[Congressional Record Volume 156, Number 25 (Thursday, February 25, 2010)]
[Pages S757-S766]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                                OF 2009

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the 
Senate will resume consideration of the House message with respect to 
H.R. 1299, which the clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A House message to accompany H.R. 1299, an Act making 
     technical corrections to the laws affecting certain 
     administrative authorities of the United States Capitol 
     Police, and for other purposes.


       Reid amendment No. 3326 (to the House amendment to the 
     Senate amendment), to change the enactment date.
       Reid amendment No. 3327 (to amendment No. 3326), of a 
     perfecting nature.
       Reid amendment No. 3328, to provide for a study.
       Reid amendment No. 3329 of a perfecting nature.
       Reid amendment No. 3330 (to amendment No. 3329), of a 
     perfecting nature.

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Pennsylvania is 


  Mr. CASEY. Madam President, today, the Senate will resume 
consideration of the House message with respect to H.R. 1299, the 
legislative vehicle for the Travel Promotion Act. Yesterday, the 
majority leader filed cloture on the motion to concur. That vote will 
occur tomorrow morning, unless we are able to reach an agreement to 
vote today.
  In addition, we are also working on an agreement to consider a bill 
that would extend certain expiring tax provisions for 30 days. If we 
are able to reach an agreement, we could see votes on that after 4 p.m. 
There will be no rollcall votes prior to 4 p.m. to allow Senators to 
attend the health care summit with the President of the United States.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Georgia is 

                     Guest Chaplain Dr. Benny Tate

  Mr. CHAMBLISS. Madam President, I rise this morning to thank our 
distinguished guest Chaplain, Dr. Benny Tate, of Milner, GA, who has 
brought us an inspirational message with which to begin our day.
  Dr. Tate is the senior pastor of Rock Springs Church in Milner, GA, 
and has served his congregation well for 20 years. When Dr. Tate began 
preaching at Rock Springs Church, only 20 people came to worship on a 
given Sunday. Today, Dr. Benny Tate preaches to more than 4,000 people 
on any given Sunday. Rock Springs Church is now the largest church in 
the Congregational Methodist denomination.
  Dr. Tate is the kind of pastor who finds creative ways to go out to 
the community and spread the word of God. He hosts the ``Apples of 
Gold'' radio program, reaching out to central Georgians through 15 
radio stations.
  He has worked with local civic organizations, leading his flock by 
example. He served as the Chappell Mill Fire Station Chaplain and as a 

[[Page S758]]

Youth Camp board member, just to name a couple of his activities. He 
has also written three books as well as pieces for the local Griffin 
Daily News.
  One of his books has been read by both my wife and myself and has a 
very unique and very appropriate title called ``Happy Wife, Happy 
Life.'' All of us males have a great appreciation for that title.
  I have had the privilege of attending Dr. Benny Tate's church on many 
occasions. I have always found Rock Springs Church to be a very holy, 
spirit-filled church.
  Dr. Tate has a very unique way of spreading the gospel in a manner 
that is mixed with humor and yet direct, personal feelings and the word 
of the Holy Spirit and the message that Jesus Christ gives to him. In 
short, he has effected positive changes in the church and the community 
through his outreach. We appreciate his efforts and his words of 
worship this morning, and I am very pleased to have my dear friend, Dr. 
Benny Tate, with us today.
  I yield the floor and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. KAUFMAN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  Mr. KAUFMAN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business for up to 5 minutes.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  (The remarks of Mr. Kaufman are printed in today's Record under 
``Morning Business.'')
  Mr. KAUFMAN. Madam President, I yield the floor and suggest the 
absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  Mr. CORNYN. Madam President, I wish to speak as in morning business, 
and I ask unanimous consent to do so.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 

                           Health Care Reform

  Mr. CORNYN. Madam President, as are many of us, I have been watching 
with great interest the bipartisan health care summit that is being 
broadcast on television. I am happy there is a bipartisan meeting at 
the White House to discuss health care reform. The practicalities are 
that only 38 of the 535 Members of Congress can participate directly in 
the summit, but I know that representatives of our political parties 
are there, along with the President. They are talking about something 
that is very near and dear to all of our hearts, and that is how to 
bring down the costs of health care which is priced out of the reach of 
many of the American people, including too many in my State of Texas.
  Unfortunately, sometimes in Washington what happens is, you see what 
is happening on TV or what is happening on the floor of the Senate, and 
it looks like one thing. Then you find out that behind the scenes 
something very different is happening. What I am speaking about in 
particular is, in contrast to a bipartisan summit on health care, my 
understanding is there are efforts underway on the part of the staff of 
the majority party to consider the use of reconciliation to try to pass 
an unpopular health care bill with 51 votes on a party-line basis.
  I think that contrast between what people are seeing on TV and what 
is actually happening behind the scenes is pretty telling. I would say 
it is disappointing because I think health care reform is too 
important. It affects one-sixth of our economy. It affects 300 million 
Americans. It is simply too significant a step to take to try to do so 
strictly along partisan party lines.
  So while it is true that reconciliation has been used in the past, it 
has never been used for anything such as this. This would be 
unprecedented. I think it would be an act of defiance toward the 
American people who overwhelmingly disapprove of this legislation.
  There is no doubt that we need health care reform. Premiums have more 
than doubled over the last decade. Medicare, which provides access to 
health care for our seniors, has a $38 trillion unfunded liability 
which translates into an IOU for every American family in the amount of 
  If we heard anything out of the recent election in Massachusetts, I 
think it is that the American people think there is too much spending 
and too much borrowing taking place in Washington, DC; too many 
responsibilities, such as this unfunded Medicare liability, that are 
simply not being met.
  We know Medicaid continues to be problematic in not providing access 
to enough low-income people who are ostensibly beneficiaries of 
Medicaid. In the Metroplex in Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth, only 38 percent 
of doctors will see a new Medicaid patient because reimbursement rates 
are so low. That is not keeping the promise of access. It is, 
unfortunately, too much like appearing to do one thing on the one hand 
and actually delivering something far different on the other hand.
  I think everyone agrees we need to solve these important problems. 
But how we go about solving the problem is important to maintaining the 
confidence and trust of the American people. I think bipartisanship on 
this subject is absolutely crucial.
  After Massachusetts sent our newest Senator, Scott Brown, to 
Washington, we know there was more talk about bipartisanship. But 
instead of working together to solve these problems, bipartisanship has 
so often translated into: Take it or leave it; if we can do this 
strictly with a majority party vote, we will.
  That is what happened on Christmas Eve. I remember that 7 a.m. vote 
on Christmas Eve when 60 Senators on the other side voted to pass a 
health care bill that the American people have simply said in poll 
after poll they do not want. Of course, now we see the White House 
repackaging an unpopular House bill with an unpopular Senate bill and 
posting 11 pages on the White House Web site and claiming this is 
somehow a package that is sacrosanct and cannot be touched. But in no 
sense could it possibly be considered a bipartisan piece of 
legislation. To only let the majority party say: Well, this is the 
basic template, and you can tweak it around the edges but you cannot 
change any part of it--that is not bipartisanship.
  So now after the election of Senator Scott Brown, who campaigned on 
the pledge that he would be the 41st vote to defeat the Senate health 
care bill because of its spending, its raising taxes, and its raising 
premiums on people with insurance, its taking $\1/2\ trillion from 
Medicare--already another fiscally unsustainable entitlement program, 
with $38 trillion in unfunded liabilities--to create yet another 
entitlement program, the people of Massachusetts sent Senator Scott 
Brown here to stop the health care bill that they don't want.
  Now we find the majority party wanting to use reconciliation, a 
hyperpartisan tactic, to ram a bill through that the American people 
have rejected, most recently in Massachusetts. If we are talking about 
trying to regain the public's confidence, not only is bipartisanship 
important in terms of bringing solutions to health care but 
transparency is crucial when we are talking about something so big that 
affects so many.
  You will remember in 2008 when President Obama was Senator Obama 
running for President of the United States, he promised to broadcast 
negotiations on C-SPAN for the American people to see who was arguing 
on their behalf and who was not.
  In stark contrast, again, between what was said then and what was 
actually done, we saw the White House cutting deals with special 
interest groups, such as the pharmaceutical industry. We saw individual 
Senators demand and get special deals for their States as a condition 
to giving their votes to pass that bill.
  As much as anything else in the bill, I think the way the bill was 
passed with the sweetheart deals, secret negotiations, and lack of 
transparency turned the American people off to these health care bills. 
I know the President said that after his election Washington would not 
be business as

