[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 111 (Monday, July 11, 2016)]
[Pages S4929-S4941]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R. 5293, which the 
clerk will report.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       Motion to proceed to Calendar No. 524, H.R. 5293, a bill 
     making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the 
     fiscal year ending September 30, 2017, and for other 

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.

                           Tragedy in Dallas

  Mr. CORNYN. Madam President, last Thursday night, hundreds gathered 
in downtown Dallas to engage in a peaceful protest. Dozens of police 
officers were on hand to make sure that these protesters could exercise 
their rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and 
protesters even snapped pictures of themselves with the officers in a 
show of harmony, underscoring the peaceful nature of the event.
  As we know now, near the end of the route, all this was shattered as 
a gunman opened fire on law enforcement officers in a targeted, 
senseless, and vicious attack. It was made clear early on, that the 
attackers' goal was to kill as many police officers as possible, and he 
made a calculated effort to do just that. To attack those who work day 
in and day out to keep our communities safe is absolutely revolting. It 
is an act of pure evil and the shameful work of a coward.
  Today our country grieves with Dallas, the Dallas Police Department, 
who lost four of their own, and Dallas Area Rapid Transit, who lost an 
officer while protecting the community that night.
  These officers did what all of our law enforcement officers 
potentially would be called to do; that is, they put their lives on the 
line. Some gave their very lives, and several others were injured in 
actions that can only be described as heroic. These officers were 
certainly worthy of the badge they wore, and their courage makes me 
proud to be a Texan. They could have turned around and run away from 
the sound of gunshots and commotion. They could have given up and 
decided their lives were more important than the lives of those they 
had vowed to protect, but they didn't. That is not who they are. They 
are made of better, braver stuff than that. In fact, these officers ran 
to the sound of gunshots without hesitation to protect the community 
they serve.
  Dallas police chief David Brown recounted that many ran out in the 
middle of the gunfire knowing they were making themselves targets of 
the attack in order to get injured officers to safety and to medical 
help. Many used their own bodies to help shield protesters who were 
fleeing in terror.
  That is what the men and women of the Dallas police force are made 
of--undeniable valor and unfailing courage. To say we are indebted to 
them for their service to the community is an understatement, but I 
want to thank each and every one of them who didn't hesitate to put it 
all on the line to defend and protect the people of Dallas.
  Today and tomorrow, when the President comes to Dallas, our country 
will continue to mourn with the whole Dallas community. We grieve for 
the first named officer who was killed, Officer Brent Thompson. Officer 
Thompson was a newlywed who married a fellow officer just a couple of 
weeks ago. We grieve for the loss of Patrick Zamarripa, who bravely 
served three tours in Iraq and leaves behind a wife, a son, and a 2-
year-old daughter. We likewise grieve for the family and friends of 
Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, and Michael Smith--three other officers who 
were killed. We offer our prayers for those who were wounded, including 
a woman who happened to be an African American who was shot in the leg 
while trying to shield her sons from the bullets. We pray for her and 
the several other police officers who were shot but survived as they 
begin the long road to recovery.
  I mentioned the race of the woman who was shot to underscore that 
while the shooter said he intended to kill White police officers, his 
actions did not discriminate based on race. Everyone who was in the 
line of his sight that night was a target.
  This is a national tragedy, the deadliest day for American law 
enforcement since the events of 9/11. Tomorrow I will join leaders in 
Dallas, President Obama, and former President Bush at the memorial 
service to honor the lives of those we lost and to pray for healing and 
peace for the city and for our country.
  While it should not take an event like this to jolt our consciences, 
we have to consider more ways to support our public servants who are 
tasked with the daunting responsibility of keeping order, enforcing the 
rule of law, and protecting our communities. One way we can do that is 
to support additional training for our law enforcement, like some 
legislation that I have introduced called the POLICE Act, which has 
passed the Senate unanimously. It would make millions of dollars 
available for law enforcement to pursue active-shooter training.
  In other words, we have learned the hard way that by trained policed 
officers running to the gunshot, we can actually save lives while 
endangering, obviously, the lives of the police officers engaging in 
that active-shooter practice. But with training, these officers can 
minimize their own exposure and, hopefully, save more lives. I hope the 
House will pass this legislation soon so we can send it to the 
President's desk.
  I also would note the contribution of my friend and colleague 
Congressman John Carter from Central Texas, who has sponsored 
legislation in the House. It is pretty clear that we don't have all of 
the answers. That goes without saying, but we know we can make a 
difference if we try. In addition, I plan on introducing other 
legislation soon that would help law enforcement go after the violent 
criminals who intentionally target police officers and give additional 
authorities to our law enforcement officers to help them better defend 
both the public and themselves.
  As we continue to grieve and say our prayers, let's not neglect our 
work to support law enforcement so that they can better protect and 
defend our communities. Our law enforcement officers deserve our utmost 
respect for the essential, irreplaceable role they play in our 
  Tragically, the officers we lost last week were killed and injured 
for simply doing their job; that is, for keeping the community safe. 
They were shot while actually protecting protesters so that they could 
exercise their constitutional rights of free speech and assembly. These 
officers didn't do anything wrong. They weren't responsible for any of 
the real or perceived injustices that have occurred in other parts of 
the country, but they were targeted by a twisted and demented mind who 
lost his own life in pursuit of this terrible crime. There is no--
zero--justification for the taking of these lives.
  As our country continues to grieve, I hope we will also unite to 
support those who put their lives on the line to keep us safe.
  Madam President, I see a Senator wishing to speak, so I will yield 
the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I see that Senator Cardin has 
arrived, so I will yield to him in one moment. But while Senator Cornyn 
is still on the floor, I want to express the

[[Page S4930]]

sorrow and sympathy of the law enforcement community in Rhode Island 
for the loss Dallas has sustained.
  As anybody who has served in law enforcement knows, the two worst 
words an officer can hear are ``officer down.'' They don't know who it 
is, but they know it is one of theirs, and it is a sign of a casualty 
among the brotherhood and sisterhood of the police department. Those 
Dallas police officers had to hear the same words over and over again 
on that deadly night: Officer down. Officer down. Officer down.
  I think it has shocked the entire country, and I have certainly seen 
people come from all around the United States when we have lost police 
officers in Rhode Island. They come and stand in the freezing cold 
outside of churches where a funeral is going on. They come in groups 
wearing bands. They come to show their respect. It is not just the men 
and women of law enforcement in Dallas and in Texas who feel this, 
everyone across the country does. I wanted to express that to the 
people of Dallas, the law enforcement community of Dallas, and our 
friend Senator Cornyn of Texas.
  With that, I will now yield to Senator Cardin, who will speak on a 
different subject.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.

                             Climate Change

  Mr. CARDIN. Madam President, first I thank Senator Whitehouse for his 
extraordinary work on an issue that affects the United States and the 
global community, and that is the reality of climate change and the 
impact it is having on the United States and on the global community.
  Senator Whitehouse and I, along with eight other Members of this 
Senate, represented the United States at the COP21 conference in Paris 
in which over 190 nations came together on an action plan to deal with 
climate and climate change. That would not have happened but for U.S. 
leadership. I am proud of the work that was done by the United States 
in setting up a blueprint so we can deal with the impact of climate 
change in the international community.
  We can talk about the specific aspects of climate change and the 
impact it is having on the security of America. We can talk about the 
number of climate refugees--people who are going to be forced to leave 
their lands because of the rising sea level. We can talk about the 
impact of famine by droughts and floods that are occurring as a result 
of climate change. We can listen to our generals talk about the impact 
it has on our national security.
  I start by saying that this is an issue of international concern that 
affects America's security. We can do something about it, and we have 
done something about it. U.S. leadership has brought about a game plan 
to deal with this issue. So it is particularly frustrating to see 
special interest groups that have a direct financial interest in 
maintaining the status quo by continuing to use high-carbon productions 
in order to produce their products, and they finance groups that 
produce documents to justify the science deniers. That is a 
particularly frustrating aspect, particularly since we recognize how 
much we need U.S. leadership.
  I thank Senator Whitehouse for bringing to our attention the 
different special interest groups interested in high-carbon emissions 
and maintaining the status quo of our climate. They have financed these 
groups to come up with studies that are really phony in order to 
justify their opposition to responsible legislation here in the United 
States and around the world that will lead us to a safer course on 
climate change.
  This is particularly important for us in America. I will get a little 
parochial for one moment, if I might. The Chesapeake Bay is one of the 
most vulnerable regions in the Nation to the effects of climate change. 
According to a report from the Chesapeake Bay Program's Scientific and 
Technical Advisory Committee, some of these effects, including rising 
water temperatures and sea levels, have been observed in the watershed, 
and the region is expected to experience further shifts in its 
environmental conditions.
  As water levels rise, so will coastal flooding and erosion. Marshes 
and wetlands will be inundated with saltwater and will disappear faster 
than wetland plants can populate higher ground.
  There was an article in our local paper talking about the islands in 
the Chesapeake Bay--Tangier and Smith. They are disappearing. These 
islands won't be there in the future. And we already have islands that 
used to be inhabited in the Chesapeake Bay that don't exist.
  A loss of marshes and wetlands will mean a loss of the habitat that 
traps pollution and provides food and shelter to fish, shellfish, and 
birds, and a loss of livelihood to Maryland's men and women who earn a 
living by fishing, crabbing, and oystering in the Chesapeake Bay. It 
has a direct economic impact in addition to the safety issue.
  Strong rain and snowstorms can damage crops, erode soil, and increase 
flooding. Floods can damage ports, marinas, and historical monuments, 
and threaten buildings, sewer systems, roads, and tunnels. Meanwhile, a 
network of groups purporting to be unbiased has misled the public about 
the scientific certainty of climate change.
  In Maryland, junk science is a thing of the past. I take the time to 
point that out. The now-defunct Annapolis Center for Science-Based 
Public Policy was founded in 1993 by a former vice president of the 
National Association of Manufacturers. In its own words, the center was 
a ``national, non-profit educational organization that supports and 
promotes responsible energy, environmental, and health and safety 
policy-making through the use of sound science.'' Nothing could be 
further from the truth.
  In 1997, the Annapolis Center hosted a workshop discussing both the 
scientific and economic uncertainty of climate change and that a 
``firm, unqualified conclusion on the direction and rate of climate 
change'' will come ``many decades in the future.'' That was their 
finding. For reference, Dr. James Hansen, who was then a scientist at 
NASA and is still one of the most world-renowned climate scientists, 
testified before Congress nearly a decade earlier as to the certainty 
of climate science. Fortunately, the Annapolis Center is not sending 
out this kind of misinformation any longer. They are no longer in 
existence. They closed their doors, thank goodness. They were funded by 
special interest to produce a document that they could use to try to 
prevent the progress that was being made on climate change with our 
policymakers, including Congress.

  Accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy will produce many 
benefits with regard to sustainable economic growth, public health, 
resiliency to natural disasters, and the health of the global 
  My colleague in the House, Congressman Delaney, and I have filed 
resolutions in the House and Senate affirming the establishment of a 
national goal of more than 50 percent of America's electricity 
production coming from clean and carbon-free electricity by 2030. This 
is doable. Despite the misinformation that has been put out by these 
special interest-funded groups, we can do much better on the use of 
noncarbon sources to produce our electricity. Our ``50x30'' resolutions 
are cosponsored by 30 Senators and 103 House Members. The resolutions 
are also endorsed by the Union of Concerned Scientists, Green Latinos, 
Green for All, Climate Hawks, and the House Sustainable Energy and 
Environmental Caucus.
  I am proud of the legitimate, science-based work of groups like the 
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. I applaud its 
hard work and the positive news of an improved score on the Chesapeake 
Bay report card for 2015. We are making progress. Why? Because we are 
following science-based solutions to deal with reducing carbon 
  I am proud of recent efforts to divest in fossil fuels in Maryland. 
The foundation that oversees the Maryland State university system's $1 
billion endowment announced June 28 that it will stop investing 
directly in coal, oil, and natural gas companies--a victory for a 
student-led movement to direct more of the portfolio clean energy. The 
University System of Maryland Foundation, which helps fund 
scholarships, endowed professorships, and more, said it would sign on 
to a United Nations pledge to be more socially aware of its investments 
and appoint a staff person to identify opportunities in renewable 
  I am also proud of the work of the Maryland board members of the U.S.

[[Page S4931]]

Chamber of Commerce. They have adopted proactive climate policies or 
  This should not be controversial. This is good for business, not bad. 
For example, board member Xerox Corporation, headquartered in 
Germantown, MD, is doing its part to reduce the financial risk of 
climate change. It signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge 
and pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and energy 
consumption by 20 percent by 2020. It is good for the environment, it 
is good for dealing with the impacts I have mentioned, and it is also 
good for business. This pledge is sponsored by the White House, and 154 
businesses signed, voicing support for a strong outcome in the Paris 
climate negotiations.
  Another example is the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System. 
It is a proud member of the Ceres Investor Network on Climate Risk, a 
voluntary network of companies that have committed to improve their 
environmental and social performance and to publicly report their 
sustainable strategies.
  These and many other examples across Maryland demonstrate--contrary 
to what the chamber of commerce has said--that there is a business and 
economic case to be made to take steps to fight climate change.
  Unless we all act, we will continue on a trajectory that leads to a 
grim future for us and our children. The first step that must be taken 
is the recognition that climate change is real and that it is happening 
right now so we can work cooperatively to come up with creative 
solutions rather than continuing unproductive arguments about whether 
everyone agrees the science is settled.
  The types of activities we have seen should have no place in American 
politics. It is one thing to have disagreements on how we can resolve 
problems; it is another thing to say that the science points in an 
opposite direction than it does, particularly when it is funded by 
special interests that have a financial reward for trying to prevent 
science from dictating the policies--or leading us to the policies--in 
this country. I am proud to be part of the effort Senator Whitehouse 
has brought to the floor to expose these types of organizations. I am 
pleased that the organization that existed in Maryland no longer 
exists. I am proud of the great work that is being done.

                        Tribute to Michael Wolfe

  Madam President, before I yield the floor, I wish to point out the 
incredible help I have had in my office from a detailee, Michael Wolfe. 
Michael is a Brookings fellow who has worked in my office. His home 
agency is the EPA, where he is the senior program analyst in the Office 
of Air and Radiation. He has worked at the EPA since 2004, dedicating 
most of his professional career to serving the American people.
  I know how fortunate my colleagues and I are when we get detailees 
from the executive branch to work in our offices. They provide 
extremely valuable help. Michael Wolfe has been an incredible resource 
to our office. He has been part of my team, and he is a civil engineer 
by training, which is something we desperately could use in my office. 
He was instrumental in my work on water infrastructure this year. He 
has also worked tirelessly to protect the clean water rule, the 
Chesapeake Bay agreement, and increase access to public lands in 
  While Michael is incredibly smart, the first thing one notices about 
Mike is that he nearly always smiles. Even on tough days, he brightens 
up our office. It has been a pleasure to know him. He will be leaving 
our office next week, and I wanted to take this time to personally 
thank him for his service to the Senate.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.

                             Climate Change

  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, we expect that the Senator from 
Delaware will be here shortly, but in the meantime, let me begin with a 
few remarks.
  This is the 144th time I have come to the floor to urge Congress to 
wake up to the threat of climate change. This week, something new is 
happening. I am joined by colleagues who will help me shine a little 
light on the web of climate denial and spotlight the bad actors in the 
web who are polluting our American discourse with phony climate denial.
  This web of denial, formed over decades, has been built and 
provisioned by the deep-pocketed Koch brothers, by ExxonMobil, by 
Peabody coal, and by other fossil fuel interests. It is a grim shadow 
over our democracy in that it includes an electioneering effort that 
spends hundreds of millions of dollars in a single election cycle and 
threatens any Republican who steps up to address the global threat of 
climate change.
  Just one of those electioneering groups, the Koch brothers-backed 
Americans for Prosperity, has openly proclaimed that if Republicans 
support a carbon tax or climate regulations, they would be ``at a 
severe disadvantage in the Republican nomination process.'' It would 
mean their political peril. When that threat comes from a group that 
has openly and notoriously pledged to spend $750 million in an election 
cycle, that is a threat that serves notice on the political class to 
behave, and regrettably the political class too often does behave in 
the face of that kind of money.
  I see that Senator Coons has arrived, and I am delighted to yield the 
floor to him.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Delaware.
  Mr. COONS. Madam President, I wish to thank my great colleague, the 
Senator from Rhode Island, for his tireless efforts to keep climate 
change on this Chamber's radar. One day I hope that we can move it from 
our radar to our to-do list and ultimately to the history books.
  Today I am pleased and proud to join my colleagues to speak about 
something I thought we had established in grade school but apparently 
bears repeating; that is, the importance of science. It is troubling 
that today in the 21st century, there is any doubt about the importance 
of real, sound science in many facets of our lives. It is troubling 
that we still need to defend science here on the Senate floor.
  Scientific discovery and invention are the engine of our economy. 
Science leads to transformative technologies and new ways of thinking 
in a wide range of fields, including health care, manufacturing, 
agriculture, clean energy, and national security.
  Scientific inquiry is also the foundation of good public policy. It 
shapes and informs how we inform global threats such as ozone 
depletion, an issue on which the international community has made real 
progress. Science must play an equally central role in how we address 
climate change.
  When we want to know what to do about a public health or 
environmental crisis, we turn to science. For example, rigorous, 
careful data collection and analysis are critical to understanding 
long-term trends. Data can show the effectiveness of a medication in 
treating a disease, for example, or the ability of a new material to 
withstand extreme conditions over time. And data can help us make good 
decisions based on those trends. Never have we had a greater ability to 
collect and analyze data than today. That is why more than ever in 
today's world, science should drive policy, not the other way around.
  In a number of areas, I have worked with my Republican colleagues on 
bipartisan bills that help substantially advance scientific inquiry, 
from encouraging citizen science projects to improving public-private 
partnerships with our national labs. So why is climate science so 
threatening to some?
  Sadly, there are far too many organizations in existence today that 
have it backwards. These organizations have attempted to distort 
science for purely political ends because the facts threaten the bottom 
line of those who have created and sustained them. These organizations 
claim to use sound science to support policy objectives, but their 
actions indicate that the only science they find sound is the kind that 
sounds like profits.
  One of these organizations is the now-defunct The Advancement of 
Sound Science Coalition, known as the TASSC--an organization that 
played a key role in obscuring the facts around the dangers of tobacco 
use. TASSC was originally founded back in 1993 under the guise of 
promoting ``sound science in policymaking.'' In reality, as was later 
uncovered in the documents that came to light in the course of 
litigation against the tobacco industry,

[[Page S4932]]

