[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 168 (Wednesday, October 10, 2018)]
[Senate]
[Pages S6748-S6766]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                           EXECUTIVE CALENDAR

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the nomination.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read the nomination of Jeffrey 
Bossert Clark, of Virginia, to be an Assistant Attorney General.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. President, I seek recognition to speak at this time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.


                                S. 3021

  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. President, I rise to convey my strong support for the 
America's Water Infrastructure Act, which passed Congress earlier 
today.
  With communities throughout Massachusetts and the country working to 
improve the quality of their drinking water, bracing for rising seas 
and more intense storms, and seeking to be more competitive in the 
global economy, this legislative package will provide welcome relief 
and support for critical infrastructure.
  I have long focused on providing resources needed to improve the 
maritime linchpin of my State's economy: Boston Harbor. But this 
economic engine needs direct Federal funding to fire on all cylinders, 
especially as we transition to a new, supersized shipping era.
  Two years ago, the Panama Canal completed an expansion project that 
allows bigger vessels, called post-Panamax ships, to pass through the 
canal. These ships, which are the length of aircraft carriers and can 
carry more than three times as much cargo as their competitors, are too 
large to dock at Boston Harbor today. That is why, in the 2014 Federal 
water resources bill, I fought to authorize $216 million in Federal 
funding for the Boston Harbor improvement project, which will deepen 
the harbor to accommodate those post-Panamax ships. I am pleased that 
my provision dedicating an additional $16 million to this crucial 
project was included in the 2016 water resources bill.
  The Boston Harbor improvement project is projected to double the 
harbor's container volume, protect and grow 7,000 jobs, and generate 
$4.6 billion in economic activity throughout the New England region. It 
is a simple formula: Larger ships mean more cargo, more cargo means 
more commerce, and more commerce means more jobs for Boston and the 
State of Massachusetts.
  I am pleased that the Corps has to date allocated $91 million of 
funding to this critical project thus far, but deepening the harbor 
alone does not ensure that the Port of Boston can accommodate these 
new, gargantuan giants of the seas. We must also deepen the berths, the 
area where the ships dock. That is why I am proud to secure a provision 
in this bill that will allow the port to construct more expansive 
berths, and I am pleased to help secure

[[Page S6749]]

a $42 million Federal grant to expand these berths.
  By no means is Boston Harbor the only coastal gem in Massachusetts. 
In 2020, we will be celebrating the 400th anniversary of the voyage of 
the Mayflower and the settlement at Plymouth, but the celebration won't 
be complete if the ships can't get into and out of Plymouth Harbor. 
Regrettably, Plymouth Harbor has filled up with so much sand that ships 
are having trouble navigating--including the centerpiece of the 
celebration, the newly restored Mayflower II. That is why I secured a 
provision in this bill requiring the Corps to dredge this important 
landmark for the 400th anniversary. Just a few months ago, I helped 
secure $14.5 million needed to ensure that this hallmark of American 
history is swiftly deepened.
  With this statutory requirement and funding, Plymouth Harbor will be 
able to host a great birthday party in 2020--one that Americans from 
all corners of the country and people from around the world are going 
to attend. But those Bay Staters living on Cape Cod will most likely 
experience a little traffic on the way to the event because Cape Cod is 
only accessible by two bridges, which span the Cape Cod Canal. If Cape 
Cod is the arm of Massachusetts, then these two bridges are the vital 
arteries delivering the island's lifeblood. The strength of those two 
bridges will determine the strength of the island's economy and health 
and well-being.
  Regrettably, these two 80-year-old bridges, which are owned by the 
Army Corps, are structurally deficient. That is a problem for 
businesses that need an uninterrupted flow of commerce and residents 
who must have a safe means of evacuation in the event of an emergency. 
Imagine if there were an accident at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station 
or the equivalent of a Hurricane Maria. These two bridges are the only 
way for many Cape Cod residents to escape to safety.
  I am proud that this bill includes my provision directing the Corps 
to replace these critical evacuation routes, helping preserve the very 
safety of island residents. In a time of emergency, Massachusetts 
residents shouldn't have to think twice about the best way to get their 
families to safety.
  The bill also includes legislation that I have authored to help 
protect consumers from unjust and unreasonable increases in their 
electricity rates. Right now, if the Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission has a vacancy--as is currently the case--and deadlocks 2 to 
2 on whether to improve a rate increase, the increase goes forward. To 
make matters worse, the public can't even challenge a decision in this 
circumstance. That is exactly what happened in New England in 2014, 
leading to a $2 billion increase for our region's consumers.
  My legislation would fix that by allowing the public to bring a 
challenge when FERC deadlocks, as they can for every other FERC 
decision. In sports, a tie isn't a loss, and the Fair RATES Act will 
ensure that a tie at FERC won't mean consumers lose with higher 
electricity rates. We must ensure that ratepayers are protected from 
unjust and unreasonable increases in energy prices. The legislation 
will help return the power to the people when it comes to energy prices 
by providing an outlet for consumers to challenge rate increases.
  I thank Senators Murkowski and Cantwell for working with me to move 
this legislation forward, and I thank my great partner in the House of 
Representatives, Congressman Kennedy, for his tireless work to address 
this issue and to protect consumers.
  I am pleased that this legislation contains several other key 
provisions that increase the funding caps for three coastal protection 
programs, allowing the towns of Salisbury, Newbury, and Sandwich to 
implement larger beach-nourishment projects--pumping sand onto the 
beach--to protect their communities; reevaluate the Muddy River 
environmental restoration project to pave the way for reauthorizing 
this crucial project; permit the town of Sandwich to use sand pumped 
from the Federal Cape Cod Canal that otherwise would be dumped in the 
ocean to fortify their town from rising seas; ensure that the Corps 
takes on all the costs to repair the town of Sandwich's beaches, which 
experience severe erosion due to the jetties at the mouth of Cape Cod 
Canal; and require the EPA to appoint liaisons to minority, Tribal, and 
low-income communities so these disenfranchised groups can have better 
access to the resources and tools provided by the Federal Government to 
improve the quality of our Nation's drinking water.
  From fortifying our communities, to dealing with the present-day 
impacts of climate change, to eradicating the environmental 
contaminants of the 20th century from our water infrastructure, this 
legislation package will provide the funding and direction needed to 
help modernize the Commonwealth's water infrastructure.
  I thank Chairman Barrasso and Ranking Member Carper for working with 
me on this important legislation. I was proud to vote in favor of 
America's Water Infrastructure Act today. It is something that I think 
is going to work very successfully for the State of Massachusetts. It 
is something that, in my opinion, is the quintessential example of how 
bipartisanship should, in fact, animate the legislative process in this 
body.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                              S.J. Res. 63