[[Page S759]]

usual. Unfortunately, it has been, and the American people don't like 
  This subject--health care reform--is too big and too important and 
too costly to do through sweetheart deals, backroom negotiations, and 
with utter disregard for transparency. The American people are smarter 
than I think many folks in Washington, DC, give them credit for because 
they know this health care proposal is not lasting reform, and it 
simply would not work as advertised.
  The White House proposal will still increase premiums on American 
families; that is, if you have health insurance now, this White House 
proposal, an amalgam of the Senate and House bills, will raise your 
insurance premiums because of costly Federal Government mandates. But 
this White House bill does one thing the Senate bill did not. It 
actually spends $75 billion more than the Senate bill that passed this 
body on Christmas Eve, at 7 a.m.
  The White House bill does share some common elements with the Senate 
proposal. It still cuts nearly $500 billion from Medicare to create a 
new entitlement program, including a program that is very popular in my 
State called Medicare Advantage, which gives seniors access to more 
choices and the quality care they like. Rather than allow them to 
continue to keep that Medicare benefit, this proposal, the White House 
bill--like the Senate bill--would cut $500 billion from Medicare, 
including Medicare Advantage.
  The basic problem, again, is that we call this ``health care 
reform,'' but the health care bill offers no long-term plan for the 
Medicare Program's solvency--in other words, that $38 trillion I 
mentioned a moment ago. This actually makes it worse by taking another 
$\1/2\ trillion out of Medicare and makes things worse, not better, 
when it comes to the program's long-term solvency. I simply think the 
choice the President has made, and that the Senate and House health 
care bills have made, to force millions of low-income people onto 
Medicaid is simply not right, giving them no choices but a government-
run program which, as I mentioned earlier, denies them access too many 
times to a doctor because they cannot find a doctor who will see 
patients and accept government rates for Medicaid reimbursements.
  I mentioned the 38-percent figure in the Metroplex of Dallas-Fort 
Worth. Only 38 percent of the doctors there will see these patients 
because of the rates. Yet these health care bills force millions of 
people onto that program along with, in the process, promising them 
access to care but then not delivering as advertised.
  Then there is this problem. As you know, the Medicaid Program--the 
cost of that is borne by the Federal Government and the State 
governments. In my State alone, the health and human services 
commission in Texas estimates that the expansion of Medicaid under the 
President's proposal will cost Texas taxpayers an additional $24.3 
billion over the next 10 years. That $24.3 billion is an unfunded 
mandate that is contained in this bill.
  Where does that money come from? Well, too often--I think some of our 
former Governors will tell you that what happens is, that is money that 
has to be used for an unfunded mandate from the Federal Government that 
comes from education, higher education budgets, law enforcement 
budgets, and other State priorities. It is simply irresponsible for 
Congress to force on State taxpayers this responsibility to pay for 
this unfunded mandate when there are other priorities the States have 
chosen that they think are important--things such as education, as I 
mentioned, and law enforcement.
  The unfunded mandate in this bill is simply unacceptable. The Wall 
Street Journal summed up the President's proposal this way:

       It manages to take the worst of both the House and Senate 
     bills and combine them into something more destructive. . . .
       It includes more taxes, more subsidies, and even less cost 
     control than the Senate bill.
       And it purports to fix the special interest favors in the 
     Senate bill not by eliminating them--but by expanding them to 

  We know the furor it caused across the country when some Senators 
were able to negotiate more favorable Medicaid reimbursements than the 
rest of the country and when everybody found out those who were not in 
those favored States would end up paying for those special favors that 
were necessary in order to get 60 votes. This bill doesn't repeal 
those; it simply expands them to everybody, vastly increasing the cost 
of this legislation and making it even worse, not better.
  The President and his congressional allies who support this 
legislation seem to think the only reason the American people oppose 
these bills is ``misinformation.'' I suggest we simply look at the 
facts--in this case straight from the Congressional Budget Office--and 
see what they, the official scorekeeper for Congress, have to say about 
these pieces of legislation.

  The CBO said premiums for those who have health insurance of some 
kind--85 percent of the American people--whether it is through 
government programs like Medicare, the VA, or the like, but those who 
have private insurance, their premiums will go up by 10 to 13 percent 
or an average of $2,100 for families buying policies on their own. That 
is in the individual market where most small businesses and individuals 
have to shop for their insurance. Their health insurance premiums will 
go up an average of $2,100 a family or 10 to 13 percent.
  No wonder the more people learn about this legislation the less 
popular it becomes, and individuals who get health care through small 
businesses or larger employers, which is 83 percent of Americans, will 
see the status quo. They will see their premiums continue to increase 
by 5 to 6 percent a year.
  I thought health care reform was about bringing down the cost and 
making it more affordable, ``bending the cost curve,'' to use the 
jargon that has been used here time after time over the last year and a 
half. But we find out that for those in the individual market, premiums 
will go up 10 to 13 percent. For those in the larger employer market, 
it will go up 5 to 6 percent. It will not bend the cost curve down. It 
will either be ineffective at all and keep premiums basically where 
they would have been anyway or it will make it worse.
  Then there is the gamesmanship in how it deals with the budget 
deficit. Here is what CBO said about the bill's impact on the budget 

       Washington budget gimmicks allow the White House to pretend 
     the bills reduce the deficit by $132 billion, which is a 
     fraction of Washington's $1.3 trillion budget deficit.

  Americans don't believe ``reducing the deficit'' is possible at the 
same time we are spending $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years, and 
they are right. It is easy to pretend we are reducing the deficit when 
we are raising taxes by $500 billion and taking another $500 billion 
from Medicare in order to pay for this program.
  The Obama administration's own actuaries have worried that future 
Congresses would not let the $500 billion in Medicare cuts happen. In 
other words, the bills spend now but would not pay later.
  I assume the majority leader will bring up the doc fix sometime soon 
because he needs to. The 23-percent cut in reimbursement rates for 
doctors who don't take Medicare patients is not taken care of in this 
bill, and it should be. If this is really about health care reform, 
shouldn't it be making sure that our seniors on Medicare have access to 
doctors and that they can actually find a doctor who will see them? If 
you cut 23 percent in the doctor reimbursement rates, which is where we 
are headed now, they are not going to have access to doctors.
  Here is what the Obama administration's own experts say about the 
cost curve. The Senate bill, they say, will increase overall American 
health care expenditures by $222 billion.
  It will not bend the cost curve down. It will actually bend it up, 
making things worse, not better.
  The American people have been pretty smart about this. They have been 
more engaged, better informed on this subject than I have seen in a 
long time. Of course, health care reform is a very complicated area. 
But they have gotten very well informed about it. They want lasting 
reform that will lower costs.
  Here is what we know works to lower costs, but this is not something 
that is in the President's bill and, apparently, not something the 
majority party is even willing to consider. If they did, I submit this 
would be a big step forward to bending the cost curve down, making 
health care more affordable, and

[[Page S760]]

yield a bipartisan product the American people could support.
  I believe we need to give control over health care dollars to 
patients, not to Washington bureaucrats or to insurance company 
bureaucrats either. The American Academy of Actuaries found that 
consumer-driven health care plans have saved as much as 12 to 20 
percent in health care premiums--12 to 20 percent. That is a lot.
  Then, of course, there is a practice of defensive medicine, ending 
lawsuit abuse which would save $54 billion over the next 10 years, 
according to the CBO.
  We also support allowing small businesses to pool together such as 
big companies do to pool their risks to help bring down premium costs. 
According to the Congressional Budget Office, this would lower premiums 
for small businesses by 2 to 3 percent--that is not a huge amount, but 
I am sure they will tell you every little bit helps--and in conjunction 
with these other reforms would have a real, meaningful impact in terms 
of bringing down health care costs.
  I also support and our side of the aisle supports allowing Americans 
to purchase health insurance from any State they want to, and that 
would create national competition. It would allow people to buy 
policies they can afford that suited their family's needs rather than 
those loaded with State government mandates with no choices, which 
would result in higher costs.
  If Congress would allow Americans to purchase their health insurance 
in any State they choose and thereby increasing competition, the 
Congressional Budget Office says the cost of their health care premiums 
would go down by 5 percent.
  Clearly, competition, transparency, keeping the power in the hands of 
the consumer not in government are some of the things that would lower 
the costs, not cause them to go up. Are these part of the bipartisan 
health summit at the White House? Unfortunately, apparently not.
  I would also support--and I think there would be a lot of support on 
a bipartisan basis--giving Medicaid patients, the ones who cannot find 
doctors because of low reimbursement rates, premium assistance; that 
is, to supplement what they can pay so they can buy private sector 
coverage which pays doctors at more of a level they would accept in 
terms of seeing those Medicaid patients. Providing Medicaid premium 
assistance rather than forcing people onto a Medicaid Program that is 
dysfunctional and does not work would be an improvement, and you could 
do it cheaper. According to CBO, this would reduce Federal spending by 
$12 billion over 10 years.
  My conclusion from all this is, the American people want us to start 
over. We need lasting health care reform. I have offered some concrete 
suggestions on how we could lower the costs and make it more 
affordable. I believe that if Republicans and Democrats can work 
together, we can achieve it. On something as big and important and as 
costly as this, we need to do it on a bipartisan basis. It needs to be 
transparent. It needs to be devoid of special interest deals and secret 
negotiations and done out in the open where people can see it and trust 
it for what it is.
  We have to reject purported solutions that will do nothing but 
increase spending, increase taxes, and increase premiums. We need to 
start over and implement commonsense steps that will lower costs.
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from New Mexico is 
  Mr. UDALL of New Mexico. I thank the Chair.
  (The remarks of Mr. Udall of New Mexico pertaining to the 
introduction of S. 3039 are printed in today's Record under 
``Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions.'')
  Mr. UDALL of New Mexico. Madam President, I suggest the absence of a 
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. UDALL of New Mexico. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent 
that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 