TASSC actually had the opposite goal. The year it was founded, it 
stated in private documents at the time that one of its goals was to 
lay the groundwork to help Phillip Morris advance its agenda of 
promoting tobacco use nationally and at the State and local level. How? 
Let me quote from one of these discovered documents: by ``encouraging 
the public to question--from the grassroots up--the validity of 
scientific studies.''
  These are not the statements of an organization devoted to scientific 
inquiry and data-driven policy.
  Let me be clear. The problem doesn't lie in industry hiring 
scientists to argue their case. That is well within the rights of 
industry and of any organization in our country. The problem is when 
groups like this one misrepresent their very motives, hide their 
sources of funding and industry ties, and push out misleading or even 
incorrect information under the guise of ``sound science.''
  We all know today that smoking tobacco is profoundly harmful to our 
health. Yet these same organizations, the ones that decades ago 
promoted ``science'' that hid the truth about tobacco and threatened 
public health for far too long, are now in sadly too many cases doing 
the same with climate change.
  Fortunately, today, this group I am discussing, TASSC, is now 
defunct. But its former executive director, Steve Milloy, is still an 
active climate change denier who helped draft the 1998 ``Global Climate 
Science Communications Action Plan.'' It included the statement: 
``Victory Will Be Achieved When Average citizens `understand' . . . 
uncertainties in climate science; recognition of uncertainties becomes 
part of the `conventional wisdom.' ''
  Quite simply, his goal was and continues to be to persuade people, 
using incorrect, scientifically unsound information, to doubt the 
science about climate change, one of the greatest global challenges we 
face. His policy goal is to halt action on climate change, and he is 
using science incorrectly to achieve this political end. Frankly, this 
is irresponsible and it flies in the face of the foundation of the 
scientific method.
  As someone who trained in chemistry in college, I am familiar with 
how scientists are trained to formulate hypotheses, carefully construct 
experiments to test those hypotheses, and without bias or preformed 
assumptions, then draw conclusions about those hypotheses. Starting 
with the answer and considering only evidence that supports the 
answer--that is not science; that is politics.
  The very existence of groups like TASSC and others that my colleagues 
will speak about this evening and tomorrow make clear that we must work 
even harder to defend and support science throughout our society.
  That means providing robust funding for our national lab system.
  That means establishing a Federal effort to coordinate research in a 
new subfield of chemistry that I have been excited about promoting.
  That means supporting the use of crowdsourcing and citizen science 
methods in Federal agencies.
  That means supporting policies that will support industry-relevant 
training in engineering, including advanced manufacturing.
  All of these are efforts that I have been involved in and that enjoy 
bipartisan support. My colleagues know that I make an effort to promote 
pragmatic, bipartisan policy ideas. Science should not be a partisan 
issue, and neither, frankly, should climate change.
  Climate change is all too real for those of us who live in low-lying 
coastal States like my home State of Delaware, where flooding has 
already devastated homes and communities up and down the State. The 
science is clear: This severe flooding is only going to increase as 
temperatures continue to rise around the globe and as the sea level 
rises as well.
  We live in an era of unprecedented scientific and technological 
advantages. The NASA Juno spacecraft mission to Jupiter; the ability to 
use 3-D printing to manufacture custom products, specifically 
prosthetics; the evolution of new developments in robotics and 
genomics--these advances capture our imagination, and they can change 
our world. These developments happen because America's best trained 
scientists and engineers have spent decades undertaking rigorous and 
innovative research and applying their findings to address the big 
questions of our world.
  Certainly the challenges of climate change are daunting and urgent, 
and so we should be focused on using the best science available to 
tackle these challenges with the best policy solutions possible--not 
convincing people who prefer denial and deception that the science 
isn't even real.
  I wish to thank my friend and colleague Senator Whitehouse for his 
tireless leadership in addressing climate change and for assembling 
today's important colloquy.
  If I might, with the forbearance of my colleague from New Mexico who 
I see has come to the floor, I wish to take just a few more minutes to 
address an unrelated but urgent topic.

                           Tragedy in Dallas

  Madam President, before I invite one of my colleagues to continue 
today's colloquy, I just want to say a few words about the tragic 
events in Dallas. Just four days ago, a peaceful protest in Dallas that 
brought together protesters and police in an example of the very best 
of our Nation was torn apart by a cowardly and savage act that 
reflected the very worst. Five police officers were murdered, leaving 
their families, friends, and country in shock, in mourning, and in 
search of answers, and six of their colleagues were injured.
  Last week was a very difficult one for America. From Dallas to many 
other cities, including Baton Rouge and St. Paul, MN, far too many 
lives were cut short by violence, far too many families will never be 
whole again.
  But as our President said this weekend, America is not as divided as 
we may appear. We are united in mourning the tragic deaths of Brent 
Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens, and Michael 
Smith, and in mourning Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. We are 
united in our grief for their families and communities.
  We are united in our respect and admiration for police and first 
responders, the overwhelming majority of whom do their dangerous jobs 
with bravery and selflessness.
  But we are also united in our awareness that we have so much more 
work to do to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and 
the communities they serve and protect. We are united in our 
understanding that moving beyond this tragic and unacceptable status 
quo--to heal our wounds and build toward a national community of 
respect and compassion--will challenge us in ways both new and 
  But as Franklin Roosevelt said in an address exactly 80 years ago 
today: ``There are no limits to this Nation's capacity to obtain and 
maintain true freedom, no limits except the strength of our Nation's 
desire and determination.''
  I am confident our desire and determination will build an America in 
which police officers can serve their communities, worrying only about 
how to make their communities safer, not whether they will come home 
that night.
  Our desire and our determination can and should build a Nation in 
which every American can live, work, play, and worship free of concerns 
about discrimination, a Nation in which all of us are able to abide by 
the law as written with a law as lived. We must do better and we will 
do better.
  I thank my colleagues for the opportunity to join in this colloquy, 
and I wish to yield the floor to my colleague from the State of New 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.

                             Climate Change

  Mr. UDALL. Madam President, I thank the Chair for the recognition. 
Let me also, as my other colleagues have done, thank Senator Whitehouse 
for his leadership on climate change, global warming, and the work he 
has done in that area.
  I was also part, with Senator Coons, of the Paris 10 who went to 
Paris and did everything we could to let the rest of the countries in 
the world and their representatives know, as Senator Coons knows very 
well, that we are in this for the long haul and we are going to make 
sure that it happens and that the United States will continue with all 
of the good policies that have been put in place.

[[Page S4933]]

  Senator Whitehouse has shown particularly good leadership in the area 
of exposing a sophisticated network of climate deniers, a network of 
special interest groups and front groups that have all rallied around 
the slogan of being climate deniers. I rise to join my colleagues to 
draw attention to what we are calling the web of denial--interconnected 
corporations and special interest groups spending millions of dollars 
misleading the public about the harmful effects of climate change.
  Contrary to what these groups want the American people to think, 
climate change is a fact, it is a reality, and we have to deal with it. 
Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas and a byproduct of fossil fuels, is a 
major contributor to global warming. This is not some ideological 
belief I share with some of my colleagues. We wish global warming did 
not exist and that it was not threatening our health, our livelihoods, 
and the environment, but it is real, and New Mexico and the Southwest 
are in the bull's-eye. We are seeing it in the form of more frequent 
droughts, increasingly severe wildfires, and rising temperatures. There 
is no doubt and the data cannot be denied. Scientists cannot be 
ignored. We can see it before our eyes in New Mexico and across the 
country in so many different areas.
  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Academy 
of Sciences, and independent researchers at our most esteemed 
universities have written extensively about this link between 
greenhouse gases and the warming of the Earth.
  Scientists at Las Alamos and Sandia National Labs in New Mexico are 
key parts of this scientific effort. We trust these institutions to 
perform the scientific research that is critical to our Nation's 
national security. They ensure our arsenal of nuclear weapons is safe 
and secure. So when these scientists tell us that manmade climate 
change is real and poses a serious threat, we should listen and take 
them seriously.
  The evidence has been mounting for decades. The research has been 
thorough and unbiased. Countries around the world have been pressing to 
address this challenge in a global manner. So why are people still 
trying to foster a debate? Why are they asking if global warming is 
really happening? That is what we are here to discuss--the web of 
  There are many who have different agendas that are not rooted in 
truth or science, and those agendas are playing out in our politics in 
the most disgraceful way possible, through the dark money that is 
poisoning the system and spreading lies to benefit a few. It started 
when industry became concerned that this link could harm the bottom 
line. Over the years, industry groups have spent millions of dollars to 
influence the debate through dark money and front groups. Many of my 
colleagues have talked about this today and many more will talk about 
it tomorrow. The evidence of this strategy is profound.
  An early example is, the Information Council for the Environment, or 
ICE, and the Greening Earth Society. These groups sound technical and 
environmental, but they aren't. They were cooked up in the boardrooms 
of fossil fuel industry executives--people who put profits over public 
health. They were designed after focus groups and market data convinced 
them the public trusted scientists more than politicians, more than 
political activists, and certainly more than industry press people. 
These groups, founded by the Western Fuels Association, aimed to shape 
the global warming discussion at a crucial time in the early 1990s, as 
the world was gathering in Rio and Kyoto to hammer out agreements and 
tackle the problem.
  ICE ran several print and radio advertisements asking: ``If the Earth 
is getting warmer, why is Kentucky getting colder?''
  Another quote: ``If the Earth is getting warmer, why is the frost 
line moving south?''
  ``Who told you the earth was warming, Chicken Little? And how much 
are you willing to pay to solve a problem that may not exist?''
  These questions and claims were misleading and false, but they helped 
to stir up the public. The public was looking to trust independent 
scientists and analysts, not industry front groups. Even more 
concerning is the way global warming deniers have refocused their 
strategies at discrediting scientists and researchers.
  We have seen a terrible trend. As the public has become more aware of 
these front groups, they have changed their tack. Now they are working 
to discredit and disavow the credible scientists who are out there, 
charging that scientists have hidden agendas, wanting more research 
dollars and more Federal funding. I find this absurd and ominous.
  The funding for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the 
National Academy of Sciences, and university researchers is 
transparent. The money is there for the public to see. None of these 
folks is getting rich. They don't have profits to protect. They are 
providing the public with data and with research, but it is getting 
harder and harder to stop these outside groups from spreading their 
smear campaigns. These groups have an interest in making sure Congress 
never gets anything done to prevent climate change, and they are using 
our broken campaign finance system as a tool to keep it that way.
  We used to have sensible laws on campaign finance. We used to have an 
enforcement agency, a watchdog over the Federal finance system. The 
laws have been gutted by the Supreme Court's devastating decisions, 
whether it is Citizens United, McCutcheon, or many other misguided 
decisions. The enforcement agency, the Federal Election Commission, has 
become completely dysfunctional and mired in gridlock, leaving super 
PACs and special interests free to pollute the political system with 
unlimited dark money and always to protect someone's bottom line. That 
is the way Western Fuels Association and so many other companies have 
put pollution above public health.
  We need to fix the system. A few months ago, several of my colleagues 
and I got together to discuss the state of our democracy. The question 
we asked ourselves was this: What can we do to repair this damage, to 
return the government to the people--the government by and for the 
people. The product of these meetings was the bill we introduced last 
month, the We the People Act. It will bring dark money out of the 
shadows and create a real watchdog to enforce campaign finance laws and 
rein in the influence of special interests and lobbyists.
  The ``we the people'' reform package includes my constitutional 
amendment to overturn Buckley, Citizens United, and other decisions. It 
will allow Congress and the States to enact real reform, to get the 
flood of money out of our political system, laws that five conservative 
Justices on the Supreme Court can't overturn.
  I know the political climate of an election year makes bipartisanship 
unlikely, but I will reintroduce the ``we the people'' reform package 
in the next Congress and hope my Republican colleagues will join me.
  Poll after poll shows that our constituents across the political 
spectrum want reforms tackling climate change, eliminating dark money 
from our political system, and standing up to groups that distort 
public perception. It is time we listened. Our democracy, our 
environment, and the planet are at stake.
  I see Senator Whitehouse is here and there may be others. Once again, 
I thank Senator Whitehouse for his leadership. I think one of the 
things he has done in our caucus, on the floor, and being constantly 
vigilant about it is, how many of these groups are out there networking 
with each other. It is a very sophisticated operation that has to be 
exposed if we are going to get down to what is happening and get down 
to what we need to do.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, for purposes of the floor, I would 
like to say I understand Senator Sullivan from Alaska will be coming, 
and I will end my remarks so he can speak as soon as he arrives, but in 
the meantime, I would like to intersperse my remarks between the 
various speakers who come. So Senator Sullivan should not be 
disconcerted if he sees me speaking. I will draw to a rapid conclusion 
and allow him the floor and I will reclaim it at the conclusion of his 

