, the Kennedy substitute amendment No. 1581 be considered and agreed to, the bill, as amended, be considered read a third time, and the Senate vote on passage of the bill, as amended, with a 60-affirmative-vote threshold for passage with no intervening action or debate; finally, if passed, that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. Let my people vote. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? The Senator from Florida. Mr. SCOTT of Florida. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, I appreciate the comments and I respect the opinion of my colleague from Louisiana. The coronavirus pandemic is a significant and life-altering time in our Nation. Our country and our economy will never be the same. This is absolutely a challenging time for every level of government. We continue to work together to try and help the small businesses and individuals that are hurting and to get our economy back open as soon as possible. This crisis was unprecedented, and Congress took bold action to stem the spread of the virus and save our economy. But if we are not careful, Congress will create another, equally devastating crisis down the road--a crisis of our own making. Our national debt and deficits--already at sustainable levels--have skyrocketed as Congress has spent almost $3 trillion to address this crisis. At some point, we need to start thinking about the impact this spending will have on our country's financial future and the future of our children and our grandchildren. As I mentioned during my remarks last week, I appreciate the spirit of my colleague's proposal and understand his desire to help his State. I know he cares as deeply for Louisiana as I do about Florida. I want to help States too, which is why I support maintaining the existing restrictions tied to the Coronavirus Relief Fund that were included in the CARES Act. While imperfect, the Coronavirus Relief Fund makes sure spending is for coronavirus response. Regardless of whether we are removing the existing guardrails or talking about completely new funding, both actions would result in a blank-check bailout for States. Let's remember that we are talking about $150 billion. To put that in perspective, the median income per capita in Florida is about $30,000, and $150 billion will pay the total annual income for more than 5 million Floridians. Let's talk about who we are bailing out. It is not those on unemployment. [[Page S2395]] We took care of them in the CARES Act. It is not our teachers. We took care of them in the CARES Act. It is not our healthcare workers. We took care of them in the CARES Act. We are bailing out liberal politicians who cannot live within their means, and now we are asking Floridians to pay for the incompetency of Governors like Andrew Cuomo. We can't give hard-earned taxpayer money to poorly managed States that are going to turn around and spend it on their liberal priorities and to backfill their budget shortfalls and solve their longstanding fiscal problems. States like California, Illinois, and New York have big budgets, high taxes, and tons of debt because they refused to make the hard choices and live within their means. They know they cannot tax their citizens more. So now they have their hands out to the Federal taxpayers to rescue them. But that is not fair to citizens of States like Florida, where we made the hard choices. Let me show you this chart. From 1985 to 2018, this is how many people moved to Florida from other States. We gained over 2 million people. This is how many people left New York, Illinois, and California. Why did they leave? Partially, because they may like our weather better. But look at the tax rates. They are way higher in these States. Look at their business climate. Those three States are the three worst in the country. Look at what the Tax Foundation ranking is--some of the worst States in the country. Then look at the debt. We have more people than New York by about 2 to 3 million people, and their debt is seven times as much. As for Illinois, we are at least double, and they have almost three times as much debt. You look at this, and this is why income is moving to our State and away from these States. Now these States want us to tax our citizens to pay for their debt, their pensions, for all of their fiscal irresponsibility, and that is not fair to the citizens of our State When I became Florida's Governor in 2011, we had a big budget shortfall, and we had lost 832,000 jobs in 4 years. When I became Governor, we started cutting taxes every year. We cut $10 billion over 8 years. And guess what. Our revenues increased. The State went from losing hundreds of thousands of jobs over 4 years to adding 1.7 million jobs in 8 years. We turned a $2.5 billion shortfall into a $4 billion surplus, with $3 billion in a rainy day fund. I was the first Florida Governor in 20 years to actually pay down State debt. I paid down--with the support of my legislature and the success of our State--one-third of our State debt in 8 years. That didn't happen in California. It didn't happen in Illinois, and it didn't happen in New York. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said it was irresponsible and reckless not to bail out States like his--a State with 2 million fewer people than Florida, with a budget almost double ours. The opposite is true. It is irresponsible and reckless to take money from America's taxpayers and use it to save liberal politicians from the consequences of their poor choices. Every day, American families make responsible budgetary decisions. Well-managed States like Florida have done it for years. It is time for New York, Illinois, and California to do the same. As you can see from this chart, Congress has already allocated billions of dollars in direct and indirect aid to States and localities. Total direct funding from the Federal Government already exceeds over $1 trillion, and this doesn't begin to count another $1.3 trillion in indirect assistance to small businesses, individuals, and increased unemployment benefits to families in all of our States. We have $150 billion. Again, it is billions of dollars for expenses. By the way, this is not the way it is done with FEMA. This money has been sent with no obligation of the States to pay a portion. When I had my hurricanes, I had to pay a portion of the cost that the Federal government would participate in, but we still paid a part of the cost. We have $500 billion in short-term loans for municipal governments; $45 billion in FEMA disaster funds; $30 billion for education, without knowing whether education costs went up or down; $34 billion for mass transit community grants; $270 billion under the appropriations, on top of the indirect funding. So we have not ``not sent'' a lot of money to the States already. I appreciate that the Senator from Louisiana is seeking a vote on this proposal. However, this legislation has not been considered by any committee. Although I think we both agree that the CARES Act was far from perfect, Congress must work methodically before we make large- scale changes such as those proposed by my colleague. We have to get absolutely serious about how we are spending taxpayer money and the fact that this year's Federal budget deficit will be the largest in the history of our Nation. I have seven grandchildren. Four of them are watching here today: Auguste, Eli, Quinton and Sebastian. I have no interest in saddling them or children like them across the country with mountains of debt. To do so would not only be a political failure; it would be an abdication of our moral responsibility. It is time that we make the hard choices to put our Nation on a path to recovery--recovery from this virus, from the economic devastation it has brought with it, and from the fiscal calamity that decades of politicians have ignored. I hope my colleagues will join me in this fight to keep our country's future bright. I, therefore, respectfully object. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard. The Senator from Virginia. Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I come here to speak on a different topic, but I want to simply comment for a moment on the exchange between my friend from Louisiana and my friend from Florida. I can assure my friend from Louisiana who was ranked the best managed State in America by an independent source, Governing Magazine--the Commonwealth of Virginia--at least during my tenure as Governor. We are also proud to be ranked by Forbes Magazine the best State for business. I have looked at the bill of the Senator from Louisiana. It may not be perfect. I actually think we should be voting on it. I think it is a bit strange to me, and I say this as somebody from Virginia, where I am very proud of the fact that we have maintained a AAA bond rating. We are fiscally responsible. Our fiscal health, I would wager, is candidly better than virtually every other State in the country. We made the hard choices to make that happen. When we say that we are going to come in and bail out the airlines because they have lost revenues and we are going to come in and very generously take care of every small business when they have lost revenues, but when States and localities across the country are losing revenues at a record rate, to say we are not going to give them certain flexibility--I would concur, if we had a bill like that, and I would even put a clause and support a clause in place that would say let's prohibit any of those funds being used to take care of long-term obligations like pension funds. But the notion that somehow we are going to say we are going to take care of everybody else who lost revenues but we are not going to take care of a local government that has seen its meals tax dry up, its lodging tax dry up, its sales tax dry up, and you suddenly are on your own and you have to lay off police officers and firefighters and EMTs at this moment in time, it doesn't make sense to me. I hope the Senator will continue to press his case and we will get a chance to have that debate Coronavirus Mr. President, I rise today because we also face the greatest unemployment crisis America has seen since the Great Depression. More than 33 million workers have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of these folks have also lost their health insurance. I was just reading that 27 million Americans have seen their health insurance lost due to the virus. The Federal Reserve actually forecasts that 47 million Americans, or nearly one-third of the workforce, could lose their jobs. These aren't just numbers. They represent the pain being felt by families across the country, as we enter into the greatest economic crisis of our lifetime. Candidly, we need to face some [[Page S2396]] hard truths about how we got here and what will come next if we fail to act. The reason we are facing this dire economic crisis is simple: The Federal Government failed to take the appropriate early actions to control this virus. That is why we have had to do social distancing. Social distancing isn't very much fun. I see some of my friends and colleagues on the floor. It is particularly hard for people who spend their lifetime shaking hands and saying hello to folks. It has been tough on all of us. But it has saved lives, and it has begun to flatten the curve. We also know that things can't just go back to normal overnight--not before we have a vaccine, not before the government, working in concert with the private sector, solves the chronic shortages in testing and in PPE that have hampered our response to this pandemic from day one. States like mine are working toward a new normal where we gradually scale back social distancing, when it is safe to do so, but it is just not realistic to suggest, as the President has, that we can just immediately reopen the economy before we have contained the virus--as if companies will just simply resume normal business, knowing that another coronavirus outbreak could shut them down any day, as if a virus for which we still don't have a vaccine didn't just kill more than 80,000 of our fellow Americans. It is time to face the facts, about what it will take for our economy to recover from this public health crisis. There is not a magic switch that we can just flip. Unfortunately, there will not be a V-shaped recovery if we stay on our current course. Just as it took the U.S. years to emerge from the Great Depression, it could take years, or even decades, to recover from the coronavirus if we do not take immediate, bold action in the next coronavirus relief bill. Our first goal must be to prevent further job losses, as well as permanent disruptions like business closures, evictions, and foreclosures. Second, we must work quickly to reduce the economic uncertainty facing workers and small businesses. To do this, we need to provide immediate assistance to millions of American workers who have gone overnight from a steady job to unemployment through no fault of their own. I am not talking about another stimulus check. I am not talking about unemployment benefits. I am talking about paychecks. The proposal, which I put forward with Senator Sanders, Senator Jones, and Senator Blumenthal would create a national paycheck security program for American workers. A very similar proposal has been put forward by my friend on the other side of the aisle, Senator Hawley from Missouri. It uses a direct support model that has support on both the left and the right. As a matter of fact, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have both commented on it. We know those news organizations never agree on anything, but they both take this approach. It bears merit. We also know this direct support approach works because it has been implemented successfully in a number of European countries and in Canada, where the unemployment rates, yes, have bumped up by a couple of points but not to the level of what, I believe, will be over 20 percent unemployment and what the Fed and even the administration officials have predicted may reach 25 percent within the next month. Paycheck security means the Federal Government would help to cover the payroll expenses for rank-and-file workers who have been furloughed or laid off because of the coronavirus. These Treasury Department grants would cover salaries and wages up to $90,000 for each employee, plus benefits, and would run for at least 6 months. They would also provide funds to many businesses to help cover business operating costs, such as rent and utilities. The program would be delivered through the employee retention tax credit, which is something on which I was happy to work with my friend from Oregon in the earlier coronavirus bill. It is already set up at the IRS and can be leveraged to deliver far greater benefits than it currently provides. In exchange for the paycheck security grant, employers would commit to forgoing further layoffs and to maintaining the pay and benefits of their rank-and-file workers. They would also be required to suspend stock buybacks and limit CEO compensation for at least the term of Federal assistance. A national paycheck security program would immediately work to prevent financial calamity for millions and millions of American families. At the same time, it would maintain and, in many cases, reestablish that critical link between workers and their employees. The reestablishment of that link would put in place the healthcare benefits that many workers receive through their employment that they have now lost even though they may be on generous unemployment. If we reestablish this connection, the economy will be able to bounce back much more quickly after the public health crisis ends. The certainty provided by this program would also give consumers the confidence they need to begin spending money in the economy, which would accelerate the eventual economic recovery. It will be expensive. Yet I can say this: As someone who has spent a long time thinking about and working on trying to reduce the deficit, when we compare it to the over $660 billion spent on the PPP program, which has only taken up one section of our economy--businesses under 500--but has done nothing so far for those mid-level businesses--500 to 10,000--I think the alternative will actually be viewed as being much cheaper. It would actually be pennies compared to the damage that will be done if we fail to adequately assist our fellow Americans in this moment of economic crisis. I am pleased that my colleagues in the House have put forward an initial draft of their view of the next coronavirus relief package. It has a number of important provisions. However, it has not taken what I believe is the bold step of saying, before we simply refill some of the existing buckets--which have had, in many cases, mixed results so far-- perhaps we should take a pause and a timeout and ask: Is there not a better way to provide the kind of security and guarantee that the American people are looking for from their government? The one thing I do know is that my House colleagues and I share an enormous sense of urgency. With, at least, the official number of unemployment being at nearly 15 percent--a number that all of us expect to go over 20 percent when it is reported later this month--this is not the time to play wait and see. It is no exaggeration to say that we face the prospect of having not a recession but of having, actually, a great depression. With every day we delay, we drive ourselves deeper and deeper into the hole that we must eventually climb out of when the healthcare crisis is behind us. As we enter into negotiations over the next phase of the coronavirus response, I would encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to take a look at bold solutions. Let's give our fellow Americans the kind of paycheck security they deserve. Let's put paychecks, not stimulus checks, in their hands. Let's help them get back to work as fast and as safely we are able. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana H.R. 6172 Mr. DAINES. Mr. President, Americans want their privacy protected. For far too long, the Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, commonly referred to as FISA, have been used to trample the civil liberties of American citizens. For Montanans, the right to privacy is so fundamental that it is enshrined in our own constitution. In fact, very few States have such protections, but the drafters of the Montana Constitution recognized that privacy was essential to exercising all of the other freedoms that we hold so dear. The bill the U.S. House has sent us does have some good reforms, and it has some good provisions in it, including a provision from my bipartisan bill with my colleague from Oregon, Senator Wyden, called the Safeguarding Americans' Private Records Act, which would revoke the now terminated call detail record program, which secretly collected data on our cell phones and our land lines, as well as on our private conversations. Yet the House bill fails to enact real reforms to FISA that will [[Page S2397]] actually protect the privacy of the American people. We saw what a handful of scornful government bureaucrats did to President Trump when they abused FISA to serve their political motives. Our own government spied on an American citizen--a political adviser to then-Candidate Trump--with no oversight. What happened to President Trump can happen to anybody for any purpose, and that is a very serious problem. Republican or Democrat, we can't allow the abuse of our government intelligence services to be used for political attacks. It puts our democracy in danger, and it undermines the trust and the confidence that our citizens place in these same institutions that are meant to protect them. The House bill fails to prohibit the warrantless searches of browsing data in internet search history, and it fails to include any meaningful oversight and accountability. We need to get government out of our private lives and, instead, prioritize freedom and privacy. We can and must protect our national security and protect our civil liberties by making targeted reforms that will keep everyday Americans' privacy secure and continue to allow the government to go after the bad guys. The House bill does not go far enough, and we cannot compromise on an issue that is so vital to the very foundations of our government. Montanans sent me to Congress to get government off their backs, and I am working not only to get government off their backs but to get government out of their phones, out of their computers, and out of their private lives. At the end of the day, this is about protecting privacy, and today, this day, we have the opportunity to get these reforms right. I have been working on behalf of Montanans, with my Senate colleagues across the aisle, to ensure we take a very bipartisan approach to this issue In speaking on the Wyden-Daines amendment we will be voting on shortly, my bipartisan amendment is simple. It protects all Americans' civil liberties by prohibiting the collection of browser data and internet search history under section 215 of the Patriot Act. Browser data is some of the most personal and revealing information that can be collected on private citizens. Your internet search history can reveal extremely intimate information, including personal health data, religious beliefs, political beliefs, where you might go on your next vacation, even what you bought for your mom this past Mother's Day. I don't think the government should have access to such private information without a warrant. Section 215 of the Patriot Act is supposed to investigate potential terrorists, not spy on our own Americans' browser data. Let me be clear. My amendment doesn't stop the intelligence community from doing its job. I am grateful for our intelligence community, and it doesn't prevent it from doing its job or from accessing the data it needs to keep Americans safe. It simply requires our intelligence agencies to abide by the Constitution and work within our Nation's laws, which means requesting a probable cause warrant to get this type of information. That means they might have to go to a judge and prove they have a valid reason to believe that someone is involved in espionage or in a possible terrorism operation. Without my bipartisan amendment, the government will be able to access browser data through the secret 215 spy program with little to no oversight. At the end of the day, this is about securing our most basic Fourth Amendment rights, to protect our citizens' most personal data. In fact, recently, the Supreme Court found in the Carpenter decision that the government needed a warrant to access cell site location data because of how personal and invasive that information is. The current House bill before us does have a prohibition for the collection of cell site location data under section 215, and that is a good thing. My amendment simply extends this prohibition to include browser data and internet search history, which is even more sensitive and personal than location data. I agree with many of my colleagues that we need to have the tools in place to help find and stop our Nation's enemies, those who seek to harm America. We all agree on that, but we also need to make sure we are protecting Americans from our own government's spying and intervening in our personal lives. My amendment balances these important civil liberties and our national security by allowing the government to track down terrorists while also stopping them from violating the rights of law-abiding citizens. This is not a zero-sum game. We can have both. This amendment has strong bipartisan support. Senator Wyden and I have been working on this issue for months, and we are joined by a long list of bipartisan cosponsors, including Republican Senators Lee, Braun, and Cramer, as well as by Democratic Senators Leahy, Udall, Markey, and many more. The amendment is also supported by a diverse group of stakeholders across the political spectrum, from FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity on one end to the ACLU and Demand Progress on the other. Americans across the country overwhelmingly back this amendment. This is a core constitutional issue that brought a Democrat from Oregon together with a Republican from Montana. Montanans and Oregonians may have different priorities, but we all believe strongly in the right to privacy, in protecting our civil liberties, and in preserving our American way of life. I urge my Senate colleagues to stand with Senator Wyden and me to protect the privacy of all Americans, and I urge them to vote in favor of this amendment. Before I yield to Senator Wyden, I will also take a minute to speak in support of the Lee-Leahy amendment. This bipartisan amendment strengthens and clarifies the role and the authority of the amici in the FISA court. Unfortunately, we continue to see serious abuses and misuse of the FISA process. Most notably, the Department of Justice's inspector general found major abuses in applications to surveil President Trump's campaign adviser Carter Page. This abuse is just the tip of the iceberg. We need serious reforms that protect American citizens from government surveillance, and the Lee-Leahy amendment does just that. It gives Americans a fighting chance and brings some clarity and, importantly, some transparency to the FISA court. I encourage my colleagues to also join me in supporting this Lee-Leahy amendment. I see that my distinguished colleague and friend, the Senator from Oregon, Ron Wyden, is on the floor. I yield to Senator Wyden for his remarks. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon. Amendment No. 1583 Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I call up amendment No. 1583. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report. The bill clerk read as follows: The Senator from Oregon [Mr. Wyden] proposes an amendment numbered 1583. Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading of the amendment be dispensed with. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The amendment is as follows (Purpose: To remove internet website browsing information and search history from scope of authority to access certain business records for foreign intelligence and international terrorism investigations) On page 7, strike lines 13 and 14 and insert the following: cell site location or global positioning system information. ``(C) An application under paragraph (1) may not seek an order authorizing or requiring the production of internet website browsing information or internet search history information.''. Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from Montana for our work on this effort, and I hope we can count on strong support from his caucus, the Senate majority, when we vote in a little bit. I rise to offer this bipartisan amendment because I think a basic question needs to be asked at this unique time: Is it right, when millions of law-abiding Americans are at home, for their government to be able to spy on their internet searches and their web browsing without its having a warrant? Should law-abiding Americans have to worry about their government's looking over their shoulders from the moment they wake up in the morning and turn on their computers to when they [[Page S2398]] go to bed at night? I believe the answer is no, but that is exactly what the government has the power to do without this bipartisan amendment. I start by reflecting for a moment on how Americans are using the internet these days. They are helping kids with homework, checking out prescription drug prices for a sick parent, and visiting scores of different websites. In a pandemic, the internet may be their only connection to the outside world. So the questions we are presenting are, Don't those Americans deserve some measure of privacy? Don't they deserve better than their government's snooping into the websites they visit? How can this be that the government can spy on them when they are not suspected of doing anything wrong? Most importantly, how is this OK in America? With web browsing and searches, you are talking about some of the most intimate, some of the most personal, some of the most private details of the lives of Americans. Every thought that can come into people's heads can be revealed in an internet search or in a visit to a website: their health histories, their medical fears, their political views, their romantic lives, their religious beliefs. Collecting this information is as close to reading minds as surveillance can get. It is the digital mining of the personal lives of the American people. Now, typical Americans may think to themselves: I have nothing to worry about. I have done nothing wrong. The government has no reason to suspect me of anything. Why do I need to worry? Unfortunately, the question is not whether you did anything wrong. The question is whether government agents believe they have the right to look at your web searches. In other words, without this bipartisan amendment, it is open season on anybody's most personal information. Now, there is a simple solution: require a warrant. With this amendment, the government can go to court and, with a warrant, collect whatever it needs from those who actually threaten the safety of our people. In an emergency--something I feel very strongly about and worked for as a member of the Intelligence Committee--the Government can use emergency provisions, collect the information immediately, and settle up with the court later, proving once again that liberty and security are not mutually exclusive. This type of amendment helps to get you both. Now I will give a brief explanation of how we got here. Right now the Government can collect web browsing and internet search history without a warrant under section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. Section 215, from the beginning, has been the most controversial and dangerous provision of the FISA law. That is because it is so extraordinarily broad and so vague. Under section 215, the Government can collect just about anything, as long as the Government believes it is relevant to an investigation. This can include the private lives of many innocent, law-abiding Americans. As I indicated, they don't have to do anything wrong. They don't have to be suspected of anything. They don't even have to have been in contact with anyone suspected of anything. Their personal information in some way just has to be connected for relevance to what the Government is looking for. Back in 2001, when Congress passed the PATRIOT Act, Americans were rightly concerned about their Government collecting their library borrowing records without a warrant. My colleagues and the Presiding Officer might remember it because this was nationwide. People were up in arms about the prospect of the Government looking at library records of books they borrowed and the like. Well, I will state that what we are talking about today--looking at web history, browsing--it is thousands of times more invasive of privacy than the library records Americans were concerned about years ago. There is, regrettably, a long history of abuse of section 215. A few years ago, the Government decided it could use section 215 to justify the collection of every American's phone records. The Government secretly decided that phone records of millions of innocent law-abiding Americans were, again, somehow connected, somehow relevant to something the Government wanted. They wanted to get it without a warrant. It was only when this abuse was publicly revealed that Congress stepped in and began reining in the Government's phone record collection. The Supreme Court did determine recently that physical tracking of Americans as they move around requires a warrant. In this bill, Congress is finally getting around to stopping the Government from using section 215 to conduct warrantless collections of certain location data. The irony is--and I say this to my colleagues because of this unique time--that now that Americans have been asked to stay home and not move around so as to help our country fight this unprecedented contagion, they are more vulnerable to abusive surveillance than ever before. I think that is wrong. Whether they are in North Dakota, Washington State, Montana, Oregon, or in any of our home States, people are at home and they are living their lives online. Now more than ever I would say to Senators of both political parties--because I have long felt that these issues were fundamental to ensuring that we prove, as I stated earlier, that liberty and security are not mutually exclusive--that smart policies give you both, and not-so-smart policies don't give you either. During this pandemic, Americans deserve assurances that the Government isn't spying on them as they are home, where they think they are going to have some measure of privacy, and, probably, until they heard this debate, didn't know the Government could spy on them at home while they move around the internet. Americans deserve to know at this unique time that the Government does not engage in digital tracking of their personal lives. The warrantless collection of Americans' web browsing history offers endless opportunities for abuse. Donald Trump has called for an investigation of his political enemies. Attorney General Barr has injected himself into investigations that affect the personal interests of Donald Trump. All it would take is some innocent American's web browsing history to be deemed relevant to an investigation, and the Government is off to the races, collecting all of that personal information. Then, it wouldn't even matter whether that web browsing history had anything to do with the original goal of the investigation. For any number of reasons, the web browsing history of that innocent American could reveal, potentially, such embarrassing information that the person would be humiliated--humiliated--for years to come and, of course, it can be used against him or her. This is not a partisan proposition. Any administration given the direction of the law absent this amendment could be tempted to collect the web browsing and internet search history of political enemies-- politicians activists, journalists. Just before I wrap up, I am going to touch on some of the arguments against this amendment, because having served on the Intelligence Committee and having followed these issues closely, invariably, at some point in this discussion, someone is going to come and say: This bipartisan amendment is going to be pretty much the end of Western civilization as we know it. We are not going to be safe. It is not going to protect our liberties. It is going to set up arbitrary policies. I want to show how these arguments don't hold water. The first argument is that the Government needs this information before it can get a warrant. But without web browsing history, there is still plenty of information available to the Government, even without a warrant-- phone and email data, subscription data, business records. The biggest response to this argument is that it is Congress's responsibility to determine when some information is so sensitive that it requires a warrant. In this bill that was done with respect to geolocation information. I believe that digital tracking of innocent Americans demands the same protection. Let me say, as I did earlier, when there is an emergency, something that I have made a priority in my work on the Intelligence Committee, the government can go get the information immediately and then come back to the court later on and settle up. The other argument that I imagine we will hear is that this amendment [[Page S2399]] will create protections for Americans that don't exist in the criminal context. The problem with that argument is that Congress isn't legislating on the criminal law right now, but it does have a unique opportunity to prevent intrusive surveillance of Americans to prevent abuses. FISA requires an extra layer of protection. That is because, unlike criminal law, FISA is secret. It is also a nonadversarial process. It relies on Government representations that we have learned, from the inspector general, are frequently inaccurate. When the Government uses FISA information against Americans, there is little or no notice or opportunity to challenge the surveillance. Most of all, it is subject to something that I have come to call ``secret law.'' It is a law that nobody knows about in a coffee shop in Washington, North Dakota, or Montana. It is basically secretly interpreted. As I pointed out on the floor in the past, warning the American people about these secret interpretations, Americans