                            Order for Recess

  Mr. UDALL of New Mexico. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent 
that the Senate stand in recess from 12:30 to 2 p.m. today.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  Mr. UDALL of New Mexico. Madam President, I suggest the absence of a 
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, this afternoon it is my understanding we 
are going to have one more vote. It is going to be on the Travel 
Promotion Act. I have opposed this in the past. I have already voted 
against it three times. I am not going to hang here and waste the whole 
day just to vote against it a fourth time.
  I ask unanimous consent that I make a very brief statement and it be 
printed in the Record immediately following the vote that takes place 
this afternoon.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  Mr. INHOFE. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CASEY. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Hagan.) Without objection, it is so 

                      American Hikers Held in Iran

  Mr. CASEY. Madam President, I rise today to discuss the ongoing 
imprisonment of three young Americans--Joshua Fattal from Pennsylvania 
and two other Americans who have been in prison in Iran with him, Sarah 
Shourd and Shane Bauer. These are three Americans who have now spent 
more than 7 months in solitary confinement in Iran's Evin Prison for 
allegedly crossing a poorly marked border, the border between Iran and 
  Since their detention along the Iran-Iraq border on July 31, 2009, 
the Iranian Government has refused requests from their attorney for 
visits. The Government of Iran has delayed due process and rejected 
requests from family members to call or visit them. The Iranian regime 
has also delayed requests for Iranian visas for the families and 
stonewalled the Swiss Embassy's attempt to carry out diplomatic visits.
  The longer the detainment of these young Americans continues, the 
more clear it becomes to the international community that the Iranian 
Government, the Iranian regime, is engaged in political games rather 
than seeking to grant them a fair and timely judicial process. On this 
basis, I request that Supreme Leader Khamenei, President Ahmadinejad, 
Judiciary Chief Larijani, and other Iranian officials make the humane 
and just decision to release Josh, Sarah, and Shane immediately.
  Keeping these three innocent Americans in prison without due process 
violates the international human rights standards as well as Iran's own 
laws. It has been more than 2 months since Foreign Minister Motaki 
claimed they would be tried in court. Yet no trial date has been set. 
According to Iranian law, no detainee can be held temporarily for more 
than 4 months; thus, judiciary officials must either schedule a court 
hearing or set the three young Americans free. The only conclusion the 
international community can draw from the Iranian Government's words 
and actions is that they intend to keep these three young Americans in 
limbo for domestic or foreign policy aims. It has nothing to do with 
the actions or intentions of these three American tourists who were 
simply admiring the natural beauty of the Kurdish mountains near the 
Iran-Iraq border. The world is a much worse off place when idealism, 
especially held by innocent young people, is squashed by cynical 

[[Page S761]]

  Among ancient Persia's greatest legacies is a transparent and 
efficient justice system. Innocent people do not appear on the court 
docket. We ask the Iranian Government--we ask them to send the world 
the unambiguous message that transparent, timely, and fair judicial 
processes remain a cornerstone of Iranian civilization. Keeping Josh, 
Sarah, and Shane indefinitely in solitary confinement and without 
access to legal counsel or their families is unjust and is sure to 
color the visions of Iranian society for young people the world over.
  Do not make Josh, Sarah, Shane, and their desperately concerned 
parents wait another day before being reunited. Supreme Leader 
Khamenei, release these young hikers now.


  Madam President, in addition to those remarks about those young 
Americans, I want to talk for a few minutes about unemployment and what 
is happening, certainly across the country but in particular in the 
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We have 560,000 people out of work right 
now in Pennsylvania. Our rate is lower than a lot of places, but we 
still have that many people out of work, a very high number--maybe not 
historic but close to a historically high number, 560,000 
  There are lots of ways to try to understand what people are going 
through and try to get a sense of what people are living through. I had 
a chance a couple of weeks ago to sit with 8 of those 560,000 people in 
what is called a career link, a job center in Pennsylvania where people 
are filling out scores of applications, applying for jobs. In the case 
of these eight individuals, they are all over the age of 50 and many 
are over the age of 60 and 70--some of the worst situations for those 
who are in that age bracket, who worked for years, 20, 30 years at one 
job and did it very well, and now, through no fault of their own, are 
out of work.
  Listening to their stories gave me a better insight into what people 
are up against every day. A number of comments were significant and 
relevant and poignant, but one in particular by a woman by the name of 
Debi who said something very simple but telling about what is in her 
heart and what she is living through--she said simply: We just want to 
get back to work. That is a very simple statement, but I think that is 
on the minds of a lot of Americans who are out of work, and their 
family members. They just want to get back to work.
  They also want to see that Washington is not just legislating--that 
is obviously important, and I will talk a little bit more about that in 
a moment--but that we are trying to understand what they are up 
against. They do want to get back to work. It is that simple. One of 
the ways we can do that is by making sure those who are out of work, 
those something like 15 million Americans out of work through no fault 
of their own, that we do something to help them in the next couple of 
days to get through the next couple of weeks, literally, with 
unemployment insurance, COBRA health insurance, and so many other ways.
  We should note that the eligibility for emergency unemployment 
compensation and for COBRA--known as COBRA premium assistance, really 
health insurance for the unemployed--that both of those will expire 
this Sunday, February 28. If an extension of the unemployment programs 
authorized by the Recovery Act is not passed, 1.2 million workers will 
lose their unemployment benefits by the end of March. So we have to act 
now to prevent that from happening. It is unfortunate that it seems 
there is only an agreement to keep extending it from December to 
February, then from February into March or the end of March. We should 
extend it a lot further than that. Maybe we will have an opportunity to 
do that. But, at a minimum, we have to make sure unemployment insurance 
is extended and COBRA health insurance is extended. There are other 
reasons to do that as well. The most important reason is the people who 
will be positively impacted by those actions.
  An extension of the federally funded unemployment compensation and 
COBRA programs through December 31, 2010--what we should do is extend 
it that far. They are necessary for a number of reasons. State labor 
departments will not be under pressure to constantly update their 
systems and inform constituents of changes in national law. We should 
give them the kind of certainty and predictability that they have a 
right to expect, certainly the State government officials but more 
importantly, the families and affected persons who are recently laid 
off--not constantly be reminded that their unemployment benefits may 
run out sooner than expected. This is especially true at a time when 
there are six applicants for every one job.
  It is important to take action on unemployment insurance and COBRA 
health insurance coverage for a third reason as well.
  At a time when millions of people don't have health care coverage, 
failure to provide an adequate safety net to ensure people have 
affordable health insurance coverage will only add to the rolls of the 
uninsured in the midst of this debate on health care.
  Two other points before I conclude. According to the CBO, which we 
keep quoting in the health care debate and in many others, for every $1 
spent on unemployment insurance benefits, up to $1.90 is contributed to 
the gross national product. This is further evidence, in addition to 
what I and many others have quoted--Mark Sandy from moodys.com--you 
spend a buck on unemployment insurance or COBRA benefits and/or food 
stamps, all of those safety net provisions to help workers who lost 
their job, you not only help someone who needs help and should have the 
help we can provide, you also help our economy literally by jump 
starting spending.
  We know that in the past couple of days we passed the jobs bill, the 
HIRE Act, a good piece of legislation for small business, for economic 
vitality but also for preserving and creating lots of jobs. That jobs 
bill is not enough. We have to pass these safety net provisions on 
unemployment and COBRA health benefits. We also have to put more job 
creation strategies on the table and get bills passed to create more 
jobs. The recovery bill is still having an effect, still having a 
tremendous impact in Pennsylvania, with still a whole year left of 
spending and benefits of that spending in Pennsylvania and other 
  I see Senator Specter is with us. He and I have seen that up close in 
Pennsylvania, a tremendous impact already, but there is still more to 
do on the recovery bill he voted for under great pressure not to vote 
for it. Thank goodness he did. Without his vote, that bill would not 
have passed. Millions of Americans' lives would be adversely impacted 
if we did not pass the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. We have a 
long way to go, more work to do across the country and to have a 
positive impact on Pennsylvania.
  One concluding thought. When you look at Pennsylvania, we might have 
a lower rate than a lot of States but we do have 560,000 people out of 
work. Unfortunately, more and more we are seeing in different labor 
markets, such as the Erie labor market, which is at 10 percent, the 
Lehigh Valley, Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton at 9.8 percent, 
northeastern Pennsylvania, my home area, at 9.7 percent--even though 
our rate has not yet hit statewide 9 percent, we are seeing in 
different pockets that number going up. We have to continue to put job 
creation strategies in the pipeline, continue to have the recovery act 
have an even more positive impact. And thirdly, we need to make sure we 
pass the safety net provisions.
  I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. SPECTER. I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum 
call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, I have sought recognition to talk 
briefly about two subjects: a recent CODEL where I participated and, 
secondly, on the passing of a beloved staff member. I ask unanimous 
consent that the time for business be extended until 12:45.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                             Foreign Travel