  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, just a little bit ago, a few hours ago, 
we had a matter before the Senate relating to S.J. Res. 63. This was a 
resolution of disapproval, which would have worked to disapprove of the 
rule that was issued jointly by the Treasury, Labor, and Health and 
Human Services regarding these short-term, limited duration insurance 
plans.
  I had hoped, actually, to have an opportunity to speak to this prior 
to the vote but was not able to. I want to take just a couple of 
minutes this afternoon to weigh in on this issue from an Alaskan 
perspective. I think there have been some suggestions that with this 
rule in place, those of us who care about protecting those with 
preexisting conditions, somehow or another, are taking these 
protections away.
  I have weighed this carefully. In fairness, I think some of the 
arguments that have been made are, perhaps, not quite as clear cut as 
would be suggested and, perhaps, certainly, in a State like mine, where 
we still have the highest healthcare costs in the country and some of 
the highest costs for coverage in the country.
  I think Members here in the Senate know full well that while I have 
opposed many aspects of the Affordable Care Act, I have supported and 
have strongly supported certain parts of it as well. Again, one of 
those things that I feel very strongly about is the need to ensure that 
we protect those who have preexisting conditions. That is a debate 
that, I think, is ongoing in other places as well. Yet I want to make 
clear that, certainly, my vote this morning is in no way meant to erode 
or undermine where I am coming from when it comes to preexisting 
conditions.
  Back to the situation that we face in Alaska, as I mentioned, we are 
the highest in terms of the cost of care and the highest in terms of 
the cost of coverage, and we are still one of those States that has but 
one insurer on the exchange in Alaska. So our options are, really, 
pretty limited. As I am speaking to individuals about what they are 
hoping for when it comes to coverage, they are looking for additional 
options, but they are looking for affordable options as well.
  It is true--it is absolutely true--that these short-term plans do not 
offer as much or, certainly, may not offer as much in the way of 
coverage as those plans that are offered on the individual exchanges. I 
understand that, but I have had to come down on this issue on the side 
of more choice for consumers and more options being a good thing for 
consumers.
  In Alaska, our population, as one knows, is relatively small. We have 
about 720,000 people in the whole State, but we are talking about 
18,000 people, give or take, who are enrolled on the individual 
exchanges each year. The

[[Page S6750]]

universe here is 18,000 people when we are talking about the exchanges. 
In the year 2016, which was the most recent year about which the IRS 
can give us information, there were about 15,000 people who chose to 
pay the individual mandate penalty rather than to buy the insurance. 
Think about what that means. They are weighing this, and they are 
saying: I would rather pay a fine, pay that penalty. It is not that I 
don't want the insurance, but I cannot afford it.
  So you had 18,000 people on the individual exchanges, and 15,000 
people chose to pay the individual mandate penalty rather than buy the 
insurance. That is because, if an Alaskan does not get the subsidy--and 
a pretty heavy subsidy--the exchange plans just aren't affordable. Even 
though you want to have that coverage--you want that insurance--wanting 
it doesn't necessarily get it to you if you cannot afford it.
  The average premium for plan year 2018--this is according to CMS 
data--is $804 per month. What am I getting from constituents, from 
folks who are writing in to me and calling me? They are telling me what 
they are paying for their plans. For a family of four, the premium was 
over $2,000 a month, with a $7,500 deductible. Think about what that 
actually means for this family, for folks with those kinds of bills, 
who, basically, only have catastrophic coverage, as it is. Again, you 
think about the number of folks on the individual exchanges, and you 
think about those who choose not to pay the fines. You look at the 
numbers of those who receive the subsidies in the State of Alaska, 
which is quite considerable.
  We also have about 10,000 or so Alaskans--this is according to the 
State division of insurance--who have enrolled in healthcare sharing 
ministries. This is yet another option for people out there. A 
significant number has turned to these healthcare sharing ministries, 
and these folks have managed to avoid the penalty in prior years. In 
fairness, some of the ministry plans do not provide much in the way of 
coverage, but it is an indicator of what people feel they have to do in 
the face of just very, very high-cost plans.
  I understand where those who oppose this rule are coming from, and I 
have had good, long conversations about this. I guess I would ask that 
they turn to the realities that we are facing in a State like Alaska 
and just appreciate where people are coming from when you think about 
the 15,000 Alaskans who have chosen not to buy insurance over these 
past few years because it has been too expensive, but they want to have 
something they can afford. These short-term plans, while not ideal--I 
am not suggesting that they are--are an option for them to consider.
  What about the people who don't get subsidies and are paying over 
$50,000 per year before their insurance covers anything? That too is a 
situation in which they are looking for alternatives. So perhaps these 
short-term plans could be a viable option. For the 10,000-some-odd 
people who are currently using a sharing ministry, again, these types 
of plans could be an alternative. For the people who may choose to drop 
off the individual exchanges next year, these plans could be a path 
forward for some having some level of coverage.
  Again, I am not saying that this is perfect, and I am not saying that 
this is ideal. I am saying it offers a limited option in a place in 
which we have very few affordable options to turn to.
  Another reason these shorter term plans are helpful for us and why I 
have heard from so many Alaskans on this is that we are a State in 
which our employment base is very, very seasonal.
  You have a construction industry, but it is not like it is back here. 
Construction is, maybe, 6 months out of the year--longer in some parts 
of the State and shorter in other parts of the State. Yet you have a 
seasonal job.
  Our fishing industry is a great example. If you are working in the 
processing end of fishing, it may be 3 months. If you are working as a 
crabber, it may be 2\1/2\ months. If you are working on a tender up in 
Bristol Bay, it may be a very truncated 2 months.
  Then we have the tourist season. Again, we would like to think that 
we can entice you all to come up year round, but quite honestly, it too 
is very, very seasonal. So we need to have some level of flexibility 
for those many, many Alaskans who move between many of these seasonal 
employment opportunities.
  Under the prior rule, a short-term insurance plan could only last for 
3 months. That is not going to help out, say, those in the fishing or 
in the tourism industry or, again, in so many of these areas in which 
you need longer term coverage but you don't need a full year. So 
flexibility is something that people have been asking for as well. 
Where that sweet spot is, I am not sure. I am telling you that, for us, 
3 months doesn't make it. Maybe 3 years is too long. Maybe we do need 
to look at that. I happen to think that we do, but that is an area that 
is open for review.
  The last point I would make is that I think we have to have some 
trust in both our States as regulators and in individuals, the 
consumers. The rule that we were speaking about this morning really 
does allow States to have a great deal of leeway in regulating at the 
local level. We are seeing that among many of the States. I had a long 
conversation with our director of insurance up in the State of Alaska. 
We talked about where our State might take this and looked again at, 
perhaps, the length of these short-term, limited duration plans and how 
they might be regulated.
  Also, there is the transparency side of this, and this is something 
that concerns me. Some of the things we have heard are that people have 
bought these less expensive plans, these shorter term plans, and then, 
when they need them the most, they realize the coverage doesn't take 
care of them. That is also not a place we want anyone to be. Making 
sure that there is a level of transparency, that there is a level of 
disclosure that is real and not just the tiny boilerplate that nobody 
can understand--it has to be, again, transparent in that way.