sometimes don't learn about them for years, and when they find out, they are really unhappy. So I want to touch briefly on the amendment of the Senate majority leader, the McConnell amendment. Not only is the majority leader trying to block the bipartisan effort that we have been talking about, but his amendment would actually make the situation even worse. Right now the Government can collect web browsing internet searches of Americans without a warrant under section 215, but so far there has not been explicit congressional authorization for the Government to do it. The McConnell amendment would, for the first time, provide that authorization. The McConnell amendment would, in effect, tell the Government that Congress approves of the warrantless collection of Americans' most private information. Wrap your arms around that one-- Congress explicitly approving of the warrantless collection of Americans' most private information when millions of Americans are sitting at home today in Kansas, South Dakota, and all across the country, sitting at home believing that they have some expectation of privacy. The McConnell amendment pretends to limit the collection of this personal information of Americans, but it is just a fake. What the amendment really does is meaningless, since the Government cannot collect content. But no one knows what that means when it comes to web browsing and internet search history. There is no clarity in the statute. There is no settled law in the courts. The Supreme Court has not weighed in. What the McConnell amendment does is invite the Attorney General to produce yet more secret law, yet another secret interpretation, designed, as these things always are, to allow for the collection of the broadest set of Americans' most private information. At some point, I believe the Senate needs to focus on a little bit of history. Section 215 was secretly interpreted and abused in the past. The use of these authorities to spy on Americans' web browsing and search history is a screaming alarm, warning us of future abuses. What the American people deserve and what this amendment provides is clarity and transparency about what the government cannot collect without a warrant. One last argument is that we have heard that, if the Senate amends this bill, oh, my goodness, the House just will not do anything at all. Well, there were 75 House Democrats and many Republicans--I want to underline that, 75 House Democrats and many Republicans--who voted against this bill because it didn't include enough privacy reform. Adding key reforms like this amendment could only strengthen its support in the House. Americans will not tolerate warrantless Government spying on their most private information when they find out--when they find out that right now, during a pandemic, the Government has the authority to do that. I can't accept that level of unchecked surveillance. I am very grateful for the sponsors that we have. They were listed by my colleague from Montana. There are a great array of organizations that share our view that liberty and security are not mutually exclusive. I ask unanimous consent that a list of those organizations be printed in the Record There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: Access Now; American Booksellers for Free Expression American Civil Liberties; Union Americans for Prosperity; Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law Center for Security; Race and Rights Constitutional Alliance Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); Defending Rights & Dissent; Demand Progress Due Process Institute; Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC); Free Press Action; FreedomWorks; Government Accountability Project; Government Information Watch; Human Rights Watch; Liberty Coalition; Media Alliance; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); National Coalition Against Censorship; Oakland Privacy; PEN America; People Demanding Action; People For the American Way; Progress America; Public Citizen; Restore The Fourth; Secure Justice; South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT); TechFreedom; The Project for Privacy and Surveillance Accountability; Union of Concerned Scientists; Woodhull Freedom Foundation; X-Lab. Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I will state that I think right now, during a unique time in American history when millions of Americans are at home and on line, they deserve to have the U.S. Senate step up, defend their privacy and constitutional rights, and protect them from abuses. This is the moment to stand up for those millions of people who have to be at home because we come together to deal with this contagion. I believe the Senate ought to pass the Wyden-Daines amendment and oppose the McConnell amendment to protect those people at home. In wrapping up, I also want to commend our friends Senators Leahy and Lee. As was noted, they have worked with us on a host of these efforts. I think they have a terrific amendment to strengthen the oversight role of the independent amici of the FISA Court. I hope Senators will also support it. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cramer). The Senator from Montana. Mr. DAINES. Mr. President, this amendment is about protecting American privacy, about making sure that Government is not intruding on our most private data. It is about respecting the Constitution and the Fourth Amendment. The Wyden-Daines amendment simply prohibits the collection of browser and search history data under section 215. Browser data is extremely personal, sensitive, and should require a probable cause warrant to access. This data shouldn't be allowed to be collected behind closed doors with no traditional oversight. We can protect national security and protect the civil liberties and the constitutional rights of Americans at the same time. It is plain and simple. If you want to see an American's search history, than you better go to a judge and get a warrant. I yield the floor. Vote on Amendment No. 1583 The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment. Mr. BARRASSO. I ask for the yeas and nays. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second? There appears to be a sufficient second. The clerk will call the roll. The bill clerk called the roll. Mr. THUNE. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Alexander) and the Senator from Nebraska (Mr. Sasse). Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Alexander) would have voted ``nay.'' Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Washington (Mrs. Murray) and the Senator from Vermont (Mr. Sanders) are necessarily absent. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber desiring to vote? The result was announced--yeas 59, nays 37, as follows: [Rollcall Vote No. 89 Leg.] YEAS--59 Baldwin Bennet Blumenthal Booker Braun Brown Cantwell Cardin Cassidy Coons Cortez Masto Cramer Crapo Cruz Daines Duckworth Durbin Enzi Ernst Gardner Gillibrand Grassley Harris Hawley Heinrich Hirono Hoeven Kennedy King Klobuchar [[Page S2400]] Leahy Lee Loeffler Markey McSally Menendez Merkley Moran Murkowski Murphy Paul Peters Reed Risch Rosen Rounds Schatz Schumer Scott (FL) Scott (SC) Sinema Smith Stabenow Sullivan Tester Udall Van Hollen Warren Wyden NAYS--37 Barrasso Blackburn Blunt Boozman Burr Capito Carper Casey Collins Cornyn Cotton Feinstein Fischer Graham Hassan Hyde-Smith Inhofe Johnson Jones Kaine Lankford Manchin McConnell Perdue Portman Roberts Romney Rubio Shaheen Shelby Thune Tillis Toomey Warner Whitehouse Wicker Young NOT VOTING--4 Alexander Murray Sanders Sass The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 59, the nays are 37. Under the previous order requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is not agreed to. The amendment (No. 1583) was rejected. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah. Coronavirus Mr. ROMNEY. Mr. President, countless Utahns have stepped up to serve our State and country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their actions are inspiring, and they help save lives. I rise today to recognize some of these great efforts. I prefer to name individuals and their particular circumstances, but because of the tens of thousands--even hundreds of thousands--of people who participated, I am going to talk about groups and organizations. Healthcare workers from our State travel across our State and also across our country. Intermountain Healthcare deployed two 100-person response teams to New York City hospitals to help handle the surge of patients there. Physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other healthcare professionals were there for weeks, oftentimes 24-hour days. In partnership with Intermountain, University of Utah Health ramped up the State's lab services, medication trials, and testing capacity, including the HERO project, which has tested more than 10,000 Utahns to assess the disease spread throughout the State. The university's Wellness Bus brought mobile testing to underserved areas across our State. Groups around campuses are using 3-D printers to produce hundreds of face shields per day for the healthcare community. The businesses of Silicon Slopes have helped expand State testing efforts through the ``Test Utah Challenge.'' Tens of thousands have been tested through this program. The Utah Manufacturers Association and its membership and its businesses have spearheaded the effort to provide a mask, free of charge, to every citizen of our State. The World Trade Center Utah has partnered with my team to help make sure that local employers are able to access small business loans and other Federal relief programs. The Utah Food Bank is using mobile pantries to safely distribute food on a regular basis throughout the State and is teaming up with organizations like the Larry H. Miller Group to host statewide food drives. The Utah Farm Bureau has purchased food from local farmers and has then helped to distribute it to families in need. Project Protect, in partnership with Intermountain, University of Utah Health, and Latter-day Saint Charities, has produced face shields, masks, and gowns for frontline caregivers throughout the State. To date, more than 30,000 volunteers have sewn more than 3 million masks. These are just some of the many extraordinary organizations and individuals that have come together to help their neighbors. Our State's pioneering heritage is a big part of what makes Utah a model of what we can do when we work together as a community. I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. CRAMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Romney). Without objection, it is so ordered. Order of Business Mr. CRAMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that, at 4:15 p.m. today, the Senate vote in relation to the Lee amendment, if offered. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. CRAMER. Mr. President, I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. National Foster Care Month Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I come to the floor today to recognize this month of May as National Foster Care Month. In 1988, President Reagan brought attention to the importance of foster care. He first designated the month of May as a time to celebrate and remember all of those people in foster care, including foster parents, caseworkers, and others who work to improve the lives of those in care. We made some progress since that time with legislation, such as the Fostering Connections Act of 2008 and the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act of 2011. We provided new investments and services to improve the outcomes for children in the foster care system. More recently, in 2018, Congress passed the Family First Prevention Services Act. That legislation, passed in 2018, changed the way Federal reimbursement for foster care works, allowing States to provide services to parents before their kids are placed into foster care, not just after they go into foster care. It also ensures more kids will be cared for by a family, instead of being placed in a group setting outside the home. Last year, I introduced and Congress passed the Family First Transition Act to help States get moving to this new system and do it more quickly. A lot has changed since President Reagan first announced this month of May as National Foster Care Month, but one thing hasn't changed, and that is the tireless work of one Iowan in particular that I want to recognize today: Linda Faye Herring, of Johnson County, IA. Linda started serving as a foster parent in the 1970s, at least a decade before President Reagan recognized the importance of highlighting foster care. Over the course of almost 50 years, Linda has fostered over 600 kids. Over 600 kids in need of a place to call home, even if for a few days, were welcome in Linda's home. Just think of how many lives just one person, Linda, was able to impact by making the decision to be a foster parent. It is not just that it is 600, although that number is staggering enough. It is the birth parents of those children who, due to the help that they received from the foster care system, may have been able to treat their substance abuse and turn their lives around, to maybe be a mother or father to their children again. Also, this month honors all the parents who were able to adopt children who temporarily stayed in Linda's home. Linda has influenced her own family as well, because the family that she had continues her good work. It is this kind of example of selfless service that caused five of Linda's children and three of her grandchildren to also become foster parents. Foster parents deserve more recognition. They deserve more support, and even more services. I will continue to work here in the Senate to try to make these goals a reality. If you have ever considered becoming a foster parent, this Senator urges you to take that first step and reach out to your local child welfare agencies and tell them you are interested in being a foster parent. There is a great need out there for that. Sometimes the numbers can seem overwhelming. There are over 400,000 kids in foster care--some of them sleeping on the floor of their social worker's office due to the lack of available homes to care for them. But Linda is proof that just one person can make an incredible impact. [[Page S2401]] Over the years, I have heard from many kids in foster care. I make a special effort to hear directly from them on what they think needs to be improved about the system so future foster children can have a better life and a better future. Do you know what? After decades of being involved in this subject, I hear the same thing from them. They tell me: I would like to have a home. Why would they say they would like to have a home? They have been shifted in a 1-year period of time to two or three different foster homes in two or three different school districts. They say that they want a mom and a dad for the same reason, because they could have had three or four different moms and dads within the year. They want to be a part of a family. Those are the things I hear from them. Whether it is the biological family getting the help they need to parent their children or whether it is a foster parent stepping up to the plate, kids belong in a family. All children deserve a safe, loving, permanent home. Unfortunately, the foster care system has also been impacted by the virus that we have all been affected by in the last 4 or 5 months. Families who were already vulnerable were thrown into unemployment and instability. Children in temporary foster care placements are remaining there for a much longer time than usual, all because of canceled and delayed court proceedings, which makes staying in the foster home longer than getting into a permanent home. Foster parents, birth parents, and children in foster care, all lost access to peer networks and other vital support services because of the last 4 or 5 months we have been dealing with this pandemic. Especially impacted at this time are older youth who have aged out of foster care. Youth in college lost their housing when campuses closed. Those who were training for a career or are in the workforce have lost their jobs as well. Many of the provisions in the CARES Act will help foster families and the youth generally who are in their care. However, I will continue to work to ensure that needy relief for kids and families is provided. I ask my colleagues in the Senate to support my resolution marking May as National Foster Care Month to bring awareness to the issues that kids in foster care face and to honor Linda of Johnson County, the one I used as an example, who helped 600 kids--and not only Linda but all the other foster parents who make a world of difference. That is what this month is all about. I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Loeffler). The clerk will call the roll. The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Ms. ERNST. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Perdue). Without objection, it is so ordered. Coronavirus Ms. ERNST. Mr. President, over the last few weeks and months, Iowans from every corner and county of our State have faced unforeseen challenges and hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In trying times like these, the American people have always banded together and have risen to the occasion, and this pandemic is no different. This has been especially true in Iowa, where I have seen and heard so many heartwarming stories of Iowans stepping up to help other Iowans. Take Ann and Megan, for example, two teachers in the Knoxville Community School District. These two Iowans noticed that some of the residents at the West Ridge Specialty Care center might need some additional entertainment due to social distancing. So they started an Amazon wish list and, with the help of their community, were able to provide games and other fun items for the residents to use during the day. Then, there are the hard-working folks at the Iowa Motor Truck Association, who are helping to provide meals to our truckdrivers all up and down Interstate 80. And, of course, there are the great men and women of the Iowa National Guard, who are working around the clock to deliver medical supplies and materials across the State. It is not just individuals. It is also local Iowa companies and their workers who are stepping up and helping out. Kent Corporation in Muscatine has been working closely with local nonprofit partners to address food insecurity for folks in their community. Partnering with the Salvation Army, United Way, and the Muscatine Center for Social Action, they are preparing nearly 300 meals every Wednesday and Thursday to be distributed to families and individuals who are in need. Folks, while we are facing challenging times, we have also been reminded of the generosity and charity of the men and women across our Nation and the tremendous courage and resilience of our workforce. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, essential workers in the United States have continued in their daily jobs to care for and protect Americans, to produce and deliver food and essential goods, and to uphold our Nation's critical infrastructure. These men and women--our moms and dads, brothers and sisters--are putting the livelihoods of their fellow Americans ahead of their own. Each and every morning, despite the pandemic, they wake up, and they go to work. In this fight against the invisible enemy, the critical logistics operators, the supply workers, medical professionals, and the many others who are on the frontlines responding to coronavirus could not be more important to our victory. They truly are our heroes. Folks, our nation cannot weather this pandemic without our essential workforce. They, first and foremost, deserve our gratitude. Today, we want to say: Thank you. Thank you to our doctors, our nurses, and our healthcare workers who see firsthand the seriousness of this disease, yet put their own health and lives at risk to care for those who are infected. Thank you to our truckdrivers who have driven for thousands of hours--often back and forth on lonely roads--to keep our economy running and to deliver the necessities we rely upon and often take for granted. Thank you to our farmers who continue to work around the clock to feed and fuel the world. Thank you to our grocers, cashiers, and retail employees who keep our store shelves stocked and the checkout lines moving. And thank you to our childcare providers who have continued to care for our kiddos throughout these tough times. Folks, these frontline workers deserve more than a heartfelt and well-deserved thank you. They need to know they are appreciated for their selfless service. That is why I am proposing we give these heroes a break--a tax holiday--and allow them to keep more of their hard- earned paycheck. Together, with the sacrifice of these essential workers, the spirit of generosity we have seen across Iowa, and the service of our leaders at every level of government, we will get through this. The battle continues, but I know that we can and we will beat COVID-19. Stay safe and stay strong. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The bill clerk proceeded to call the rollcall. Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. President, I want to thank Senator Ernst for her work in organizing this effort today to come to the floor and talk about the good things that are happening in our States. We know that the pandemic has changed a lot about the way we live and work and do business, and Tennesseans are certainly no exception to that. One thing that has been consistent in this entire episode with the pandemic is the way Tennesseans step up to take care of one another. The numerous acts of kindness and graciousness that have been shown from neighbor to neighbor and community to community is something that shows the goodness of the American spirit. We are just blessed to be home to thousands of people who have demonstrated their desire to help make life a little bit better for their neighbors and their friends and sometimes for people they do not know but people who have expressed a certain need--people like Jeremy Hopkins [[Page S2402]] Jeremy is from Jackson, TN. He is an engineer at the Toyota Motor manufacturing facility that is in Jackson. He became aware of a need for PPE at a hospital in New Orleans. A friend of his made him aware of this need. Being an engineer, he fired up his personal 3D computer and printer and got to work making face shields for the healthcare workers in New Orleans. He worked with Union University and some of the students there--Union is located in Jackson, TN--and he was able to ship 57 shields to healthcare providers in New Orleans. And then he used his remaining materials to make another 173 shields for clinics in West Tennessee and Mississippi. Steve Archer, a U.S. Air Force veteran and medical supply and logistics technician from Fountain City, decided to head to New Jersey to see how he could help to make certain that PPE was delivered on time to hospitals and nursing homes and healthcare providers. While he was helping them, he contracted COVID-19. Since that time, he has recovered, and he is back on the job in Tennessee. The Knox County Baptist Disaster Relief team has also been working some long days at the Sevier Heights Baptist Church. What they are doing is cooking and assembling meals for the homeless. Our famous distilleries--moonshine and whiskey, which they have been making there in Tennessee--have changed their production to making mass quantities of hand sanitizers. Our wonderful singers and songwriters and musicians and choirs are holding concerts by Zoom and online to bring some relief and happiness to people all across the globe. We are all enjoying these virtual concerts. The always amazing and inspiring Dolly Parton is our Tennessean of the Year. Dolly is reading bedtime stories from her Imagination Library on YouTube each week. And, of course, I would be remiss if I did not thank some wonderful women who decided to pull out that sewing machine and get busy making face masks for critical workers all across the country. Dottie Godolphin, Marilyn Thomas, Janis Blair--well, Dottie, Marilyn, and Janis are seamstresses par excellence. They are creating these masks, and they are sending them where there is a need all across the country. We are known as the Volunteer State in Tennessee. This pandemic is showing us that just as throughout our Nation's history, Tennesseans have shown up when they have been called and asked to volunteer and to give their time, their efforts, their energy, their talents, their resources in order to improve the lives of others. We thank each and every one who is doing this. And those whom I have mentioned, we say a special thanks for doing your part to ease the life of others during this pandemic. 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. HOEVEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered Mr. HOEVEN. Mr. President, I rise today to join my colleagues in honoring all who have continued to work in service to our Nation during the COVID-19 pandemic. My home State and our Nation are blessed with dedicated citizens who have continued striving to keep essential operations going amidst the challenges we face. While there are many sectors that deserve recognition and will be mentioned by my colleagues, notably healthcare workers, teachers, post office employees, grocery store workers, law enforcement, of course, and many others, I want to focus for just a minute on the critical efforts of our agriculture producers--farmers and ranchers and so many others. Maintaining the food supply chain during this public health emergency is essential--absolutely essential. As we combat coronavirus, our farmers and our ranchers have continued to provide the food, fuel, and fiber that we need. Americans truly benefit every single day from the highest quality, lowest cost food supply in the world thanks to our producers, our farmers, and our ranchers. But as operations across the country are impacted, food security has been a particular concern. We greatly appreciate the efforts of those working to keep food on our tables from our producers to the workers. It is not only the farmers and ranchers, but it is also the workers at the ag processing facilities. We know there are real challenges there--we have heard about them-- but we appreciate so much all those workers at the processing facilities so we can get that food from the farmer or the ranchers to, ultimately, the consumer. That is why, as chair of the Senate Ag Appropriations Committee, I worked to secure nearly $25 billion in funding to help our farmers and ranchers to keep them going. They have faced incredible challenges--not only low prices but the difficulty in trade negotiations and really tough weather. For our producers, they have been fighting real challenges for some time now. With this COVID- 19 pandemic on top of it, it has made it very tough for them. They have hung in there and continued to do what they do best, which is produce our food supply. They have truly stepped up during this emergency, and I think they need to be recognized for it and thanked for it. Just a couple of weeks ago, R.D. Offutt Farms--one of the nation's premier potato growers and based in Fargo, ND--donated 37,000 pounds of frozen potato products to the Great Plains Food Bank. We grow a lot of potatoes in North Dakota, particularly in the Red River Valley. R.D. Offutt Farms is a large producer and donated 37,000 pounds of frozen potatoes to the Great Plains Food Bank. Another example, North Dakota Stockmen's Association and Foundation donated $20,000 to enable this same food bank--the Great Plains Food Bank--to purchase beef from North Dakota ranchers. One of the big challenges we have had out there is our ranchers continue to raise incredible livestock and incredible cattle, finest cattle in the world. The tough thing is they are getting such a poor price for them. We have to figure out how to do better because at the same time we see prices going up at the grocery store, our cattle producers are not getting compensated for those animals. Their prices are going down. We know it is tough in the processing industry with the coronavirus, but we have to find ways to make changes now and for the longer term so that our cattlemen are treated fairly and well for what they do, which is raise such a great quality beef product. Again, Stockmen's, their association, stepped up and made donations to the food bank. Another example, North Dakota Farmers Union, announced it is teaming up with the Farmers Union Enterprise to donate 30,000 pounds of pork ribs to the Great Plains Food Bank. Again, these are all examples of our farmers and ranchers not only producing our great food supply but stepping up and donating as well to help these people who need it. This generosity immediately benefits individuals and families across the region. It is helping to replenish the food bank's strained inventory, which serves many food panties, shelters, soup kitchens and charitable feeding programs. These efforts drive home the message that we are all in this together. Even in the face of tremendous challenges, we find a way to make the best of tough situations and take care of our neighbors. That is what this is all about. Another farmer sent this same message to the Nation. He took the time to write while out in one of his fields. He wrote: ``We will win the war on COVID-19.'' This just demonstrates the spirit of our farmers and ranchers and, of course, the spirit of our people across America. To have this hope and charity, even when our ag producers are working to overcome unprecedented difficulties, is truly inspirational. That is why I come to the floor to give thanks to our farmers and our ranchers who consistently go above and beyond not only to feed our Nation but to serve their communities across America. That is why we continue working with the USDA--the Department of Agriculture--to get vital assistance to our farmers and ranchers. We remain [[Page S2403]] committed to supporting them through this pandemic and through a myriad of other challenges they face, just as they support us every single day. I yield the floor to my esteemed colleague from West Virginia. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia. Mrs. CAPITO. Mr. President, I thank my friend from North Dakota. It is great to hear stories from his great State and to see how they are helping each other and how they are coming to each other's benefit. Really, as somebody who represents a State who has agriculture but not in the dimensions that Senator Hoeven has, it is wonderful to see how the ag community has stepped up not only in his State but in the rest of the country, and we are very, very grateful for that. We have seen so many people across this country step up in so many major ways. I often describe my State of West Virginia as one big small town. We always help each other in times of need, whether we know the person or not. The floods of 2016, I think, were a very good example of that. I call it our West Virginia spirit, and there is no question it has helped us through some very difficult times, like the time we are facing right now. Every day, each of us--and I am certainly no exception--hears stories about how someone or some group has stepped up to the plate and has gone above and beyond to help one's community, not to get attention and not because one is forced to, but because one genuinely, genuinely wants to help and make a difference. I join my colleagues today in highlighting some of those unsung heroes. Many of us have been able to telework. Here we are, serving in the Senate. We are here at our jobs. Yet most people who are on the frontlines don't have a choice. They are getting up every day and facing the challenges of this pandemic head on, but it does not come without some sacrifice. Kristin Schneider, who is a nurse in the cardiopulmonary intensive care unit at CAMC in Charleston, said that she quarantined herself from her family and friends due to the fear of giving the coronavirus to them since she cares for patients who have been affected by the disease. We forget sometimes that our nurses and doctors and those who care for folks who are afflicted have families too. Another nurse in the same unit said: No one felt like a hero when we gowned up or put our goggles on. We felt privileged. We got to hold the hands of our patients and to be their support, their friends, their family, and advocates because their loved ones were not allowed to be with them at this very difficult time. She goes on to say: I love my job. I love my team. I was never scared to go to work. Aspen Saunders, another emergency room nurse, said: The most moving gesture I witnessed was the prayer circle at the hospital's cancer center. That is a moment in my career that I will never forget. I was very overwhelmed with the power and volume echoed from those who came to pray. It was an inspirational depiction of community strength. During this time, I found that I am now more grateful for the things that I usually take for granted, such as my family being healthy. I thank these brave nurses, and I thank them for their great comments. I have also heard from teachers who have gone above and beyond the duty in making sure their students aren't falling behind, and they are creating programs for the students in their offering support for the communities across our State. Take, for example, Christy, who is a fourth grade teacher at Warm Springs Intermediate School in the Eastern Panhandle. She coordinated an effort with her fourth grade students to adopt a senior from the Berkeley County Senior Center, and through this program, they wrote letters. A lot of our seniors are living alone and are lonely and haven't been able to get out to connect with those seniors. Many students, like those at Ripley High School in Jackson County, are writing encouraging letters to healthcare workers to show them their support. Our first responders are also stepping up. I heard a very touching story about those at the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department--right in the heart of our State--and how they are driving around to different houses to celebrate the birthdays that are happening during this time. You can imagine what that could mean to a 4- or 5-year-old child to see a fire engine coming by in celebration of his birthday. Another inspiring story I heard was from a constituent in Wirt County. Her name is Deb. Deb realized the need for masks very early on, and she started an initiative called ``Sewing Faith.'' She has donated materials, and she and the women have sewn over 2,500 masks. They leave these masks on her front porch, in a sanitized container, for their healthcare workers. That makes it easy for them to pick them up. I have heard of businesses donating money to pay for the gas of healthcare workers. Our car dealerships are donating masks, and neighbors are donating food to the hospitals and to others who are not able to get to the store. Over the weekend, I heard of one of my neighbor's children. I asked: Where is he? They said he was across the street, talking to Sue. Sue was widowed recently. She is by herself, and he went in and had a cup of coffee with her. I have heard of West Virginians taking to the streets during this stay-at-home period and singing songs to brighten the days of their neighbors, and I have seen Facebook posts of young people who have offered to run errands for seniors or for those who are more vulnerable to this virus. This is the spirit of our country, and this is the spirit of my State, the West Virginia spirit. I could go on and on because there are 1,000 more stories like this, but do you know what? Just a few stories can give us hope, stories that help to shed some positivity on what is a very difficult, stressful, and lonely time. I have said on this floor many times that I am an optimist, and I know we will get through this because our country is strong, because our States are strong, and because my West Virginians are strong. We have heard some very inspiring stories this afternoon, and they are examples of kindnesses happening all across this country. This is the kind of kindness that we need today. We need it every day, but we really need it today. Think about all of these unsung heroes. Thank them, but also learn from them. Let's all learn a lesson here and spread some kindness throughout our communities. I yield the floor to my colleague from Indiana, who has, I am sure, some more inspiring stories to tell The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana. Mr. YOUNG. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from West Virginia. It is such a delight to serve with her and hear the stories of so many great Americans from across the country who are stepping up during this time of need. We are passing through a painful period. I think it is safe to say that it is one we never imagined we would live through. It is one I know we will never forget. It is not only the infected that this pandemic has hurt, for the coronavirus is robbing so many Americans of their ability to earn a living. It is taking away businesses they worked for decades to build. New anxieties are everywhere, and routines are upended. Our children are wondering when they will see their friends again and why their graduations were canceled. It is difficult not to feel hopeless or even afraid during times like these. Congress, I know, is sending every necessary support to workers and employers and is sending much needed supplies to medical professionals and hospitals. We are also removing redtape to help our economy withstand this virus and speed medical innovations to treat and to, eventually, cure people. Yet, although our government--a government of the people--is sending relief and will continue to do so, it is really our citizens who are leading the fight outside of government. We are showing a spirit that is uniquely Hoosier and, I dare say, uniquely American. Together, we are doing our parts, and, together, we will pass through this. We see the spirit in the incredible heroism of our healthcare workers and our caregivers. We owe them so much. They have been asked to bear the greatest burden, and they have answered that burden. In so doing, they are sacrificing their own safety and coming to the rescue where medicine cannot. [[Page S2404]] We have seen it, too, in the bravery from those in what we have deemed our essential industries. We know they were essential long before this crisis, but it took this crisis, it seems, to really amplify that fact. We have seen it in the actions of rank-and-file Hoosiers. You know, across my great State, there are countless acts of courage and compassion, Hoosiers who leave groceries on neighbors' doorsteps or who print off 3-D masks, even something as simple as to call an old friend. Maybe they live on their own, and they just need a word, a word so they will not feel lonely. In Floyd County, a florist I know dropped off azaleas at homes around the area. The accompanying notes read: ``During this time of darkness, we hope to bring you a little light.'' I can say these little lights are growing across our State in this otherwise dark time. U.S. marines are taught to confront problems with creative thinking; we like to say to adapt, to improvise, and to overcome. Similarly, when Hoosiers face tough situations, they roll up their sleeves, and they ask: How can I help? When Americans combine our innovative spirit with service to others, we can meet any moment, including the one we are in now. In just recent weeks, I have spoken to more than 22,000 Hoosiers, and I have been moved by the stories of compassion and generosity I have heard. I thought I would share a sampling of those with you today. I heard from Maria with Sowing the Seed. Now, Sowing the Seed began as a ministry, but it has grown into much more than that. In fact, it is a massive community project in Vincennes. They are sewing masks for those in nursing homes, seniors, the immunocompromised, and others during these challenging times. Twila, with Sure Clean, Inc., told me about their efforts to sanitize over 4,000 masks. Willie and I connected from Jennings County. Willie is helping out his fellow veterans. He is delivering food, mowing grass, doing wellness checks--doing his part. Sean and Ben with Olio--a startup in Indiana--are helping hospitals across the Hoosier State to coordinate patient care and reduce the further spread of this virus. Darrell, with Lifeline Youth Ministries, is making food boxes for kids in Elkhart, and he has provided hundreds of meals already. I also spoke with Crossroads Distillery, Huber's Starlight Distillery, and French Lick Winery, which have completely revamped their operations and are now producing and distributing hand sanitizer. The list of those who are asking how they can help and who are finding innovative ways to do so is, frankly, too long to recite here. This fight against the coronavirus has catalyzed our American can-do spirit. Problem solvers across this great Nation are taking the initiative, and to them, we say thank you. Let us move forward, intent that we and future generations might draw energy from this moment forever, and let us resolve to find new ways to be better citizens by using our God-given talents to serve others. The days ahead will not be easy, but we will endure them. The clouds will part, and when they do, we will care for those who have been hurt. We will rebuild what we have lost, and we will do it with the same spirit with which we are now fighting this virus. Thank you The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland. Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I am sure all of us are hearing a common question from our constituents, and that is, As we are starting to reopen our States, is it safe? Does our State have all it needs to safely reopen? It is now clear, as 50 States are starting to reopen, that they are doing so without having a vaccine in place--because a vaccine, at the earliest, will be available next year--and without therapeutic drugs that can minimize the healthcare risk of COVID-19. We are starting to reopen. So the question is: How do we safely reopen? Yes, we have the CDC guidelines, and we should be looking at the number of new infections in our States, at the number of deaths, and at the number of hospitalizations and be on a trend line that shows that the virus is under control before we reopen. Yet then there is a second element to safely reopening, and that is having adequate testing available in our communities. We need to have adequate testing so that we know where the COVID-19 virus is at any given time and so that we can trace those who come down with new infections in order that we don't have a massive communal spread of COVID-19, which would cause a second wave of misery for our communities and for our Nation. So these questions are being asked of me by people in Maryland: Can we safely reopen our businesses, and how will we go about doing that? Can we send our children to school? How about summer activities for our children? How about reopening places of worship? In each one of these cases, they have to be able to know whether there is an infection in their places of business, in their schools, and in their places of worship. That requires testing. The challenge today is that we do not have a national strategy on testing. The Federal Government and the Trump administration have not acted to set up as to the need. How much testing do we need to have to safely reopen our communities, and how do we develop that capacity? How do we determine priorities? I was pleased to see that, in the bill she recently released, Speaker Pelosi has recognized this and has provided additional Federal support to establish a national strategy on testing and will implement that strategy by having an adequate supply so that what we say we can do in testing, in fact, we can do. Despite the claims of President Trump, the United States does not lead the world in testing. This has been a failure of the Trump administration. America is not ahead of the curve in testing. We have a hard time even justifying being in the middle of the curve. Yet America usually leads and helps to bend that curve so that we can provide the global leadership to help all people, including those in the United States. Instead, under the Trump administration, we have abandoned our international involvement and U.S. leadership, which is not only hurting the global effort, it is hurting the American effort. We need a detailed strategy on testing. We need to know that we have that strategy in place and implement it so that we can reopen safely. We need to have adequate supplies, and we must reverse the attitude that we have seen under the Trump administration that each State is on its own. We need to have a national strategy. Maryland, like many States in the United States, has struggled to procure all of the components that are needed to perform diagnostic COVID-19 tests: nasal swabs, viral transport media, and chemical reagents. A lab must have all components in order to test properly, but due to unreliable supply chains, States do not have all of the needed components at one time. For example, a lab may have 8,000 nasal swabs, 6,000 viral transport media, and 2,000 chemical reagents. The amount of testing that lab can perform is limited to the number of reagents, and it has to run the diagnostic tests. So, as we look to be able to have the capacity to do what we need, we need to make sure that we have all three elements that are necessary for these tests. States' attempts to increase testing have been further hindered because there has been no action from the Federal Government to coordinate the supply chain. This week, President Trump announced that the Federal Government would provide States with 12.9 million swabs and almost 10 million tubes of viral transport media to help States test at least 2 percent of their population. That is a first step, but what about the reagents needed to analyze the patient's viral sample to determine if she is COVID-19 positive? Again, the States will be unable to perform substantial testing without all of the components. The Trump administration must not shirk from its responsibilities and leave the States to fend for themselves. For example, only the executive branch can solve the underlying problems of coordination in the supply chain to help States, businesses, and healthcare providers prepare for and respond to the trajectory of this pandemic. Testing is critical. In order to reopen businesses and schools, it is imperative [[Page S2405]] for States to understand the extent of COVID-19 circulating in their communities. True testing capacity means the ability to test all infected people and any close contacts that they may have. One measure of whether the United States has enough testing capacity is the ratio of tests that come back positive. Roughly 15 percent of U.S. tests are positive for the virus. The World Health Organization has stated that a positive rate below 10 percent reflects adequate testing. If the rate is higher, this means the United States is missing many active infections. For example, in countries such as South Korea that have virtually eliminated their coronavirus outbreak, the test- positive rates are below 2 percent. For the past 7 days, the United States has averaged around 291,000 tests performed each day, for a total of 9.3 million tests performed to date. Many public health experts estimate that the United States would need to double or triple that number of tests performed each day to ensure that the country can effectively test people with symptoms and their close contacts and conduct ongoing surveillance to detect new clusters of infection. The lack of any Federal plan not only mars the Nation's public health response but also hinders any economic recovery. The unemployment rate has surged to a level unseen since the Great Depression, the Labor Department announced last Friday. Only about one-half of American adults have a job, the lowest number of the population employed since measurements began in 1948. Data shows that the economic turmoil is driven not primarily by State and local governments' shelter-in-place policies but by Americans' fears that going outside would result in illness. Weekly surveys of thousands of Americans by the Democracy Fund and UCLA Nationscape project have found that a majority of Americans will not eat in a restaurant, go to the movies, or return to a shopping mall even if they were told they could. Our concern is that the Federal Government must partner with the States to increase this country's testing capacity in order to not only be able to reopen our economy safely but also to have Americans feel safe again. How do we do this? Well, we first need a national strategy on testing so that we can reopen safely. To date, we still do not have that. We need the protocols for testing. Yes, we do test people who have symptoms, but we also have to have enough testing done so that we know where the virus is in our community, because many people do not have symptoms and are infected by COVID-19. We need to have a national supply chain of the supplies necessary to conduct these tests. We need a game plan to get there. Yes, the Defense Production Act was passed by Congress for the purpose of national security. As President Trump said, we are at war. Let's use the Defense Production Act in order to have the domestic production of supplies we need to have adequate testing in our community. If we do all that, then, Americans indeed will feel safe that the plans that are being implemented by our Governors to reopen are backed not only by sound public health recommendations but by the support in our community to keep them safe. I urge my colleagues to do everything we need to make sure America has the testing capacity it needs, so that the American people understand that and we can get beyond COVID-19. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Colorado National Police Week Mr. GARDNER. Mr. President, we find ourselves celebrating National Police Week this year in a very unique and troubling time in our country's history. This is a week for our Nation to recognize the valiant service of police officers in every community and the sacrifices they make day in and day out. Particularly now, in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, such service has taken on new significance. Local police officers regularly put their personal safety at risk to protect our friends and families. Whether they are stopping armed robberies or helping someone change a tire, these officers go above and beyond in their duties each and every day. Today, police officers face a new risk in the line of duty, an infectious novel coronavirus that is unpredictable and deadly. Despite the unseen danger of this new threat, police officers and law enforcement officers around the country continue to go into our communities and perform their duties to protect and to serve. Sadly, too many have already seen their watches end because of this disease. In Colorado, one El Paso County sheriff's deputy made such a sacrifice. Deputy Jeff Hopkins contracted COVID-19 serving his community as he had done since 2001. Ultimately, the disease would take his life on April 1 of this year, merely 1 day after he was diagnosed. This tragedy was determined to be a death in the line of duty. It is a poignant reminder of the increased risk that our local police officers face during this global pandemic. It is a stark new reality for law enforcement that we must remember, as so many of us shelter in our homes free from such danger. Normally, thousands of police officers and their families would travel to Washington, DC, this week to participate in the annual police officers memorial service, a gathering to commemorate and honor the officers who made the ultimate sacrifice. I enjoyed attending many of these events and memorials to visit with the police officers from Denver, Weld County, Douglas County, and Jefferson County--officers, sheriff officers, and law enforcement from around the State of Colorado love them. While this memorial service is meant to honor more than 21,000 names engraved on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, it is a solemn event to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty in the previous year. Currently, more than 320 of the names engraved on that memorial are from Colorado. This year, they will be joined by three more: Colorado State Patrol Corporal Daniel Groves, Colorado State Patrol Master Trooper William Moden, and Colorado Department of Corrections Sergeant Joshua Voth. We will not have an opportunity to participate in the usual ceremonies to honor these fallen heroes this year. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the 39th annual memorial service had to be canceled. It is an unfortunate development to be sure, but I know that none of us are waiting for an annual gathering to honor these fallen officers. These are men and women who deserve to be honored each and every day. National Police Week is intended to serve as an important reminder. It reminds the Nation that police officers and law enforcement are an important part of our communities who give so much of themselves to keep us safe, and their families also give so much to all of us to keep us safe. It reminds law enforcement officers that they have not been forgotten and that we indeed have their backs. Throughout this week we have heard and will continue to hear about the brave men and women and their families who sacrificed not just their lives but also their physical and mental health, their personal safety, and their time and energy to keep all of us safe and secure. Needless to say, as the current pandemic lingers, such stories will become ever more startling and take on renewed importance. We must not forget these stories. Instead, we must use them as stark reminders to provide our law enforcement officers with immediate and long-term support to do their jobs safely and effectively. This is especially true as police officers play an ever more critical role in the fight against COVID-19. Examples of such support include better body armor to defend against ever-evolving weapons on the street; bolstering mental health care for the officers and their families, because it is not just the officer who goes through the mental anguish of service; and now the training and equipment they need to protect their physical health from deadly diseases like COVID-19. As we continue to design policies that address the pandemic, we must not forget these essential workers. Our cities, our neighborhoods, and our families depend on the dedicated work of their local police officers and police force--a work that is too often taken for granted, that is too often thankless. This week should encourage all of us to think about the sacrifices made by those who have sworn to protect us. It [[Page S2406]] should give us renewed motivation to support them and help them return safely to home every night. Additionally, I hope this week will encourage all of us to reach out to those officers and to their families to ensure they are getting the support they need from Congress. To all of those who defend that thin blue line, thank you. Thank you and God bless. You have my enduring support and that of a grateful nation. 