  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, from December 28 to January 7, I 
participated on a congressional delegation which visited in Cypress, 
Syria, India,

[[Page S762]]

Afghanistan, and Morocco, and have submitted a lengthy report, which is 
my practice.
  I ask unanimous consent that the full text of that report be printed 
in the Record at the end of my remarks.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (See exhibit 1.)
  Mr. SPECTER. For purposes of comment at this time, I will focus on 
what we found on our trip to Afghanistan and India as it relates to the 
current war in progress in Afghanistan which has, as a practical 
matter, been extended into Pakistan and a comment about our trip to 
Syria, our meetings with President Assad, as it bears upon the 
potential for a peace treaty between Israel and Syria.
  Our visit to Afghanistan was very revealing to get a firsthand 
impression as to what is going on on the ground. I approached the trip 
with serious reservations about the President's proposal to add an 
additional 30,000 troops there. My concern arose in the context of why 
fight in Afghanistan when al-Qaida could organize as well in many other 
places, Yemen or Somalia. There had been such a lack of success in 
efforts in Afghanistan by the Soviets, by the Brits, going all the way 
back to Alexander the Great.
  There is no doubt we have to do whatever it takes to defeat al-Qaida, 
because they are out to annihilate us. The question is, where? Where we 
face reports that there were only about 100 al-Qaida actually in 
Afghanistan, we are really looking at a battle with the Taliban.
  In our meetings with General McChrystal and other key officials, they 
emphasized the point that we should not retreat and that it would be a 
watershed event if the United States did not provide whatever military 
force was necessary in Afghanistan.
  Our delegation replied that the NATO support was lacking and we ought 
to rethink exactly how we are going to deal with the Taliban. The 
efforts to persuade the Taliban to come back and support the Karzai 
government--because there are many there who could be brought back if 
the inducements were sufficient and they were sufficiently confident--
the Karzai government did not lend a whole lot to inspire confidence. 
They had an election which was clouded with fraud. They have sustained 
reports about dealing in the narcotics trade with high-ranking 
officials, repeated evidence of corruption at the highest levels--
hardly inducive to a stable government.
  When the President projected a withdrawal by mid-2011, that was not 
what President Karzai had suggested. He was quoted in the press as 
saying, U.S. troops would have to be in Afghanistan for 15 years. When 
our delegation had an opportunity to meet with President Karzai, we 
pressed him on that issue, and he said: Well, 2 years would be required 
for an adequate presence of the U.S. military. He never could quite 
define what ``adequate'' was, but he said U.S. forces would have to 
stay for another 10 years.
  More recently, in the intervening weeks, the war there has shaped up. 
We still have only committed a small fraction of the 30,000 troops--
something like 5,000. Perhaps it will not be necessary to commit the 
additional 25,000 troops.
  We had a very productive meeting with the Prime Minister of India, 
Prime Minister Singh. A point which we pressed was whether India and 
Pakistan could enter into an arms reduction pact similar to the pacts 
which the United States and the Soviet Union have had, which would 
reduce the number of troops from India and the number of troops from 
Pakistan on the border to liberate more Pakistan military to help in 
the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban.
  Prime Minister Singh said he would certainly be willing to consider 
that, but Pakistan would have to control the terrorists. We questioned 
him as to whether the Pakistani Government could control the 
terrorists, and his reply was very blunt: Yes, the terrorists are the 
creation of Pakistan, which is the way he responded to that situation.
  In the intervening weeks, again, there has been unique cooperation 
between Pakistani intelligence and the CIA, with many joint maneuvers, 
so perhaps there could be a material improvement along that line.
  The written text, which will be submitted, goes into some greater 
detail, which I shall abbreviate because of the shortness of time.
  In Syria, our meeting with President Bashar al-Asad was cordial and I 
think constructive. I had first visited Syria in 1984, and this was the 
19th visit there. I have gone there repeatedly, as I have to the region 
generally, and even more often to Israel, because I have long thought 
Syria was the key to the Mideast peace process.
  Syria desperately wants to regain the Golan Heights, and only Israel 
can decide whether it is in Israel's interest to cede the Golan 
Heights. But it is a different world in 2010 than it was in 1967, when 
Israel took the Golan. The strategy is very different in an era of 
rockets. It is not quite the same situation.
  There is a great deal Israel could gain if a peace treaty was entered 
into with Syria: stopping Syria from continuing the destabilization of 
Lebanon, which Syria denies but I think happens to be a fact. For Syria 
to stop supporting Hezbollah and Hamas would be very important to 
Israel's security. To try to drive a wedge between Syria and Iran would 
be helpful not only to Israel in the context of the Iranian President 
wanting to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth but would be good not 
only for the region but for the entire world, if we can find a way to 
contain Iran in their determination to acquire nuclear weapons.
  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified yesterday before the 
Foreign Operations Subcommittee, and I asked her if she would consider 
a recommendation to have the President call the Israeli leaders, Prime 
Minister Netanyahu, and the Syrian President, Bashar al-Asad, to the 
Oval Office to be an intermediary there. The office of the Presidency 
could have great forcefulness and great weight. The Secretary was 
noncommittal, and the record will reflect the exact words which she 
  The trip was very worthwhile. I find that when we leave the Beltway 
and leave Washington and see what is actually happening in the field, 
wearing a flak jacket in a helicopter across Afghanistan or talking to 
Foreign Minister Walid Mualem, who was the Ambassador here for 10 
years, and getting a feel for what is going on in India, it gives us a 
much better insight into how we handle our foreign aid, how we handle 
our budget, and how we handle our military operations.

                               Exhibit 1

                   Statement of Senator Arlen Specter

                             Foreign Travel

       I seek recognition to speak about a Congressional 
     Delegation I took part in from December 28, 2009 to January 
     7, 2010. The CODEL, led by Senator Gregg, comprised of 
     Senators Bayh, Cornyn, Enzi, Klobuchar and their spouses. I 
     was accompanied by my wife, Joan, and my Legislative 
     Director, Christopher Bradish.


       We departed Andrews Air Force Base on Monday morning, 
     December 28th, en route to Nicosia, Cyprus, with a refueling 
     stop in Shannon, Ireland. We began the day with a meeting 
     with our USAID mission to review projects being supported by 
     the United States.
       We then had a briefing with the United Nations Development 
     Program (UNDP), which is focusing on reconciliation projects, 
     to include media expansion. The UNDP office is located in the 
     U.N. administered neutral zone, which divides the island. The 
     UNDP continues to work with representatives in Cyprus on 
     revision of textbooks and the diversification of media to 
     allow viewpoints other than those of just the state-dominated 
     media outlets to be heard.
       The media is dominated by Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot 
     political outlets. Cyprus does not have equivalents of NPR or 
     PBS. UNDP hopes to build on those models to allow 
     diversification in the media by providing independent 
     programming which can then be picked up by existing outlets 
     for broadcast. The UNDP media program aims to provide all 
     Cypriots with a non-partisan avenue of communication.
       Following our meeting with USAID and UNDP officials, the 
     delegation held a country team briefing led by Jonathan 
     Cohen, our Deputy Chief of Mission. Our embassy in Cyprus has 
     65 U.S. employees in addition to roughly 100 Cypriot 
     nationals. Cyprus has become increasingly important to the 
     U.S. due to its strategic location. With an increasing number 
     of U.S. ships transiting the Mediterranean Sea, U.S. port 
     visits in Cyprus increased 24 percent in 2008. With thousands 
     of U.S. troops having shore leave while in port, the U.S. 
     Embassy has worked with the Cypriot government to ensure that 
     appropriate safety measures are in place to protect our ships 
     and sailors.

