[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 88 (Tuesday, June 12, 2012)]
[Pages S3949-S3964]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                          LEGISLATIVE SESSION



  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will now 
resume legislative session and will resume consideration of the motion 
to proceed to S. 3240, which the clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       Motion to proceed to Calendar No. 415, S. 3240, a bill to 
     reauthorize the agriculture programs through 2017, and for 
     other purposes.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the motion to 
proceed is agreed to.
  The Senator from Tennessee.

                      Vote on Hurwitz Confirmation

  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, I thank the majority leader. I simply 
wanted to say I did not object to a voice vote on Mr. Hurwitz's 
confirmation, but I wished to make this statement.
  Last night, I voted for cloture because when I became a Senator, 
Democrats were blocking an up-or-down vote on President Bush's judicial 
nominees. I said then that I would not do that and did not like doing 
that. I have held to that in almost every case since then. I believe 
nominees for circuit judges, in all but extraordinary cases, and 
district judges in every case ought to have an up-or-down vote by the 
  So while I voted for cloture last night, if we had a vote today, I 
would have voted no against confirmation because of my concerns about 
Mr. Hurwitz's record on right-to-life issues.
  I thank the Chair and I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I just want to have it noted for the 
record that I would have voted no on this nominee had we had a recorded 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana.
  Mr. COATS. Mr. President, I associate myself with those last two 
remarks. I would have also voted no. I wish we had had a recorded vote.
  I wasn't able to understand even what the majority leader was saying, 
it was spoken so softly, but had we had a recorded vote, I would have 
been listed as no.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Madam President, I was shocked and disappointed to 
learn that the majority leader came to the floor to yield back all time 
and move immediately to a voice vote on the nomination of Andrew David 
Hurwitz to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the ninth circuit. I find this to 
be quite irregular and outside the recent precedents of this Senate. 
Typically, Members are informed of such actions in advance. I was not 
so informed, and I am the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. I 
certainly did not intend to yield my time and, in fact, I intended to 
speak further on the nominee, particularly to make clear some 
corrections that I think needed to be made after I debated this 
  Regardless of yielding time or further debate, I expected a rollcall 
vote on this nominee. This has been Senate precedent recently. Before 
today, cloture was invoked on 22 different judicial nominees. Only 1 of 
those 22 was confirmed without a rollcall vote--Lavenski Smith to the 
eighth circuit. Cloture was invoked 94 to 3 on July 15, 2002, and he 
was confirmed by unanimous consent later that day. Even Barbara Keenan, 
fourth circuit, had a confirmation rollcall after cloture was invoked 
99 to 0.
  Furthermore, it has been our general understanding around here for 
some time that circuit votes would be by rollcall vote. So I am 
extremely disappointed that there has been a breach of comity around 
  Yesterday I outlined my primary concerns regarding the nomination of 
Andrew David Hurwitz to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the ninth circuit. I 
continue to oppose the nomination and will vote no on his confirmation.
  I want to supplement and correct the Record on a few issues that 
arose during yesterday's debate. One of the biggest misunderstandings 
is that opposition to Justice Hurwitz is based on a 40 year-old 
decision made by a Judge other than Justice Hurwitz. I do not oppose 
his nomination because of what somebody else did, or because Justice 
Hurwitz was a law clerk. My opposition, on this issue, is based on what 
Mr. Hurwitz himself takes credit for.

  He authored the article in question, not as a young law clerk, but 
when he was well established and seasoned lawyer, shortly before 
joining the Arizona Supreme Court. In that article Justice Hurwitz 
praised Judge Newman's opinion for its ``careful and meticulous 
analysis of the competing constitutional issues.'' He called the 
opinion ``striking, even in hindsight.'' Let me remind you, the 
constitutional issues and analysis he praises is Newman's influence on 
the Supreme Court's expansion of the ``right'' to abortion beyond the 
first trimester of pregnancy. This, Hurwitz wrote, ``effectively 
doubled the period of time in which states were barred from absolutely 
prohibiting abortions.''
  Hurwitz's article was clearly an attempt to attribute great 
significance to decisions in which the judge for whom he had clerked 
had participated. I think by any fair measure, it is impossible to read 
Justice Hurwitz's article and not conclude that he wholeheartedly 
embraces Roe, and importantly, the constitutional arguments that 
supposedly support it.
  Now it would not be surprising to learn that Justice Hurwitz might 
not be a pro-life judge. The question is not his personal views, but 
his judicial philosophy. He defends the legal reasoning of Roe, despite 
near universal agreement, among both liberal and conservative legal 
scholars, that Roe is one of the worst examples of judicial activism in 
our Nation's history.
  I have also raised my concern that Justice Hurwitz's personal views 
do seep into his decisions as a judge. Yesterday, I discussed his 
troubling record on the death penalty and how he appears to be pro-
defendant in his judicial rulings. Some of my colleagues came to the 
floor and stated they were unaware of even one case where his personal 
views influenced his judicial decision making. So I will review a bit 
of the record.
  While in private practice, Justice Hurwitz successfully challenged 
Arizona's death penalty sentencing scheme in Ring v. Arizona, even 
though the law previously had been upheld by the Supreme Court of the 
United States in Walton v. Arizona.
  After the Ring decision, Hurwitz, attempted to expand the ruling by 
asking the Arizona Supreme Court to either throw out each man's death 
sentence and order a new trial or to resentence each to life 
imprisonment with the possibility of parole, saying that allowing the 
previous death sentence to stand would be a ``dangerous precedent.'' 
The Arizona Supreme Court refused to overturn the convictions and death 
sentences on a blanket basis, ruling that the trials were fundamentally 
fair and that the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling didn't require throwing 
out all the death sentences.
  Justice Hurwitz didn't stop there. While on the Arizona Supreme 

[[Page S3950]]

Justice Hurwitz continued to attempt to expand the scope of the Ring 
case. His personal opposition to the death penalty appears to have 
influenced his decisions on the Arizona Supreme Court.
  Justice Hurwitz was the lone dissenter in the case of State of 
Arizona v. Styers. In that case, a jury found James Lynn Styers guilty 
of the 1989 murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder, 
kidnapping, and child abuse of four-year-old Christopher Milke.
  Four-year old Christopher was told he was being taken to see Santa 
Claus, but instead he was taken to the desert and brutally shot in the 
back of the head.
  After years of appeals, the case found itself in federal court, 
making its way to the Ninth Circuit. In 2008, nearly 19 years after the 
heart wrenching crime took place, the Ninth Circuit sent the Styers 
case back to Arizona. In June 2011, some 22 years after this horrific 
event occurred, the Arizona Supreme Court, in a 4 1 decision, upheld 
Styers' death sentence. Justice Hurwitz, attempting to cite Ring as 
authority--the case he argued in while in private practice--was the 
sole Justice on the Arizona Supreme Court who thought that 
Christopher's murderer should be given another trial, likely resulting 
in another round of delays.
  If he had his way, the victims in this crime would still be awaiting 
justice, Arizona taxpayers would be facing unnecessary expenses and 
society at large would still be waiting for a resolution of the case.
  In another death penalty case, State of Arizona v. Donald Edward 
Beaty, Justice Hurwitz was again the lone dissenter. Donald Beaty was 
convicted of the May 9, 1984 murder in Tempe of 13-year-old Christy Ann 
Fornoff. Thirteen-year-old-Christy was abducted, sexually assaulted and 
suffocated to death by Beaty while collecting newspaper subscription 
  Beaty, who has been on death row since July, 1985, was scheduled to 
die by lethal injection at an Arizona Department of Corrections prison 
in Florence at 10 a.m. on May 25, 2011, more than 27 years after the 
crime occurred. Beaty's execution was delayed for most of the day as 
his defense team tried to challenge the Arizona Department of 
Corrections' decision to substitute one approved drug for another in 
the state's execution-drug formula. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled 4 1 
to lift the stay, with the majority saying Beaty's lawyers hadn't 
proved he was likely to be harmed by the change. Once again, Justice 
Hurwitz was the sole dissenter.
  If Justice Hurwitz had his way, the State would have had to start 
over with the death warrant process, leading to additional delays and 
pain to the victim's family.
  So there are two examples of where his death penalty views seeped 
into his judicial decision making.
  As a sitting Justice on the Arizona Supreme Court, Justice Hurwitz 
tends to be pro-defendant. A study by court watcher and Albany Law 
School Professor Vincent Bonventre validated the pro-defendant posture 
of Justice Hurwitz. In a 2008 study, Professor Bonventre examined the 
criminal decisions in which the Arizona Supreme Court was divided over 
the previous five years. His study found that Justice Hurwitz was the 
most pro-defendant member of the Court, siding with the pro-defendant 
position 83 percent of the time. This is well outside the mainstream 
for the other members of the Court during the five-year period. As 
reported by the study, he took a pro-prosecution posture during that 
five year period only once since he joined the court.
  Mr. President, my opposition to Justice Hurwitz is not because of any 
misbehavior in his youth, silly antics as a college freshman or 
immature writings in college. I am not suggesting anything like that is 
in his record, but such examples were raised in the debate yesterday. 
It is unfortunate that such arguments would have been raised in this 
serious debate.
  I oppose the confirmation of Justice Hurwitz based on his record as a 
Justice on the Arizona Supreme Court and because of his published views 
which reflect a judicial ideology that is outside the mainstream.
  Madam President, it seems to me that all the business of the Senate 
is based upon trust between one Senator and another. When the ranking 
member of the Judiciary Committee isn't notified of this action--or any 
other Senator--it seems to me that trust has been violated. I won't be 
satisfied that that trust has been restored unless there is some action 
taken to have a rollcall vote on this nomination.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. ISAKSON. Mr. President, today the Senate confirmed Executive 
Calendar No. 607, Andrew David Hurwitz, of Arizona, to be United States 
Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit on a voice vote. I request that the 
Record reflect my opposition to the nominee and that I would have voted 

  Objection to Further Proceedings on the Nomination of Andrew Hurwitz

  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, earlier today, the nomination of Andrew 
Hurwitz, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit was 
agreed to by voice vote. It is unclear whether or not a motion to 
reconsider was made, whether or not a motion to table a motion to 
reconsider was offered, and whether or not a request was made to notify 
the President was part of the order.
  I object to any further proceedings, including those listed above, 
based on the fact that a rollcall vote was expected on this nomination.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, for the record, I want to be recorded as 
an affirmative on the previous nomination.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's vote will so be noted.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I come to the floor now with my friend and 
colleague from the State of Oklahoma, Senator Coburn, to discuss an 
amendment we hope to offer to the farm bill, which I believe is the 
pending matter before the Senate. I will make a brief statement and 
then yield to my colleague from Oklahoma.
  As I said, I come to the floor to speak about an amendment I intend 
to offer with Senator Coburn. Our amendment would reduce the level of 
premium support for crop insurance policies by 15 percentage points for 
farmers with an adjusted gross income over $750,000 a year.
  According to a recent GAO report, the Federal Government pays, on 
average, 62 percent of crop insurance premiums for farmers. Let me put 
that in perspective. These farmers are buying insurance so they can 
protect themselves against the risk of low prices or bad weather, and 
the premiums that are charged to them are collected to pay to those 
farmers who collect. At the end of the day, 62 percent of the value of 
the premiums for the crop insurance are paid by the taxpayers. In other 
words, there is a 62-percent Federal subsidy on these premium support 
payments for crop insurance across America.
  The amendment which I will offer with Senator Coburn would change 
that. The reason came out very clearly in the GAO report on crop 
insurance. Last year the Federal Government--the taxpayers--spent $7.4 
billion to cover that 62 percent of crop insurance premiums--$7.4 
billion in subsidies for crop insurance for farmers, and the amount 
spent by taxpayers each year has been growing dramatically. To cover 
roughly the same amount of acres, the Federal Government paid nearly $2 
billion more in 2011 than in 2009 because the value of the crops--the 
price for the crops--had gone up during that period of time.
  A point we would like to make and hope our colleagues would note is 
that 4 percent of the most profitable farmers in America or farming 
entities accounted for nearly one-third of all the premium support 
provided by the Federal Government. This is an indication on this chart 
of what we are talking about. The premium subsidies for 3.9 percent of 
farmers across America accounted for a little over 32 percent, almost 
33 percent of all the Federal premium support subsidies. These are 
pretty expensive farmers when it comes to the Federal subsidy. Facing 
stark realities, we can't justify continuing to provide this level of 
premium support to the wealthiest farmers.
  Net farm income has gone up dramatically--in 2011 reaching a record 
high of $98.1 billion. The USDA forecasts that income will continue to 
grow at a slightly higher rate than costs over the life of this farm 