  I think this is one of those areas where trusting in our laboratories 
of democracy, which are our States, to tailor plans that fit a State 
well should not be an action that we here in the Senate are so 
unwilling to take.
  As we look to how we do more in this Congress and how we do more to 
help those for whom healthcare--the cost of healthcare and access to 
healthcare--is still their No. 1 issue, still the No. 1 subject of 
discussion, I have come to speak on this particular issue today because 
there are maybe 25,000 people in my State who could see some benefit 
from these types of plans being available and also because I believe 
that trusting the regulators, certainly in my State, to handle the 
plans intelligently is an important part of how we move forward as 
well.
  I wanted to put that on the record today following the discussion 
from earlier this morning and the vote at noon.


                    Confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh

  Mr. President, I want to transition really quickly and just take a 
minute because last week, as we all know, was a very difficult time in 
the Senate as we processed the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to serve 
on the U.S. Supreme Court.
  That vote has concluded. Judge Kavanaugh is now Justice Kavanaugh, 
and I truly wish him all the best as he begins his new term on the 
highest Court in the land. But there is a residue--I don't know if it 
is a residue. I don't know how we make sure we are able to move forward 
after difficult votes that divide us all and work to come back 
together.
  I am going to speak very directly about my friend who sits right here 
next to me on the Senate floor. She and I went through, probably, a 
similar deliberative process. It was probably the same as everybody 
else here on the floor, but we perhaps shared more discussion about it 
than I did with other colleagues. At the end of the day, we came down 
on different sides, but both of us--both of us--agonized over the 
decision and the process.
  She is now enduring an active campaign against her. It is not just an 
active campaign against her, but there are protests at her home every 
weekend, and she cannot travel without a police escort.
  I made comments as I prepared for the final vote last week. I said: 
We are better than this. We have to set the example here.
  I am really touched that after I had taken a hard vote within my 
caucus,

[[Page S6751]]

there are some who are notably angry at me. But we are working together 
on the next issue of the day, and we are moving forward. We need to set 
that example in this body because if we don't set it here, I don't know 
how we can expect anyone on the outside to follow us.
  There is a need for civility. It is a hard time for us, but I would 
urge us all to choose our words carefully. Don't be afraid to speak 
with kindness toward one another. Don't be afraid to call out the good 
in somebody else, even though you have voted against them. We are 
better than what we are seeing right now.
  I am smiling only because I feel I should recommend that my 
colleagues watch a movie, a documentary. I don't do that often, but 
after the vote on Saturday, I just, by chance, picked up a DVD that had 
been sent to me. It is a documentary about the life and career of Fred 
Rogers--Mister Rogers--``Won't You Be My Neighbor?'' I figured I needed 
something kind of calming for the night.
  It is OK to be good to one another. It is OK to accept people for who 
they are. It is OK to just find the good.
  With that, Mr. President, I thank you for allowing me to speak a 
little bit from the heart. I would ask us to be civil with one another 
now, not civil when the next election comes.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Toomey). The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I will oppose the pending nomination of 
Jeffrey Clark to be the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the 
Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. This 
is the division that leads the Department of Justice's enforcement of 
environmental laws and regulations. Mr. Clark is not the right person 
for that job.
  In 2014, he said the science of climate change is ``contestable.'' He 
represented British Petroleum in litigation over the Deepwater Horizon 
explosion and oil spill. He has represented the Chamber of Commerce and 
other industry groups in challenging EPA greenhouse gas regulations.
  He is a favorite of the Federalist Society, having chaired that 
group's environmental law and practice group. But his nomination is 
strongly opposed by groups that care about protecting the environment.
  The Sierra Club called him an ``outspoken opponent of environmental 
and public health protection.'' The Natural Resources Defense Council 
described him as an ``enemy of the environment.'' He is exactly the 
wrong person to be in this job of enforcing regulations to protect our 
environment.
  Just during these last few days, the United Nations put out an alert 
to all of the members around the world. We are going to pay dearly for 
this current administration's decision to remove ourselves from the 
Paris Agreement, where literally every country on Earth agreed to try 
to do something to clean up the mess of our environment and leave our 
children a better place to live. We decided, under President Trump, to 
be the only Nation to step away from it. Why? What in the world were we 
thinking? Can you believe that things that are happening that are 
easily documented can be ignored? Do you see the flooding that is going 
on now in Florida on a regular basis? That is just 1 of 1,000 different 
examples.
  If we don't accept responsibility in our generation to make this a 
better world, shame on us. We want to leave our kids a better world, 
but for goodness' sake, do we have the political courage to do it? Will 
we be able to say to the President: You are just wrong.
  We have to work together with nations around the world. The United 
States should be a leader, not an apologist. The President said he 
wants to make America first. How about America first when it comes to 
cleaning up the environment? There is nothing wrong with that 
leadership. It is something we should be proud of.
  This man, Jeffrey Clark, who is aspiring to be the Assistant Attorney 
General, just doesn't buy into what I just said, and I can't support 
him as a result.