[[Page S4934]]

  When I finished my remarks a moment ago, I was describing the 
polluter-funded front group that with one hand threatened to spend $750 
million in this election cycle and with the other hand threatened to 
cause ``severe disadvantage'' in the Republican nomination process and 
``political peril'' to people who crossed them in their denial of 
climate change. That raises the obvious question: Why all that money? 
Why all those threats? Well, the threats are there and the money is 
that big because the stakes are very high.
  The International Monetary Fund, which is a generally respected 
organization filled with very intelligent people, has determined the 
fossil fuel industry receives nearly $700 billion in what they call 
effective subsidies in the United States alone every year. How hard 
would you fight to protect an effective subsidy of $700 billion a year? 
No wonder throwing $750 million around seems like a wise investment by 
the big polluters.
  The fossil fuel industry has another problem, which is that it faces 
worldwide consensus about the urgent need to address climate change, 
consensus from the American public, consensus from every single major 
American scientific society, consensus from a vast number of major 
American companies. Essentially, the heraldry of American corporate 
leadership signed on to the Paris Agreement--every single U.S. National 
Lab, the scientists who have been mentioned before from NASA and from 
NOAA, whom in every other respect we count on.
  Imagine the NASA scientists who have put an explorer onto the surface 
of Mars, and they are driving a rover around the surface of Mars right 
now. Do we think they might know a little science? And yet when they 
tell us climate change is a serious threat, suddenly we can't pay any 
attention to that any longer because you have the Koch brothers, with 
all their money, telling everybody don't listen. You also have 
America's national security, military, and intelligence leaders warning 
us of the threat. You have the Pope calling on us to take action and 
most world leaders.
  So if you are the fossil fuel industry, what do you do? You come to 
Congress, to the chokepoint for legislation, and you put a chokechain 
on the Republican Party so you can snap it to heel. In support of that, 
they perpetrate this web of climate denial.
  This is actually a graphic of the web that was done by one of the 
academic researchers who specializes in this area. Why do they do this? 
Well, to do their best to fool the public about the risk of climate 
change, to provide talking points to rightwing talk radio, to take 
advantage of a lazy media's impulse to offer both sides of the story, 
even when one is false, and of course to hide the hands of the fossil 
fuel protagonists who are behind the scenes.
  So it is long past time we shed some light on the perpetrators of 
this web of denial and expose their filthy grip on our political 
process. It is a disgrace, and our grandchildren will look back at this 
as a dirty time in America's political history because of their work.
  I am grateful to my colleagues who are joining in this effort, today 
and in the days to come, to help spotlight the lengths to which the 
Koch brothers and other fossil fuel fronts go to advance their economic 
self-interests by sabotaging America's response to the climate crisis.
  As we look into this, we are aided by a growing body of research 
examining the web of denial and examining how the actors in that web 
propagate climate denial. So let's listen to some of the experts.
  Drexel University professor Dr. Robert Brulle calls the web of denial 
in his research ``the climate change countermovement.'' In his 2013 
paper, ``Institutionalizing delay: foundation funding and the creation 
of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations'' Professor 
Brulle describes that movement as a constellation of organizations--as 
you see here depicted in a graphic from that very paper--that, he says, 
``engages in a wide variety of activities opposing any legislative 
attempts to enact mandatory restrictions on carbon emissions.''
  The green diamonds--here, and here, and here, and here--are the big 
funders: fossil fuel billionaires' foundations, for instance, the 
American Petroleum Institute, and so on.
  The blue circles--here, here, and here--are the who's who of climate 
denial groups. The Heartland Institute is in here, for instance. They 
are that classy bunch who compared folks concerned about climate change 
to the Unabomber, just to give you a sense of what sort of people they 
are. There is the Hoover Institution; there is the Heritage Foundation; 
there is the Cato Institute; there is the Mercatus Center, to name just 
a few of the climate saboteurs on Dr. Brulle's graph.
  Brulle's research describes these groups as part of what he calls--
and I will quote him here--``a deliberate and organized effort to 
misdirect the public discussion and distort the public understanding of 
climate''--``to misdirect . . . and distort.''
  The coordinated tactics of this network in its effort to misdirect 
and distort, said Brulle--and I will quote him again--``span a wide 
range of activities including political lobbying''--we certainly see 
plenty of that here--``contributions to political candidates,'' plenty 
of that--``and a large number of communication and media efforts that 
aim at undermining climate science.''
  This is Professor Brulle's depiction of the web of denial. This chart 
is from a 2011 study by Professors Riley Dunlap of Oklahoma State 
University and Aaron McCright of Michigan State University, describing 
the behavior of the major actors in what they call the ``climate denial 
machine.'' That is their quote. Remember, Professor Brulle calls it the 
``climate change countermovement.'' These two researchers call it the 
``climate change denial machine'' and, of course, we call it the ``web 
of denial.''
  I see that Senator Warren has come to the floor. I will gladly yield 
to her and resume my remarks when there is again room on the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Ms. WARREN. Madam President, I thank the Senator from Rhode Island 
for yielding. I just want to talk a little bit about data. I believe in 
data. I try to find good information about issues and use that 
information to inform my work. We need good data. But can we trust the 
think tanks and public policy groups that hold themselves out as 
offering solid independent research?
  The work at these think tanks and public policy groups is 
increasingly funded by wealthy corporate interests, and the line 
between objective scholarly research and pay-for-play studies is 
becoming blurred. The problem is compounded by the fact that corporate 
financial support often occurs in the dark. Think about it this way: 
Companies are required to disclose their expenses when they directly 
lobby lawmakers. But these same companies are allowed to make huge 
secret contributions to think tanks, even if they have the same goal of 
influencing those same lawmakers.
  Today, climate deniers have an increasingly difficult time selling 
their anti-science positions. So a small industry of think tanks has 
emerged to give the veneer of plausibility to their bizarre views. Take 
a look at just one organization, the Science and Public Policy 
Institute. The Science and Public Policy Institute describes its 
mission as providing ``research and educational materials dedicated to 
sound public policy based on sound science.''
  That seems pretty reasonable. But where is this sound public policy 
and sound science actually coming from? Well, for several years, the 
chief science advisor at the Science and Public Policy Institute was a 
man named Willie Soon, one of the most notorious climate change deniers 
around. Armed with scientific credentials and a part-time job at the 
Smithsonian Institution, Soon churned out paper after paper, 
disagreeing with the overwhelming scientific consensus that human 
activities are driving climate change.
  Eventually it was revealed that--surprise, surprise--Soon had 
accepted $1.2 million from the fossil fuel industry. Exxon, the 
American Petroleum Institute, the Charles G. Koch Charitable 
Foundation, and coal giant company, Southern Company, made payments to 
Soon, payments that he rarely disclosed when promoting his climate 
change denial research.
  In other words, Soon was raking in fossil fuel cash by producing 
research helpful to the fossil fuel industry. Great deal. Willie Soon 
left the Science

[[Page S4935]]