[[Page S3951]]

which is before us. And the net income--much like government payments, 
agricultural payments are concentrated in our largest farms. Farm size 
has a direct impact on the profit margin of the farm.
  We have many large farms in Illinois, certainly across the country, 
but we have many smaller farmers too. What is the difference? On a 
smaller farm with lower income, there is less return, less profit, 
higher risk. According to the USDA, farms with sales ranging from 
$100,000 to $175,000 have an average profit margin of 1.2 percent. You 
can see they are close to the edge. They need crop insurance. In a bad 
year, they are wiped out. But take a look at the larger farms. With 
more than $1 million in sales each year, their average profit margin is 
26.8 percent. There is an economy of scale. There is money to be made. 
And that is the basis for Senator Coburn and me drawing the line and 
saying there will be a reduction in the Federal subsidy for crop 
insurance premiums for the most profitable farms. These larger and 
wealthier farms can afford to cover more of their own risk, and they 
should cover more of their own risk.
  The single largest recipient of crop insurance premium support last 
year received $2.2 million to cover the Federal Government's share of 
the policy to insure nursery crops across three counties in Florida, at 
a value of $57.7 million.
  In another example, an individual received over $1.6 million in 
premium subsidies to insure corn, potatoes, sugar beets, and wheat 
across 24 counties in 6 States. The total value of the crops insured: 
$23.5 million.
  Back home in Illinois, a limited liability corporation received 
nearly $1 million in premium subsidies from the Federal Government to 
insure corn and soybeans grown in 17 counties across my State. The 
total value of the crop: $28.4 million.
  We are not describing small farms by definition. Are you telling me 
that a producer insuring a crop valued at $57.7 million will stop 
participating in the Crop Insurance Program if the Federal Government 
only pays on average about 50 percent of the premiums instead of the 
current 62 percent? I don't think so.
  Our amendment is simple and straightforward. If you have an adjusted 
gross income on your farm at or above $750,000, your premium support 
will be reduced by 15 percentage points. A provision in the underlying 
bill increasing premium support for beginning farmers--taking care of 
the new farmers and those with smaller farms--sets a precedent for 
differentiating premium support based on need. So it isn't a radical 
notion by any means. Our amendment takes the same technical approach 
already accepted in the underlying bill. Further, the agriculture 
community is already very familiar with the use of adjusted income, as 
it is already applied to title I programs. We have to draw the line 
somewhere. Our amendment is a commonsense reform that limits the future 
cost of crop insurance programs.
  Let me reassure producers across America and in my home State of 
Illinois that this is not an attack on crop insurance. We need crop 
insurance. Everywhere I go, producers tell me crop insurance is the 
most important tool the Federal Government offers farmers to manage 
risk. I hear them, and I recognize the role crop insurance has played 
in managing the Federal role of providing disaster assistance. So I 
will be very clear. This amendment does not exclude anyone from 
participating in crop insurance. The vast majority of farmers will see 
absolutely no change in the level of premium support provided by the 
Federal Government. This amendment only impacts farmers' largest farms 
with the highest income--those most able to cover more of their own 
  Why are we doing this? Because we have a deficit, and we need to deal 
with it in an honest fashion. The underlying farm bill saves money in 
direct payments and other means over a number of years, and I commend 
Senators Stabenow and Roberts for that effort.
  What Senator Coburn and I will do over the next 10 years is reduce 
the deficit by another $1.2 billion with this simple change limiting 
the Federal subsidy and crop insurance to those wealthiest, largest 
farmers in America. How can we ask Americans to share in any sacrifice, 
to cut spending, or reduce the debt if we cannot summon the political 
will to ask the wealthiest farm operations to take such a modest cut in 
the Federal subsidy for crop insurance?
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the pending business.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 3240) to reauthorize agriculture programs 
     through 2017, and for other purposes.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I wish to comment very clearly on what 
this amendment does.
  Farm and agricultural production in this country is vital both to the 
country and to our export markets. We have through the years tried many 
different approaches to make sure we have the stability and the 
production power in this country for our needs and also to many 
beneficial aspects of our foreign policy where we use agricultural 
products for that.
  Imagine if you are a business other than agriculture and you have 
decided that regardless of the mistakes you might make or the 
uncontrolled variables that might impact your business or the downturn 
in the economy, that with 62 percent of government funding you can buy 
an insurance policy that guarantees you a profit. That is what this new 
farm bill has moved to. That is going to be our agricultural program as 
far as the Senate is looking at it. There is a real differential there 
between the rest of business and commerce in America and our farm 
program. I understand the need for that, but this bill actually 
increases our costs for the Crop Insurance Program by $5.2 billion as 
it is written.
  What the Senator from Illinois and I have proposed is a commonsense 
earnings limit that is associated with every other program in title I 
that would say: We are going to help you, but we are just not going to 
help you as much because you therefore, and by your own success, have 
the means to help yourself.
  We are going to spend a lot of money on insurance over the next 10 
years in this farm bill. It is $94.6 billion. What Senator Durbin and I 
are proposing is $1.2 billion in savings.

  A lot of people don't realize the advances that our farmers and the 
industries that supply them have made. As Senator Durbin pointed out, 
farm income has been up the last 5 years and is projected to continue 
to increase. Input costs for fertilizer are going down. Input costs for 
seed and other chemicals are going up. We want a viable farm program, 
but what we don't want is the next generation paying for additional 
wealth for those who, in fact, can afford to insure themselves.
  This is a very modest proposal. We could have had an amendment that 
said: If you make over $750,000, we shouldn't be subsidizing any of 
your crop insurance. We would still have a crop insurance program for 
this very well-off 4 percent had we done that. What we said is that now 
is the time to start looking at that. We will look at it again with the 
next farm bill, but certainly those who are so well-positioned to 
maximize profits from agriculture don't need a 62-percent subsidy to 
their crop insurance.
  This is a controversial amendment. We understand that. We know a lot 
of people are going to disagree with us. But the point is this: At how 
much income should the average, hard-working American still be paying 
taxes to supplement your income? And that is really the question. 
Should a factory worker making $45,000 a year continue to supplement 
somebody who is making $10 or $12 or $15 million a year through a crop 
insurance program?
  So we are not taking it away. All we are saying is that this needs to 
be moderated, and moderated in a manner that won't impact anybody 
except this top 4 percent. If we do that, what we will do is, as the 
Senator from Illinois said, start solving some of our budget. It is not 
a lot compared to what our problems are, but the way you get out of 
trillion-dollar deficits is a billion dollars at a time.
  What we are asking and what all of us are going to be asking over the 
next 2 to 3 years of anybody in this country is to sacrifice some. So 
what Senator Durbin and I are doing is saying to the best, to the most 
efficient, to those

[[Page S3952]]

who make the most money, we want you to start sacrificing now by 
limiting by 15 percent the subsidy that comes to you for this bill. I 
think it is common sense. It is also fair. I would have gone further in 
a lot of areas, but I think we have an agreement that this is something 
we should do, we can do, and it will have no negative impact in terms 
of our production of agriculture, in terms of quantity or quality.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, over the last several years, first as 
Governor of Tennessee and later as a U.S. Senator, I have learned that 
healthier air also means better jobs for Tennesseans. That is why I 
intend to vote to uphold a clean air rule that requires utilities in 
other States to install the same pollution control equipment the 
Tennessee Valley Authority is already installing on coal-fired power 
plants in the TVA region.
  TVA alone can't clean up our air. Tennessee is bordered by more 
States than any other State. We are literally surrounded by our 
neighbors' smokestacks. If we in Tennessee want more Nissan and 
Volkswagen plants, we will have to stop dirty air from blowing into 
Tennessee, and here is why. Back in 1980, I was Governor and Nissan 
came to Tennessee. The first thing the Nissan executives did was to go 
down to the State air quality board and apply for an air quality permit 
for their paint emissions plant. If the air in the Nashville area had 
been so dirty that Nissan couldn't have gotten an air quality permit 
for additional emissions, Nissan would have gone to Georgia and we 
would not be able to say today that one-third of our manufacturing jobs 
in Tennessee are auto jobs.
  Every one of Tennessee's major metropolitan areas is struggling today 
to meet the standards that govern whether industries can acquire the 
air quality permits they need to locate in our State.
  I once asked the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce leaders to name 
their top priority. They said to me: Clean air. Now, Sevierville is not 
necessarily a hotbed of leftwing radicals. Sevier County is the most 
Republican county in the State. It is nestled right up against the 
Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is where Dolly Parton was born. 
I live in the next county, right up next to Great Smoky Mountains 
National Park.
  East Tennesseans know that 9 million visitors come each year to see 
the Great Smoky Mountains, not to see the Great Smoggy Mountains, and 
we want those tourist dollars and the jobs they bring to keep coming. 
Despite a lot of progress, the Great Smokies is still one of the most 
polluted national parks in America. Standing on Clingman's Dome--our 
highest peak, about 6,643 feet--you should be able to see about 100 
miles through the natural blue haze about which the Cherokees used to 
sing. Yet today, on a smoggy day you can see only 24 miles.
  There are 546 Tennesseans who work today in coal mining in our State, 
according to the Energy Information Administration. Every single one of 
those jobs is important. This has been an important tradition in a few 
counties in East Tennessee. At the same time, there are 1,200 
Tennesseans who work at the Alstom plants in Knoxville and Chattanooga 
that will supply the country with most of the pollution-control 
equipment required by this rule. Every one of those Tennesseans' jobs 
is important too. Of the top five worst cities for asthma in the United 
States, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 
three are in Tennessee. They are Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville. 
Only last year Nashville dropped out of the top 10 worst U.S. cities 
for asthma. Because of the high levels of mercury, health advisories 
warn against eating fish caught in many of Tennessee's streams.

  According to the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, nationally mercury 
causes brain damage in more than 315,000 children each year. It also 
contributes to mental retardation. Half of the manmade mercury in the 
United States comes from coal-fired power plants. This new rule 
requires removing 90 percent of this mercury. The rule also controls 
186 other hazardous pollutants, including arsenic, acid gases, and 
toxic metals.
  Utilities have known this was coming since 1990 because these 187 
pollutants, including mercury, are specifically identified in the 1990 
amendments to the Clean Air Act as air pollutants that need to be 
controlled by utilities. Now the Federal courts have added their weight 
and ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to control these 
  An added benefit of the rule is that the equipment installed to 
control these hazardous pollutants will also capture fine particles, a 
major source of respiratory disease that is primarily regulated under 
another part of the Clean Air Act. This new equipment will add a few 
dollars a month to residential electric bills. The EPA estimates a 3-
percent increase nationwide. But because the Tennessee Valley Authority 
has already made a commitment to install these pollution controls, the 
customers of TVA will pay this rate increase anyway--with the rule or 
without the rule. To reduce the costs, the Senator from Arkansas, 
Senator Pryor, and I will introduce legislation to allow utilities 6 
years to comply with the rule, which is a timeline many utilities have 
requested. Earlier today the Senator from Oklahoma, who is sponsoring a 
resolution to overturn the rule, referred to the legislation Senator 
Pryor and I offered as a cover amendment and suggested in some way that 
it wasn't a sincere effort. I greatly respect the Senator from 
Oklahoma. Sometimes we have different points of view, but I have 
different points of view with the Senator from Minnesota, the Senator 
from Arkansas, not to mention Senators from almost everyplace in the 
country. But I respect those different points of view just as I respect 
Senator Inhofe's different point of view, and I hope he will respect 
mine. Here is my point of view: Ever since I have been in the Senate, I 
have introduced legislation to clean up the air in Tennessee. Why have 
I done that? Because we don't want the Great Smoggy Mountains, we want 
the Great Smoky Mountains. We don't want to perpetually have three of 
the top five asthma cities in the country. We don't like health 
advisory warnings on our streams so we can't eat our fish.
  We especially don't want the Memphis Chamber of Commerce to recruit 
another big auto plant to the big Memphis megasite and then learn that 
they can't come here because the Memphis area has dirty air and the 
auto manufacturer can't get a necessary air permit. It would be even 
worse if that dirty air is blowing in from another State.
  So what this rule is about is requiring our neighbors, and the rest 
of the country, to do the same thing we are already doing. If they 
don't do it, we have no chance in the world to ever have clean air in 
Tennessee. Also, if we don't, we will have worse health and fewer jobs.
  Now as far as the 6 years goes, the law gives States the right to add 
a fourth year to the 3 years the utilities have to comply with the law. 
Today Federal law gives the President of the United States the right to 
add 2 more years to that, so that is 6 years. In the law today the 
President and the States could make sure utilities have 6 years to 
comply with this rule. I believe that makes sense.
  If I were the king and could wave a magic wand, that is what I would 
do. Why would I do that? Because we will be getting environmental 
benefits over the 6 years. So what will happen is utilities will assess 
their coal plants, decide which ones are too old or too expensive to 
operate, decide within 3 years to close those they will not continue to 
operate, and then they will have 6 years to spread the costs of 
implementing the expensive pollution-control equipment--most of it is 
called SCRs and scrubbers--on their coal-fired powerplants.
  Most of the utilities have suggested this 6-year timeline as the 
single best way to clean the air and to do it in a way that has the 
least impact on electric bills.
  So we will introduce our legislation to give utility executives 6 
years to implement the rule, but we will also write President Obama a 
letter and urge him to grant the 6 years so utility executives can have 
that certainty. Some are saying this rule is anticoal. I say it is pro-
coal in this sense because it guarantees coal a future in our clean 
energy mix. As I have said, the Tennessee Valley Authority has decided 