                                S. 3021

  Mr. President, the 2018 WRDA bill--the Water Resources Development 
Act--that we are considering on the floor this week is an important 
step in modernizing our Nation's water infrastructure and ensuring 
access to clean drinking water. It goes back to my earlier comment. If 
we are talking about the environment, one of the first things people 
say is, I want safe drinking water for myself and my family. Next to 
that, I want to be able to breathe in air that is not going to make me 
sick or hurt any member of my family.
  Our Nation's infrastructure is aging and in need of significant 
investment. Last year, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave our 
Nation's levees, inland waterways, and drinking water infrastructure a 
D rating in terms of its infrastructure report card. They estimate that 
$80 billion is needed over the next decade to improve our Nation's 
levees--$80 billion. They also estimate that $4.9 billion is needed 
over the next 2 years to maintain our inland waterways--$4.9 billion--
and $1 trillion is needed over the next 25 years to expand our drinking 
water infrastructure. These are massive numbers, and they are going to 
require sustained and significant Federal investment if we are ever 
going to reach these goals.
  This bill--the WRDA bill--is a step in the right direction. It 
authorizes $6.1 billion in funding for the Army Corps flood control, 
navigation, and ecosystem restoration projects around the country. 
These are critical projects in every State.
  I just went down a few weeks ago with Senator McConnell to the Ohio 
River. The Olmsted Locks and Dam that has been under construction for 
decades is finally completed. It is an amazing investment. It is the 
most expensive civil infrastructure project in our Nation's history, 
and it is an indication of the kind of investment that is necessary if 
we are going to try to tame rivers like the Ohio River.
  There are critical projects like that in every State. They improve 
our inland waterways to help deliver $600 million in goods and 60 
percent of our grain imports each year.
  If we want the United States to literally lead the world--if we want 
America first--for goodness' sake, we need to be first in investing in 
our infrastructure. These projects maintain levees and build reservoirs 
that protect millions of people and an estimated $1.3 trillion in 
property, and they protect the environment, they restore wetlands, and 
they prevent the spread of invasive species.
  I am especially proud that this bill includes an important cost share 
change for the future operations and maintenance costs at the Brandon 
Road Lock and Dam in my State of Illinois. I worked with Senator Tammy 
Duckworth on this project.
  The Brandon Road project is integral to ensuring that invasive Asian 
carp never spread to the Great Lakes. Knock on wood. We have held up 
that carp from going into the Great Lakes and, in doing so, we have 
preserved an important part of the fisheries and the lake itself. I 
want to continue those efforts, if not redouble them.
  While I am proud to support passage of this authorizing bill, I also 
implore my colleagues to remember that unless we are willing to work 
together--Republicans and Democrats--to provide these authorized 
projects with consistent and increased appropriations each year, then 
we are sending out press releases and not even getting the job half 
done.
  Let me say it another way: It is not enough to go home and take 
credit for passing the WRDA bill, which is an authorization bill, if 
you aren't also willing to pass an appropriations bill that actually 
provides the money to break ground on these projects. An authorization 
bill is just that: It gives you permission to do a project, but then 
you need to go to the spending bill--the appropriations bill--to come 
up with the money to actually achieve it.
  Listen to this number. I want to make this part of the record as we 
debate water resources and infrastructure. An analysis by the Roll Call 
newspaper from earlier this year found that while Congress has 
authorized more than $25 billion toward Army Corps projects in the last 
decade--$25 billion in the last decade--Congress has

[[Page S6752]]

only appropriated $689 million. So $25 billion authorized, $689 million 
appropriated. What percentage of money have we actually come up with to 
finish these projects? We have come up with only $689 million out of 
$25 billion--2.7 percent.
  We send out all of these press releases congratulating ourselves 
about projects that are never going to happen. We send out the releases 
and say: This is going to be great for future generations. We are not 
doing it. We are not investing in America.
  Slow and inconsistent Federal funding for these projects results in 
years of added delay and millions in added costs. Instead of funding 
new projects, we have to spend more on ongoing projects because 
Congress just doesn't get its act together--Democrats and Republicans.
  I am proud of the work of the Appropriations Committee on which I 
have been honored to serve. Both sides of the aisle do work to get 
their job done in record time and ensure the Corps has stable funding 
for the next fiscal year, but this year's appropriations process should 
not be unusual.
  Unless we as a Congress commit every year to getting our budget work 
done and appropriating these Federal dollars, we will never get ahead 
on investing in our infrastructure. Our competitors like China and 
others around the world are making massive investments in 
infrastructure not just in their own country but in other countries 
that are teaming up with them, with an economic vision for the future.
  What is our goal? What are we trying to achieve right here in the 
United States, and how are we working to build our economy and create 
good-paying jobs for the future?
  Our Nation's water infrastructure is in need of significant 
investment. The good bill we are considering today is just a step in 
the right direction, but an authorization bill without appropriation is 
just an empty press release.
  I hope we can work together to ensure funding gets appropriated each 
year to actually complete these important projects.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Gardner). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.