[[Page S763]]

       Since Cyprus' accession to the European Union in January 
     2004, the number of Cypriots attending U.S. universities has 
     decreased dramatically. The U.S. mission has created a 
     program to use Cypriots who are alumni of U.S. universities 
     to go to high schools and communities to speak about the 
     benefits of an education in the United States.
       On the law enforcement front, the Cypriot government has 
     utilized U.S. expertise in some of their criminal 
     investigations, including the investigation into the recent 
     theft of the remains of former president Tassos Papadopoulos.
       We received an overview of U.S. investment in Cyprus as 
     well as U.S. businesses operating on the island. U.S. exports 
     to Cyprus grew by 28 percent in 2008. I asked about the 
     University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's efforts to 
     establish a university and medical center in Cyprus. UPMC is 
     exporting its expertise to bring world-class health care, 
     advanced technologies, and management skills to markets 
       Our mission provided an update on the status of 
     negotiations between the north and south. Talks between the 
     Greek Cypriot President, Demetris Christofias and the Turkish 
     Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat have ramped up in recent 
     weeks with the two leaders reportedly meeting multiple times 
     a week. However significant obstacles remain to reaching an 
     agreement to include how to resolve vexing property, security 
     and constituent state constitution issues.
       In November 2002, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan 
     presented a draft comprehensive peace settlement, commonly 
     referred to as the Annan Plan. According to the Congressional 
     Research Service:

     ``[The Annan Plan] called for a ``new state of affairs,'' in 
     which the ``common state'' government's relations with its 
     two politically equal component states would be modeled on 
     the Swiss federal example. It would have a single 
     international legal personality. Component states would 
     participate in foreign and EU relations as in Belgium. 
     Parliament would have two 48-seat houses. Each state would 
     have equal representation in the Senate. Seats in the Chamber 
     of Deputies would be allocated in proportion to population, 
     provided that no state would have less than 25% of the seats. 
     A Presidential Council would have 6 members; the offices of 
     President and Vice President would rotate every 10 months 
     among its members. No more than two consecutive presidents 
     could come from the same state. Greek and Turkish troops 
     could not exceed a four-digit figure (9,999). U.N. 
     peacekeepers would remain as long as the common state, with 
     the concurrence of the component states, decides. Cyprus 
     would be demilitarized. During a three-year transition, the 
     leaders of the two sides would be co-presidents. The 1960 
     Treaties of Establishment, Guarantee, and Alliance would 
     remain in force. There would be a single Cypriot citizenship 
     and citizenship of a component state; residence in a 
     component state could be limited by citizenship, but such 
     limits would have restrictions. Provisions would be made for 
     return or compensation of property. Turkish Cypriot territory 
     would be reduced to 28.5% of the island.

       The Delegation departed the country team briefing for a 
     meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. Talat 
     provided an overview of the negotiations with President 
     Christofias and focused on three main areas of dispute: 
     governance and power sharing; economic and European affairs; 
     and property reconciliation. While he expressed hope about 
     having fruitful and productive discussions, he indicated that 
     the two sides have disagreements over terminology which 
     preclude them from moving forward on a solution. I asked 
     if there were disadvantages to not achieving a solution 
     and if the status-quo is acceptable. Talat responded that 
     neither side seeks violence, but that the current 
     situation is disadvantageous to both sides.
       Talat expressed optimism that a resolution could be reached 
     in 2010 but that the talks would likely break in mid-February 
     to allow for elections, the outcome of which could have a 
     significant impact on the continuation of talks between the 
     two sides. Talat indicated that the Greek Cypriots have less 
     of an incentive to find a solution given their dominance of 
     the island. He also confirmed the UNDP representatives' 
     previous assertions that the local media helps inflame 
     opinions on both sides.
       The delegation then departed the north en route to a 
     meeting with President Christofias. The President opened the 
     meeting with a 37-minute overview of the situation and the 
     negotiations. He expressed concern over the more than 40,000 
     Turkish troops on the island, as well as the unknown number 
     of Turkish settlers. He too focused on security and land/
     property compensation as main obstacles to achieving an 
     agreement. Christofias avowed that he is ``free of 
     nationalism'' and that ``Turkish Cypriots are not our 
     enemies, but our brothers and sisters.'' He concluded that 
     Cypriots must rule the country--not Turkey. He stated that he 
     ``will be the unhappiest man on the island'' if he and Talat 
     cannot reach an agreement, but stated: ``I will do my utmost 
     because as time passes, new problems arise.'' He indicated he 
     had a good partner and relationship with Talat and if he 
     should lose in the upcoming elections, the prospects for 
     constructive dialogue and resolution were poor.


       On December 30th, the delegation departed Larnaca, Cyprus 
     for Damascus, Syria. This was my nineteenth visit to Syria. 
     We were greeted by Jason Smith, our control officer, and 
     Charles Hunter, our Charge d'Affaires, who provided an update 
     of the situation on the ground during the ride to the 
     embassy. Upon arrival, the delegation received two classified 
     briefings to include a country team briefing. Following our 
     briefings, the delegation departed for the Presidential 
     Palace for a meeting with President Bashar al-Asad and 
     Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem.
       President Asad opened the meeting by welcoming the 
     delegation and provided his views on the bilateral 
     relationship as well as regional tensions. I have long held 
     the view that the U.S. could play a positive role in 
     fostering an agreement between Israel and Syria. I indicated 
     that if Hezbollah and Hamas could be disarmed and renounce 
     violence the region would be better off. I expressed the view 
     held by many in the U.S. that the Syria-Iran nexus is 
     troubling and Iran's desire to obtain nuclear weapons poses a 
     danger to the region and the world. I complimented President 
     Asad for his willingness to engage the Israelis via the 
     Turks. I asked President Asad for his view on the prospects 
     for an Israeli-Syrian peace, better relations with the West 
     and his country's relationship with Iran. He indicated that 
     the ``devil is in the details.'' He explicitly decoupled the 
     issues, stating that his country's calculus for each is 
     independent of the others. He indicated the U.S. should 
     support the Turkish role in the peace process--which has been 
     put on hold following the conflict in Gaza in 2008 and 
     Israel's parliamentary elections in 2009.
       Asad stated, ``only peace can protect Israel''--something 
     no amount of armaments can do. He further stated that Hamas 
     and Hezbollah exist as result of the lack of peace. On the 
     U.S. role in the peace process, Asad pointed to efforts 
     undertaken in the 1990s, when Secretary of State James Baker 
     engaged forcefully with the interested parties.
       It is clear to me that Syria desires robust U.S. engagement 
     in the peace process. Syria's tepid alliance with Iran 
     appears not to be bound by mutual affection, but rather by 
     Syria's desire to be on good terms with a regional force. 
     Syria clearly wants the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq, but not 
     before Iraqi domestic institutions have time to mature to 
     prevent Iran from sweeping in to a political vacuum.
       We discussed the issue of intelligence cooperation. The 
     good cooperation Syria and the U.S. had following September 
     11, 2001 has since dissipated. The delegation pressed Asad 
     for more cooperation. Asad confirmed that cooperation had 
     been good, but said that security and intelligence 
     cooperation cannot flourish in the absence of strong 
     political and diplomatic relations.
       The delegation pressed Asad on the Iranian nuclear threat 
     and the potential for Syria to be dragged into a regional 
     conflict. Assad indicated that the Iranian issue needs to be 
     resolved and that conflict must be prevented, but that he 
     does not believe Iran is seeking a nuclear military 
       Senator Klobuchar and I raised the issue of the three 
     American citizens--Joshua Fattal, Shane Bauer, and Sarah 
     Shourd--who have been detained in Iran since July 31, 2009, 
     when they mistakenly crossed into Iran on a hiking 
       The United Kingdom had asked Syria to intercede with Iran 
     in the case of five British citizens who were in Iranian 
     custody under somewhat similar circumstances. The five 
     citizens were released.
       Since the start of their detention, I had worked with other 
     members of the Senate to facilitate their release. On August 
     18, I joined Senators Casey, Feinstein, Boxer, Klobuchar, 
     Franken and Murray in writing to the Iranian Ambassador to 
     the U.N. Mohammad Khazaee to request that Iran grant the 
     Swiss consular access to the Americans per Iran's obligations 
     under the Vienna Convention. This letter was followed by a 
     similar one to Ayatollah Khamenei on September 23, 2009.
       On September 22, I introduced a resolution cosponsored by 
     Senators Casey, Feinstein, Boxer, Klobuchar, Franken, and 
     Nelson (FL) encouraging the Government of Iran to grant 
     consular access for the Swiss and to allow Joshua Fattal, 
     Shane Bauer, and Sarah Shourd to reunite with their families 
     in the United States as soon as possible. The legislation 
     passed the Senate on October 6, and passed the House on 
     October 29, sponsored by Reps. Schwartz and Hinchey.
       On October 8, I sent a personal note to Ambassador Khazaee 
     requesting his assistance in releasing the hikers.
       On December 17, 2009 I sent a letter to Secretary Clinton 
     requesting she ask the Syrians to engage Tehran to secure the 
     release of the three Americans. The State Department 
     contacted the Syrian foreign ministry to seek its assistance 
     in a manner similar to the assistance the Syrians provided to 
     the recent efforts to secure the release of the five British 
     yachtsmen detained by Iran in late November after they 
     strayed into Iranian waters. The five Brits were released 
     within a week.
       President Asad said they would look into the matter 
     including the charges to see if Syria could be of help in 
     securing their release. President Asad told me he would 
     review the matter and that the Syrians ``will try our best.''
       Later that evening Senator Klobuchar and I had a working 
     dinner with Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem. I have known 
     Foreign Minister Muallem for two decades dating back to his 
     time as Ambassador to the