[[Page S3953]]

put the pollution control equipment it needs to make coal clean on all 
of the coal plants it continues to operate. That doesn't count carbon; 
that counts all of the hazardous pollution. It counts sulfur, nitrogen, 
sulfur, mercury, and those sorts of things.
  That means, long term, the TVA will be able to produce more than one-
third of its electricity from clean coal. That guarantees its future 
for the foreseeable future in our region, and this is the largest 
public utility in the world. The rest of our electricity in the 
Tennessee Valley will come from even cleaner natural gas and from 
pollution-free nuclear power and hydropower.
  Ever since Tennesseans elected me to the Senate, which was about 10 
years ago, I have worked hard to clean up our air. Tennesseans know 
that. Most of them agree with me. They thank me for it when I go home 
on weekends. They do that because they know if I do not help clean up 
our air in Tennessee, and if I don't stop dirty air from blowing into 
our State from other States who don't have pollution controls on their 
coal plants, that it jeopardizes our health and it jeopardizes our 
opportunity to continue to be one of the Nation's leading States in 
attracting auto jobs and in attracting tourists.
  I notice on the Senate floor the Senator from Arkansas, Mr. Pryor, 
and I thank him for his leadership on the issue and for his practical 
attitude. I believe we have the same goals, which are, No. 1, clean the 
air but keep the electric bills down at the lowest possible cost, and 
we believe we have the most constructive proposal to do that. We hope 
President Obama will agree with us.
  First, we hope the Senate will agree with us and uphold the rule; 
second, that the President will agree with us and grant 6 years; and, 
third, if he does not, that the Congress will agree with us and pass a 
law giving utilities 6 years to spread out the costs.
  I thank the President.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Franken). The Senator from Arkansas.
  Mr. PRYOR. Mr. President, I ask that I be given 10 minutes to speak 
as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. PRYOR. Mr. President, I would like to commend my colleague from 
Tennessee and his leadership when it comes to clean air. He has a long 
history for fighting for clean air in Tennessee in this country, and we 
share the common goal of maintaining a safe and reliable source of 
electricity, but also one that is safe for human health.
  Cleaner air means better health for Arkansans, for Tennesseans, and 
for everyone in the entire country. This all started back in 1990 with 
some Clean Air Act amendments signed by President George H.W. Bush 
authorizing EPA to regulate air pollutant emissions from powerplants. 
These regulations have been two decades in the making.
  As I said, it started back in 1990, and a lot has changed since then. 
But one thing that has improved greatly since then is technology. These 
clean air rules try to make these coal-fired powerplants 90 percent 
cleaner. They can now achieve that 90 percent reduction from 
uncontrolled emissions of mercury and other pollutants because of 
technology. We have the ability to make this achievable today. I don't 
know if that was true 20 years ago, but it is certainly true today.
  I would like to visit with my colleagues for the next few minutes 
about the plan Senator Alexander has put forward in which I heartily 
join him. It is a three-step plan:
  First, vote no on Senator Inhofe's resolution that we understand will 
come up sometime in the next several days.
  Second, consider voting for the legislation that we are proposing and 
that we would like to move to the Senate floor within a reasonable 
amount of time that would basically say all the utility companies get 6 
years to comply with these new rules. Again, these new rules that are 
now on the books and have been on the books since February have been 20 
years in the making.
  The third step we are proposing is a letter to the President of the 
United States to urge him in the interim to give the additional 2 
years, which he has the authority to do under the law. He can do 2 
years with an Executive order.
  Let me just walk through those very quickly. Some of the reasons I am 
going to vote no on Senator Inhofe's resolution of disapproval is 
because although I believe the EPA is wrong in their timetable, I think 
3 years is too short. I don't think that is enough time. As Senator 
Alexander said a few moments ago, we can do the math that is in the 
statute and in the regulations, and it probably adds up to 6 years. 
Let's go ahead and be up front and give them the 6 years. Six years 
will do it, and that creates certainty. That means people can plan, 
that means people can schedule equipment, and skilled laborers can come 
from the United States and not outsourced from overseas, and most of 
the equipment will be made in the United States. That gives our utility 
companies time to do all of this.
  I think the EPA is wrong in the sense that they are trying to force 
this over a 3-year period. I think 4 years is a minimum and 6 years is 
what we really need. I think that just makes the most sense under the 
  With all due respect to Senator Inhofe, for whom I have a lot of 
respect, his resolution of disapproval is wrong. I think it is the 
wrong approach. I think it is over the top. It reverses course and, 
basically, if I understand it, it allows the utility companies to 
pollute at will. It actually creates a legal problem that I am not sure 
we adequately discussed on the Senate floor. I am sure we will as we go 
through this process and as Senator Inhofe's resolution actually comes 
to the Senate floor, but it creates a legal problem.
  If it were to pass, what does the future hold? The law says if a 
resolution of disapproval passes, then the agency cannot put forward a 
substantially similar regulation.
  What does that mean in this circumstance? There is no legal precedent 
for that. Some argue if the resolution of disapproval passes, that is 
it, Katey bar the door; that this is no holds barred, so to speak, when 
it comes to oil and coal plants and what they can produce.
  I certainly hope that is not the case. I don't know if that is the 
case, but legal experts disagree, and I don't think that is a chance we 
should take. There is no doubt that sending plumes of mercury and 
particulate matters and things such as sulfur dioxide, et cetera, 
creates serious health hazards for children and adults. One can look at 
the statistics when it comes to heart attacks or premature deaths, 
asthma, and all kinds of different ailments that human beings suffer. 
There is no doubt that these coal-fired plants contribute to that.

  As we have seen, when we grandfather these plants, they don't, out of 
the goodness of their hearts, do the things necessary to stop the 
polluting. What they do is they keep running them because they are 
grandfathered. That needs to stop at some point in the future as well. 
I think our approach helps in that way as well.
  I talked about the EPA being wrong and I talked about Senator Inhofe 
having the wrong approach. The third thing I would say is let's extend 
it, not end it. I think that by making clear we want the full 6 years--
the 3 years in the statute, the 1 year in the State, the 2 years that 
the President has discretion on--I think that 6 years gives everybody 
ample time to plan, take care of business as they should, and make sure 
we have electricity capacity in this country.
  I would say we need to stop the scare tactics about job loss and the 
sky is falling and this is the end of the coal industry in America. I 
completely disagree with that. I think the United States would be very 
smart to continue to use coal because we have something like 400 years 
worth of coal usage. We are kind of like the Saudi Arabia of coal. So I 
am not trying to hurt the coal industry. I am not trying to kill jobs 
or do anything like that. But I think if we look at the small cost--we 
have to understand that these plants are worth billions and billions of 
dollars and we are talking about adding some costs to that. One 
estimate I saw is it is going to add about 3 percent. But if we look at 
the balancing of costs of what we are trying to accomplish here versus 
the health costs in savings we get, there is really no comparison. I 
think it is fair to say that what the Alexander approach does is it 

[[Page S3954]]

saves kids' lives. It is good for business. It is good for our 
environment. It is good for our people.
  I think what we see here is a false choice that some people are 
trying to present. Some people say we have to be either pro coal or pro 
health. That is a false choice. We can be both. We can be pro coal and 
have a good, robust coal industry. If we were to open a magazine here 
in Washington or the Washington Post, oftentimes we will see a full-
page ad that talks about clean coal. We turn on the television and 
watch some of the news shows and the coal industry is advertising clean 
coal. What are they talking about? This is what they are talking about. 
They are talking about cleaning up these coal plants so we can still 
use this precious American resource, but we do it in such a way that we 
eliminate 90 percent of the pollution and the harmful particulates that 
are in coal--90 percent. That is clean coal. That is what they are 
talking about.
  So let's do this, but let's do it over a 6-year period, not over a 3- 
or 4-year period. Let's not force ourselves into a false choice. Let's 
do the right thing for this generation and the generations to come.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. I wish to congratulate the Senator from Arkansas for 
his very clear explanation of what we are about here. The United States 
produces 25 percent of all the wealth in the world every year. In order 
to do that, we use about 20 to 25 percent of all of the electricity in 
the world. We need low-cost, reliable, large amounts of clean 
electricity and we need for coal to have a secure part of the future of 
our clean energy mix.
  I have said for years, we know what to do about sulfur, nitrogen, 
mercury, and the hazardous pollutants. We have the pollution control 
equipment to capture all of those. We can make the coal clean, except 
for carbon, so let's put that over here on the side for a minute. We 
can make the coal clean and we should do it. We should have done it in 
a law over the last few years. We have had 15 Senators equally divided 
on both sides of the aisle trying to pass a law. We couldn't get it 
done so we defaulted to the EPA, so now they have had to do the rule. 
But the Congress amended the Clean Air Act in 1990 we told EPA to write 
this rule. In the law, it listed the pollutants that have to be 
controlled. In 2005, President Bush tried to write this rule but a 
Federal Court threw it out and in 2008 said to the EPA, you have to do 
it, the way the law says to do it. So Congress has told them to do it, 
the courts have told them to do it, and now they have done it according 
to the law. If we don't like the rule, we have to change the law, which 
we are not doing with the resolution of disapproval.
  The constructive thing we can do is let the rule go forward. Let's 
have clean coal be a part of our clean energy mix, and then let's allow 
utilities what they many of them have asked for, 6 years to implement 
the rule. Hopefully, our legislation will pass. Hopefully, just the 
mere introduction of it, particularly by those of us who support the 
rule, will persuade President Obama that it would be a reasonable 
Executive Order for him to make, to assure people across the country 
that we will have no interruption in the reliability of our electricity 
and that we will have no great increase in costs in most parts of the 
  I agree with the Senator from Arkansas when he said that coal needs 
to be a very important part of our future. This regulation will make 
coal in our region an important part of our electricity production. If 
the TVA is the biggest public utility in the country, and it is going 
to produce a third of its electricity from coal with pollution-control 
equipment on the plants. That is clean coal.
  But the real holy grail of energy for me is the scientist who 
discovers the way to turn carbon from existing coal plants into 
something commercially useful. It will probably be in energy. In the 
Department of Energy right now they have an interesting experiment 
where they are applying a biologic process--really, bugs--to 
electrodes, turning it into oil. Imagine what would happen if all the 
coal plants in our country could turn the carbon they produce into 
other kinds of energy. Then, suddenly, we would have this 400-year 
supply of coal, and the carbon, as well as all the other parts, would 
be clean and we could use even more coal than the one-third it is 
likely to represent.
  I appreciate very much the leadership of the Senator from Arkansas, 
his advocacy, and his clear statement of opinion. I wish to say to both 
our Republican and Democratic colleagues, if you are looking for a way 
to have clean coal, clean air, and do it at the lowest possible cost to 
the taxpayer, let's do what most of the utilities have asked for and 
give them a timeline of 6 years to implement the rule. The easiest way 
to do it would be for the President to introduce the Executive Order, 
and each State to give the utility one more year, because that 
authority is already a part of the Federal law.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arkansas.
  Mr. PRYOR. Mr. President, I see the Senator from Texas is waiting so 
let me conclude in the next couple of minutes.
  We talked about clean coal and why that is important. Let me tell my 
colleagues what else is important. Based on the statistics, the health 
benefits are between $37 billion and $90 billion. That is an estimate 
for 2016. For every dollar we put in, we get up to $9 back in health 
benefits. The new rules could prevent up to 11,000 premature 
deaths, 4,700 heart attacks, 130,000 asthma attacks, 140,000 cases of 
respiratory symptoms, over 9,000 cases of bronchitis, 5,700 hospital 
emergency room visits, 540,000 missed work or sick days, and 3.2 
million days when people must restrict their activities. Mercury, they 
say, causes brain damage in more than 315,000 children each year. Half 
of the U.S. manmade mercury comes from coal-fired powerplants. The new 
rules require removing 90 percent of that mercury.