and Public Policy Institute a few years ago.
  These days, the most prominent figure at the organization is 
Christopher Monckton, the think tank's chief policy advisor. So let's 
ask the question here: Who is Christopher Monckton? Oh, boy, 
Christopher Monckton is a former politician from the UK. He has 
presented himself as a member of the House of Lords, a claim that is so 
off base that the House of Lords was forced to do something that it had 
never done before, and that is issue a statement saying: No, he is not 
part of the House of Lords, and he should stop lying about it.
  Monckton used to represent the ultraconservative, anti-immigrant UK 
Independence Party that recently led the Brexit campaign. In fact, 
Monckton thought Brexit was such a good idea that he has also called 
for a Texit, as he puts it, pushing for Texas to secede from the United 
States to protect itself against Muslim and Latino immigrants.
  Monckton is clear about where he stands on climate change and on the 
people who are concerned about it. He said that global efforts to fight 
climate change are part of a ``totalitarian'' plot to create a ``world 
government,'' and he has compared climate change activists to ``Hitler 
  To be clear, these allegations of government overreach are coming 
from someone who believes that reading the Koran out loud should be a 
prosecutable offense in the United States and who once called for 
everyone with AIDS to be rounded up and permanently quarantined.
  Now he has backed away from that last idea, but don't worry. Monckton 
has found a new idea to address AIDS. He claims to have invented a 
miracle cure that can treat everything from HIV to multiple sclerosis 
to the flu. You can't make this stuff up.
  The fact is, Monckton is not a climate scientist or a scientist of 
any kind. His degrees are in classics and journalism. Actual scientists 
who have taken a look at his work have found his conclusion to be 
completely made up.
  So why does it matter that scientific posers like Christopher 
Monckton and industry-funded hacks like Willie Soon are running around 
saying crazy things about climate change? Well, I will tell you why it 
matters. It matters because by attaching themselves to the Science and 
Public Policy Institute and other credible-sounding think tanks, people 
start to take them seriously.
  You don't think so? Monckton has testified in front of Congress three 
times, each time representing the Science and Public Policy Institute. 
A former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee called him 
``one of the most knowledgeable, if not the most knowledgeable, expert 
from a skeptical point of view on this issue of climate change.'' 
Soon's work has been repeatedly cited by influential climate change 
deniers, those in Congress and elsewhere.
  As Senator Whitehouse has pointed out, Monckton, Soon, and the 
Science and Public Policy Institute are part of a much larger network 
of pseudoscientific researchers and organizations who get paid to spin 
a web of denials about the science behind climate change. It is a 
network that has been funded by the fossil fuel industry and by its 
  But there is no getting around it. Climate change is real. It is 
caused by humans. If we are going to address it in a meaningful way, we 
need to take decisive action now. This is why the fake science think 
thanks are so dangerous. They throw enough fake facts into the process 
to justify inaction, enough fake facts to excuse inaction, enough fake 
facts to let every politician in the pocket of Big Oil or Big Coal keep 
right on blocking meaningful action while the earth slowly chokes on 
its own filth.
  It is time to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and its well-
funded PR efforts and say enough is enough. Our children's futures are 
at stake. We will not sit on the sidelines while big fossil fuel 
companies call the shots here in Washington.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I thank Senator Warren for her 
terrific remarks. When I left off speaking, we were talking about the--
not just the web of denial of organizations that have been propped by 
the polluters to look as though they are real and to broadcast phony 
science, but also to know that people are on the hunt looking for them.
  I had begun to talk about the academic researchers who are treating 
this web as a social phenomenon--as a bizarre sociopolitical 
phenomenon--and beginning to look at how it works. I mentioned first 
Dr. Brulle of Drexel University, and then we were looking at the work 
of Dr. Dunlap and Dr. McCright--Dr. Dunlap from University of Oklahoma 
and Dr. McCright from Michigan State University.
  Let's look for a minute at what they say in their publications. When 
you listen to this, consider today's blockaded Senate Chamber. I will 
quote them.

       It is reasonable to conclude that climate change denial 
     campaigns in the U.S.--

  This stuff--

     have played a crucial role in blocking domestic legislation 
     and contributing to the U.S. becoming an impediment to 
     international policymaking. Because of the perceived threat 
     posed by climate change to their interests--

  To the fossil fuel interests--

     actors in the denial machine have strived to undermine 
     scientific evidence documenting its reality and seriousness. 
     Their success in these efforts weakens an essential component 
     of societal reflectivity when the need is greater than ever.

  With that quote, I will yield the floor. I see my friend Senator 
Sullivan has arrived.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia.
  Mr. KAINE. Madam President, I rise to join my colleague from Rhode 
Island and other colleagues this evening who are talking about the 
critical issue of climate change, especially the facts around climate 
change but also the fact that there are many who would deny the facts. 
This is a very important issue to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Climate 
change is not an abstraction. Climate change is not a next-year or 
next-decade issue. Climate change in Virginia is a today issue.
  Earlier today, I was in Norfolk, VA, which is in the Hampton Roads 
area, near the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Norfolk, and the 
surrounding communities, is the largest concentration of naval power in 
the world. It is the center of American naval operations, the 
headquarters of the U.S. Atlantic fleet, and it is already having to 
spend millions of dollars to elevate the piers where aircraft carriers 
come and go due to sea level rise. The Hampton Roads area is listed as 
the second most vulnerable community in the United States to rising sea 
levels after New Orleans.
  This is a challenging issue in a lot of ways. I have friends who live 
in these communities who recently bought homes, but now their homes 
aren't marketable. For most Americans--certainly for me--my home is the 
most valuable asset I own. If you have that, and then you suddenly 
can't sell it because climate is changing, sea level is rising, 
flooding is more recurrent, and no one will buy your home, it is a very 
serious issue.
  In addition to the effect on individuals and businesses because of 
sea level rise, the effect on the naval station is significant. Current 
estimates are that rising sea levels in Norfolk will take the main road 
entrance into the center of American naval power and have that under 
water 3 hours a day by 2040 just because of normal tidal action. In 
times of storms, it would be worse. Imagine an America that counts on 
that Navy, counts on that naval presence around the globe having its 
largest base inaccessible because of sea level rise.
  We have an interesting community. One of the most unique parts of 
Virginia is a small island, Tangier Island, in the center of the 
Chesapeake Bay. It has been continually inhabited since the 1600s as a 
community for water men and women, the folks who have traditionally 
made their living by going out and catching crabs, oysters, and fish. 
This is a small island, a few acres. It is one of the only places you 
can go in the United States where you can hear English spoken as 
Shakespeare would have spoken it, with a language that is an 
Elizabethan language. The community is very isolated in that way, and 
so you hear this beautiful English spoken there. The community has many 
wonderful virtues to it, but the Chesapeake Bay is coming

[[Page S4936]]

up around this community and eroding it.
  I received a letter from a middle school student within the last 
month--a handwritten letter that might have been the most heartfelt 
communication I have received in 4-plus years in the Senate--saying: 
What are you doing about sea level rise? What can you do to help us 
deal with these issues so Tangier, as an island, does not completely 
disappear? So for these reasons and many others, in Virginia, we take 
this very seriously and we have to deal with it.
  I will tell you something else about Virginia. Virginians believe in 
science. The Virginia political figure we most admire was the 
preeminent scientist of his day, Thomas Jefferson. He was a scientist.
  Virginians overwhelmingly believe in science. Seventy percent of 
Virginians accept the scientific consensus that human activity is 
causing climate change and that it is urgent we do something about it. 
Seventy percent of Virginians believe in that proposition.
  I am here because my friend from Rhode Island asked me to come and 
talk about the fact that there is an organized effort--not just a 
battle about the policy about climate science--to knowingly try to 
misrepresent the status of climate science and suggest that climate 
change is not occurring. They are denying it exists, they are denying 
it is a concern, and they are working against any reasonable solutions.
  Of course, we have to be open to points of view, reasonable 
differences of opinion, and have a debate, but when the science is 
settled on some things and people in an organized way--who know 
better--are trying to fight against it, we should be suspicious.
  So a group of Senators are speaking today and tomorrow to discuss 
these organizations that constitute what my friend from Rhode Island 
has termed a ``web of denial,'' an organized effort to deny science.
  Let me just talk a little bit because a number of these deniers are 
companies that at least have PO boxes or nonprofit organizations that 
at least have PO boxes in Virginia. The same Virginia where Tangier 
Island is disappearing, the same Virginia where the Navy is having to 
spend to shore up their infrastructure, also has some shadowy 
organizations that are trying to deny the real science involved.
  There is an organization involved called the Science and Public 
Policy Institute, and it purports to summarize available academic 
literature. Here is a quote:

       They further note that decadal variability in sea level is 
     observed, but to date there is no detectable secular increase 
     in the rate of sea level rise over the period 1950-2000. They 
     also report that no increase in the rate of sea level rise 
     had been detected for the entire 20th century.

  This is a group that throws in a few ``sciency'' words like ``decadal 
variability,'' but what they are really saying is there is no sea level 
rise. This is at odds with the conclusions of virtually every scientist 
who studied this issue, including scientists at Virginia universities--
Old Dominion University and at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science 
at William & Mary. Those scientists say sea level rise has risen a foot 
since industrialization, and the range of future sea level rise on the 
Virginia coast is anywhere from 1\1/2\ additional feet to 7 feet by the 
year 2100. They will acknowledge some question about is it going to be 
1\1/2\ feet, is it going to be 7 feet, but they don't challenge the 
basic science surrounding sea level rise. So which is it--1\1/2\ feet 
to 7 feet or you don't need to worry it? Don't worry, be happy.
  Without getting a Ph.D. in atmospheric science and building your own 
quantitative models, how do you know who is right? Here is a clue. Look 
at who funds these organizations. In the case of ODU and William & 
Mary, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science--which is one of the 
most preeminent marine sciences organizations in the Nation, with 
Scripps in San Diego and Woods Hole in Massachusetts--it is not hard. 
They are State universities. They are funded by the general assembly of 
Virginia, which are two Republican houses. They are reaching a 
scientific conclusion that says climate change is serious, but with the 
Science and Public Policy Institute, it is a bit nebulous, and it is 
kind of hard to figure out.

  There are online sources that enable you to track how organizations 
are funded through foundations with ties, frankly, to the energy. 
According to one of these sources, called ``DeSmogBlog,'' one of this 
major funders of this institute, the Science and Public Policy 
Institute, is called the Donors Capital Fund, which has distributed 
$170 million to various conservative causes and describes itself as 
being ``dedicated to the ideals of limited government, personal 
responsibility, and free enterprise.''
  A New York Times article from as far back as 2003, documents a 
connection between this foundation and an organization that also has a 
point of view, ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil is a funder or, in the past, has 
been a funder of this organization.
  Why doesn't ExxonMobil or a conservative organization just publish 
the material on their own Web sites under their own bylines? My guess 
is, they have scientists who actually know the science. There has been 
recent information about ExxonMobil. They understand the climate 
science. They couldn't publish this under their own byline and meet 
their own standards of truthfulness, but they are providing funding to 
an organization that is denying climate change. In other words, the 
organization is just a delivery vehicle for information that is meant 
to be seen as impartial scientific information, but it is, in fact, not 
impartial at all. So when you see one group saying there has been no 
sea level rise and another saying there has been a lot and we could be 
in for more, if you are wondering which one to believe, take a look at 
who is funding the research.
  Here is another organization, the Virginia Institute for Public 
Policy: ``Regulations prescribing a reduction, or even a complete 
cessation, of Virginia's CO2 emissions will have absolutely 
no effect on global climate.''
  If there are Virginia regulations that even eliminate Virginia 
CO2, it will have no effect on global climate. This is an 
interesting quote because it is not technically a lie because it is 
literally true. Virginia's share of world CO2 emissions is 
infinitesimal. So if Virginia eliminated it all, it wouldn't affect the 
entire globe in a measurable way. But that is like saying: One vote? 
Your vote is not going to make the difference or one cigarette will not 
hurt you so go ahead and have one.
  This argument is a kind of a classic hide-the-ball argument that 
makes a statement that is technically true, but it essentially is 
promoting a false point of view that, oh well, we shouldn't do anything 
about it. Again, it is the use of a literal truth that is basically 
designed to pitch a message that is grossly misleading.
  So let's ask about this group, the Virginia Institute for Public 
Policy, who funds a group that would say something like that? Again, 
the Donors Capital Fund that funded the first organization I discussed, 
as well as the Chase Foundation of Virginia and the Roe Foundation, 
which support a list of conservative causes.
  If you call an organization the Virginia Institute for Public Policy, 
it sounds kind of neutral and, again, probably trying to do a good 
thing, but if you go back and look at who is funding it and you again 
find the funding sources are heavily linked to energy industry groups 
like ExxonMobil, then you understand they are not quite as impartial as 
their name would suggest.
  Here is another quote from the CO2 Coalition:

       Concerns about carbon dioxide being a quote-unquote 
     ``pollutant'' are not valid. Climate change is proceeding 
     very slowly, and the likely increase in temperature for the 
     21st century is about 1 degree Celsius or less.