[[Page S764]]

     United States. We discussed in depth the issues raised 
     earlier with the President. We again pressed the Foreign 
     Minister on the issue of the U.S. hikers detained in Iran. 
     Foreign Minister Muallem indicated he would be willing to go 
     to Tehran to engage his counterpart regarding the plight of 
     the hikers if he sees ``some light at the end of the 


       We departed Damascus the following morning for Delhi, India 
     and where we were met by Deputy Chief of Mission Steven 
     White. The issues we discussed were wide-ranging and 
     included: nuclear cooperation between the United States and 
     India; the November 2008 terrorist attacks in India and 
     India's efforts to combat terrorism; India's tenuous 
     relations with Pakistan and China; its economic and 
     diplomatic presence in Afghanistan; and the position it has 
     taken in global climate change negotiations, in which it has 
     opposed binding emissions reductions as limits on its future 
     economic growth. As the world's second most populous country, 
     it is clear that India will play an increasing role in global 
     politics this century.
       The delegation participated in a country team briefing at 
     our mission. We had the opportunity to discuss a wide variety 
     of issues in our bilateral relationship with the DCM, 
     political section, defense attache, USAID and consular 
     affairs officers.
       Much of our discussions during our visit focused on India's 
     growth and the growing pains associated with such growth, to 
     include education. While 92 percent of the country's children 
     go to primary school, half drop out by 6th grade. Many of 
     India's 1.2 billion citizens live in rural regions and 
     getting teachers to those posts is difficult. The country has 
     engaged in an affirmative action for children of lower castes 
     to attend university, but these reserved spots are 
     extraordinarily competitive. Yet, the government of India is 
     committed to inclusive growth and bringing the lower class up 
     to participate in India's prosperity.
       A central theme in our discussions with our mission 
     personnel as well as Indian officials was the civil nuclear 
     accord signed by the U.S. and India. On October 1, 2008, 
     Congress approved an agreement facilitating nuclear 
     cooperation between the United States and India. As 
     chronicled by the Council on Foreign Relations, the deal, 
     first introduced in a joint statement issued by President 
     Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 18, 
     2005, ``lifts a three-decade U.S. moratorium on nuclear trade 
     with India. It provides U.S. assistance to India's civilian 
     nuclear energy program, and expands U.S.-India cooperation in 
     energy and satellite technology'' (CFR--11/20/09). During our 
     meetings, this agreement was described as a ``watershed'' 
     event in our bilateral relationship--an event that opened new 
     doors, new cooperation and new possibilities for two 
     countries that have spent the majority of their histories 
     circling each other but not directly engaging in a meaningful 
       According to our officials, India is taking steps to be a 
     responsible world power on nonproliferation matters. India 
     has supported international efforts, along with the United 
     States, to address Iran's troubling military nuclear 
     ambitions--most recently by supporting an IAEA censure of 
     Iran's nuclear program during a November 27, 2009 meeting of 
     the IAEA's Board of Governors. This has led to a cooling 
     between the two countries, yet India and Iran still have deep 
     economic connections, as Iran is India's second largest 
     energy supplier.
       On the economic front, India's economy was more sheltered 
     than others and weathered the global economic crisis better 
     than many. Their economy grew 6.8 percent in 2009 and is 
     expected to grow 7.5 percent in 2010. India has increasingly 
     sought and purchased U.S. weaponry. The deepening of the 
     bilateral arms sales are a critical component of our 
       On the terrorism front, I pressed the team on the prospect 
     of reconciliation between India and Pakistan in the hopes 
     that a reduction in tensions would allow Pakistan to focus 
     its forces on elements such as Al-Qaeda.
       India is no stranger to terrorism, most recently seen in 
     the horrific attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, which 
     killed at least 173 people, including 6 Americans. Our 
     mission and its law enforcement components have provided 
     assistance to the Indians in the investigation of the 
       Following the country team briefing, the delegation took a 
     classified regional security briefing before departing for 
     the Prime Minister's office.
       I have long been concerned about Indian-Pakistani 
     relations. I brought up the issue of an Indian-Pakistani 
     rapprochement during a visit to India in 1995. In August 
     1995, Senator Hank Brown and I were told by Prime Minister 
     Rao in a visit to New Delhi that India was interested in 
     negotiating with Pakistan to make their subcontinent free of 
     nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Rao asked Senator Brown and 
     me to raise this issue with Pakistan's Prime Minister Benazir 
     Bhutto which we did. I then wrote to President Clinton urging 
     him to broker such negotiations. Those discussions are 
     summarized in a letter which I sent to President Clinton:

                                                  August 28, 1995.
       Dear Mr. President: I think it important to call to your 
     personal attention the substance of meetings which Senator 
     Hank Brown and I have had in the last two days with Indian 
     Prime Minister Rao and Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir 
       Prime Minister Rao stated that he would be very interested 
     in negotiations which would lead to the elimination of any 
     nuclear weapons on his subcontinent within ten or fifteen 
     years including renouncing first use of such weapons. His 
     interest in such negotiations with Pakistan would cover 
     bilateral talks or a regional conference which would include 
     the United States, China and Russia in addition to India and 
       When we asked Prime Minister Bhutto when she had last 
     talked to Prime Minister Rao, she said that she had no 
     conversations with him during her tenure as Prime Minister. 
     Prime Minister Bhutto did say that she had initiated a 
     contact through an intermediary but that was terminated when 
     a new controversy arose between Pakistan and India.
       From our conversations with Prime Minister Rao and Prime 
     Minister Bhutto, it is my sense that both would be very 
     receptive to discussions initiated and brokered by the United 
     States as to nuclear weapons and also delivery missile 
       I am dictating this letter to you by telephone from 
     Damascus so that you will have it at the earliest moment. I 
     am also telefaxing a copy of this letter to Secretary of 
     State Warren Christopher.
                                                    Arlen Specter.

       After returning to the United States, I discussed such a 
     presidential initiative with President Clinton, but my 
     suggestion was not pursued.
       The delegation had a warm welcome from Prime Minister 
     Singh. The Prime Minister began the meeting by thanking the 
     delegation for Congress' strong bipartisan support in 
     implementing the U.S.-India bilateral nuclear accord. He 
     further declared that this event has made him believe the 
     ``sky is the limit'' in terms of broadening and deepening the 
     U.S.-India bilateral relationship, from energy to defense to 
       Prime Minister Singh confirmed that his economy continues 
     to grow, and was insulated from the global fiscal 
     difficulties largely because of India's savings rate and that 
     domestic consumption filled much of the void left by lagging 
     exports. He told the group that India's prosperity will have 
     positive effects on the rest of the developing world. He 
     expressed his strong desire to deepen the defense cooperation 
     between our countries.
       The group asked the Prime Minister for his views on 
     Afghanistan. He informed the group that India has invested 
     $1.2 billion in reconstruction and development in 
     Afghanistan. While he admitted the existence of corruption 
     within the Karzai government, he indicated that President 
     Karzai is the best option for stability, and that all will 
     benefit from strong international support for Karzai. He 
     stated that deadlines and withdrawal will only play into the 
     hands of the terrorists, as they will signal looming weakness 
     of the government in Kabul.
       I pressed the Prime Minister on the prospects for relieving 
     tensions between his country and Pakistan and the possibility 
     of having an accord on troops and nuclear weapons. If 
     Pakistan will take action against the terrorist elements in 
     its country, India would be willing to discuss many things, 
     Singh stated. Prime Minister Singh told the group of the 
     strong internal pressure he felt after the Mumbai attacks to 
     take some action against Pakistan, but that he refrained. He 
     further told the group that Pakistanis and Indians are the 
     same--highlighting that he was born in what today is Pakistan 
     and that former Pakistani President Pervez Musharaff was born 
     in what is present day India. He told the group that Pakistan 
     does not need to fear India and that he is committed to 
     engaging in a positive manner with Pakistan. He suggested 
     that serious reform in Pakistan's education system is needed 
     and that madrassas are a significant problem.
       I asked Prime Minister Singh whether India would consider a 
     treaty with Pakistan to reduce military forces stationed by 
     each nation on the border. I told him of my 1995 
     conversations with Prime Minister Rao and Prime Minister 
     Bhutto and my letter to President Clinton. I noted that it 
     would be a great help in the war against al-Qaeda if Pakistan 
     could re-deploy significant soldiers from the border to fight 
       I analogized an Indian-Pakistan treaty to the U.S.-Soviet 
     arms reduction treaties. If India and Pakistan could agree on 
     disclosure and reduced forces, that would liberate Pakistani 
     troops. Prime Minister Singh said India would be willing to 
     consider such a treaty, but pointed out that Pakistan would 
     have to control Pakistan terrorists such as the ones who 
     attacked the hotel in Mumbai. He said he had been under 
     considerable pressure to respond forcefully, but had not done 
     so. Many feared that the Mumbai hotel attack and a forceful 
     India response could have set off a nuclear exchange.
       I asked Prime Minister Singh pointedly if the Pakistan 
     government could control the terrorists and he responded 
     ``yes.'' He added the terrorists were the ``creation'' of the 
     Pakistan government.
       Regarding Iran, Prime Minister Singh told the group India 
     was not in favor of another nuclear power in the region and 
     doesn't want Iran to have that capability. Prime Minister 
     Singh highlighted his country's support at the United Nations 
     to address Iran's nuclear ambitions. He indicated that Iran 
     is a signatory to the NPT, and as such is entitled to