  So back to the point of Senator Alexander. This approach provides 
certainty. It ensures grid reliability. It allows sufficient time for 
utilities to comply under this bad economy. It gives manufacturing and 
skilled labor jobs to U.S. companies and U.S. workers, and it also 
reduces health problems and costs associated with the coal industry 
right now.
  With that, I ask my colleagues to consider looking at the Alexander 
and Pryor approach. I would love to visit with any of my colleagues who 
are so inclined.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, this morning during a hearing in front of 
the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Attorney General appeared, and in 
an exchange I had with him, it culminated with my call upon him to 
resign his position as Attorney General. That is a very serious matter. 
I wish to take a few minutes to explain why, after long deliberation, I 
have come to this conclusion. I do believe it is the right decision and 
it is long overdue.
  I served as an attorney general of my State--an elected attorney 
general, not an appointed attorney general. I believe strongly the 
American people deserve a chief law enforcement officer who will be 
independent of political influence, who will be accountable to the law, 
and who will be transparent, particularly in his dealings with the 
Congress. Unfortunately, Attorney General Holder has failed on all of 
these counts.
  At his confirmation hearing in 2009 in front of the Judiciary 
Committee, Eric Holder said his Department of Justice would ``serve 
justice, not the fleeting interests of any political party.'' He also 
said he would seek to achieve a ``full partnership with this Committee 
and with Congress as a whole.'' I wish he had kept his word. 
Regrettably, he has not.
  In the past few weeks I have joined my colleagues on both sides of 
the aisle in our shock at news articles that have disclosed some of the 
most sensitive classified programs of our national security apparatus. 
These were reportedly covert operations aimed at thwarting terrorist 
attacks as well as defeating Iran's nuclear aspirations. The leaks, 
according to the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator 
Feinstein--I am paraphrasing here, but I believe she says these are 
some of the worst she has seen in her tenure on the Intelligence 
Committee. Others have suggested these are some of the most damaging 
potential leaks

[[Page S3955]]

in our history--certainly recent history.
  According to the very stories that reported these programs, the 
sources come from the highest reaches of the executive branch of our 
government; namely, the White House. As Democrats and Republicans have 
both made clear, the unauthorized release of classified information is 
a crime--it is a crime--because it threatens our national security and 
puts the lives of those who are sworn to defend our Nation in jeopardy. 
As many have hastened to point out, it also jeopardizes the cooperation 
of our allies. Who would be motivated to be a source of classified, 
highly sensitive information that would be provided to our intelligence 
community if they knew they were likely to be on the front page of the 
Washington Post or The New York Times?
  The news articles containing the leaked information paint the 
President in a flattering light. The concern is that they appear just 
as his reelection campaign is getting into full swing.
  Let me be clear. These facts raise legitimate concerns about the 
motives behind what everyone agrees is criminal conduct. That is why it 
is so important to have an investigation of these leaks that is 
independent, nonpartisan, and thorough. Unfortunately, Attorney General 
Holder has demonstrated, at least to me, that he is incapable of 
delivering that kind of investigation.
  Just hours before Senator McCain and Senator Chambliss called for a 
special prosecutor or, in the parlance of the statute now, a special 
counsel, Holder's Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole told me he didn't 
think an independent investigation was warranted because the leaks 
didn't come from the White House or this administration. Amazingly, he 
hadn't, apparently, done an investigation before he reached that 
conclusion. Attorney General Holder apparently takes the same view. He 
has already decided who is not to blame, and he has excluded the 
administration and the White House and the reported sources of the 
information--although not named, they were named by category--he has 
already written them off and suggested that they could not possibly be 
the source of any of these leaks.
  I looked into the special counsel law which says that a special 
prosecutor is called for when an investigation would present a conflict 
of interest for the Justice Department.
  I concede the Attorney General has a very tough job. He is a member 
of the President's Cabinet, but he has a special and independent 
responsibility as the chief law enforcement officer of the country and 
he can't be confused about those roles. There have been some reports 
that some of these leaks may have even emanated from the Justice 
Department itself. In fact, this morning, the Attorney General 
acknowledged that some of the Department of Justice's National Security 
Division had recused itself from an ongoing leak investigation. We 
don't know the details of that, but he did concede that his own 
National Security Division at the Department of Justice--some members 
of that division had already recused themselves.
  These leaks in the New York Times--I am talking specifically about 
the drone program and about the cyber attacks on Iran's nuclear 
capability--quoted senior administration officials and quoted members 
of the President's national security team.
  Now, that is not a large number of people to question or to identify. 
In fact, that is the very source given in these stories that reported 
the leaks--``senior administration officials'' and ``members of the 
president's national security team.''
  This is the same story that said that on the President's so-called 
kill list that he personally goes over with his national security team 
identifying targets of drone attacks, that also David Axelrod, his 
chief political adviser, sat in, apparently, on at least one, maybe 
more meetings.
  But instead of an independent prosecutor, Attorney General Holder has 
chosen to appoint two U.S. attorneys who are in his chain of command 
and who will report to him and who are directly under his personal 
supervision. One of those is U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia 
Ronald Machen, who volunteered on the Obama campaign in 2008 and who 
has given thousands of dollars to the President's political campaigns 
over the years. I do not have any issue with that. That is his right as 
an American citizen. But it does raise legitimate questions about his 
ability to be independent and conduct the kind of investigation I am 
talking about. Oh, by the way, Mr. Machen also got his start as a 
Federal prosecutor when he went to work for U.S. Attorney General Eric 
Holder. That is not an independent investigation--that is the point--
and it helps to demonstrate why it is that Attorney General Holder has 
a conflict of interest himself that requires the appointment of a 
special counsel, not the appointment of two U.S. attorneys who are 
directly responsible to him and through whom he can control the flow of 
information to Congress and others.
  Reasonable people will wonder, where does the Attorney General's 
loyalty lie--to the President of the United States to try to help him 
get reelected or his duty to enforce the laws of the U.S. Government?
  This would be troubling enough to me if this were an isolated event, 
but what has brought me to this serious conclusion that Attorney 
General Holder should, in fact, resign goes back much further because 
this is only a symptom of the Department of Justice's complete lack of 
accountability, independence, and transparency.
  Take the tragedy known as Operation Fast and Furious. And we know, 
under Attorney General Holder's watch, the Department of Justice 
ordered the transfer of more than 2,000 high-caliber firearms to some 
of the most dangerous drug cartels operating in Mexico. The Attorney 
General disingenuously tried to confuse this with an operation known as 
Wide Receiver, which was done in consultation with the Mexican 
Government and where the point was not to let the guns walk without 
surveillance but to track them. It was ended when it became very 
difficult to track them and thus gave rise to the operation known as 
Fast and Furious, which had an altogether different mode of operation.
  Instead of tracking these firearms and arresting cartel agents 
trafficking them, under Operation Fast and Furious, Department of 
Justice officials ordered law enforcement agents to break off direct 
surveillance and to allow these guns to ``walk''--apparently under the 
mistaken belief that they could somehow find them at a later time and, 
through alternative means of surveillance, discover the nature of the 
organization and the distribution of these guns and help them bring 
down some of these cartels. Unfortunately, and quite predictably, the 
weapons from this flawed operation have been used to commit numerous 
violent crimes on both sides of the southern border, including the 
murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.
  Far from being apologetic, Attorney General Holder's conduct during 
the congressional investigation into this flawed program has been 
nothing short of misleading and obstructionist, having complete 
disregard for Congress's independent constitutional responsibility to 
conduct oversight and investigations of the Department of Justice and 
other Federal agencies.
  For example, Attorney General Holder has stonewalled the 
investigation, turning over less than 10 percent of the documents 
subpoenaed by a congressional committee.
  Attorney General Holder's Department misled Congress in a February 
2011 letter where they claimed that Operation Fast and Furious did not 
even exist--there was no program to allow guns to walk into the hands 
of the cartels and to lose direct surveillance of them. We now know 
that is false but only because Lanny Breuer, 9 months later, in 
November 2011, came before the Senate Judiciary Committee and said: You 
know, that letter we wrote in February 2011 saying there was not any 
gun-walking program known as Fast and Furious--that was false. That was 
not true.
  So for all that period of time, Attorney General Holder and his 
Department misled Congress by claiming falsely that Fast and Furious 
did not exist.
  Then, in addition, Attorney General Holder misled Representative 
Issa, who has led the investigation in the House of Representatives, by 
testifying that he only learned of Operation Fast

[[Page S3956]]

and Furious ``over the last few weeks.'' That was in May 2011. He said 
he only learned about it in ``the last few weeks.'' Brian Terry was 
murdered in December 2010, yet Eric Holder said he only learned in 
``the last few weeks'' about Operation Fast and Furious, and that was 
in May 2011. We now know that is false.
  Attorney General Holder also misled the public at a September 2011 
press conference by claiming that Operation Fast and Furious did not 
reach into the upper levels of the Justice Department. We now know that 
is false. I personally reviewed some of the wiretaps that were produced 
as a result of a whistleblower through the House investigating 
committee, and it makes clear that the rationale for securing a wiretap 
was because they did not expect to be able to keep track of the weapons 
directly by direct surveillance, describing, in essence, the tactics of 
Operation Fast and Furious. Those required the authorization of high-
level Department of Justice employees, including those in Lanny 
Breuer's office. Again, Attorney General Holder and his staff misled 
the public, claiming Operation Fast and Furious was unknown at the 
upper reaches of the Justice Department.
  Attorney General Holder misled the Senate Judiciary Committee last 
November by testifying that he did not believe that these wiretap 
applications approved by senior deputies included detailed discussion 
of gunwalking. As I said, we know that to be false. I read them with my 
own eyes yesterday, although they remain under seal. And Attorney 
General Holder has refused to take any step to ask the court to modify 
that seal so we can then review those and compare his story with what 
is revealed in the affidavits. So as long as these documents remain 
under seal, we are left with the ``he said, she said'' that he could 
resolve if he would agree to go to the court and ask that they be 
unsealed for purposes of the congressional investigation.