                     Remembering Joseph D. Tydings

  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I regret to inform our colleagues of the 
death of Joe Tydings, who died on Monday, succumbing to cancer at the 
age of 90. Senator Tydings was one of the most outspoken progressive 
Democrats in this body.
  He was born to privilege. His father was a Democratic Senator from 
the State of Maryland--a conservative Democratic Senator. His 
grandfather was one of our first Ambassadors to the Soviet Union. His 
paternal grandfather married Marjorie Merriweather Post, who built Mar-
a-Lago, which most of us know is in Palm Beach. He came from a family 
of great privilege. Yet he was known in Maryland as a person of the 
people, representing the people of our State.
  His first elected office was president of the Young Democrats of 
Maryland. From there, he became a member of the Maryland House of 
Delegates, where he fought the establishment, took on the network in 
Annapolis, and investigated the savings and loan situation in our 
State. He really shined a lot of light on what was happening in abuses 
in that industry.
  He was chosen by then-Senator Kennedy to head up his campaign for 
President. Joe Tydings handled his campaign in Maryland for President 
and helped in other primaries around the Nation, leading to President 
Kennedy's election as President of the United States.
  President Kennedy asked him to serve as the U.S. attorney for 
Maryland, and Senator Tydings served as the U.S. attorney. He was known 
for his independence at the U.S. Attorney's Office. He pursued white 
collar crime and political corruption. He indicted and convicted a 
former Member of the House of Representatives, as well as the speaker 
of the Maryland House of Delegates. He recruited young talent to his 
office in the U.S. Attorney's Office, including Ben Civiletti, who went 
on to become the Attorney General of the United States, and Stephen 
Sachs, who continued to become the attorney general for the State of 
Maryland.
  In 1964 he ran and was elected to the U.S. Senate. He worked on 
progressive causes, including the Voting Rights Act, which he helped to 
get enacted under President Johnson, and also gun safety legislation.
  After leaving the Senate after one term, he continued to be extremely 
active in our community. He was best known, I believe, for his work at 
the University of Maryland. He served three terms on the board of 
regents of the University of Maryland system, giving back to the school 
where he graduated from both undergraduate and law school, and he was 
known as one of the most aggressive people in the reform of our 
University of Maryland System and also in the independence of the 
university hospital.
  On a personal note, let me tell you that he helped with my election 
to the U.S. Senate 12 years ago and gave me a great deal of support and 
friendship and was an adviser and role model for me. I remember his 
being here when I took the oath of office as a Senator, walking me down 
the aisle. I had a great deal of pride that he was with me.
  He is going to be missed by all of us--just an incredible person, a 
person who put his principles over practical politics. It may have cost 
him an election, but he did what he thought was right. I can tell you 
that we are all proud of his service to the people of Maryland and our 
Nation.
  Mr. President, we will miss this man, who was determined to help bend 
the arc of the moral universe toward justice as fast as possible.
  Joe Tydings was born as Joseph Davies Cheesborough in Asheville, NC, 
on May 4, 1928, to Eleanor Davies of Watertown, WI, and Tom 
Cheesborough of Asheville. Tydings' sister, Eleanor Cheesborough, was 
born in 1932. In 1935, his parents divorced, and his mother married 
Millard Tydings, who was then serving his second of four terms as one 
of Maryland's U.S. Senators. Several years later, Millard Tydings 
formally adopted Joe and his sister, Eleanor.
  Joe Tydings' illustrious family included his namesake grandfather, 
Joseph Davies, an early adviser to Woodrow Wilson, who later was 
appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as America's second 
Ambassador to the Soviet Union. While Joe was still a boy, his maternal 
grandfather married one of the richest women in America, Marjorie 
Merriweather Post, who owned homes in New York City and Long Island, 
the Hillwood Estate here in Washington, DC, the Topridge Great Camp in 
the Adirondacks, and built Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. Joe sailed home 
from Europe aboard the Sea Cloud, Post's luxurious 322-foot, four-
masted barque, the largest privately owned sea-going yacht in the world 
at the time.
  Joe Tydings attended public schools in Aberdeen, MD, before entering 
the McDonough School in Baltimore County as a military cadet in 1938. 
After he graduated, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1946 and served in 
one of the Army's last horse platoons as part of the postwar occupation 
of Germany. When he returned to the United States in 1948, he entered 
the University of Maryland, where he played lacrosse and football and 
was student body president and then earned his law degree at the 
University of Maryland Law School in 1953.
  Joe Tydings was surrounded by tremendous wealth and prestige and 
political power while he was growing up. The obituary that appeared in 
the Baltimore Sun notes that, despite the fact that Joe was born into a 
life of privilege, he was a frugal person and quotes his daughter, Mary 
Tydings, as saying, ``He was a man of the people despite how he grew 
up.'' His adoptive father was also a Democrat but opposed some of the 
New Deal legislation because he was a fiscal conservative. Joe, on the 
other hand, was a progressive from the get-go and attributed his 
Wisconsin-born mother as the influence, but it is clear that his 
father, who was known for taking principled, if often controversial, 
stands on many issues, also shaped Joe's approach to politics and to 
life.

[[Page S6753]]

  As I said earlier, Joe Tydings started his political career by 
serving as president of the Maryland Young Democrats. While he was 
president, he confronted a hotel owner in Ocean City who refused to let 
Black members of the organization stay at the hotel for an event being 
held there. In 1954, Joe was elected to represent Harford County in the 
Maryland House of Delegates. Once there, it was clear that he was 
willing to fight established powers. He started with the State's 
savings and loan, S&L, associations following a banking scandal. In 
``My Life in Progressive Politics: Against the Grain,'' an 
autobiography cowritten by former Baltimore Sun reporter John W. Frece 
published earlier this year, Joe reflected, ``I was appalled no one was 
doing anything about it.'' The reason, he argued, was that many too 
many Maryland politicians were profiting from the schemes that led to 
the scandal.
  While Joe Tydings had a famous last name in Maryland political 
circles, it was his early and enthusiastic association with Senator 
John F. Kennedy that pushed Joe onto the national stage. In 1960, Joe 
directed Kennedy's Presidential campaign in Maryland and then helped 
out in other primaries, at the party convention in Los Angeles, and 
throughout the fall election. After Kennedy won, Tydings was offered a 
post in the new administration, and he asked to be appointed U.S. 
attorney for Maryland. The Maryland Democratic Party establishment was 
wary of the young reformer; nearly every Democratic Congressman in the 
State opposed his appointment. President Kennedy questioned his 
brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy about the opposition, 
saying ``how can I appoint him with all these people opposed to him.'' 
Robert Kennedy replied, ``That's exactly why you are going to appoint 
him.''
  As U.S. attorney, Joe Tydings assembled a staff of neophyte trial 
attorneys that included a future Attorney General of the United States, 
Benjamin R. Civiletti, and a future Attorney General of Maryland, 
Stephen H. Sachs, and many other lawyers who would become judges and 
successful attorneys with prominent law firms. He worked hard to 
establish the nonpartisan reputation of the U.S. attorney's office in 
Maryland and build a modern Federal prosecution force that has 
effectively targeted political corruption in Maryland up to the present 
day. Joe successfully prosecuted Representative Thomas Johnson, a 
fellow Democrat, for receiving illegal gratuities. He successfully 
prosecuted Maryland House Speaker A. Gordon Boone, another Democrat, 
for mail fraud connected with the S&L scandal.
  In 1963, President Kennedy visited Oakington, the Tydings' 550-acre 
estate along the Chesapeake Bay in Harford County, to urge Joe to run 
for the Senate, which he agreed to do. On the November day that Tydings 
held his farewell luncheon with colleagues to prepare for his Senate 
run, he learned that President Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas. 
Joe ran as a reformer and had to win a primary against the State's 
beloved comptroller, Louis L. Goldstein. Joe, whose campaign slogan was 
``Working for Maryland, Not the Machine,'' energized reformers within 
the State party, attracted an army of volunteers, and won. It was Louis 
Goldstein's only loss during six decades in public office. Joe then 
went on to defeat the incumbent Republican Senator, James Glenn Beall, 
Sr., in the general election.
  As a Senator, Joe Tydings backed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and 
the Fair Housing Act of 1968. He supported controversial decisions of 
the Warren Court, including the one-man, one-vote requirement for 
apportionment of State legislatures; the prohibition of prayer in 
public schools; and the guarantee of the rights of defendants to remain 
silent and to be represented by counsel. He was an early advocate for 
family planning and worried all his life about the detrimental health 
and environmental effects of worldwide overpopulation. He reached 
across the aisle to get things done, working with Republican colleagues 
such as then-Representative George H.W. Bush. He regularly decried the 
lack of bipartisanship in the Congress today.
  Like many of his congressional peers, Joe Tydings came to office 
supporting American involvement in Vietnam, but as the war escalated, 
deaths mounted, and protests spread throughout the country, Tydings 
finally broke with President Lyndon B. Johnson and came out against the 
war.
  Although Joe was ranked 100th in seniority when he arrived in the 
Senate, he authored legislation to make long overdue improvements to 
the Federal court system, many of which are still in place today. He 
helped to create the system of Federal magistrates to lighten the 
workload of Federal judges; improved jury selection so that Federal 
juries more fairly represent the make-up of their communities; and 
worked to keep unfit, unqualified, or mentally or physically 
incapacitated judges off the bench. Joe became an ``enemy'' of 
President Richard M. Nixon by helping to defeat two of the President's 
Supreme Court nominees, Clement F. Haynsworth, Jr., and G. Harrold 
Carswell.
  Joe Tydings was an avid outdoorsman and hunter, but supported 
sensible gun safety laws, including the Firearms Registration and 
Licensing Act, which earned him the enmity of the gun lobby and the 
National Rifle Association.
  By the time he stood for reelection in 1970, Joe later admitted, he 
had probably supported one liberal position too many. The country had 
changed, and Joe's progressive outlook had been supplanted by the 
backlash to new civil rights laws, fear over race riots in American 
cities, and a deep division over Vietnam. Vice President Spiro Agnew, 
who had been Governor of Maryland, called Joe a ``radical.'' Joe 
narrowly lost his reelection bid to John Glenn Beall, Jr., the son of 
the man he had defeated in 1964, 51 percent to 48 percent.
  I mentioned that Joe was an avid outdoorsman. He was also a great 
horseman. One of the many causes to which he dedicated his energies 
after he returned to private life was the protection of Tennessee 
Walking Horses from the inhumane practice of ``soring.'' He sought 
vigorous implementation of the Horse Protection Act of 1970, which he 
had authored while still in the Senate, and was honored by the U.S. 
Humane Society for his efforts.