[[Page S765]]

     enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, but that they must 
     comply with international accords to reassure the 
     international community of their peaceful intentions.
       Following our meeting with the Prime Minister, I returned 
     to the embassy for a meeting with Robert Hladun, the Deputy 
     Country Attache for the DEA and Gib Wilson, the Assistant 
     Legal Attache for the FBI. I received an overview of the 
     regional drug trade and how it impacts the U.S., and our 
     cooperation and assistance to India with their investigations 
     and counterterrorism efforts.
       The Deputy Chief of Mission hosted a working lunch with our 
     counterparts from the Indian National Congress including: 
     Pallam Raju, Minister of State for Defense, Jitin Prasada, 
     Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Abhishek 
     Manu Singhvi, Manish Tewari, Prakash Javadekar, Raashid Alvi, 
     Madhu Goud Yashki and Deepender Singh Hooda. Our discussions 
     centered on the same topics we had discussed with Prime 
     Minister Singh and the country team, but also provided us an 
     opportunity to discuss how, as parliamentarians, we deal with 
     local and national issues of importance to our constituents. 
     Following lunch, we departed Delhi for Morocco, with a 
     refueling stop in Qatar.


       On January 3, 2010, the delegation flew from New Delhi to 
     Kabul, Afghanistan and returned to New Delhi late on the same 
     day. Upon arrival at the U.S. Embassy, we were greeted by 
     General Stanley McChrystal and Ambassadors Anthony Wayne and 
     Francis Ricciardone.
       General McChrystal outlined a strategy aimed at influencing 
     the Karzai government to institute reforms to win the support 
     of the Afghan people so that many of the insurgents would 
     support the Karzai government and reject the efforts of the 
     Taliban to win control. He acknowledged some of the 
     insurgents who supported the Taliban leadership would stay 
     with the Taliban, so that the Taliban and their supporters 
     would have to be defeated militarily.
       I asked General McChrystal why fight in Afghanistan when 
     others--the Soviets, the British, Alexander the Great had 
     failed--and al-Qaeda could organize strikes against the U.S. 
     and others from Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere and the U.S. was 
     engaging only a small number of al-Qaeda (estimated by some 
     as few as 100) and really only fighting the Taliban. General 
     McChrystal responded that U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan 
     would have disastrous consequences in the region and beyond 
     and that al-Qaeda would continue to have their best sanctuary 
     in the caves and mountains on the border regions between 
     Afghanistan and Pakistan.
       I asked him about the reality of significant withdrawal by 
     mid-2011, pointing out that the commitment to start the 
     withdrawal could be met by a small withdrawal which would not 
     be significant. He did not respond on a date for final 
     withdrawal, but said the mid-2011 start of withdrawal was a 
     realistic exit strategy.
       When I pointed out that President Karzai had publicly 
     stated U.S. troops would be needed for 15 years, General 
     McChrystal did not modify his previously stated estimates.
       When our Codel later met with President Karzai asked when 
     he thought Afghanistan would be able to maintain the peace 
     and function on its own without any U.S. troops. He said that 
     if the resources were ``adequate,'' that U.S. troops could 
     start withdrawal in two years with full withdrawal after 10 
     years. There was insufficient time to clarify with President 
     Karzai what resources would be ``adequate'' or what the 
     timetable would be as to estimates of how many troops could 
     be withdrawn each year.
       We received a brief on the status of the Afghan Army and 
     were informed that it is well respected by much of the 
     population and is seen by many as an entity that holds the 
     promise of binding the nation. The police force is in poorer 
     shape: corruption and involvement in the drug trade, combined 
     with a chronic lack of leadership, hamper its improvement. 
     Only 25 percent of the police force has formal training.
       The delegation then proceeded to a country team briefing. 
     Our mission in Afghanistan has four ambassadors--a rare 
     occurrence, but one that is necessary given the complexity of 
     the issues and the size of the mission.
       We discussed the significant monetary investment being made 
     in Afghanistan, with $250 million alone spent on the civilian 
     side each month, and once the additional 30,000 troops arrive 
     the cost will rise to between $9 and $10 billion per month 
     for the entire U.S. effort. When asked to discuss the 
     national security significance to U.S., Major General 
     MacDonald stated that Afghanistan is the extremists' base, 
     threat exists and they have resources in Afghanistan. I 
     pressed the team to rationalize the disparity between 
     President Obama saying we begin withdrawing in 2011 and 
     President Karzai saying that it will take 15 years for his 
     security forces to be ready to stand on their own. I pressed 
     them on how quickly we can train security forces so the U.S. 
     could turn over responsibility and again shared the concern 
     by many over U.S. debt, deficit and obligations at home.
       Lieutenant General Caldwell outlined the efforts to develop 
     the police and ministries of defense and interior. He 
     highlighted the issue of lacking an effective afghan civil 
     service. He told us that an Afghan soldier makes $165 a month 
     whereas a judge makes only $80. Clearly, civilian pay reform 
     is needed.
       I pressed the officials on getting the international 
     community to carry its weight. They replied that the U.S. 
     requested 2,500 troops on December 1, 2009 and NATO pledged 
     460, and U.S. officials are now going around Kabul asking 
     each country's ambassador for additional troops. I again 
     pressed them on when we can finally leave. They stated that 
     governance, economy and security need to all be working in 
     tandem and that 300,000 Afghan security forces will be 
     ready by July 2011.


       The delegation arrived in Rabat, Morocco at 1 AM on January 
     5th where we were met by Ambassador Samuel Kaplan. Our Codel 
     was very impressed with him. There is considerable debate 
     about ``political appointees,'' but Ambassador Kaplan brought 
     unique skills to this position from a distinguished career in 
     the law, considerable business experience, and extensive 
     activity in political and community affairs.
       We met with Foreign Minister Fassi-Fihri and Director 
     General Mohamed Mansouri. The Foreign Minster told the 
     delegation he was pleased with the status of relations 
     between our two countries and the deepening in the 
     relationship on issues such as trade and defense and 
     intelligence cooperation. The Foreign Minister explained 
     Morocco's unique position in the world, with one foot in the 
     Mid-East and one in Africa. He described the difficulty his 
     country has had in establishing a democratic system, 
     permitting political parties while maintaining a democracy.
       Much of our discussion focused on terrorism and prospects 
     for peace in the region. Director General Mansouri stated 
     that terrorists have manipulated Islam and that Morocco has 
     pushed for a more moderate approach and that it is engaged in 
     combating radicalism. I pressed the Foreign Minister on 
     recent incidents of terrorism and what can be done to combat 
     the ideology that inspires suicide bombers and their skewed 
     religious/political views. He told me that many in the Muslim 
     world are frustrated--especially the youth. They lack 
     educational and economic opportunities and poverty has led 
     many to extremist camps. Yet, we also discussed how many 
     terrorists, including those that perpetrated 9/11 and most 
     recently the Detroit airline bombing attempt were educated 
     and came from middle class or wealthy families.
       The officials told us that we must work to resolve the 
     conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians and that a 
     lasting peace will help subdue tensions and allow governments 
     and moderate Muslims to stand up and lead. In addition, they 
     suggested a global interfaith dialogue must occur. They 
     stated their desire to play a leadership role given Morocco's 
     history in hosting the three great religions.
       The Foreign Minister highlighted Morocco's efforts to 
     engage the youth with opportunities and positive messages and 
     that their brand of Islam is open, inclusive and tolerant and 
     is a good model for the broader Muslim world.
       We departed Rabat early on January 7th to return to Andrews 
     Air Force Base by midday EST.