  Then, when there were reports of gunwalking operations in Houston, 
TX, at a sports dealer known as Carter's Country, I asked Attorney 
General Holder whether there were gunwalking operations in my State. 
When you had a legitimate seller of firearms say: Hey, I think there is 
something suspicious going on, you have people making bulk purchases of 
firearms, and I am worried they may be going to the cartels or other 
sources, they were told: Do not do anything about it. Let them go.
  But when I asked Attorney General Holder to confirm or deny that 
there was an Operation Fast and Furious look-alike or that Fast and 
Furious itself was operating in my State, again, I got no reply.
  I have no idea what else the Attorney General and his Department are 
concealing from the American people or, more importantly, the Brian 
Terry family, who deserve to know what happened and how this operation 
went terribly awry.
  Perhaps worst of all has been the lack of accountability, starting at 
the top. In the last 16 months since Operation Fast and Furious was 
uncovered, Eric Holder has not fired a single person in his Department 
for supplying 2,000 high-caliber firearms to drug cartels in Mexico. 
That is really astonishing. I have to ask, if no one has been held 
accountable, what does it take to get fired at the Holder Justice 
  Attorney General Holder's litany of failure does not end there, 
again, putting politics ahead of his job as the chief law enforcement 
officer of the country and, indeed, putting what appears to be a 
political agenda ahead of the law.
  For example--another example--Attorney General Holder has targeted 
commonsense voter ID legislation passed by the Texas Legislature and 
the South Carolina Legislature, which the Supreme Court of the United 
States has overwhelmingly upheld the constitutionality of since 2008. 
So here is the Texas Legislature, the South Carolina Legislature--and 
others perhaps sitting in the wings--trying to take steps to protect 
the integrity of the vote of qualified voters in their State. And who 
is the chief obstructionist to that goal? It is the Attorney General 
and the Department of Justice. So now we find ourselves--my State, 
South Carolina, and others find themselves in litigation asking the 
courts to do what the Attorney General will not and acknowledge that 
the Supreme Court decision in 2008 is the law of the land.
  These voter identification laws are designed to require citizens to 
produce a valid photo identification. If you do not have a valid photo 
identification, you can get one for free. In my State, you can show up 
without any ID and vote provisionally as long as you come back within a 
period of time and produce one. So it is no impediment to participation 
in votes. You know what. The American people are accustomed to 
presenting a photo ID because every time you get on an airplane, every 
time you want to buy a pack of cigarettes or a beer, you have to, if 
you are of a certain age, produce a photo ID to prove you are of a 
certain age. But Mr. Holder has been so outrageous as to compare these 
voter ID laws to Jim Crow poll taxes--it is outrageous--a charge that 
is defamatory and an insult to the people of my State and anyone with 
common sense. You know what. You have to show a photo ID to get into 
Eric Holder's office building in Washington, DC. Yet it is 
discriminatory somehow? It discourages qualified voters from casting 
their ballot? It is ridiculous. While Attorney General Holder is 
blocking State efforts to prevent voter fraud, he neglects the voting 
rights of the men and women in uniform who serve in our country's Armed 
  In 2010--actually before that--on a bipartisan basis, we introduced 
legislation and passed it overwhelmingly, something called the MOVE 
Act. It is a military voting act. But after its passage, which was 
designed to make it easier for troops who are deployed abroad or 
civilians deployed abroad to cast a ballot in U.S. elections, the 
Attorney General failed to adequately enforce this legislation, which 
was designed to guarantee our Active-Duty military and their families 
the right to vote. If Mr. Holder had spent as much time and effort 
enforcing this law as he recently spent attempting to get convicted 
felons and illegal aliens back on the voter rolls in Florida, thousands 
of military voters might have gotten their ballots on time rather than 
be disenfranchised in 2010.
  These are not the only duly enacted laws the Attorney General has 
failed to enforce in order to carry out the political agenda that 
apparently he believes is more important.
  The Attorney General has announced he will refuse to defend the 
bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act that was signed by President Bill 
Clinton, despite the fact that has been the law of the land for more 
than 15 years. It is, in fact, the duty of the Department of Justice to 
defend laws passed by Congress that are lawful and constitutional. Yet 
he refuses to even do so, and the litany goes on.
  In addition to using the Justice Department as a political arm of the 
Obama campaign, he has also moved the Department in a dangerously 
ideological direction in the war on terror. Attorney General Holder has 
failed to grasp the most important lesson of 9/11 and the 9/11 
Commission, that there is a difference between criminal law enforcement 
for violating crimes and the laws of war that are destined to get 
actionable intelligence and prevent attacks against the American 
people, not just punish them once they have occurred, which is the 
function of the criminal law.
  His actions have demonstrated that he believes terrorism is a 
traditional law enforcement problem warranting the same old traditional 
law enforcement solutions. But they, by definition, occur after the 
fact, after innocent people have been murdered, rather than designed to 
prevent those attacks.
  For example, Attorney General Holder attempted to hold trials for 
master minds of the 9/11 attack, such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in 
civilian court in Manhattan. He wanted to do so in spite of the outcry 
of local communities and the fact that civilian trials would give 
terrorists legal protections they are not entitled to under our 
Constitution and laws and which they do not deserve.
  Attorney General Holder attempted to transfer terrorists from 
Guantanamo Bay Cuba to prisons in the United States over the repeated 
objection of local communities and the Congress.
  What is more, when Federal agents detained, thankfully, the Christmas

[[Page S3957]]

Day Bomber in Chicago who was trying to blow up an airplane with a bomb 
he had smuggled and that was undetectable to law enforcement agents, he 
insisted that instead of being treated as a terrorist, an enemy 
combatant, he be read his Miranda rights. That is right. Attorney 
General Holder insisted this terrorist be told: You have the right to 
remain silent. You have the right to a lawyer. This is the sort of 
muddled thinking that I think has created such potential for harm, 
treating a war and terrorists as if they were conventional criminals 
who ought to be handled through our civilian courts.
  While Attorney General Holder was worrying about the rights of people 
such as the Christmas Day Bomber, he was targeting some of the very 
Americans who risked their lives to keep America safe. In fact, he 
appointed a special prosecutor--he thought this was sufficient to 
appoint a special prosecutor, not to investigate these classified leaks 
but to investigate U.S. intelligence officials in conducting their 
duties--he appointed a special prosecutor to investigate CIA 
interrogators during the prior administration, men and perhaps women 
who did what they did based on legal advice from the Department of 
Justice and based on the belief that what they were doing was important 
to the safety and security of U.S. citizens, and I think they were 
  Attorney General Holder has also seen fit to release top secret memos 
detailing interrogation methods, information which, of course, quickly 
found its way into the hands of America's enemies and which they could 
use to train to resist our intelligence-gathering efforts.
  Attorney General Holder's failure to grasp the most important lesson 
of the last decade, that we are at war against al-Qaida, demonstrates 
more than just a willingness to carry a political agenda for this 
administration. It is a sad result of an ideological blindness to the 
law. It has moved the Department of Justice, and unfortunately this 
country, in a dangerous direction.
  I would continue on with examples of Eric Holder's litany of failure, 
but I believe the case is clear-cut. The American people deserve an 
Attorney General who is independent of politics, who is accountable to 
the oversight of Congress, and who is transparent. Mr. Holder has 
proven that he is none of these things. It is with regret, not with 
anger but with regret and sadness I say it is time for him to resign.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota.
  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business for up to 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, I rise to stress the critical 
infrastructure needs across our Nation and to urge the House of 
Representatives to act quickly and to pass a meaningful transportation 
bill. On March 14, the Senate passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in 
the 21st Century Act by a strong bipartisan vote of 74 to 22.
  Later that month, I came to the floor of the Senate to highlight the 
importance of the passage of our surface transportation bill. Since 
then, the American people have been waiting for the House of 
Representatives to act on their version of a transportation bill. Three 
months to the week after the Senate passed our Transportation bill on a 
74-to-22 bipartisan vote, with the Nation continuing to wait for action 
and the June 30 deadline to renew or extend the transportation program 
coming closer and closer, the leaders of the House of Representatives 
have announced not a short-term extension but they have announced their 
interest in a longer term extension to the end of 2012.
  I suppose the good news is that means we have some interest in moving 
forward with transportation. But that is not good enough for the people 
of this country. In Minnesota, as you know, the construction season has 
begun, and because of our cold winters, we do not always have a long 
construction season. This kind of delay, where we have a very good 
bipartisan bill which includes $700 million in construction projects 
for our State of Minnesota, this kind of delay can be crippling. We 
have a much smaller window of time in which we can complete much needed 
projects for easing congestion and improving safety.
  These projects will help get commuters out of traffic and moving in 
the Twin Cities; projects to help ensure that farmers and food 
producers across greater Minnesota can transport their supplies at the 
right time to the right place to ensure that we continue to have a safe 
and reliable food supply.
  Think about the projects in Minnesota that need to be completed: 
Highway 52 in Rochester. Highway 52, a long-time problem in terms of 
deaths, in terms of traffic accidents, still an area where people get 
killed; U.S. Highway 14 in southern Minnesota, continuing to wait for 
that to be completed; 101 in the western metropolitan area, a little 
girl was just killed walking her bike, getting on her bike going across 
that Highway 101--killed; Highway 94 out by Rogers, a bottleneck all 
the time. I have been in it several times myself; 23 in Marshall needs 
to get done. There is a major company out there, Schwan's, but we have 
a highway that is not able to carry the food and the goods to market 
that it should because that construction has not been done; roads from 
Moorhead to the Iron Range, to Duluth, all that needs to be completed.
  That is why it is not good enough to hear the House of 
Representatives talk about a simple extension when we have a strong 
bipartisan transportation bill that came out of the Senate. We also 
need to be aware of the costs incurred by each additional day of delay. 
The longer it takes for the Congress to pass a transportation bill, the 
longer it takes projects to be completed, the more expensive they 
become to taxpayers. That stands to reason. Anyone who has built an 
addition on their house understands that--delay, delay, delay.

  That is a waste of taxpayers' money. That is why we have to get this 
bill done. State Departments of Transportation, contractors, 
construction workers, engineering firms, and other industries need 
certainty to move forward with the bill. These are private sector jobs, 
private sector jobs that await the passage of this bill. They should 
not have to wait any longer for the House of Representatives to act.
  Take, for example, Caterpillar. That might not be the first company 
we would think of when we think about the Transportation bill. Everyone 
sees the Caterpillar tractors, Caterpillar trucks throughout the rural 
areas. This business employs 750 people at its road-paving equipment 
manufacturing facility in Minnesota. I have been there. They gave me a 
pink Caterpillar hat. I spoke to all their employees. They are people 
on the frontlines of American industry helping to create the real 
``Made in America'' product that keeps jobs in our country and puts 
dollars in our economy.
  They are ready to get to work. They are ready to get to work 
improving our Nation's roads, our bridges, our tunnels, and our 
highways. I ask the House of Representatives: Why are we making these 
workers wait? They are ready to get these paving projects done. They 
are ready to help the commuters in our State to get to work faster. 
They want to get going. There is no reason to delay getting this bill 
  For decades, passing a transportation bill was considered one of the 
most basic noncontroversial duties of the Congress, and we have an 
opportunity to come together to find commonsense solutions to move 
America forward. We cannot afford to keep the engine of our economy 
idling by limiting our talk to yet another extension of the surface 
transportation program. The Senate Transportation bill is fully paid 
for and will allow States to move forward to make the critical 
infrastructure investments in our Nation's roads and our bridges and in 
our transit systems.
  In addition, the bill makes critical reforms to transportation 
policy. Just last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
released a report announcing that 58 percent of high school seniors had 
texted or e-mailed while driving in the previous month--58 percent of 
kids out there on the road while we are all driving--we have to 
remember that 58 percent--nearly 60 percent of the kids out on the road 
are doing a text, are doing an e-mail while they are driving. That is 
not acceptable.
  The bipartisan Transportation bill includes provisions that I worked 
on to

[[Page S3958]]

help prevent texting while driving and implement graduated license 
standards. The bill gives State departments of transportation increased 
flexibility so they can address these unique needs. The Senate-passed 
surface transportation bill also reduces the number of highway programs 
from over 100 down to 30. By saying they are not going to pass this 
bill in the House, they stop us from getting rid of those kinds of 
duplication. It defines clear national goals for our transportation 
policy. It streamlines environmental permitting. Why would they want to 
stop that? Why would they want to stop us from streamlining 
environmental permitting? But that is what they are doing by saying 
they want a simple extension.
  The bill expands the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and 
Innovation Program. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has 
successfully used the program in the past and it will continue to be a 
key element of our State's and other State's transportation networks in 
the future. The fact is, we have neglected the roads and bridges that 
millions of Americans rely on for too long.
  No one knows that better than we know it in our State where that I 
35W bridge tragically collapsed in the middle of a summer day, 
something no one could ever expect would have happened. It is not just 
a bridge. It is an eight-lane highway 6 blocks from my house. If that 
can happen there, it can happen anywhere in America.
  We simply cannot wait and delay any longer when we have a bipartisan 
bill with 74 Senators who voted for it. There is absolutely no excuse 
for the House of Representatives not taking this up. If we want to know 
if there are other bridges with problems, look at this. The number from 
the Federal Highway Administration shows that over 25 percent of the 
Nation's 600,000 bridges are either structurally deficient or 
functionally obsolete.
  For further proof, we need look no further than the 2009 Report Card 
for America's Infrastructure, released by the American Society of Civil 
Engineers. It gave our Nation's Infrastructure a near failing grade. 
But crumbling infrastructure does not just threaten public safety; it 
also weakens our economy. Congestion and inefficiencies in our 
transportation network limit our ability to get goods to market. They 
exacerbate the divide between urban and rural America, they constrain 
economic development and competitiveness, and they reduce productivity 
as workers idle in traffic.
  Americans spend a collective 4.2 billion hours a year stuck in 
traffic--4.2 billion hours a year, at the cost to the economy of $78.2 
billion or $710 per motorist. So I ask the House of Representatives: 
How can you look at those numbers and decide not to move forward with a 
bill that streamlines our programs, that actually makes some smart 
decisions in terms of reform, and that actually puts the money out 
there that we need to build our bridges and build our roads? It is 
simply time to act.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Shaheen). The Senator from Florida.
  Mr. NELSON of Florida. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that 
the period for debate only on S. 3240 be extended until 5 p.m., and 
that the majority leader be recognized at that time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. NELSON of Florida. Madam President, as I was heading to the 
Capitol today, I could not help but think about the jolting news from 
my State that the U.S. Department of Justice will have to sue my State 
of Florida over its purge of the voting rolls.
  Being a native Floridian whose family came to Florida 183 years ago, 
and having the great privilege of serving the people of my State for a 
number of years, it is simply hard for me to conceive that the State of 
Florida is trying to deliberately make it more difficult for lawful 
citizens to vote.
  But the Governor did sign a new law that the legislature passed over 
a year ago to reduce early voting days, to make it more difficult to 
vote if you move to another county, to blunt registration drives, and 
to eliminate the Sunday before the Tuesday election in early voting. 
And then Governor Scott launched his massive purge of the voting rolls, 
hunting for suspected noncitizens.
  In so doing, he is now defying Federal authorities, who point to 
Federal law and say you cannot conduct a purge of voter rolls so close 
to an election. We are 2 months away from a primary election in the 
middle of August. We are a little over 4 months away from the general 
election. Yet the Governor and his administration end up doing this. 
What they ought to do is ensure the credibility of our voter rolls, not 
suppress citizens from voting under the fiction of some perceived 
  But above all else, the State of Florida must ensure that every 
lawful citizen who has the right to vote can do so without hindrance 
and impediment.
  It was quite a while ago, but something Dr. King once said about 
voting rights seems very appropriate again. Dr. King said:

       The denial of this sacred right is a tragic betrayal of the 
     highest mandates of our democratic traditions. It is 
     democracy turned upside down.