  After Joe left the Senate, he kept his hand in Maryland politics, 
supporting various reform candidates and pushing for legislation to 
protect his beloved Chesapeake Bay. He went on to serve as a member and 
later as chairman of the board of regents of his alma mater, the 
University of Maryland. He was appointed to three separate terms on the 
regents by three different Governors in three different decades. In 
1977, Joe called for the board of regents of the University of Maryland 
to divest its endowment from companies doing business with the 
apartheid regime in South Africa. In September 2008, then-Maryland 
Governor Martin O'Malley appointed Joe to the board of the University 
of Maryland Medical System.
  Joe Tydings was indefatigable. He built a national and international 
career in law, offering his legal services pro bono in cases 
challenging the death penalty. As the Baltimore Sun obituary noted, 
``At an age when his peers were considering retirement, Sen. Tydings 
worked as an attorney with the Washington law firm Blank Rome LLP. `He 
didn't need to be here for the last 20 years of his life,' said Jim 
Kelly, chairman of Blank Rome's Washington office. But Sen. Tydings 
chose to continue to work toward causes he deemed important. `It sounds 
a little trite, but he really was committed to basic notions of justice 
and fairness,' Kelly said. `He was not afraid to wear that on his 
sleeve, and he was not afraid to stand up and be counted.' ''
  When I was sworn in as U.S. Senator for the first time in the 110th 
Congress, I was honored to have Joe Tydings join Senators Paul Sarbanes 
and Barbara Mikulski and escort me to the well to take the oath of 
office. One of his political slogans was ``Joe Tydings doesn't duck the 
tough ones.'' So true. Joe's life of service serves as an example to so 
many people, including me, particularly in these difficult times. 
Former Vice President Joe Biden wrote in the forward to ``My Life in 
Progressive Politics: Against the Grain,'' ``In reading this memoir, 
you can't miss the salient parallels to challenges facing our nation 
today. The issues on which Joe staked his Senate career a half-century 
ago are the same ones that still require

[[Page S6754]]

our advocacy and attention. Protecting voting rights. Safeguarding our 
environment. Pushing back against the forces of inequality that are 
hollowing out the middle class. Standing up for common-sense gun safety 
laws.''
  In the Gospel of Luke, there is the saying, ``Every one to whom much 
is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit 
much they will demand the more,'' Luke 12:48. Joe Tydings was given 
much; he gave back more.
  I know my Senate colleagues will want to join me in sending our 
condolences to Joe Tydings' family: his sister, Eleanor Tydings Russell 
of Monkton, MD; his four children from his first marriage, Mary Tydings 
Smith of Easton, MD, Millard Tydings of Skillman, NJ, Emlen Tydings 
Gaudino of Palm Beach, Australia, and Eleanor Tydings Gollob of McLean, 
VA; and Alexandra Tydings Luzzatto of Washington, DC, the daughter of 
his second marriage. He is also survived by nine grandchildren: 
Benjamin Tydings Smith, Jill Campbell Gollob, Sam Tydings Gollob, 
Margaret Campbell Tydings, Jay Davies Gollob, William Davies Tydings, 
Ruby Anne Luzzatto, Emerson Almeida Luzzatto, and Maeve Chaim Luzzatto.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                                S. 3021