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. LANKFORD. I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cotton). Without objection, it is so ordered. Coronavirus Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. President, this has been a busy week, walking through a lot of issues that are COVID-19 related, a lot of individual meetings, committee meetings, walking through what we can get done in preparation for the next step. I met with Francis Collins very early yesterday morning, and we were able to walk through where is vaccine development, what is happening in this current timeline with different treatment options. We are very optimistic on some of the vaccine developments with multiple different lines of vaccines and very hopeful that we will have a vaccine in place by this fall. That is, we could have hundreds of millions--or at least tens of millions of different vaccines that would be ready--well over 100 million that would be ready by Christmastime, it looks like. So we are continuing to push in that direction. I have had an untold number of conversations with the Secretary of the Treasury over the last 5 days, talking through the Paycheck Protection Program, trying to settle this issue of forgiveness. This has been a very big issue with small businesses and not-for-profits in my State and, quite frankly, around the country. There is no closing information on how the Paycheck Protection Program ends. They were very grateful to have the help in the beginning, but it is set up to be a loan unless you qualify for it. A lot of these folks took that loan that will then transition to a grant with the hope that everyone would be treated fairly, but the rules were not set in place. I spent a lot of time this weekend and through early this week with the Treasury Department. They released that finding today in a very simple statement; that if you are a truly very small business or not- for-profit--that is, your total loan was $2 million or less--you will be in what they call a safe harbor. You are not going to have to worry about audits or worry about followthrough at the end of it. It is going to be a very straightforward process for those very small businesses and small not-for-profits, if that loan is $2 million or less. Now, remember, that loan covers their total payroll for 2 months, so that is a truly small entity. Once you get into larger entities, they may have a loan from $2 million to $10 million to cover their entire payroll expenses for 2 months. Those folks will have a good-faith process that is also outlined that is a very fair process that has come out today as well. That is helpful. When I spoke to Secretary Mnuchin earlier today, I thanked him for getting this done. As we have worked through this process, I thought that was the most reasonable solution to provide the greatest clarity and simple paperwork for those very small businesses that don't have to worry about having to pull together a ton of documents for them. So, for $2 million or less for the loan, they will all be in safe harbor. Ukraine Mr. President, I even have worked on some non-COVID-related issues this week. Senator Rosen and I made contact with the Ambassador from Ukraine to talk about--in one town in Ukraine, some law enforcement sent out a letter to every person in the town saying, if you are Jewish, we need you to register to make sure that we can deal with crime in our community. That is appalling, so we contacted the Ambassador for Ukraine and said: Help us understand why there is leadership in one of your towns that is trying to register every Jew in your town, saying that it is because of crime issues. They are immediately pulling that back, doing an investigation, and I am grateful to the nation of Ukraine, which has been a very close ally and friend of the United States--especially in our pushing back against the aggressive Russia that is to their east--that Ukraine is continuing to speak out immediately for the basic freedoms of individuals to live their faith and not have to be registered by a local government. We are looking forward to an explanation on that in the days ahead Coronavirus Mr. President, the vast majority of the things I have worked on this week have been related to COVID-19, as we try to walk through the issues of my State, Oklahoma, in reopening. And multiple States around the Nation are slowly trying to find ways to reopen, as we see other nations doing as well. Italy, which was exceptionally hard hit, is in the process of reopening right now. Germany, which was also very hard hit by COVID-19, is in the process of reopening. Spain--now fully half of Spain is in phase 1 of reopening for them as well. South Korea, exceptionally hard hit, is not only reopening, they have already had an election and have had record-high turnout physically at the polls because they set up a social distancing process to do in-person voting. They had a record 65 percent turnout, the highest turnout that they have had in 28 years, in the first election post-COVID-19 outbreak in the country. So that is a very hopeful sign not only that they are returning to life, as we are, but they have also worked out a process to be able to have voting and safe voting processes. The White House has announced a tremendous increase in testing again--last week, with 2 million COVID-19 tests that were done, and the target for May is to do 13 million tests just in the month of May. So it has been a dramatic increase, as we are seeing a doubling of things here. There are now 79 different diagnostic tests that have been authorized. There have been 12 different serology tests that have been authorized. The FDA has granted 92 emergency-use authorizations, so there is pretty fast work to go through the process, knowing that this has only been a few months. So far, a total of $11 billion has been brought in to States and Tribes to offset the cost of testing for them. In fact, Oklahoma has received $87--almost $88--million just to deal with the testing issues in our State as we continue to see a rapid acceleration. In fact, my State is due to receive 90,000 swabs just this month to continue to do the testing there. So we have seen a pretty dramatic increase of engagement on testing, and that is exceptionally helpful for us. For the Treasury, they have made a lot of progress in getting out the economic impact payments to people. They have now sent out 130 million of those. Just in my State, 1.5-plus million of those economic impact payments have been made, totaling about $2.8 billion. That is coming as direct assistance to folks in my State. It has been a significant help to people who need to get it. The Paycheck Protection Program continues to help the smallest of businesses. The economic impact payments have gone out, even as the State is finally starting to come back alive, little by little, as we have worked through phase 1 of reopening and now are headed carefully toward a phase 2. I continue to encourage my fellow Oklahomans to continue social distancing; to wear a mask, which I do, in public; and to continue to keep a good attention to your own hygiene and take care of people who have other health issues or people who have, especially, heart issues or diabetes issues. They know to stay home and to keep themselves protected, and I encourage them to continue to do that. Now, while we are working through all of these things in the Senate and trying to find practical solutions and trying to work through things in a nonpartisan format, which is what we should do right now, taking on COVID-19, I was rather shocked yesterday when the House of Representatives released the details of the bill that they hope to vote on, on Friday. [[Page S2407]] This bill that they hope to vote on, on Friday, is a $3 trillion bill. That is larger than the previous four bills that we have voted on combined. It is a pretty dramatic expansion of a lot of issues that are not COVID-19 related. As we said in the previous conversation just a month and a half ago, what we focus on right now should be COVID-19 related, not trying to say it is a COVID-19-related bill and then stick a bunch of other stuff into it. It is over 1,800 pages. In fact, just the summary of it--if people want to see the summary document of it--is 90 pages long, just to get the summary of it. And it deals with a lot of issues that are certainly not COVID-19 related, and I think a lot of Oklahomans and a lot of other Americans would say: ``Why did they want to stick that in there?'' And they just think, look over here at this big number we are going to give the States and look over here at this big issue and don't pay attention to these other issues. For instance, I understand there are legitimate issues on trying to protect voting and to make sure that the voting this year can go off safely and can go off in a way that we can have great credibility on. That is what South Korea just did with record-high turnout with in- person voting, but that is not what this bill that is coming from the House plans to do this week. What they plan to vote on, on Friday, radically changes voting for the entire country, not for this year--permanently. It prohibits States, from here on out, from imposing any conditions or requirements for eligibility for voting. It gives absentee ballots mailed to every single person. It also breaks down any voter ID laws that are in any State and authorizes something called ballot harvesting, which has been exceptionally successful in California for Democratic candidates. It basically allows someone to come to your door and say: Have you voted yet absentee? If it is no, they can vote on the spot, and the person at your door can then take the ballot from you and say, I will go turn it in for you. Well, obviously, there are lots of moments for fraud in that. This would make that mandatory nationwide. That is a major issue, to change how we do voting forever and to break this down. This is not the time to try to cram this into a bill that is supposedly about COVID-19 and do a permanent change on that. It also does some things that I was rather stunned by, even for some of my colleagues on the House side. It changes the economic impact payments, and it takes away the requirement that they have to have a Social Security number. Well, if you take away the requirement that it has to have a Social Security number, what it allows, then, is for people who are noncitizens to be able to get the economic impact payments--up to $6,000 per household for any individual who is in the country. Well, that is a pretty dramatic shift in what we are doing. It allows people who are not legally present in the country to actually end up with economic impact payments as well. I don't think most people in my State would be someone who would agree with that, and they would want to know why we are trying to stick that in. It also does some pretty massive changes to how immigration is actually handled. It frees a lot of people who are currently under ICE custody right now. It enforces the release of those individuals. It awards Federal funding specifically to sanctuary cities. It prevents the deportation of anyone who is not legally present in the United States. It provides deferred action and work authorization for anyone who is working in a job here, regardless of legal status into the country, so it literally takes everyone who is not legally present here and gives them legal status during this time period. It changes the unemployment insurance in a way that is pretty dramatic. Currently, the unemployment insurance is greatly plussed-up during this time period. There is an additional $600 per week, per person, for anyone on unemployment insurance. That allows an individual in my State to make about $48,000 a year on unemployment assistance. The challenge is, there are many individuals who don't make $48,000 in their normal job, but they are making $48,000 now on unemployment assistance. This bill coming from the House changes that because that extra $600 per week expires at the end of July. It changes the expiration of that deep into next spring of 2021, regardless if your State is open for business or not. So, in my State, in Oklahoma, literally, it would encourage people who make less than $48,000 a year to not go back to work because they could make more by staying on unemployment insurance--not just through July but all the way through the rest of this year and through half of next year--regardless if your State is open or not, regardless if we have a vaccine or not. If we have a vaccine, let's say, in November, as Francis Collins states, you would still get this unemployment protection to be able to make $48,000 per year past your vaccination and deep into next year. I think that is a continual problem. I think that is an issue. In the bill itself, it actually sets up a series of changes in our Federal cannabis laws, at which point I immediately thought, OK, how much information is in this bill about cannabis? Cannabis is actually mentioned in this bill 68 times. I am not sure why that is in a bill dealing with COVID-19, but it does dramatic changes in our Federal cannabis laws. There is a section where it gives tax breaks to teachers, firefighters, and law enforcement folks--OK, that is great, but stuck right in the middle of that section is a tax break for billionaires, which I was shocked. It is an almost $100 billion tax break for the top 1 percent. It is stuck right in the section quietly in there, in the middle of the section for teachers, firefighters, and law enforcement. The student loan section was also interesting to me. It provides $10,000 of loan forgiveness to every single student around the country. I am sure every student would be grateful to have that, and I am sure every family would be grateful to have this, but it was not needs- based. It wasn't anything else. It was just $10,000--a blanket loan forgiveness for every single student across the entire country. Of course, there is no liability protection that is anywhere in it. The Paycheck Protection Program that has been exceptionally important to a lot of small businesses wasn't increased. Some things that are really needed at this time are not even addressed to help small businesses again or to help with liability protections, which so many businesses and educational institutions and nonprofits are asking the question: How do I reopen? What do I do? And how do I deal with the liability issues? That was not addressed at all. I have a lot of concerns about this bill, beginning with just the basics of: Why didn't they even try to negotiate with Republicans and Democrats. It was a straight Democratic bill in a time we desperately need to focus on not putting out a partisan thing and saying look: We are trying to be able to help, but don't look at all these hundreds and hundreds of pages of things that are not related to COVID. Let's try to actually solve the problem that is in front of us. It is serious. The issues we face dealing with health and the individuals who are on the frontlines right now at grocery stores and healthcare facilities and hospitals and truckers and convenience stores and folks who are doing carryout food--those folks are doing remarkable work, and they should be encouraged, not discouraged with a partisan bill that is coming out here that everyone knows is not going to go anywhere. Let's keep working together. What is happening in the Senate to try to establish bipartisan agreements on things, we should continue to be able to do. But flying in to do a messaging bill worth $3 trillion that changes voting in America and changes cannabis laws and does all kinds of other things is not what we need to do right now. Let's keep working, though, because there is plenty that does need to be done. I yield floor The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Delaware. Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, before the Senator from Oklahoma leaves the floor, may I ask a question of him? Mr. LANKFORD. Absolutely. Mr. CARPER. To my colleague James Lankford, who keeps a tab on his colleagues, do you know if any of our colleagues today is celebrating a birthday? [[Page S2408]] Mr. LANKFORD. You know what, in a colloquy with my colleague from Delaware, I do know someone who is a Senator-- Mr. CARPER. What are his initials? Mr. LANKFORD. The Presiding Officer, the Senator from Arkansas, I believe his birthday is today, Senator Cotton. Mr. CARPER. Tom Cotton. One of the TCs. We lost a really good TC, Tom Coburn, whom Senator Lankford knows passed away about a month and a half ago. It was a great loss to our country, to his State, and someone whom we will always celebrate here and revere for his dedication and his commitment and the example he set for all of us. We are glad the Presiding Officer is alive and well. I am going to ask him if I can proceed with my comments. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Delaware Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, I rise today following Senator Lankford. I want to say a thing or two about Senator Lankford, who is good friend, good colleague. We sit together in committee. In fact, he succeeded Tom Coburn in the U.S. Senate. When Tom Coburn was leaving, he said: I am leaving, but you are getting somebody better than me, and his name is James Lankford. I don't know if he is any better, but he is a worthy successor. It is a privilege to serve with the Senator. I think he knows that. I spend a lot of my time here trying to find ways not where we differ or disagree but areas where we can agree. I like to say that sometimes we may not see eye to eye on every single policy, but we ought to agree on the principles. Among the principles as we approach 4.0--the next major legislation dealing with this crisis--I hope one of the principles we can agree on is if State and local governments are having massive losses of revenue that are attributable to this coronavirus crisis, then they deserve help in terms of replacing lost revenue. I will give you a couple of examples. Delaware Transportation Trust Fund--we get a lot of revenues from tolls, and I am told by our Secretary of Transportation that our toll revenue is down by over 50 percent. Gasoline sales and moneys that we derive from motor fuel taxes are also down, as I recall, by more than 50 percent. It is not just Delaware, as we try to build our roads, highways, and bridges throughout the country and rebuild our infrastructure, improve our service transportation infrastructure, but States across the country are getting not just whacked but really destroyed with respect to our ability to continue our transportation infrastructure programs as well. I think that is an area that we ought to be able to agree on. The folks at Moody's every month gives us an update on how States are doing--the revenue stream, their spending stream--so we have an idea to compare this May to last May, maybe this past April to last April, and to actually see where the revenue loss is occurring and for us to do something about that. I think we can find agreement there. Another area we can find agreement on is when folks in States and local governments are incurring costs that directly relate to the pandemic--healthcare providers, the doctors and nurses, folks who are like orderlies and all kinds of folks who are in nursing homes, in the trenches. Public health, first responders, firefighters, EMTs are doing that kind of work, and States are spending a lot more money to help put them out on the streets and in nursing homes doing the job. We have an obligation to help States and local governments to deal with those. Another thing I hope we will do is focus on training and retraining programs. Unfortunately, too many businesses that are closed now will not reopen. There are a lot of people who have skills that made them employable to existing businesses that are no longer in existence. We need to be focused on the jobs that are out there that need to be filled and people need to be trained in. Why don't we focus our retraining dollars, Federal dollars, and marry those up with State dollars to address that need? Those are just a couple of ideas that I think we need to focus on. I hope we will work with the Governors and work with State and local officials, including mayors and county executives, and find common ground. I think there is plenty of common ground. I look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans alike here and across the country to identify that. I say that as a recovering Governor, who was once privileged to lead the National Governors Association. My hope is we can work closely with them, bipartisan leadership there. If we can't do that, shame on us. I think we can. That is not why I came to the floor. I didn't come here to join Senator Lankford in celebrating your birthday. Now that I am here, I am happy to note it and salute that Immigrant Healthcare Heroes Mr. President, I came today to honor the immigrant healthcare heroes on the frontlines in this battle against coronavirus. I want to begin by thanking our majority whip, Dick Durbin, a senior citizen. Don't tell him I said that. His staff is right here on the floor. The senior Senator from Illinois, he and I came to the House together a million years ago, in 1982. Maybe someday he will be a senior citizen as well. I want to thank him--all kidding aside--for leading the charge and bringing much deserved recognition for this extra group of Americans. Across this country of ours, every day there are doctors, there are nurses, there are medical support staff, there are healthcare workers, caretakers, and others who are getting up every day, leaving their own families and going to work on behalf of members of other families. Too often, these men and women are doing so at great personal risk to their own health and, as it turns out, to the health of the ones they love. Despite the grave risks to themselves, these heroes and heroines are undeterred. Day in and day out, week in and week out they continue to serve others and continue to demonstrate, by their own courage, what leadership by example is all about. For that, we are deeply grateful. Something that most Americans may not know is that one in six healthcare and social service workers--one in six--in this country are immigrants. When you add them all up, that is 3.1 million people who have chosen to make the United States their home and are giving back to their country, this country now, in profound ways. They are not a number. They are not a statistic. They are caring, courageous members of our own communities and of their own communities. Over the last 3\1/2\ years--and even before that on the campaign trail--we heard Donald Trump and many other people around him demonize immigrants. He has used fearmongering to claim that immigrants and Dreamers--the young people here when they were kids, maybe younger than kids--the President spent a lot of time fearmongering to claim that those immigrants and Dreamers are going to take all of our jobs away. That just isn't true. I know a bunch of those Dreamers. A lot of them are students at Delaware State University. They are students, young people, whom any parent would be proud to claim as their own. They are some of the finest young people I have met here or anyplace around the world. While many Americans are rightly following stay-at-home orders, these men and women are often putting their own health and safety at risk to do some of the most critical jobs every day. I believe it is important that we recognize these immigrant healthcare heroes who are playing a truly critical role in the fight to protect their fellow Americans. I mentioned a minute ago that there are 3.1 million healthcare and social service workers in our country. Today, I want to highlight the story of one of them. Her name is Cesarina Ramirez. She is standing right here over my left shoulder. She is a nurse. She is a nurse at one of Delaware's federally qualified community health centers. It is called Westside Family Healthcare. We only have three counties in Delaware. They are in Northern Delaware, New Castle County, where two- thirds of our residents live, and also in Kent County, which is where Dover is, the capital of our State, and Dover Air Force Base, the finest Air Force base in the world. Westside Family Care, like the nearly 1,400 federally qualified community health centers across the country, helps to deliver quality, primary care [[Page S2409]] services in underserved areas every day. Every day--without a lot of fanfare or acclaim--they do what my mother used to call the Lord's work. That is what she used to call it, the Lord's work. Cesarina and her colleagues in Wilmington have been serving our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to take the next several minutes to share with my colleagues and the American people a part of her story, why she became a healthcare worker and why she continues this work now, serving a largely--but not entirely--Spanish- speaking population, even during the hardest of times like the times we are living in today. What I am going to do in the next several minutes is share with you Cesarina's story. It is not in my words; it is in her words. This is what she looks like. She works in Wilmington, DE, not that far from where my wife and I live. I probably met her a time or two. I didn't recognize her because she had her mask on here today. Delaware is a little State, so you meet just about everybody. Here is her story--in her words. My name is Cesarina Ramirez, and I was born in the Dominican Republic. My family came to the United States when I was seven years old, and I'm the oldest out of my 3 siblings. My father was a doctor in the Dominican Republic and my mother was a teacher. As my dad got older and started his family, he couldn't help but notice all the corruption and crime that there was in Dominican Republic. He wanted the American dream for his kids. As did his wife. So, he decided to leave everything behind and move to the land of opportunities: the United States of America. My dad became a taxi driver. He was working overnight while going to school in the mornings. After 3 years of hard work, he graduated with an Associate's Degree in Radiology. Both of my parents are deceased now, but their courage and work ethic live on in each [of] their children. My siblings and I could not be more grateful for their unselfish decision they made for us. I have been working for 10 years at Westside Family Healthcare, where I'm a team medical nurse. I educate patients about medical conditions to help them identify lifestyle changes that can benefit their overall health and goals The one thing that I love the most about my job is that I'm able to make a difference in someone else's life. As the years passed, I quickly learned about the Spanish interpretation among our patient population. As a Hispanic and with Spanish being my first language, I recognize that sometimes it is easier for a patient to speak in their native language when it comes to medical concerns. I like that I can be the voice of the patient, and their number one advocate. I have observed instances of patients receiving care from a provider that has the same cultural background and speaks the same language, resulting in positive health care outcomes. In these cases, the patients appear relaxed, are willing to ask necessary questions to obtain knowledge and there is a mutual understanding of goals and plans to improve patient care. Taking care of patients is a privilege. I think it is a privilege to serve the people of Delaware and our country. She feels that way about her patients. Looking at the difference in the amount of help that can be provided to the community has truly been an inspiration to work hard and try to be the best nurse I could be. That is the end, if you will, of what she has said. I wanted to share that with all of you today. I don't know if Cesarina will see these proceedings or hear my words or hear her words through me, but I want to say thank you for that message, Cesarina. Thank you for all you are doing to serve our community in Delaware, even during these most difficult and challenging times. The United States and the first State are more than lucky. We are blessed that you are on our team in this fight against the coronavirus. To all the other immigrant healthcare heroes who are serving their fellow Americans throughout this country--and to those who are fortunate enough to have been born here and serve--we salute you. We salute you. We thank you for looking out for the rest of us so that we might enjoy the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We are better for having you here among us. We appreciate the lifesaving care you are providing for so many of us. If you are out there hearing the sound of my voice and you are an immigrant, a healthcare hero, or if you know someone who is, I would encourage you to share your story with us on Twitter or Facebook. Just use the hashtag ``immigrant healthcare hero.'' I am going to say that again. Use the hashtag ``immigrant healthcare hero.'' We would love to highlight your story and thank you as well. I don't see anyone else waiting to salute you on your birthday and commend you. Not seeing anyone, I will 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. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Delaware. Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. CARPER. My staff was nice enough to put this at the end of this statement. I would get in trouble if I don't include it. Once again, to Cesarina and all of her coworkers at Westside Family Healthcare, as well as the many healthcare workers in Delaware and America--throughout America--working on the frontlines of this pandemic today and every day, we salute you. We are forever grateful for the work you are doing to keep the rest of us safe and healthy. As the Presiding Officer is a military veteran, Army, I am a veteran as well, Navy, and the last Vietnam veteran serving in the Senate now that we do not have John McCain. I am not sure what they say in the Army when people are doing a good job, but in the Navy we say two words, ``Bravo Zulu.'' That means ``good going.'' In your case, grateful. Keep up the good work, Cesarina and all the other viewers across our country, whether they be native- born Americans or folks who become Americans by choice. Thank you for giving me that extra dispensation. 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. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. H.R. 6172 Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, both at home and around the world, the fight to defeat the coronavirus seems all consuming. It has changed virtually every part of our lives, from the way we work to how we grocery shop. It dominates our conversations, our news cycles, and social media feeds. It is easy to feel like this is the only threat that the world is facing right now, but even a pandemic isn't enough to stop those who want to bring harm to our country or to the American people. As our fight against the coronavirus wages on, our dedicated counterterrorism and counterintelligence experts continue their critical work to identify potential threats against our country and to prevent them from being successful. One of the most powerful tools in their toolbox is the ability to covertly gather information about bad actors. That is absolutely critical to national security. Yet our commitment to public safety can be at odds with privacy and individual liberty. So we, as a country, must have sincere trust in both the people and the processes that govern that activity. That is why I fear that recent events have put our trust of both in grave jeopardy. Last December, the inspector general for the Department of Justice released his report on the FBI's counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign and its purported contacts with Russia. This 480- page report outlined a pattern of concerning behavior by those who were charged with protecting and defending the United States and upholding our laws. The inspector general has detailed a number of truly disturbing and alarming facts about how the Russia investigation was conducted, specifically when it has come down to the abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He has identified 7 mistakes--I think he was being generous in calling them mistakes--in the initial Carter Page FISA [[Page S2410]] application and an additional 10 mistakes, or errors, in 3 renewals. Now, these were not typos or misspelled words. These were significant and material errors that misled and affected the independent judgment of the FISA Court, or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In other words, they presented erroneous information--sometimes by omission, sometimes by commission--which may have affected the decision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. To make matters worse, even as new and exculpatory information came to light, this information was not provided to the FISA Court. In a nutshell, this report raised a big red flag and led to the inspector general's conducting a subsequent audit on unrelated cases to see how widespread the problems were, but that audit revealed even more problems. The inspector general recently released an interim report based on a sample of 29 FISA applications. For four of these, the FBI could not even locate the Woods files, which were meant to include supporting documents for the claims made in the sworn applications. For the remaining 25 applications, an average of 20 ``issues'' were found in each, with 1 application having 65 ``issues.'' You might as well use the word ``errors.'' This is alarming and absolutely unacceptable. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has been amended several times over the more than 30 years that it has been law, particularly since 9/11. In light of these developments, it is time to, once again, strengthen the oversight of our Nation's intelligence activities and restore trust in our critical institutions. FISA reform is part of the congressional ``to do'' list. It has been for some time, and it still is. Before key provisions could expire last year, Congress extended these authorities through mid-March to provide time for a debate over future reforms. Of course, back then, no one suspected that we would be working on a pandemic response when that deadline arrived. With the coronavirus spreading across the country, it was hardly the time to debate the long-term changes that should be made to this program. So the Senate passed a short-term extension. Had our colleagues in the House passed that bill, those authorities would have still been intact through the end of the month. Unfortunately, as we know, that is not what happened. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act's authorities expired nearly 2 months ago, and now our national security experts are without the tools they need to keep the American people safe. That must change. The bipartisan bill that we are considering today would reauthorize certain FISA provisions that are important to our national security while it would make significant reforms to prevent future abuses like we saw in 2016. At a time when it is clearly needed, this bill would strengthen the congressional oversight of the FISA process. It would also take steps to prevent future abuse of the FISA Court by requiring transcripts of court proceedings and increasing penalties for those who knowingly abuse the process for inappropriate reasons. One of the most significant changes we would see as a result is an end to the call detail record, or CDR, program. This program was created in 2015 to replace bulk collection with a more targeted approach, but the program has been riddled with issues from the start. Two years ago, the National Security Agency said that ``technical irregularities'' made it difficult to actually implement the program. The National Security Agency received a jumbled mess of call detail records from phone companies, and it was not able to separate the data records it should have received from the ones it should not have received. As a result, it ended up deleting all of the records dating back to 2015 when the CDR program was established. Clearly, this program was not delivering the targeted approach it was intended to provide. In fact, it just created more work--all to end up empty handed This legislation will put an end to the CDR program. The National Security Agency has said the cost simply outweighs the benefit, but we want to make sure we are also not wasting valuable human resources on a program that is failing to achieve its intended purpose. Above all, this legislation will restore authorities our counterintelligence and counterterrorism experts need to protect the American people. In order for these authorities to protect the American people and serve their intended purpose, we need trust--trust in the FISA Court, trust in our congressional committees, and trust in the professionals who actually work with these authorities. The USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act will go a long way to restoring that trust while we continue to work on longer term reforms and empower our intelligence officials to carry out their sworn duties. This bill received broad, bipartisan support in the House, and I hope it will enjoy similar support in the Senate. This legislation will ensure that these critical national security tools remain intact while it takes serious quality control measures to prevent abuse. We can't have a repeat of the disastrous FISA abuse in 2016, and we cannot allow these critical surveillance authorities to disappear. The best of tools can be misused by people who are intent on abusing their power. That is what happened when the inspector general revealed the FISA warrants that were issued against the Trump campaign and Trump's associates in an effort to try to come up with some evidence of collusion and obstruction. In the end, not even the special counsel was able to find enough evidence to be able to make those cases. We shouldn't confuse the tools with the people who abuse those tools. We know that the Attorney General, William Barr; Chris Wray, the FBI Director; and Mr. Durham, the U.S. attorney who has been deputized by the Attorney General, are currently conducting investigations that will, perhaps, even lead to criminal charges, indictments, and potential convictions of those who abused these authorities in the past. That should not change our attitude toward providing these necessary tools--things like business record collection, roving wiretaps, and lone wolf authority. By and large, these are tools that are used by law enforcement on a daily basis for domestic critical cases. Yet we are going to deny those tools to our counterintelligence officials? It makes no sense whatsoever. Our counterintelligence and counterterrorism experts rely on those authorities to keep us safe, and it is time we return this critical tool to their toolbox. I look forward to supporting this legislation and to restoring these lapsed authorities, which are critical to our national security. 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. LEAHY. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Blackburn). Without objection, it is so ordered. Amendment No. 1584 Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I must admit that when I look around this body, it looks a little bit different than when I first came here, and I will be glad when we get back to normal. In the meantime, I want to say that I entered the Senate in the wake of Watergate in 1975. It was a time when the American people's faith in their institutions, including their intelligence agencies, was profoundly shaken. I remember standing on this floor, and the very first vote I cast was in favor of creating the Select Committee to Study Government Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans. That was called the Church Committee. It was the forerunner of our Intelligence Committee. Through the Committee's work, the American people soon learned of years of surveillance and other abuses that had occurred at the hands of the U.S. intelligence agencies. In response, the Senate came together, Republicans and Democrats together, to pass sweeping reforms to rein in this overreach. So much has improved over the 45 years with respect to the intelligence agencies' compliance with the law. I must admit that seeing the changes over the years gives me a great deal of confidence that we can continue to develop. But we do know that there are some inexcusable problems that remain. We have seen time and again [[Page S2411]] that the system we created with the government lawyers seeking approval for surveillance in a secret surveillance court falls short of protecting Americans' due process rights. I know a lot of our intelligence professionals. I have no doubt that our intelligence professionals work very hard. They are dedicated to protecting Americans, and they strive to follow the rules. I don't doubt that at all, but I can't escape the conclusion that the rules are simply not good enough. A process that operates in total secrecy, with no checks on the government's allegations or portrayal of the facts at issue, is bound to fall short. When it comes to justice--justice which is a bedrock of our democracy--well, to say it falls short is not good enough. Last fall, the Justice Department inspector general issued a report that detailed 17 errors or omissions in the FBI's FISA applications to surveil former Presidential campaign adviser Carter Page. While the inspector general did not find that the mistakes were politically motivated, those of us who were at those hearings know that the errors were nonetheless serious, and we have since learned that they were not isolated incidents. In March, just 2 weeks after the House passed the very legislation we are considering today, the inspector general released an even more damning report. He sampled just 29 applications for FISA surveillance. In those 29, he found deficiencies in 25 of the 29, with an average of 20 issues on each application. Errors included a failure to disclose all exculpatory evidence. That is simply unacceptable. It strongly indicates that something is wrong and needs to be fixed within the FISA process. I joined with Senator Lee of Utah. We have been working together to do just that--to define what the fixes might be. The heart of our proposal is to improve the amici program we created with the assistance of Members such as Senator Blumenthal with the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015. We created a process by which the FISA Court could appoint amici to provide an independent perspective on certain complex issues before the court. Amici do not act as defense attorneys, representing the target of the surveillance. They serve the court. But we gave the court narrow grounds to require the appointment of amici--novel or significant interpretation of law. While amici have since served the court well, they have only been appointed 16 times over the last 5 years. We have to do more to encourage the appointment of amici in cases that involve serious constitutional issues. My amendment with Senator Lee would create a presumption of amici participation in cases involving significant First Amendment issues, not just ``exceptional concerns'' as in the House bill. Importantly, we also create a presumption of amici participation when the FBI considers the case to be a ``sensitive investigative matter'' which the FBI would call an investigation involving the domestic media, a domestic religious organization, or a public official. I think all of us should agree that in those instances we ought to have somebody independently looking at them. Most critically, though, we would leave the decision to appoint amici entirely up to the FISA judge. Even if it would fall into all of these categories they could still say no. As a result, the argument that the expanded amici participation would duly burden the court doesn't even withstand the slightest scrutiny. If the judge believes amici would not be appropriate because the case is too time sensitive or too simple or too routine or for any other reason--any other reason--they have the discretion to not appoint amici at all. Under our amendment, throughout the FISA process, the judge maintains complete control. It is not a burden on the court. What it is doing is empowering the court. It is up to them. In reality, the number of cases that would have amici participation under our amendment would remain manageable. The cases likely to raise significant civil liberties issues would almost certainly be a small subset of applications related to U.S. persons, as foreigners abroad do not have constitutional rights like Americans. The total number of such U.S. person cases last year was just over 200. Perhaps this is why the courts themselves would not anticipate that our amendment would create a significant financial burden. The Administrative Office of the Courts estimated costs to be about $225,000 a year, which they can pay for out of their discretionary budget. There is plenty of money in there. In fact, the CBO scored the amendment as zero. But the benefits go far beyond zero. Responding to the latest inspector general report, which found serious issues in 25 of the 29 FISA applications they reviewed, we would require that the government turn over all material exculpatory information to the court and make it available to amici, too, if one is appointed. That is a basic due process protection available in every public courtroom in America. It certainly was when I was a prosecutor. The FISA Court should be no exception. So, I think, with this any Senator should look at what Senator Lee and I have done. We have an opportunity to reform our flawed surveillance authorities. These opportunities don't come by often. We shouldn't squander it, especially when the Justice Department's own inspector general has been alerting us of the widespread problems within the FISA process. After the Church Committee found abuses within our intelligence agencies, something I first learned of when I got elected to the Senate, I saw the Senate come together, Republicans and Democrats, to respond decisively. While much has improved since then, they now are confronted with serious but solvable problems within the FISA process. I hope I have given the Senate and both parties something for them to come together. I want to thank Senator Lee for his partnership on this issue and also for his steadfast devotion to protecting the rights of all Americans. I am proud to stand with Senator Lee today. I urge all of our fellow Senators to stand with us, because if you stand with us you are standing up for the Constitution. Support this amendment, stand with the American people, and stand with our Constitution. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah. Mr. LEE. Madam President, I call up my amendment No. 1584 and ask that it be reported by number. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the amendment by number. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: The Senator from Utah [Mr. Lee] proposes an amendment numbered 1584. (The amendment is printed in today's Record under ``Text of Amendments.'') Mr. LEE. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to speak for a period not to exceed 5 minutes. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered Mr. LEE. Madam President, it has been an honor and a privilege to work with my friend and distinguished colleague, the senior Senator from Vermont, on this issue. Senator Leahy and I have, over the past decade, worked together on a number of projects including this one, including the USA FREEDOM Act. Senator Leahy and I come from different political parties and different ends of the political spectrum, and yet we share much in common, including a devotion to our families, a devotion to God, a devotion to this great country, and a devotion to the Constitution that has fostered the development of the greatest civilization the world has ever known. It is an honor and a privilege to stand with Senator Leahy in defense of the Fourth Amendment and the other rights articulated in our Constitution. Senator Leahy and I have confronted many opponents, and many opponents to the Lee-Leahy amendment have made arguments that I think need to be mentioned one final time before we vote on this matter. Many of them are arguing that this amendment would somehow hamper the ability of the FISA Court to approve applications quickly in the case of an emergency. This is simply untrue. In all these circumstances in which it would apply, our amendment would allow the FISA Court to issue a finding saying the appointment of amicus would, in that circumstance, be inappropriate. This the FISA Court could do in a single sentence. The FBI or some of its proclaimed self-appointed defenders also complain [[Page S2412]] that this might make it harder for them to get surveillance applications approved. Let me just remind everyone that we are talking about the rights of U.S. persons--that is, of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States. These are rights that deserve to be protected. We have to remember that the purpose of the Constitution is not to make it easier to govern. The purpose of the Constitution is to provide structure and limitations on government because governments sometimes make mistakes. I find it especially tone deaf that the very agency--the very Bureau--that has now been found to have been in violation of its own policies and procedures--in not just one but two inspector general reports in the past year--for failing to follow its own policies is now the agency that many people are trying to defend in saying that we can't inform the American people of what is going on and we can't improve the process by which that agency operates. Power is always vulnerable to abuse. Warnings were made when this process was put into place, and exactly the kinds of abuses that we have now seen are the types of abuses that have occurred over and over or are the same ones that were foreseen. This isn't an indictment of any one agency or administration or person or political party. It is an affirmation of the Founding Fathers' trust in the checks and balances that they put in place in our founding document. James Madison so eloquently expressed this principle in Federalist 51: If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external or internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: We must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. We cannot--notwithstanding the urging of many--simply wave our hands and say: No, we don't have to worry about this. It is OK because we have to worry about national security or it is OK because this is about foreign intelligence or this is about foreign intelligence gathering. We know that what the Lee-Leahy amendment is designed to protect are the rights of the American people--of U.S. persons--U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. Reforms in this amendment do not take anything away from the National Security Agency--nothing. We are just injecting greater fairness and accountability into this process. Insofar as we decide to have these programs, we have to have someone accountable in them. We have to have a process by which the information brought to bear within the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court is accountable and reviewable by someone. It makes sense to expand incrementally, mildly, but necessarily, the amicus curiae provisions that were put in place 4 years ago with the USA FREEDOM Act. I truly believe that we can find a proper balance here between privacy and security. I also believe that our privacy and our security are not at odds. Our privacy is, indeed, a part of our security and our security part of our privacy. You cannot have one without the other. The Lee-Leahy amendment brings us closer to that balance. I invite all my colleagues to support it and look forward to the moment, not far from now, when we will pass it. I yield the floor. Vote on Amendment No. 1584 The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the question is on agreeing to the amendment. Mr. LEE. I ask for the yeas and nays. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second? There appears to be a sufficient second. The clerk will call the roll. The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll. Mr. THUNE. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Alexander) and the Senator from Nebraska (Mr. Sasse). Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Alexander) would have voted ``yea.'' Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Washington (Mrs. Murray) and the Senator from Vermont (Mr. Sanders) are necessarily absent. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cramer). Are there any other Senators in the Chamber desiring to vote or change their vote? The result was announced--yeas 77, nays 19, as follows: [Rollcall Vote No. 90 Leg.] YEAS--77 Baldwin Barrasso Bennet Blackburn Blumenthal Booker Braun Brown Cantwell Cardin Carper Casey Cassidy Collins Coons Cortez Masto Cramer Crapo Cruz Daines Duckworth Durbin Enzi Ernst Feinstein Gardner Gillibrand Grassley Harris Hassan Hawley Heinrich Hirono Hoeven Johnson Jones Kaine Kennedy King Klobuchar Lankford Leahy Lee Loeffler Markey McSally Menendez Merkley Moran Murkowski Murphy Paul Perdue Peters Portman Reed Risch Rosen Rounds Schatz Schumer Scott (FL) Scott (SC) Shaheen Sinema Smith Stabenow Sullivan Tester Tillis Toomey Udall Van Hollen Warren Whitehouse Wicker Wyden NAYS--19 Blunt Boozman Burr Capito Cornyn Cotton Fischer Graham Hyde-Smith Inhofe Manchin McConnell Roberts Romney Rubio Shelby Thune Warner Young NOT VOTING--4 Alexander Murray Sanders Sasse The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is agreed to. The amendment (No. 1584) was agreed to. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Colorado. Mr. GARDNER. Mr. President, I wish to congratulate my colleague from Utah for his extraordinary work to continue to protect the civil liberties of the people of this country. ____________________