  I hope the Governor of Florida will heed those words.
  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. BROWN of Massachusetts. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent 
that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BROWN of Massachusetts. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent 
to speak as in morning business for up to 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BROWN of Massachusetts. Madam President, I rise to speak about 
the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, which is a landmark piece of 
legislation, one that I believe has saved many lives and brought us 
together as Americans in standing up for what we believe is right. With 
this law, we have said that the United States takes domestic violence 
very seriously and we are taking a moral stance against it now.
  In April of this year, I was proud to join a strong bipartisan group 
of Senators in passing S. 1925, the Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women 
Act reauthorization. Sixty-eight Senators from this Chamber supported 
the bill.
  Many of us were moved by the personal stories coming out of our 
States about the critical impact of VAWA in local communities. In 
Massachusetts, I was inspired by the work of organizations such as Jane 
Doe, Inc., the North Shore Rape Crisis Center, the YWCA of Central 
Massachusetts, and REACH Beyond Abuse, to name a few, and there are 
many more. In March of this year, I visited service providers in 
central Massachusetts that receive VAWA funding and learned a great 
deal more about how VAWA is changing lives for the better.
  New problems are plaguing our communities, and as times change 
government must adapt as well if it is going to make a difference in 
people's lives. Fortunately, the Senate bill includes many improvements 
that have been developed over time with various nonprofits in law 
enforcement agencies and individuals who deal with these challenges 
each and every day. I am very proud to be a cosponsor of what is 
clearly a good, thoughtful bill.
  Unfortunately, following the bipartisan Senate action, the House 
passed a dramatically scaled-back version of the VAWA legislation that 
did not include core provisions that would improve the law. It seems 
that rather than work through some of these problems, the House was 
content to pass a bill that didn't address a number of growing problems 
facing individuals today. That is not how we legislate or how we should 
be legislating. We need to pass a bipartisan, bicameral bill that the 
President will sign.
  Because the House took up a bill that didn't go far enough, the House 
bill passed largely along party lines, as compared to the bipartisan 
Senate bill we passed a short time ago. Now, once again, the House and 
Senate are at an impasse.
  As someone who has personally experienced domestic violence up close 
and seen its effect on families, including mine, this is completely 

[[Page S3959]]

The vast majority of the bill is broadly supported by both sides of the 
aisle. It is beyond frustrating that the House has become distracted by 
a tiny percentage of the bill that has caused gridlock. Even worse, it 
seems that some are willing to allow procedural technicalities to block 
the way forward. I have to tell you that this makes no sense to me, at 
a time when people's lives are potentially at stake. This bill should 
be done already. Women in Massachusetts and throughout the country--
survivors of violence--deserve better, and we should provide that 
leadership immediately.

  Today I am calling on the House and Senate leadership and the 
committees of jurisdiction to listen to the calls from millions of 
Americans and come together and pass a bill that addresses critical 
needs in our communities and the citizens of those communities. All 
sides need to come together and work through the small amount of 
difference they have. As I have said before, in my experience, when 
people of good will work together and do one good deed, it begets other 
good deeds, and so on. We can get together in a room and work through 
these challenges and come up with solutions. I frequently hear from 
many colleagues that this is the way things used to be done around 
here. I yearn and work every single day I am here to get back to that 
way of bipartisanship and spirit of working together. I hope we can get 
some of that bipartisan, bicameral spirit back and pass the Violence 
Against Women Act reauthorization.
  In closing, we need to start to look out for the people's interests, 
not our political and personal interests or the parties' interests but 
the interests of the people. We need bridge builders in this Chamber to 
get this bill across the finish line and on the President's desk. The 
challenges we face in reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act are 
not insurmountable; far from it. We know that. I am confident if the 
House and Senate leadership come together and work out our differences, 
we can pass a bill we can all be proud of and send it to the 
President's desk and save lives.
  Let's put politics aside and focus on solving problems. Remember, we 
are not just Democrats, Republicans, or Independents, we are Americans 
first. We need to start to work in that vein to get things done.
  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. BLUNT. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BLUNT. Madam President, I know this week we are talking about, 
among other things, the Agriculture bill, and I am supportive of moving 
forward with that bill.
  Like so many other things in our economy, the more certainty we can 
create for farming families, for agribusinesses, the more likely they 
are to make decisions now and to make decisions that create good 
results. The more things we know in advance, normally, in 
decisionmaking, the more things there are to know.
  There is plenty people don't know in agriculture. My mom and dad were 
dairy farmers, and there is a lot that can go wrong on the farm. People 
don't know how many things there might be--weather and lots of other 
things that they can't count on. It would be nice to have a farm bill 
that people could count on.
  I know the bill we pass here will only be half of the work of getting 
that bill passed, but we need to do that and we need to get our economy 
going again. Like so many others, I disagree with the President's sense 
that the private sector is fine because the private sector is not fine. 
The economy is not fine. As I have said on this floor many times in the 
last 2 years, private sector job creation should be the No. 1 priority 
domestically of the government today: What can we do to create more 
private sector jobs.
  Two years ago, the administration and the White House kicked off the 
Recovery Summer. They said the success of the $831 billion stimulus 
plan had done its job. Secretary Geithner penned an op-ed in the New 
York Times that said: Welcome to the Recovery. But today we still see 
unemployment higher than it should be, the unemployment rate at 8.2 
  If we were looking at the same workforce we had 30 years ago--and we 
know the population has gotten bigger, so logically the workforce has 
gotten bigger too. If we were looking at a workforce that was 
reflective of the workforce in January 2009, unemployment would be 11.1 
percent today. It is 8.2 percent because we are considering a workforce 
that is smaller. The number of people who are actively out there 
considering themselves either in the workforce or wanting to be in the 
workforce is lower than any time in the last 30 years.
  Certainly, the Recovery Summer didn't work. The rhetoric was high, 
but the economy didn't grow as we would have hoped it would. The 
creation of jobs didn't occur. GDP, the gross domestic product, grew at 
1.7 percent in 2011, and it is still below 2 percent--1.9 percent--in 
2012. Only 77,000 jobs were created in April, and only 69,000 jobs were 
created in May.
  We are just not doing the job here. The stimulus didn't work. Part of 
the stimulus was to try to help States offset the shortages they had. 
But to some extent all that did was postpone for another year or maybe 
even 2 years States having to make decisions that only States should 
make. The Federal Government has enough things to run without trying to 
run everything. The Federal Government shouldn't be responsible for the 
things States are responsible for, and we should do the things we do at 
the Federal level the best they can possibly be done, starting with 
defending the country.
  We are looking at some reduction in defense spending that, if it 
happens, will not only negatively impact our ability to defend the 
country, if we don't do those reductions exactly right, it will also 
have real impact on the economy.
  The stimulus didn't create the jobs. The labor force participation 
rates are at a 30-year low. Middle-class incomes have dropped $4,350 in 
the last 3 years. The private sector is not doing well, nor is the 
economy doing well. The number of long-term unemployed has doubled to 
5.5 million since the President took office. Housing prices continue to 
  Many of the economic forecasters, including the Congressional Budget 
Office, project that economic growth downgrades and skepticism toward 
the recovery will continue. The Congressional Budget Office recently 
released a dismal long-term budget outlook showing that the country's 
Federal debt per person is on track to triple in a generation. That 
track has to stop. We can make the decision: Do we want to be Europe? 
Do we want to be Greece? Do we want to be Italy? Do we want to be 
Ireland or Portugal or Spain? All we have to do is pick up a paper any 
day of the week now to know surely that is not who we want to be. Or do 
we want to get our government rightsized for our economy? Do we want to 
get back to where we don't let our economy be overwhelmed by the 
  What has happened in so many of the countries I just mentioned and 
others in Europe is that they have let the government get bigger than 
the economy can support.
  The CBO talked about what would happen if we don't take this action 
between now and early next year: If we let taxes go back up, if we let 
defense spending go in the direction that it appears to be heading, 
what happens then?
  Even President Clinton and former domestic adviser to then-Secretary 
of the Treasury Summers said we need to continue current tax policies 
for some time in the future. I remember at the end of 2010, the 
President said: Now is not the time to discourage jobs. Well, exactly 
when would be the time to discourage jobs?
  The job of the Federal Government domestically should be to figure 
out what we can do to encourage jobs because with only the rarest of 
rare occasions the Federal Government, with few exceptions, doesn't 
create jobs. The Federal Government, however, has a lot to say about 
the environment in which people make that decision as to whether they 
are going to create a job. With constant discussion of energy policies 
that don't make sense and too much regulation and raising taxes and

[[Page S3960]]

health care costs that are unknown for every job that is added, people 
just don't add those jobs.
  So whether it is the agriculture economy--which, again, I will say, 
even though the unemployment there is twice as high as government 
sector unemployment, the agriculture economy is almost twice as high as 
the 4.2 percent of government sector unemployment. It is still a bright 
spot in the current economy. But that economy will be better if we give 
people more of a chance to plan.
  The Recovery Summer didn't work. We will soon know what the court has 
to say about the affordable health care act. But we only have to talk 
to a few job creators, and not for very long, to know that the 
affordable health care act is standing in the way of job creation just 
as are regulations. The EPA keeps regulating.
  The shortest path to more American jobs would be more American 
energy. We have energy resources in greater abundance than we believe 
we had just a few years ago, oil shale and gas shale. We should produce 
more of our own energy that would allow us to make things again. And 
what we can't produce, if we can buy it from our closest neighbors and 
our dependable friends, we should do that. There is nothing wrong with 
buying from people who don't like us. But it is crazy to have to buy 
from people who don't like us, particularly if we can buy from people 
who like us.