  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, I rise today to thank my colleagues for 
passing America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 and to discuss the 
importance of it to the State of Washington. This legislation is going 
now to the President's desk, and it is very needed to help make our 
ports more competitive, to protect thousands of jobs, and to help 
protect our salmon habitat in the State of Washington.
  This legislation means the ports of Seattle and Tacoma will be able 
to deepen their harbors to allow them to meet the much larger cargo 
demands to compete with other ports on the west coast, specifically in 
Canada.
  This legislation also improves the critical habitat for salmon and 
waterways like the Puget Sound and the Columbia River, and it also 
helps utilities make commonsense investments for the future and helps 
to protect our ratepayers and the environment.
  I am proud to have worked on this legislation with our colleagues 
because we need to keep moving forward on investments that help make 
our region competitive.
  Our ports are essential to our economic growth in the Northwest. I 
always say ``ports are us'' because we have so many along the Columbia 
River and on the west coast, and trade is a cornerstone of our economy, 
with $95 billion in exports and $92 billion in imports each year.
  The fact that this legislation helps us on important maintenance and 
operations for both large and small ports and for locks, dams, and 
waterways is so important to our future. It also helps us with the 
important alliance that Seattle and Tacoma formed together to help our 
marine cargo operations at the ports, which generate $4.3 billion in 
economic activity and on which 48,000 jobs are dependent.
  What happened is that as the world market changed and large 
containerships could double in size the amount of products they were 
shipping, it was so important for our west coast ports to be 
competitive and to be able to serve these large ships. These megaships, 
which are twice the length of the space needle and wider than a 
football field, carry twice the number of containers compared to ships 
that typically call on west coast ports and need deeper waterways.
  To maintain a top-grade lane through the Pacific Northwest and to 
compete with the Canadian ports, the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma have 
to deepen their ports and make the navigational changes to address the 
large container ships.
  The Army Corps and the Northwest Seaport Alliance teamed up with the 
Seattle Harbor Navigational Improvement Project study, the Tacoma 
Harbor Navigational Improvement Project study, and many other partners 
to make sure we were making the right investments.
  In this legislation, the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma are big economic 
winners. They are economic winners because we are authorizing over $29 
million to deepen the East and West Waterways in the Port of Seattle to 
57 feet. When the project is completed, the Port of Seattle will be the 
deepest in the country. It will allow us to serve those megaships. 
Instead of having just 1,000 to 12,000 cargo containers, it will be 
18,000 cargo containers or more. We are expecting to complete a 
feasibility study at the Port of Tacoma, which is currently at 51 feet.
  These two projects are going to help us continue to build the 
reputation of the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, moving our products 
throughout the United States to Asia quickly and reliably and reaching 
critical markets.
  We don't want our shippers to have to pay more because we haven't 
made these infrastructure investments. Moving freight is what we do.
  This bill is about making it in our waterways as well. Deepening the 
waterways in the Ports in Seattle and Tacoma will ensure they can 
compete with Canadian ports. It will help us to continue to grow our 
jobs in the maritime sector, and it will help us to continue to be a 
gateway from North America to Asia and around the world.
  This legislation also helps us in restoring waters adjacent to Puget 
Sound and helps us with our salmon recovery efforts. For the last 18 
years, the Puget Sound Adjacent Waters Restoration Program has focused 
on protecting and restoring habitat within the Puget Sound Basin.
  Using this program, the Army Corps was able to work with places like 
the city of Burien to remove a seawall on the Seahurst Park shoreline. 
Now that shoreline is a habitat for endangered salmon and the home to 
bald eagles and osprey, and it is attracting visitors to the park.
  The Army Corps was also able to use the program to work with the 
Tulalip Tribe to restore critical habit along the Snohomish River. That 
was lost in the early 20th century. The estuary now provides access to 
spawning, rearing, and feeding areas for salmon.
  Puget Sound--the second largest estuary in the United States--is home 
to thousands of species that this bill will also help. Over a dozen of 
these species are listed as endangered or threatened, and our helping 
by making these improvements to clean up Puget Sound and restore 
habitat is so important to the viability of the Pacific Northwest.
  The bill increases funding for the Puget Sound Adjacent Waters 
Restoration Program from $40 million to $60 million and the per-project 
funding from $5 million to $10 million.
  These are just expanded numbers, but they mean everything to meet the 
goals of the projects around Puget Sound. We are returning to Puget 
Sound waterways that are unblocked and providing cleaner habitat for 
salmon--for threatened juvenile salmon--and opportunities in areas like 
Spencer Island in the Snohomish River estuary near Everett, WA.
  Another project will restore tidal flows and create open coastline 
inlets at the creek originating near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in South 
Puget Sound. This will help us to restore spawning habitats for forage 
fish, support salmon recovery, and improve those shoreline conditions 
that are so important.
  These projects are an example of the diversity that our region uses 
when it helps our ecosystem, known as Puget Sound, and in helping 
salmon recovery.
  This legislation also helps in making sure those who make great 
improvements to water infrastructure, particularly our hydrosystems, 
get rewarded for doing that and ensures that they don't wait or 
hesitate to get that done. This legislation provides an early action 
provision for licensees on hydrosystems to make improvements and makes 
sure they will be recognized later. This provision would remove an 
impediment, and it encourages people to take corrective action sooner 
rather than later.
  That is good for our environment, and it is good for taxpayers and 
helps us save on energy. Most importantly, it does not take away any 
regulatory oversight from the agency but simply rewards people earlier 
for doing the right thing.

[[Page S6755]]

