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 []


  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for the quorum call be rescinded.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.


  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 

                 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 
  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 
  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


  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 

[[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 
  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


  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 

  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 

[[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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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. 
  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.]


     Cortez Masto

[[Page S2400]]

     Scott (FL)
     Scott (SC)
     Van Hollen



                             NOT VOTING--4

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 59, the nays are 
  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.


  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 
  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 

                           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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 


  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 

[[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 
  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 

  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 

  I thank these brave nurses, and I thank them for their great 
  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 

[[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 
  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 


  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.


  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


  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 
  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 
  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 

[[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 

  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 

                           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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 

[[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 
  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. 
  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.]


     Cortez Masto
     Scott (FL)
     Scott (SC)
     Van Hollen



                             NOT VOTING--4

  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.