  When we send $1 to our neighbors in Canada, they send almost $1 back 
every single time. The likelihood that Canadians will decide they don't 
want to sell us oil or gas is virtually zero. We can't say that about 
every country we have gotten too dependent on in recent years.
  So let's do the right thing. Let's have a true path to recovery. 
Let's have good energy policy. Let's have good tax policy. Let's have 
good regulatory policy. And let's see if we can't get the private 
sector the kind of priority in job creation it needs. Of course, that 
includes one of the brightest lights in the private sector, which is 
farming families and the agriculture economy and our ability to compete 
in a world because of the great job we do in agriculture.
  Madam President, I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that I be 
recognized out of turn, and I will cease when Senator Blumenthal shows 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I come from the farm State of Oklahoma. 
The biggest threat to the future of farmers is burdensome and costly 
  I have three amendments. The amendments I am proposing will provide 
significant regulatory relief for farmers struggling in a tough 
  There is virtually no history of oilspills from agricultural 
operations, and farms simply do not pose the risk of the spills other 
sectors do. Starting next year, farmers who have oil and gas tanks--
that is all of them. They all have oil and gas tanks on their farms. 
They are located in different areas, but if they have a certain 
aggregate amount, they will be required to hire a certified 
professional engineer to design a spill prevention control and 
countermeasure plan just like major oil refineries. They may also be 
required to purchase new capital equipment to comply with the rule, 
including dual containment tanks on farm trucks and fuel storage units 
that will necessarily raise the cost.
  My amendment would exempt farmers from these regulations for above-
ground oil storage tanks that have an aggregate storage capacity of 
less than 12,000 gallons.
  I know a small wheat farmer in northwest Oklahoma by the name of 
Keith Kisling. He is one of the only farmers who took the time to 
actually comply with the SPCC regulation. Those are spill regulations. 
Most people didn't even try to comply.
  First, he had to fill out over 80 pages of paperwork he did not 
understand. He hired an online service to help him comply, which cost 
him money and didn't make his job much easier. He must keep a copy of 
this plan on his property at all times in case he is inspected. If he 
had older tanks, the rules would require him to purchase new double-
walled tanks that are incredibly expensive. In addition, he now has to 
build a berm around his tanks to hold 18,000 gallons of fuel in case it 
does leak. This will be very expensive and time consuming. He also must 
install a liner underneath the tanks and at the bottom of the berm to 
contain any leaks. He reports that the rules are extremely confusing 
and the regulations just don't make any sense, given the fact that 
farmers would not let leaks go unnoticed because diesel fuel is too 
  In addition to providing this exemption, it will also allow farmers 
who are regulated to self-certify instead of going to the expense of 
hiring engineers to do that for them. I am hoping my colleagues will 
look at this as a regulation that is not needed and accept my 
  I have a second amendment having to do with storm water. One of the 
biggest threats is the overburdensome and costly regulation. But one of 
the best ways to stop these rules is to ensure that when an agency 
states they will collect the best available information before imposing 
a new regulation, that they do that.
  This amendment will ensure that the EPA keeps its word and fully 
evaluates a current storm water regulatory situation--what practices 
work and what don't work, what the costs are and what the benefits 
are--before barreling ahead with new uncertain regulations.
  In EPA's current storm water regulations, they committed to complete 
an evaluation of the current rule. This amendment simply stops the EPA 
from issuing any new regulations until they comply with the rules. In 
other words, they have said they would do this. This stops them from 
invoking a regulation and completing it until they have completed what 
they have already agreed to.
  Rest assured this is nothing new to the EPA. In fact, in the EPA 
guidance that accompanies the current regulations, they recommended the 
same thing: that until the evaluation of the current program is 
completed, no new requirements be imposed, especially for small 
  So all my amendment does is force the EPA to do what they have 
already agreed they would do, and that should be a fairly easy one to 
  Madam President, I see the Senator from Connecticut has arrived, and 
so I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Madam President, I am here today to speak about a 
bipartisan amendment I have offered to the farm bill. It is an 
amendment that incorporates a bill I offered, the Animal Fighting 
Spectator Prohibition Act, and is cosponsored by Senators Kirk, 
Cantwell, Brown of Massachusetts, Wyden, and Landrieu. I ask unanimous 
consent that Senator Kerry be added as a cosponsor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Madam President, commonly in advocating or 
introducing bills, Senators will have photographs or digital aids, and 
I thought about doing that today, but then realized that the 
photographs appropriate for this bill are of mangled, cruelly torn 
animals that have died in the midst of torture from a blood sport that 
has no place in any of our American towns or cities or countrysides. 
This blood sport involves animal fighting. This activity is not only 
cruel and inhumane, it is also a sport that fosters, promotes, and 
encourages illegal activity, including drug dealing, gangs, and 
gambling. It is a source of the worst instincts. It encourages the 
worst in the human condition and the worst in the individuals who 
participate and come to watch it.
  Congress has recognized this fact in the past, as recently as 2007, 
by upgrading the Federal law against animal fighting. It is prohibited, 
and the act of 2007 made the interstate transport of fighting animals, 
or cockfighting tools, a Federal felony.
  In 2008, in the wake of the Michael Vick case, Congress again 
improved the

[[Page S3961]]

law, making possession and training of fighting animals a felony and 
enhancing the upper limits of jail time for anyone engaged and 
convicted of it, so the Federal law now is very comprehensive and very 
powerful. It prohibits exhibiting, buying, possessing, training, and 
transporting an animal for participation in a fighting activity. It is 
comprehensive and powerful except for one loophole, and that is the one 
I propose to cover through this amendment to the farm bill.
  This legislation would prohibit knowingly attending an animal fight 
by setting penalties that include a fine or imprisonment of up to 1 
year or both. It would also extend stricter penalties for any 
individual who knowingly brings a child to an animal fight, and the 
penalty for engaging in that activity would be a fine and prison 
sentence of up to 3 years or both. So the loophole here is that 
spectators are not covered and bringing children to these events is not 
covered, and that is why this legislation is absolutely essential.
  Why spectators? Well, spectators are commonly participants. In fact, 
the sport would not exist without spectators. They are the ones who 
gamble, engage in other criminal activity, and who go there simply to 
engage in that activity. They are there not only to watch but to bring 
their own animals to fight or to gamble illegally or for drug dealing 
illegally or gang activity illegally. Spectators are the source of 
financing, and they make it profitable. They must be subject to Federal 
law and Federal prohibitions in the same way as anyone who actually 
engages in already prohibited activity. This type of criminal element--
gathering of dogfights or cockfights--ought to be subject to the same 
kinds of prohibition.
  Why children? Well, without stating the obvious, coming to a 
cockfight or a dogfight, which is a blood sport, leads to other kinds 
of violence. I don't need to cite the scientific evidence for anyone 
who is a parent and a Member of this body. Right now there is no law 
that applies to bringing children to such an event, and we need to 
close that loophole.
  Again, if I had photographs here, one would be of a small girl 
literally crying at the sight of one of these animals mangled and 
cruelly torn apart before death.
  This bill would in no way apply to innocent bystanders because it 
would require proof that the person is aware they are at such an animal 
fight. It would not intrude on States rights. In fact, 49 States 
already have similar laws. We need a Federal law because many of these 
activities are in interstate commerce and the power of the Federal 
Government as an enforcer is irreplaceable. The Federal Government 
ought to be on record against the crimes involved that are committed by 
spectators and against bringing children to this kind of event.
  When animal fighting involves players from a number of different 
States, a county sheriff or a local law enforcer simply lacks the power 
to deal with it and to root out the entire operation--not just to make 
arrests at the site but to root out the whole operation so that the 
penalties are more comprehensive and the organized criminal activity is 
ended. These crimes are a Federal matter and the Federal response ought 
to be overwhelming. In the Michael Vick case, as an example, the local 
Commonwealth attorney refused to take action and Federal authorities 
had to prosecute this case.
  This measure has law enforcement endorsements not only from sheriffs 
but from others who care about this problem, such as the Federal Law 
Enforcement Officers Association and the Fraternal Order of Police. It 
is supported as well by the American Veterinary Medical Association and 
the Humane Society of the United States, which has been a strong 
partner in this effort and does so much great work to protect animals 
in this country and around the world. My thanks to the Humane Society 
for its courageous leadership in this area.
  It would be no cost to the Federal Government, to answer a question 
that is always raised. The Congressional Budget Office has scored this 
legislation and found it has zero cost to the Federal Government. So 
let me say the legislation is bipartisan, it is commonsense, it is 
humane, it is right, and it will cost zero dollars to close this last 
remaining loophole, this last remaining refuge for a blood sport that 
has no place in a civilized society. It gives Federal law enforcers the 
tools they badly need to stop it, and I urge its adoption.
  I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. I ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
period for debate only on S. 3240 be extended until 5:30 p.m., and that 
the majority leader be recognized at that time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. REID. 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 
  Mr. REID. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that a Stabenow-
Roberts perfecting amendment, which is at the desk, be agreed to; the 
bill, as amended, be considered original text for the purpose of 
further amendment; that the following Lee motion to recommit and four 
amendments be the first amendments and motion to recommit in order to 
the bill with no other first-degree amendments or motions to recommit 
in order until these amendments and motion are disposed of: Paul No. 
2182, Shaheen No. 2160, Coburn No. 2353, Cantwell No. 2370, and Lee 
motion to recommit; that there be up to 60 minutes of debate equally 
divided between the two leaders or their designees on each of these 
amendments and the Lee motion; that upon the use or yielding back of 
time on all four amendments and the Lee motion, the Senate proceed to 
votes in relation to the amendments and motion in the order listed; 
that there be no amendments or motions in order to the amendments or 
the Lee motion--which is the motion to recommit--prior to the votes 
other than motions to waive points of order and motions to table; that 
upon disposition of these amendments and the Lee motion, I be 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. PAUL. Madam President, reserving the right to object, I am very 
concerned about Dr. Shakil Afridi. He is a doctor in Pakistan who got 
information that helped us and led to the capture of bin Laden. He is 
now being held in prison. He has been put in prison in Pakistan for 33 
years. I don't think we should continue to send U.S. taxpayer money in 
the form of foreign aid to Pakistan when they are holding in prison a 
doctor who simply helped us to get bin Laden.
  This issue is of the utmost urgency. His case will be heard for an 
appeal. It is a political case. It can be influenced by U.S. actions. I 
think the U.S. taxpayers should not send money to Pakistan when 
Pakistan is holding this innocent man who helped us get one of the 
world's most dangerous men, a mass murderer who killed 3,000 Americans. 
We captured him with help from Dr. Shakil Afridi, and Dr. Afridi 
deserves our help now.
  I have an amendment that is very important. It is not germane. But 
that does not mean it is not important. It is very important that we 
send Pakistan a signal that we will not continue to send them a welfare 
check when they are holding in prison a political prisoner who helped 
us get bin Laden. This amendment is of the utmost urgency and would 
only require 15 minutes of the Senate's time. I am not asking for all 
day. I am asking for 15 minutes to vote on ending aid to Pakistan until 
they release Dr. Afridi.
  I do not think this is too much to ask. The Senate has historically 
been a body that allowed debate, that allowed amendments, pertinent or 
not pertinent. This one is very important. Time

[[Page S3962]]

is of the essence for Dr. Afridi. It is the least we can do for someone 
who helped us to get bin Laden. I ask that we allow time for this 
amendment to occur. I object to the unanimous consent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. REID. Madam President, I appreciate the good intentions of my 
friend from Kentucky because they are good intentions. But we are on a 
bill now that just simply does not allow something like that to come 
forward. I would like to work with him in the future--I am sure a 
number of other Senators would--to focus on our relations with 
  It is not only the problem he outlined, but there are other things--
the ability of our vehicles to drive to Afghanistan and lots of other 
things. It is an issue on which the Foreign Relations Committee has 
held hearings. It is something on which we need to focus, and I would 
also indicate to my friend that Senator Leahy, who has been a protector 
of human rights for his entire career, is the chairman of the State-
Foreign Operations Subcommittee. He is also concerned about this.
  So I would say to my friend that he does not stand alone in his 
concern. But there has to be a time and place for everything. 
Hopefully, we can have a full debate on our relations with Pakistan in 
the near future.

                           Amendment No. 2389

  Mr. REID. Madam President, on behalf of the managers, I call up 
amendment No. 2389, which is at the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Nevada [Mr. Reid], for Ms. Stabenow and 
     Mr. Roberts proposes an amendment numbered 2389.

  (The amendment is printed in today's Record under ``Text of 
  Mr. REID. Madam President, I ask for the yeas and nays on that 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.

                Amendment No. 2390 to Amendment No. 2389

  Mr. REID. Madam President, I have a second-degree amendment at the 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Nevada [Mr. Reid] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 2390 to amendment No. 2389.

  The amendment is as follows:

       At the end, add the following:


       This Act shall become effective 5 days after enactment.

               Motion to Recommit with Amendment No. 2391

  Mr. REID. Madam President, I have a motion to recommit the bill with 
instructions at the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Nevada [Mr. Reid] moves to recommit S. 
     3240 to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and 
     Forestry with instructions to report back forthwith with an 
     amendment numbered 2391.

  (The amendment is printed in today's Record under ``Text of 
  Mr. REID. Madam President, I ask for the yeas and nays on this 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.

                           Amendment No. 2392

  Mr. REID. Madam President, I now call up amendment No. 2392.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Nevada [Mr. Reid] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 2392 to the instructions of the motion to recommit 
     S. 3240.

  The amendment is as follows:

     (Purpose: To empower States with programmatic flexibility and 
predictability to administer a supplemental nutrition assistance block 
 grant program under which, at the request of a State agency, eligible 
     households within the State may receive an adequate, or more 
                           nutritious, diet)

       Beginning on page 1, strike line 2 and all that follows 
     through page 31, line 10, and insert the following:

   Subtitle A--Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Block Grant Program

     SEC. 4001. PURPOSE.

       The purpose of this subtitle is to empower States with 
     programmatic flexibility and financial predictability in 
     designing and operating State programs--
       (1) to raise the levels of nutrition among low-income 
       (2) to provide supplemental nutrition assistance benefits 
     to households with income and resources that are insufficient 
     to meet the costs of providing adequate nutrition; and
       (3) to provide States the flexibility to provide new and 
     innovative means to accomplish paragraphs (1) and (2) based 
     on the population and particular needs of each State.

     SEC. 4002. STATE PLANS.