                       Tribute To Mr. Kenny Evans

  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, Kenny Evans recently passed after being 
with me for some 30 years. I had known Mr. Evans in Philadelphia for a 
long time, but when I ran for the Senate in 1980, I asked him to be my 
campaign deputy in the African-American community. When I was elected, 
I brought him in as my key operative in the African-American community 
because of the urgency of having active minority representation.
  He came to be known and loved and admired as a leading public 
official in the city. He served longer than most anybody else who had 
been in public office. He took on a great role in housing and in job 
training and in education, on civil rights issues and on immigration.
  When we had a proposal advanced by Congressman Chaka Fattah called 
GEAR UP almost a decade ago, with a $300 million price tag, I consulted 
with Kenny Evans, listened to his advice and recommendations and helped 
provide $300 million a year, which has now come to be in the $2.5 
billion range, not only servicing Philadelphia but the entire country.
  When we had a controversy last summer about African-American children 
being excluded from a swim club which said they were not welcome there, 
Kenny Evans took the lead in consultation and advice on how to handle 
it with the Civil Rights Division, and action has been taken to correct 
a wrong there.
  He was an unusual public servant and an extraordinary man.
  Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that a statement which was 
prepared by Michael Oscar, my executive director for southeastern 
Pennsylvania, which Mike Oscar gave at Kenny's funeral, be printed in 
the Congressional Record.

[[Page S766]]

  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

       Today, we do not grieve for Kenny Evans, for now he is free 
     to follow the path God has laid out for him. Kenny took God's 
     hand when he heard Him call.
       Good Morning and on behalf of Charolette and the entire 
     Evans Family, I offer the following remarks highlighting our 
     friend, Kenny Evans.
       My name is Michael Oscar and I serve as Sen. Specter's 
     Executive Director in Southeastern Pennsylvania. For nearly a 
     decade, I had the distinct pleasure of working with Kenny in 
     many different legislative and political capacities. It is 
     with this background and distinction that I speak to you 
       May it be said of Kenny, the words of Alfred, Lord 

     ``I am a part of all that I have met
     To much is taken, much abides
     That which we are, we are . . .
     One equal temper of heroic hearts
     Strong in will
     To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.''

       Kenny personified these words because his cause was ours,--
     you and me--the cause of the common man and the common woman. 
     His commitment was to those who Andrew Jackson called ``the 
     humble members of society: the farmers, mechanics, laborers, 
     and the forgotten.''
       On this foundation for the past three decades with Sen. 
     Specter and beyond, Kenny defined our values, refined our 
     policies, and refreshed our faith. He did this by operating 
     behind the scenes with much grace, class, and dignity.
       There was never a problem no matter how big or small, he 
     did not try to solve, a request he did not try to respond to, 
     or a person he did not try to help. This was his marquee 
       Kenny's work ethic and style mentored future generations of 
     congressional staffers, political candidates, and current 
     legislators in the art and science of politics. As Al 
     Jackson, his friend and luncheon companion for nearly 27 
     years, stated on numerous occasions, ``he is the maestro of 
     politics''--instinctively knowing how to deal with people and 
     their everyday concerns.
       In my opinion, he earned this astute characterization 
     because he worked from the ground up, which provided him the 
     proper rubric on how to communicate with people.
       As his Executive Director for the past five years, I 
     witnessed firsthand his innate ability to soften even the 
     harshest of personalities. There was not a day that went by 
     that Susan Segal would say, ``Kenny would be the perfect 
     choice to handle this constituent.''
       ``And handle this constituent he did'' because his 
     commitment went well beyond the federal scope. Whatever it 
     took, a phone call, a letter, a closed door meeting. He was a 
     tireless advocate always on a mission.
       When I first joined Senator Specter's staff in Washington, 
     D.C. before coming to Philadelphia, my COS at the time, Carey 
     Lackman told me ``you had an impressive list of references, 
     but none greater than Kenny Evans.'' Candidly, I didn't know 
     what Carey was talking about. I had no idea who Kenny Evans 
     was and he was not listed as one of my references.
       I later learned that Kenny worked closely with one of my 
     former employer's, Michael Kunz, the Clerk of Court for the 
     District Court. When Mr. Kunz heard that I applied for the 
     position he called Kenny to advocate on my behalf. 
     Apparently, Kenny immediately called Carey and stated, ``this 
     guy worked for the clerk, do you know how many calls a day I 
     get from constituents to get out of jury duty? You need to 
     hire this guy.''
       However, my first and lasting impression of Kenny occurred 
     about a year later. Many of you may not be aware of this, but 
     Kenny, along with Al Jackson, established the first urban 
     aquaculture center in the nation.
       Many of you like me are probably scratching your heads 
     right now wondering what is aquaculture. Well, it's any crop 
     that is cultured in water--whether it be shrimp, fish, or 
       Kenny learned about aquaculture from his numerous luncheon 
     conversations with Al Jackson and over the course of a year, 
     they drafted this unique partnership between the University 
     of Pennsylvania and Cheyney University. They wanted to 
     provide African American students the opportunity to learn 
     this unusual science.
       Proudly I report to you today, the center has been 
     successfully funded for the past seven years by the U.S. 
     Department of Agriculture and has graduated nearly 188 
     African American students in the field of urban aquaculture. 
     This was just one accomplishment of many that Kenny succeeded 
     in on behalf of Sen. Specter.
       Beyond Kenny's political acumen, he mentored all of us on 
     how to keep things simple, light. When I was drafted by the 
     Senator to run his Philadelphia Office, I heard one of my 
     predecessors define it as ``Kennyism.'' Those Kennyisms have 
     sustained me and our team in Philadelphia for many years and 
     they will never be forgotten.
       One specific anecdote that defines what we collectively 
     call a ``Kennyism'' was when I was on a leave of absence from 
     the Senator's office to run Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick's campaign. 
     Despite my absence from the office, my three-year-old son, 
     Liam, at the time was enrolled in the daycare center located 
     in the Green Federal Building.
       So for three days a week, I drove down to the city to drop 
     him off. Before heading up to the campaign office in 
     Doylestown, I would stop by the second floor cafeteria to 
     grab a cup of coffee and I was always greeted by Kenny's 
       He would tell me ``Sit down, Mike, tell me about the 
     campaign and more importantly, how is your family?'' He would 
     listen, he would laugh, and he taught me to keep it light. He 
     would end every conversation with ``It will be ok.''
       Speaking of campaigns, when I had the pleasure of 
     accompanying the Senator during his visit with Kenny just a 
     few weeks ago in the hospital, Kenny despite his medical 
     maladies went right to work assessing for the Senator how the 
     African American Community along with many others will come 
     out for him in his re-election. Yes, many a ``kennyism'' was 
     shared that day.
       A few short weeks later, I went back to visit with Kenny, 
     along with Al Jackson, and Elvis Solivan, another stalwart of 
     the Specter Team. While there I had this memorable 
     conversation with Kenny's grandson, Lamont. He told me how 
     his grandfather would bring the Senator's Lincoln Town Car 
     home and when he did he would offer his grandchildren a ride 
     in it, and if they accepted the offer then they would wash it 
       When I heard the story, I just laughed. ``Senator, rest 
     assured, no one yet from the Oscar family has ridden in the 
     Lincoln let alone washed it except for their father.''
       Upon your arrival at today's services, you may have noticed 
     that radiant photo of Kenny, Charolette, and President Obama. 
     On that day, Tuesday, September 15, 2009, candidly, Kenny was 
     noticeably not well, but we wanted to ensure he received his 
     photo with the first African American President of the United 
       That said, I grasped Kenny's hand, along with Charolette's 
     and together we raced down the long convention center hallway 
     with Andy Wallace at our side running interference. When we 
     got to the photo line, we were immediately escorted to the 
     front of the line. I turned to Shanin Specter and asked him 
     to introduce Kenny and Charolette to the President, and he 
     replied, ``No,'' but he immediately responded with ``Mike, I 
     want you to do it.''
       So, I proceeded to the President, ``Mr. President, I would 
     like to introduce you to Kenny and Charolette Evans. Kenny 
     has been with the Senator for the past 30 years.'' President 
     Obama retorted, ``my man, Kenny Evans'' and extended a warm 
     hug and handshake. Without question, I will NEVER forget that 
       Ladies and Gentlemen, for those of us who are a part of or 
     friend of Sen. Specter's Alumni and Family, please do not 
     regard today in sorrow, rather rejoice in Kenny's memory and 
     adapt his cause to your daily work.
       Find comfort and solace in knowing that Kenny joins Carey 
     Lackman and Tom Bowman, former staffers that were dedicated 
     to the cause in helping the common man and woman of 
     Pennsylvania and the nation. Imagine if you will the 
     conversation they must be having right now.
       For the rest of us assembled here today and to Kenny's 
     family; specifically, Charolette, I offer this summation of a 
     consummate advocate for the little guy, Kenny Evans, by 
     recounting the final sentence of Sen. Ted Kennedy's ``The 
     Dream Shall Never Die Speech,'' at the 1980 Democratic 
     National Convention:
       ``For all of those whose cares have been our concern, the 
     work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and 
     the dream shall never die.''
       As in everything we do, may God be blessed! Thank you.

  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, I thank the Chair and yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Will the Senator withhold the suggestion of 
the absence of a quorum?
  Mr. SPECTER. I do.