  Well, yes; is that technically true? The temperature of the Earth has 
increased by about 1 degree since industrialization, and 197 countries 
just signed an agreement in Paris last year to try to limit any further 
increase to no more than 1 degree additional.
  So this group makes it sound like 1 degree, who cares about 1 degree? 
Well, a 100-degree fever is only 2 degrees more than normal, but it is 
enough to make you pretty sick. It is actually 1.4 degrees more than 
normal. It is enough to make you pretty sick.
  The number of 0.8 sounds tiny in the abstract, but if that is your 
blood alcohol content, that gets you a DUI in Virginia. The number 
sounds small. Oh, gosh. Why would that make a difference? That gets you 
a DUI because you are impaired.

[[Page S4937]]

  So, yes, the group using the one temperature, 1 degree in 
temperature, makes it sound like it is not that big of a deal--but it 
is that big of a deal.
  This is the last one I want to discuss before I close. This is kind 
of a doozy because it is from an open letter to Pope Francis on the 
topic of the Pope's environmental encyclical. The group is called the 
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. Nothing like going 
big if you are going to pick a name for yourself. I am glad there is 
somebody who is trying to be a steward of creation. Their quote starts 
with a quote from the 19th Psalm.

       The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament 
     proclaims his handiwork.

  Beautiful aspect of the first verse in Psalm 19, but then the group 
goes on to declare in their own words this:

       By using fossil fuels to generate energy to lift billions 
     of God's precious children out of poverty, we liberate from 
     the tomb of the earth the carbon dioxide on which plants and 
     therefore all the rest of life depend. In light of these 
     considerations, we believe it is both unwise and unjust to 
     adopt policies requiring reduced use of fossil fuels for 

  So somebody is really using Scripture to argue that making our energy 
production cleaner, safer, and cheaper violates the Christian tenet of 
caring for the poor.
  I am a Christian, and many of us in this body have a deep-faith 
background in one faith or another, but I will use a non-Christian 
phrase to describe that argument. It takes a lot of chutzpa to claim 
your religious faith and compassion for the poor drives you to support 
pollution-intensive energy, especially when the organization refuses to 
reveal how it is funded.
  In closing, we certainly don't want to imply that all groups that 
have an agenda or have a point of view are motivated by funding 
sources, but the web of denial the Senator from Rhode Island is asking 
us to come out and talk about tonight is one that includes a number of 
organizations that are climate deniers, and they are denying science 
that in my view they actually know to be true.
  There comes a point when the truth becomes so hard to deny that those 
who deny it are simply not credible. And you have to then ask the 
question: Why are you denying it?
  I assert that most of these organizations understand the science, 
they accept the science, and they realize it to be true. So why do they 
deny the science? The answer is greed. That is the basic answer. Many 
of the organizations we are discussing are funded primarily by fossil 
fuel interests. If they can delay, even by 1 year or 2 years or 5 years 
or even 6 months, the enactment of policies that would move us toward 
fewer fossil fuels, it will hurt their bottom line.
  So rather than come up here and argue about what the right transition 
should be, they are handing funds over to organizations that are trying 
to confuse the American public about science itself.
  Let me close and read from Pope Francis's encyclical, since the 
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation cherry-picked the 
piece. I am going to read it as a quote:

       Is it realistic to hope that those who are obsessed with 
     maximizing profits will stop to reflect on the environmental 
     damage which they will leave behind for future generations? 
     Where profits alone count, there are can be no thinking about 
     the rhythms of nature, its phases of decay and regeneration, 
     or the complexity of ecosystems which may be gravely upset by 
     human intervention. Once we start to think about the kind of 
     world we are leaving to future generations, we look at 
     things differently--

  As to future generations, we look at things differently--

     we realize that the world is a gift which we have freely 
     received and must share with others. Since the world has been 
     given to us, we can no longer view reality in a purely 
     utilitarian way, in which efficiency and productivity are 
     entirely geared to our individual benefit. Intergenerational 
     solidarity is not optional, but rather a basic question of 
     justice, since the world we have received also belongs to 
     those who will follow us.

  Science and faith have a number of things in common, but one of the 
most important things they have in common is that their first duty has 
to be to the truth. I hope all actors in the political process, 
whatever their views, will remember that and have that same commitment.
  I thank the Chair, and with that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Mr. SULLIVAN. Madam President, my colleagues from Virginia and Rhode 
Island, for whom I have a lot of respect, have been on the floor 
talking about an important issue--what my colleague from Virginia 
called a ``today issue.'' Well, I would also like to talk about a today 
issue as well, and one that I think certainly the American public is 
interested in.
  In the past week we have had a lot of today issues. As a matter of 
fact, in the last week there have been new developments globally 
relating to our national security, the defense of the United States, 
and the importance of our military in ways that are pretty dramatic. I 
would like to list some of these, and this is literally in the last 7 
  Today, Secretary Carter announced from Iraq, where he is right now, 
that the United States will be deploying another 560 troops in our 
fight against ISIS. A lot of us support additional troops, and the 
Secretary announced that. On Friday, at the NATO summit, President 
Obama announced that the United States will be deploying 1,000 U.S. 
troops and a separate brigade headquarters to Poland as part of an 
effort by NATO to strengthen its eastern flank against Russian 
aggression. The President was actually quoted in the Financial Times 
extensively. He stated: ``This may be the most important moment for our 
transatlantic alliance since the end of the Cold War.''
  Then he talked about all the different national security crises--
ISIS, the terrorist attacks in Orlando, Paris, and Brussels, conflicts 
from Africa to Syria, and Russia's aggression in Ukraine. This is the 
President speaking to the Financial Times. These are today issues. I 
also call them today issues.
  On Saturday, North Korea launched another submarine-based ballistic 
missile off the country's eastern coast. It didn't go that far, but 
they are learning. Madam President, you and I were over there recently. 
They are learning. That is a continuing threat.
  Then, last Wednesday, before the President went to the NATO summit--
which, by the way was a successful summit, and I applaud the President 
and Secretary Carter for that summit--the President announced that he 
plans to leave 8,400 American troops in Afghanistan, more than he 
originally planned to keep, to combat the Taliban. Again, a lot of us 
applauded that decision. It could have been more, but it certainly is 
better than the trajectory he was going on, which was to go to zero.
  During an Armed Services Committee hearing last week, former NATO 
Ambassador Nicholas Burns and the former Supreme Allied Commander, 
Marine Gen. James Jones discussed the report that was coauthored by the 
Atlantic Council, again talking about the importance of NATO's building 
up our military forces not only on the eastern flank but in the 
Arctic--an area in which, as Alaska's Senator, I am very interested--
where the Russians have dramatically expanded their military footprint 
in exercises.
  Over the weekend, in the Wall Street Journal, it was reported that 
even after reaching the Iran nuclear deal, Iran continued trying to 
illegally procure nuclear equipment from Germany. So we have the 
Iranian threat, which definitely is not going away after the ill-gotten 
and misguided nuclear deal by the President.
  Tomorrow morning, there is going to be big news. There is expected to 
be a tribunal ruling on what is going on in the South China Sea. Again, 
the Chair and I were there recently, in that region of the world, in 
Singapore, for the Shangri-La Dialogue. To Secretary Carter's credit 
and Admiral Harris' credit, we have had two carrier battle groups out 
there recently--two. That is very important.
  So this is what has happened in a week. This is what our military is 
facing in 1 week. So what did this body do? What did the Senate do as 
it relates to actions in terms of our military and dealing with all 
these threats of just 1 week? What did we do? Led by the Senate 
minority leader and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, we 
filibustered spending for our troops. That is what the Senate did. We 
filibustered spending for our troops. That is right. We blocked funding 
for our military, which has to deal with all these issues.
  Now, I know it was in the dead of the night. I think it took place 