       (a) In General.--To receive a grant under section 4003, a 
     State shall submit to the Secretary a written plan that 
     describes the manner in which the State intends to conduct a 
     supplemental nutrition assistance program that--
       (1) is designed to serve all political subdivisions in the 
       (2) provides supplemental nutrition assistance benefits to 
     low-income households for the sole purpose of purchasing 
     food, as defined by the applicable State agency in the plan; 
       (3) limits participation in the supplemental nutrition 
     assistance program to those households the incomes and other 
     financial resources of which, held singly or in joint 
     ownership, are determined by the State to be a substantial 
     limiting factor in permitting the members of the household to 
     obtain a more nutritious diet.
       (b) Requirements.--Each plan shall include--
       (1) specific objective criteria for--
       (A) the determination of eligibility for nutritional 
     assistance for low-income households, which may be based on 
     standards relating to income, assets, family composition, 
     beneficiary population, age, work, current participation in 
     other Federal government means-tested programs, and work, 
     student enrollment, or training requirements; and
       (B) fair and equitable treatment of recipients and 
     provision of supplemental nutrition assistance benefits to 
     all low-income households in the State; and
       (2) a description of--
       (A) benefits provided based on the aggregate grant amount; 
       (B) the manner in which supplemental nutrition assistance 
     benefits will be provided under the State plan, including the 
     use of State administration organizations, private 
     contractors, or consultants.
       (c) Certification of the Administration of the Program.--
       (1) In general.--The Governor of each State that receives a 
     grant under section 4003 shall issue a certification to the 
     Secretary in accordance with this subsection.
       (2) Administration.--The certification shall specify which 
     1 or more State agencies will administer and supervise the 
     State plan under this section.
       (3) Provision of benefits only to low-income individuals 
     and households.--
       (A) In general.--The certification shall certify that the 
     State will--
       (i) only provide supplemental nutrition assistance to low-
     income individuals and households in the State; and
       (ii) take such action as is necessary to prohibit any 
     household or member of a household that does not meet the 
     criteria described in subparagraph (B) from receiving 
     supplemental nutrition assistance benefits.
       (B) Criteria.--A household shall meet the criteria 
     described in this subparagraph if the household is--
       (i) a household in which each member receives benefits 
     under the supplemental security income program established 
     under title XVI of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1381 et 
       (ii) a low-income household that does not exceed 100 
     percentage of the poverty line (as defined in section 673(2) 
     of the Community Services Block Grant Act (42 U.S.C. 9902(2), 
     including any revision required by such section)) for a 
     family of the size involved as the State shall establish; or
       (iii) a household in which each member receives benefits 
     under a State or Federal general assistance program that 
     complies with income criteria standards comparable to or more 
     restrictive than the standards established under clause (ii).
       (4) Provision of benefits only to citizens and lawful 
     permanent residents of the united states.--The certification 
     shall certify that the State will--
       (A) only provide supplemental nutrition assistance to 
     citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States; 
       (B) take such action as is necessary to prohibit 
     supplemental nutrition assistance benefits from being 
     provided to any individual or household a member of which is 
     not a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United 
       (5) Certification of standards and procedures to ensure 
     against program fraud, waste and abuse.--The certification 
     shall certify that the State--
       (A) has established and will continue to enforce standards 
     and procedures to ensure against program fraud, waste, and 
     abuse, including standards and procedures concerning 
     nepotism, conflicts of interest among individuals responsible 
     for the administration and supervision of the State program, 
     kickbacks, and the use of political patronage; and
       (B) will prohibit from further receipt of benefits under 
     the program any recipient

[[Page S3963]]

     who attempts to receive benefits fraudulently.
       (6) Limitation on secretarial authority.--The Secretary--
       (A) may only review a State plan submitted under this 
     section for the purpose of confirming that a State has 
     submitted the required documentation; and
       (B) shall not have the authority to approve or deny a State 
     plan submitted under this section or to otherwise inhibit or 
     control the expenditure of grants paid to a State under 
     section 4003, unless a State plan does not comply with the 
     requirements of this section.


       (a) In General.--Beginning 120 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, each State 
     that has submitted a plan that meets the requirements of 
     section 4002 shall receive from the Secretary a grant in an 
     amount determined under subsection (b).
       (b) Amounts of Grants.--
       (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (3), a grant received 
     under subsection (a) shall be in an amount equal to the 
     product of--
       (A) the amount made available under section 4005 for the 
     applicable fiscal year; and
       (B) the proportion that--
       (i) the number of individuals residing in the State whose 
     income does not exceed 100 percent of the poverty line 
     described in section 4002(c)(3)(B)(ii) applicable to a family 
     of the size involved; bears to
       (ii) the number of such individuals in all States that have 
     submitted a plan under section 4002 for the applicable fiscal 
     year, based on data for the most recent fiscal year for which 
     data is available.
       (2) Pro rata adjustments.--The Secretary shall make pro 
     rata adjustments in the amounts determined for States under 
     paragraph (1) for each fiscal year as necessary to ensure 
       (A) the total amount appropriated for the applicable fiscal 
     year under section 4005 is allotted among all States that 
     submit a plan under section 4002; and
       (B) the total amount of all supplemental nutrition 
     assistance grants for States determined for the fiscal year 
     does not exceed the total amount appropriated for the fiscal 
       (3) Administrative provisions.--
       (A) Quarterly payments.--The Secretary shall make each 
     supplemental nutrition assistance grant payable to a State 
     for a fiscal year under this section in quarterly 
       (B) Computation and certification of payment to states.--
       (i) Computation.--The Secretary shall estimate the amount 
     to be paid to each State for each quarter under this section 
     based on a report filed by the State that shall include--

       (I) an estimate by the State of the total amount to be 
     expended by the State during the applicable quarter under the 
     State program funded under this subtitle; and
       (II) such other information as the Secretary may require.

       (ii) Certification.--The Secretary shall certify to the 
     Secretary of the Treasury the amount estimated under clause 
     (i) with respect to each State, adjusted to the extent of any 
     overpayment or underpayment--

       (I) that the Secretary determines was made under this 
     subtitle to the State for any prior quarter; and
       (II) with respect to which adjustment has not been made 
     under this paragraph.

     SEC. 4004. USE OF GRANTS.

       (a) In General.--Subject to subsection (b), a State that 
     receives a grant under section 4003 may use the grant in any 
     manner that is reasonably demonstrated to accomplish the 
     purposes of this subtitle.
       (b) Limitation on Use of Grant for Administrative 
     Purposes.--A State may not use more than 3 percent of the 
     amount of a grant received for a fiscal year under section 
     4003 for administrative purposes.


       There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this 
     subtitle $45,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2013 and each fiscal 
     year thereafter.

     SEC. 4006. REPEAL.

       (a) In General.--Effective 120 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 
     U.S.C. 2011 et seq.) is repealed.
       (b) Relationship to Other Law.--Any reference in this Act, 
     an amendment made by this Act, or any other Act to the 
     supplemental nutrition assistance program shall be considered 
     to be a reference to the supplemental nutrition assistance 
     block grant program under this subtitle.

  Mr. REID. I ask for the yeas and nays on that amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.

                Amendment No. 2393 to Amendment No. 2392

  Mr. REID. Madam President, I call up amendment No. 2393, which is a 
second-degree amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Nevada [Mr. Reid] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 2393 to amendment No. 2392.

  The amendment is as follows:

           (Purpose: To phase out the Federal sugar program)

       At the end, add the following:

     SEC. ___. SHORT TITLE.

       This subtitle may be cited as the ``Stop Unfair Giveaways 
     and Restrictions Act of 2012'' or ``SUGAR Act of 2012''.


       (a) In General.--Section 156 of the Federal Agriculture 
     Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7272) is 
       (1) in subsection (d), by striking paragraph (1) and 
     inserting the following:
       ``(1) Loans.--The Secretary shall carry out this section 
     through the use of recourse loans.'';
       (2) by redesignating subsection (i) as subsection (j);
       (3) by inserting after subsection (h) the following:
       ``(i) Phased Reduction of Loan Rate.--For each of the 2012, 
     2013, and 2014 crops of sugar beets and sugarcane, the 
     Secretary shall lower the loan rate for each succeeding crop 
     in a manner that progressively and uniformly lowers the loan 
     rate for sugar beets and sugarcane to $0 for the 2015 
     crop.''; and
       (4) in subsection (j) (as redesignated), by striking 
     ``2012'' and inserting ``2014''.
       (b) Prospective Repeal.--Effective beginning with the 2015 
     crop of sugar beets and sugarcane, section 156 of the Federal 
     Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 
     7272) is repealed.

                   ADJUSTMENT PROGRAMS.

       (a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
       (1) a processor of any of the 2015 or subsequent crops of 
     sugarcane or sugar beets shall not be eligible for a loan 
     under any provision of law with respect to the crop; and
       (2) the Secretary may not make price support available, 
     whether in the form of a loan, payment, purchase, or other 
     operation, for any of the 2015 and subsequent crops of sugar 
     beets and sugarcane by using the funds of the Commodity 
     Credit Corporation or other funds available to the Secretary.
       (b) Termination of Marketing Quotas and Allotments.--
       (1) In general.--Part VII of subtitle B of title III of the 
     Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 (7 U.S.C. 1359aa et seq.) 
     is repealed.
       (2) Conforming amendment.--Section 344(f)(2) of the 
     Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 (7 U.S.C. 1344(f)(2)) is 
     amended by striking ``sugar cane for sugar, sugar beets for 
       (c) General Powers.--
       (1) Section 32 activities.--Section 32 of the Act of August 
     24, 1935 (7 U.S.C. 612c), is amended in the second sentence 
     of the first paragraph--
       (A) in paragraph (1), by inserting ``(other than sugar 
     beets and sugarcane)'' after ``commodities''; and
       (B) in paragraph (3), by inserting ``(other than sugar 
     beets and sugarcane)'' after ``commodity''.
       (2) Powers of commodity credit corporation.--Section 5(a) 
     of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act (15 U.S.C. 
     714c(a)) is amended by inserting ``, sugar beets, and 
     sugarcane'' after ``tobacco''.
       (3) Price support for nonbasic agricultural commodities.--
     Section 201(a) of the Agricultural Act of 1949 (7 U.S.C. 
     1446(a)) is amended by striking ``milk, sugar beets, and 
     sugarcane'' and inserting ``, and milk''.
       (4) Commodity credit corporation storage payments.--Section 
     167 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 
     1996 (7 U.S.C. 7287) is repealed.
       (5) Suspension and repeal of permanent price support 
     authority.--Section 171(a)(1) of the Federal Agriculture 
     Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7301(a)(1)) is 
       (A) by striking subparagraph (E); and
       (B) by redesignating subparagraphs (F) through (I) as 
     subparagraphs (E) through (H), respectively.
       (6) Storage facility loans.--Section 1402(c) of the Farm 
     Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 7971) is 
       (7) Feedstock flexibility program for bioenergy 
     producers.--Effective beginning with the 2013 crop of sugar 
     beets and sugarcane, section 9010 of the Farm Security and 
     Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8110) is repealed.
       (d) Transition Provisions.--This section and the amendments 
     made by this section shall not affect the liability of any 
     person under any provision of law as in effect before the 
     application of this section and the amendments made by this 


       (a) Establishment.--Except as provided in subsection (c) 
     and notwithstanding any other provision of law, not later 
     than October 1, 2012, the Secretary shall develop and 
     implement a program to increase the tariff-rate quotas for 
     raw cane sugar and refined sugars for a quota year in a 
     manner that ensures--
       (1) a robust and competitive sugar processing industry in 
     the United States; and
       (2) an adequate supply of sugar at reasonable prices in the 
     United States.
       (b) Factors.--In determining the tariff-rate quotas 
     necessary to satisfy the requirements of subsection (a), the 
     Secretary shall consider the following:
       (1) The quantity and quality of sugar that will be subject 
     to human consumption in the United States during the quota 
       (2) The quantity and quality of sugar that will be 
     available from domestic processing of

[[Page S3964]]

     sugarcane, sugar beets, and in-process beet sugar.
       (3) The quantity of sugar that would provide for reasonable 
     carryover stocks.
       (4) The quantity of sugar that will be available from 
     carryover stocks for human consumption in the United States 
     during the quota year.
       (5) Consistency with the obligations of the United States 
     under international agreements.
       (c) Exemption.--Subsection (a) shall not include specialty 
       (d) Definitions.--In this section, the terms ``quota year'' 
     and ``human consumption'' have the meaning such terms had 
     under section 359k of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 
     (7 U.S.C. 1359kk) (as in effect on the day before the date of 
     the enactment of this Act).


       Except as otherwise provided in this subtitle, this 
     subtitle and the amendments made by this subtitle shall apply 
     beginning with the 2012 crop of sugar beets and sugarcane.