[[Page S4938]]

midnight. I am sure some of my colleagues were hoping nobody saw it. 
But this is not like an anomaly. As a matter of fact, this was the 
fourth time the minority leader led my colleagues on the other side of 
the aisle into filibustering the Defense appropriations bill that funds 
our troops and keeps our Nation safe. Let me repeat that. This bill has 
been filibustered not once, not twice, not three times but four times 
in the last year.
  This is the bill the minority leader likes to filibuster more than 
anything, and this is despite the fact that when this bill came out of 
the Committee on Appropriations, it had huge bipartisan support. I 
think only three members of the committee voted against it. This year 
it came out of the committee unanimously.
  So what does this bill do? We just talked about the threats that 
everybody agrees exist. I will just cover a few of the highlights. 
First, and very importantly, it is actually consistent with the 
bipartisan budget agreement of 2015. So any discussion of how it is not 
fitting what we agreed to is not true. It is consistent with that.
  Readiness. We all know we need readiness for our military. It funds 
$212 billion in terms of base operations and maintenance accounts, 
training--enormously important--and shipbuilding. A significant portion 
goes to shipbuilding to make sure we have a strong navy. It is similar 
with regard to aircraft procurement to have a strong Air Force--
significant billions of dollars of funding for our Air Force. It even 
has, for the first time, funding for an icebreaker, which more and more 
of my colleagues in the Congress are recognizing as critical to our 
national security.
  Missile defense. With the growing threat from North Korea and Iran, 
there is significant funding for missile defense and the National Guard 
and Reserve equipment account. The Presiding Officer has been a leader 
in the National Guard and Reserve. There is almost $1 billion for the 
National Guard and Reserve equipment account, which is lacking.
  Of course, there is military pay. The Defense appropriations bill 
fully funds an Active-Duty end strength of 1.2 million members of the 
military and a Reserve component end strength of 800,000, and it funds 
a 1.6 percent pay raise.
  Those are some of the highlights of the bill we need, and some of the 
highlights of the bill that was filibustered in the wee hours of the 
evening last Thursday night.
  Our Nation needs this bill. Our troops certainly need this bill. Our 
allies need this bill. We have held hearings in the Committee on Armed 
Services. The Chair will remember when Secretary Kissinger came and 
testified that the United States has not faced a more diverse and 
complex array of crises since the end of World War II. Even the 
President, last week in the Financial Times, stated that this is 
possibly the most important moment in terms of the security of the 
transatlantic alliance since the Cold War.
  The Presiding Officer and I actually had the honor of recently going 
to see the new Secretary of the Army review the troops and review the 
Old Guard. She and I proudly represented the Senate. We have a new 
Secretary of the Army who is going to do a great job. The Chief of 
Staff of the Army, General Milley, spoke during that. He said one of 
the most important things the Senate and the Congress can do in the 
next 5 weeks is to make sure there is a budget for the U.S. military 
and for the U.S. Army. That is what he said. So he certainly laid out 
what he thought was important.
  As a matter of fact, serving together on the Committee on Armed 
Services, the Presiding Officer and I hear this from every single 
admiral and general, including Secretary Carter: Fund the troops--
  But the minority leader thinks it is fine to block funding for our 
troops. Maybe he knows more than Secretary Carter. Maybe he knows more 
than General Milley. Unfortunately, he has made a habit out of doing 
this. In my short time in the Senate--1\1/2\ years--this is the bill 
the minority leader has decided to filibuster more than any other bill. 
Since I have been here, he has done that four times. Think about that.
  I hope the American people are watching. Four times in a year the 
bill that gets picked on more than any other bill is the one that funds 
the troops and our national security, and it happened again in the wee 
hours of the night last week.
  So why does he do this? I have no earthly idea why he does this. If 
you asked Americans back home in Iowa, Alaska, or in any State--
Democrats or Republicans; it doesn't matter the party--the people would 
say that national defense and funding our troops is probably the most 
important thing we do. It is certainly one of the top one or two. But 
the minority leader last year said the Defense appropriations bill is 
``a waste of time.'' Last week he put out a statement saying he needed 
a commitment that this bill abides by the bipartisan budget deal.
  Well, guess what. The bill does abide by the bipartisan budget deal. 
There is no one making the argument that it doesn't. So I have no idea. 
I have no idea why he singles out funding for our brave men and women 
in uniform, thousands of whom, by the way, are serving overseas in 
combat--yes, in combat, right now. We are not going to fund them, 
though. We will filibuster that. Maybe he can come down and explain it.
  Here is something else I really don't understand. I mean, I really 
don't understand this. Why is it that so many of my colleagues follow 
his lead on this--to filibuster funding for America's military not 
once, not twice, not three times but four times? Why are my colleagues 
following his lead? I don't know why. But what I do know is that we 
should not be heading out on a 2-month recess without voting again on 
funding our troops--without voting to fund our troops--especially given 
all the challenges I just listed here. We know they are there. The 
President was talking about them. We talk about them. But we don't want 
to fund the troops?
  We owe it to the American people and to our troops to have a vote on 
this Defense appropriations bill again. Let my colleagues come to the 
floor and explain why they are going to vote to filibuster this bill 
again, because when we bring it up again--and I certainly hope we do so 
this week--if they vote to filibuster it again, that will become the 
fifth time inside of a year.
  What we need to do is to bring back a longstanding tradition that 
used to exist in the Senate, which was the bipartisan funding of our 
military. That is certainly what we are all focused on. That is what we 
thought we were going to do when we got the budget deal. That is what 
we thought we were going to do when we saw these very big bipartisan 
numbers coming out of the Appropriations Committee. Yet, every time we 
try to bring this bill to the floor--this year and last year--the 
minority leader filibusters it. The American people are watching. The 
American people are watching.

  A recent Politico article talked about this. A defense analyst from 
the Heritage Foundation said:

       I think this is pretty disappointing, but sadly not 
     surprising. . . . There used to be a bipartisan consensus 
     that defense was a priority, but sadly I think that consensus 
     no longer exists. . . . With the Senate Democrats stopping 
     DOD [appropriations], the Pentagon will at least have to wait 
     until after the election for its budget, and maybe even into 
     the next calendar year [to get its budget].

  That is because my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are 
filibustering this bill. How does that help our troops? How does that 
help the national defense of the United States? Somebody please come 
down here and explain this to me. I agree with this analyst where he 
said this is sad.
  I hope we will bring this bill to the floor again and drop what has 
been happening, which is playing politics with our troops and funding 
our military.
  I will conclude by saying that after the Vietnam war, the Democratic 
Party gained a reputation as the anti-military party of America, and 
they struggled for years to shed that reputation. I don't think having 
any of America's major political parties being viewed as anti-military 
is good for us as a nation.
  Support for our military should never be a partisan issue, and I 
proudly serve--with the Presiding Officer and

[[Page S4939]]

others--on the Armed Services Committee and the Veterans' Affairs 
Committee. I know for a fact that my colleagues on those very 
bipartisan committees--Democrats and Republicans--support our troops, 
support national defense, and support the military. And I know many of 
my colleagues in this body--many on the other side of the aisle--have 
served with distinction in the military for decades and are strong 
supporters of our men and women in uniform. I have seen it. I have seen 
it my entire short time in the Senate. But four filibusters blocking 
funding for our troops inside of a year certainly makes one wonder what 
is going on with the leadership of my colleagues on the other side of 
the aisle when it comes to supporting our troops. I hope they come down 
and explain it this week.
  What we need to do this week is vote again on the Defense 
appropriations bill and do the right thing. We all know what the right 
thing is and the American people know what the right thing is. We need 
to fund our troops, we need to keep them safe, and we need to keep our 
country safe.
  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Madam President, I am here to speak on the Koch 
brothers, but first I want to say briefly to my good friend from 
Alaska: Instead of playing political games, if he wants to pass a 
defense bill, we all know what has to be done in a bipartisan way. You 
don't just take a bill, throw it down, and say ``Take it or leave it.'' 
That is what happened last year. We worked in a bipartisan way. Defense 
spending got an increase. So let's stop all the rhetoric and 
politicizing this issue. Let's work together and get it done.

                             Climate Change

  Now, Madam President, I want to talk about the issue before us, and 
that is the amazing influence of the Koch brothers--two people--on what 
is going on in this country and particularly when it comes to climate 
change. I thank Senator Kaine, who spoke before me, and particularly 
Senator Whitehouse, who has not only organized these speeches but has 
been the leader in our caucus on focusing on this issue, and it is 
getting good resonance with the American people.
  We have talked. We have failed to act on a number of issues in the 
last few weeks--Zika, funding the opioid crisis, sensible gun safety 
measures, a Supreme Court nominee and other judicial nominees. It is 
stunning how little we have done our job. But probably at the top of 
the list which deserves attention is that Congress has not done its job 
on climate change. Why? Why? It is so apparent. Just look at any map of 
the globe. Senator Kaine and Senator Whitehouse are exactly right about 
the reason: far-right groups dominated by the Koch brothers. They hide 
where they send their money, but they dominate it all. They and other 
deep-pocketed energy interests have funded campaign after campaign 
against action on climate change. We know that the NRA has a 
stranglehold on gun reform. Well, the Koch brothers have a stranglehold 
on any legislation on climate change--at least as long as our 
colleagues on the other side of the aisle are in the majority in either 
  One of the key strategies--how do they do this? Lots of different 
ways. We have seen those ridiculous commercials. They are afraid to say 
who they are. They have these ads; lots of poor people, minorities; oh, 
the Koch brothers are hurting--are helping. Koch Industries. And then 
they have one little sentence: Get rid of regulations. That is all they 
say. So they have lots of different mechanisms for hiding what they 
believe but profoundly influencing America.
  One of the ways they have done that is by funding think tanks and 
academic institutions to deliberately cast doubt on the signs of 
climate change in order to protect their own financial interests. The 
Koch brothers earn their billions leading the private oil, chemical, 
and manufacturing conglomerate Koch Industries. In short, they are the 
premier anti-environmental, pro-pollution duo of the 21st century, and 
over the past two decades, they have mastered a strategy meant to 
confuse the American people about climate change by funding ``think 
tanks'' and ``university programs'' that adhere to their anti-science 
  Take the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. They should call 
it the Koch Center. Charles Koch sits on the board. Over the last 
decade, it has received tens of millions in funding from the Koch 
brothers and $300,000 at least from Big Oil. So it should come as no 
surprise that the Mercatus Center publishes research that closely 
mirrors the ideology of the Koch brothers and routinely advocates for 
policies that are in their business interests, especially climate 
change denial. They cloak their views in an academic guise, but if you 
just examine it, you know what is going on: Mercatus Center, funded by 
the Koch brothers, talks against climate change. Do we think that is 
objective? I don't. Let's look at some of the activities of the center. 
In 2001 they suggested that global warming would be ``beneficial'' and 
would ``stimulate plant growth and make humans better off.'' These are 
the Koch brothers.
  During the early years of George W. Bush's Presidency, the Wall 
Street Journal reported that 14 of the 23 regulations targeted for 
repeal by the administration were suggested by--guess who. The 
nonpartisan, objective, nonfunded Koch brothers' Mercatus Center, 
including rollback of EPA pollution rules. In 2006 the Mercatus Center 
attacked the bipartisan work to reduce tailpipe emissions and implement 
new efficiency standards for automobiles and trucks. In 2007 Mercatus 
was able to install staffers at the Bush Office of Management and 
Budget in charge of regulations. In 2009 Mercatus attacked the Obama 
administration's plan to monitor greenhouse gas emissions.
  Some might be thinking, so what? It is just a few academic papers and 
policy recommendations. Why does it matter? It matters because this 
private sector-funded research is being used to give the false 
impression that there is a legitimate academic debate about climate 
change, and then that debate is used by colleagues as an excuse for no 
action. It is no different from how the tobacco industry funded 
research that minimized the health dangers of smoking cigarettes so 
they could turn around and argue: There is no conclusive evidence that 
cigarettes are dangerous. No need to regulate us.
  Millions of people died because of that. And millions of people are 
getting ill and many millions more will lose their jobs and we will 
lose our globe because of what the Koch brothers are doing. We now know 
how deceptive and cynical their strategy was. Well, that was the 
tobacco industry. It is happening today, and it is having the same 
serious consequences.
  Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate change 
is happening. Democrats know that climate change is happening and want 
to do something about it today, but congressional Republicans, 
following their Koch brother funders, holding up studies by the 
Mercatus Center, funded also by the Koch brothers, refuse to act and 
even deny it exists.
  I would say to the Koch brothers: At least be honest. If you really 
believe what you say, why not come clean? Why not put out a commercial 
that says: ``Koch brothers. We don't believe in climate change. Koch 
Industries. We don't believe that we should regulate the environment.'' 
Put that on TV so when we are watching ``Morning Joe,'' we don't have 
these glossy ads that give the exact opposite impression. Do you know 
why? They know no one is going to believe them. They want to use their 
money as power, secret power, and one of the secret power ways they use 
that money is through institutions like the Mercatus Center.
  Before all of us can come together on climate change and do something 
significant--it is not easy--we have to start agreeing about how 
immediate and incredible the challenge is. With things like the 
Mercatus Center throwing sand in the gears, that becomes more 
difficult--not for legitimate reasons but because special interest 
money cloaks its beliefs in academic centers that stall progress.
  Anyone who participates in this should be ashamed of themselves--not 
just the Koch brothers but so many others who put out these studies and 
take the money. Shame. Future generations and our generation are going 
to pay the price.
  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.

[[Page S4940]]


  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I understand the majority leader 
will be coming to close out the Senate shortly and then allow us who 
are speaking to continue after that. I see Senator Scott here, so let 
me yield to him.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina.

                         A Family Conversation

  Mr. SCOTT. Madam President, I believe our Nation is in desperate need 
of a family conversation. The American family as a whole needs to sit 
down, come to the same table, and talk with our relatives. That means 
each of us talking to each other about the challenges we have seen in 
our Nation over all of last week--a challenging week in America's 
history, without any question; a challenging time period for Americans 
all over this country, without any question; protests, riots; 
challenges we haven't seen in a very long time.
  We stand here today at a crossroads. Our Nation is experiencing 
turmoil we haven't seen in generations--decades since we have seen this 
type of turmoil all around the country. My heart breaks for all of us.
  This week on this floor, I will give a series of speeches in hopes of 
illuminating some of the issues before us, as well as what I believe 
are essential steps toward closing both the wounds newly opened and 
others that have actually never healed. In other words, there are 
wounds that have existed for more than a generation, and it is time for 
the American family to work together to heal some of these wounds.
  Last Friday, deep in the heart of Texas, we saw both the best and the 
worst of humanity. Only in America would you see police officers 
alongside protesters who were protesting police brutality. If you take 
a step back and picture it for just a moment, here is a scene of police 
officers protecting protesters who are protesting police brutality. In 
this picture, we don't see tension or animosity; we see smiles. We see 
police officers working, taking pictures, and making sure that everyone 
was having the appropriate time and, for some, even an enjoyable 
experience with law enforcement.
  But then the shots rang out. Police turned very quickly to protect 
those protesters, and protesters helped police identify where the shots 
were coming from. Somehow at the exact same time, Dallas came together 
and at the exact time was torn apart. In what appears to be one man's 
warped mind, retribution became his answer to frustration, and his hate 
left five police officers dead and seven other officers wounded. We 
continue to mourn for them and their families today. We must not--we 
must not--become a society where revenge is the rule of the day.
  Our Nation is dependent on the rule of law, and to enforce the law, 
we need honest, hardworking men and women to take up the shield. For 
the overwhelming majority of cops, it is a calling. It is not a job. It 
is in the fashion of Romans 13--a chapter that speaks very clearly 
about the fact that government officials wearing a sword can be 
ministers; in other words, sharing love and affection and appreciation 
for those they guard and having the ability to provide punishment when 
necessary. We are talking about men and women who work for a very low 
wage all over the country and who see their job as a calling. So many 
of them--the vast majority--do it so well.
  Law enforcement officers simply want to do two things: protect and 
serve. We cannot allow the actions of a few to overwhelm the good of 
the majority. To illustrate this, I want to share a few stories so we 
can put in frame, put in focus the sacrifice and the commitment that so 
many officers exhibit every single day throughout our Nation.
  My first story is a story of a young lady named Jillian Smith, a 
young African-American female police officer from just west of Dallas 
in Arlington, TX. In December 2010, Officer Smith responded to a 
domestic violence situation. She arrived and met a beautiful 11-year-
old girl and her mother, both fearful.
  I want to stop for a moment and make sure we get the frame.
  Here comes an officer, Officer Smith, who shows up to make sure the 
folks who called were safe. The people who called were an 11-year-old 
girl and her mother. They were fearful the mother's boyfriend would 
show up and do something dangerous. And dangerous--he did do something 
incredibly brutal.
  Officer Smith, hearing gunfire, in an instant jumped on top of the 
body of the 11-year-old. As the bullets rang out, she kept herself on 
top of that 11-year-old girl. The girlfriend's boyfriend would end up 
killing the mother and then killing himself. Before he did so, he 
killed Officer Smith. Without a second thought, Officer Smith did what 
so many law enforcement officers do instinctively--protect those who 
are exposed. Officer Jillian Smith, a true American hero, gave her life 
to protect the life of an 11-year-old girl she had never met before 
knocking on that door.
  This story and other stories aren't unusual. They want to serve and 
protect. We saw this same heroism last Friday evening, as told by 
Shetamia Taylor. Miss Taylor was at the protest. She was there 
exercising her first constitutional right. Then the sniper started 
  Miss Taylor had gone there with her four sons. She, for the lack of a 
better word, freaked out. Bullets were flying. She ran to cover her one 
son. According to her account of the situation, before she knew it, 
there was a cop who was covering her and her son. The next thing you 
knew, another cop was at her feet and another cop toward her head. In 
the midst of a sniper shooting at cops, she found herself surrounded, 
covered by police officers who were just doing their job, risking their 
lives for this mother and her son.
  What a picture: the best of America, very clear; the sniper, the 
worst of America, is just as clear.
  Miss Taylor made a very good point when discussing what happened. 
Here is her quote. She said: ``These are the people you call when 
you're in a situation. . . . What are we gonna do if they stop 
  Let me ask the question that Miss Taylor asked one more time. What 
are we going to do if they stop policing? Who are you going to call?
  These are the stories that should give us faith in law enforcement. 
While we certainly have issues that demand solutions--and I, too, have 
had some issues with law enforcement that I am going to share in my 
next speech on Wednesday. I will be giving three speeches. This is the 
first one. In the next one, I will talk about some of the issues that 
so many folks have experienced. I want to spend time on this, but this 
is a moment in time when we should stop the camera, create a frame. 
Let's focus on the fact that our law enforcement officers are true 
American heroes, period.
  When you are looking for a hero, sometimes you look for athletes; 
maybe that is not the best place. You look for entertainers; maybe that 
is not the best place. You look at Congress--9 percent approval rating; 
that is probably not the right place. But our men and women who put on 
a law enforcement uniform--these folks are real American heroes.
  In my State of South Carolina, officers like Greg Alia, who gave his 
life last year in Columbia, SC; officers like Allen Jacobs, who gave 
his life in Greenville, SC; and in Charleston, Joe Matuskovic, who was 
killed by a man shooting through a door--body slumps over, and my 
mentor, whom I have spoken about for so long, John Moniz's son--I call 
him a brother from another mother--was the first deputy on the scene 
and dragged the lifeless body of his friend, his colleague, from that 
door, trying to get that body completely out of harm's way.
  To me, as I said a few seconds ago, Brian Moniz, sheriff's deputies, 
and police officers are our heroes, and we should focus on that for a 
moment. We must come together. We must find solutions. We must get to a 
point where the American family--our family--has a real conversation 
about the issues that divide us, the differences of our experiences, 
yet remain a single family with a single mission and make sure that 
every part of the American family feels valued.
  I am starting tonight with our law enforcement, the part of the 
family we depend on, as Miss Taylor so perfectly stated. If we do have 
this necessary, painful conversation as an American family, we can say 
with a new freshness, ``God bless America.'' We

[[Page S4941]]

can say with new focus to our American heroes, ``God bless our law 
enforcement community.''
  I don't expect to give such a speech without having some folks 
respond positively and some even negatively. But this night, this day, 
knowing that tomorrow in Texas our current President, our former 
President, and a number of folks throughout the State of Texas will be 
together in a part of our family territory, celebrating the sacrifices, 
mourning the loss, but doing something that needs to be done. It is 
simply this: not coming as a Democrat, not coming as a Republican, not 
coming as a Black American, not coming as a White American, not coming 
as a Hispanic American, but coming to a family gathering for family 
funerals--plural--which hopefully will start a family conversation that 
I will look forward to continuing on Wednesday.
  Madam President, I thank you.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I wish to commend the Senator from 
South Carolina for an extraordinary speech. I look forward to hearing 
the two subsequent speeches that the Senator from South Carolina is 
going to make on the subject. No one better expresses in stronger and 
more persuasive terms what needs to be said in the wake of these 
tragedies than the Senator from South Carolina, and I congratulate him 
on his outstanding remarks.