  I know that Chelan PUD is a good example of this and will take 
advantage of this as they plan to rehabilitate units at Rock Island 
hydro project--a significant investment of over $500 million. This area 
needs to have these upgrades, and this provision will help them get 
them done sooner.
  In this legislation, we are also helping with one of the most 
challenging things we see in our waterways, and that is protecting the 
physical infrastructure and waterways in our hydro system from invasive 
species. The highly invasive Quagga and Zebra mussels have invaded our 
waterways in 20 different States. If invasive mussel populations invade 
the Pacific Northwest, it is estimated that it could cost our region 
over $500 million in annual costs. That would be devoting way more of 
our resources just to manage that infestation.
  The Columbia Basin is the last major uninfected watershed in the 
United States, much of it to the credit of watercraft inspection 
stations on the Columbia River. The Columbia River inspection stations 
help inspect the boats that travel up and down the river for such 
invasive species, and an inspection of all watercrafts is required. I 
am pleased that this bill authorizes money specifically for the 
Columbia River inspection stations. This helps us because, as I said, 
with a river that hasn't seen these invasive species, the fact that we 
still do these inspections is critical.
  Last year, over 9,000 boats were inspected throughout Washington, and 
because of the funding for the Columbia River, these invasive species 
were kept out of our waters. That means they were kept out not just in 
Washington but in other parts of the Pacific Northwest as well.
  This legislation also continues the great downpayment on the Drinking 
Water State Revolving Fund, which was created in 1997 and has helped 
our State--millions of dollars in annual grants. This is so important. 
As we saw with the many problems in Flint, MI, and other places, many 
of our colleagues know that this Drinking Water State Revolving Fund is 
necessary for us to keep clean water in the United States.
  These funds helped the city of Lynden replace its 1926 surface water 
treatment plant and ensured a reliable water supply to the Lynden 
community and surrounding area. The funds also helped the city of 
Prosser make improvements to its aging water system to ensure that 
communities have access to a clean water supply. At the end of this 
week, the city of Kelso will be celebrating the completion of the Minor 
Road Reservoir, which replaced two aging reservoirs that were leaking 
and that would have failed in the event of a natural disaster in the 
area. The city was able to complete the project with the help of the 
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, and I am so glad that is going to 
help secure more resources for that part of our State.
  This also provides States and communities with additional financial 
resources to make investments in their economies for the future, and it 
also helps to right wrongs from the past.
  I am pleased that the bill also delivers on an 80-year-old promise 
from the Army Corps to complete the Tribal Village Development Plan for 
four Tribes who were displaced when the dams of the Columbia River were 
constructed. The Yakama, Nez Perce, Umatilla, and Warm Springs Tribes 
all signed treaties with the Federal Government in the 1850s, and these 
treaties reserved the right of the Tribes to fish, hunt, and gather at 
``all usual and accustomed fishing places.'' The Army Corps and treaty 
Tribes entered into agreements on fishing access. These sites were 
designed for day-to-day fishing, but out of need and the desire to be 
close to the Columbia River, they have turned into permanent housing. 
This has resulted in very challenging and unsafe living conditions 
along the river. I am so glad that my colleague Senator Murray and my 
colleagues from Oregon, Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden--that we have 
been able to make it crystal clear to the Army Corps of Engineers that 
we need to correct this problem. This bill ensures that those families 
will get what they were promised years ago.
  In closing, I want to thank our colleagues Senator Barrasso and 
Senator Carper, as well as the leadership of the House Transportation 
and Infrastructure Committee, for all the hard work on this bipartisan 
legislation.
  When it comes to our waterways, infrastructure investment means jobs. 
It means the continued protection of clean water, and for us in the 
Northwest, it means helping us preserve our salmon populations.
  I am so happy that we have finally taken another step to strengthen 
the competitiveness of our ports in the Northwest. These are real jobs. 
In the future--near future--with this deepening, we will be able to 
serve larger cargo container ships, which will help us keep our 
competitiveness in moving product.
  While we move about $77 billion worth of products in Washington, we 
move much more than that from all States of the United States, moving 
through our ports. So while it sounds like an investment in two very 
large port infrastructures on the west coast, I guarantee you that it 
affects many Midwestern States and many products and the ability to 
cost-effectively ship to other parts of the world.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.
  Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, before my friend from Washington State 
leaves, I want to thank her for her advocacy on water infrastructure, 
and I agree with her that this is a great bipartisan bill. The 
distinguished Senator from Washington State mentioned Flint, MI, and I 
just want to thank her one more time. No one stood stronger with me and 
Senator Peters in trying to help the people in Flint, and I greatly 
appreciate her help, support, and advocacy.


                               Healthcare

  Mr. President, in addition to praising the water resources bill, 
which was a great bipartisan effort--there are some wonderful wins in 
there for Michigan--specifically at this moment, I want to speak about 
my deep regret that a little while ago, a very important resolution did 
not get the bipartisan votes necessary to pass on the Senate floor. 
That resolution, which failed, would have stopped the administration's 
short-term plan rule, which is gutting comprehensive healthcare and 
undermining people with preexisting conditions getting the healthcare 
they need and deserve.
  About half the families in Michigan have someone in their family with 
a preexisting condition. It could be anything from high blood pressure, 
to diabetes, to something like cancer or whatever other illness it 
might be. They are in a situation now, with these junk plans, as we 
call them, where they are going to be undermined, and they either won't 
be able to get any health insurance, or it will cost much, much more.
  I have often said that healthcare isn't political; it is personal. It 
is not political. We all care about being able to get the healthcare we 
need for ourselves, our children, our moms, and our dads. When a family 
has a child born with a seizure disorder, they aren't wondering whom 
their pediatrician voted for in the last election. When a single mom of 
two teenagers learns she has breast cancer, she is not concerned about 
who is up in the polls and who is down in the polls. When a senior is 
forced to make a decision between buying the medication that helps him 
breathe better or keeping his heat on, he is not interested in what is 
happening on Twitter.
  Healthcare isn't political--not to any person I represent or to me or 
my own family; it is personal, and it affects every one of our 
families, whether we are Democrats, Republicans, urban, rural, red 
States, and blue States. I wish we could come together and work on ways 
to provide more healthcare and reduce costs based on that premise--that 
it is personal, not political.
  When people tell me their healthcare stories, I can assure you that 
they don't start with their political affiliation because it doesn't 
matter; they simply want to know that the healthcare they depend on for 
themselves and their families will be there. That is why I am so 
concerned about the short-term, limited-duration insurance plans, which 
we are calling junk plans because that is what they are. They may be 
cheap, but they don't cover much, if anything, and you don't know until 
you get sick. Many of them are medically underwritten, meaning

[[Page S6756]]

that insurance companies can charge whatever they like based on the 
applicant's health, their gender, their age, their health status.
  Remember when being a woman was considered a preexisting condition? I 
certainly do. These plans are coming back. They are coming back through 
these junk plans. One recent study found that none of the plans cover 
maternity care. As a member of the Finance Committee, I led the fight 
to cover maternity care and birth control services and other preventive 
services for women. That is pretty basic for the women of this country. 
And if, as a man, you think you didn't need it, well, just ask your mom 
whether she did.
  On top of that, these plans can exclude people with preexisting 
conditions or impose yearly or lifetime caps on care. As I indicated, 
it is estimated that half of Michigan families include someone with a 
preexisting condition--everything from diabetes, to asthma, to 
arthritis, to cancer. Under the Affordable Care Act, we didn't have to 
worry about people with preexisting conditions being covered--until it 
began to be undermined through these new administrative rules put 
forward by the administration.
  Louisa is a beautiful little Michigan girl who was born with half a 
heart. I was so fortunate to meet her and her parents earlier this 
year. Louisa didn't ask for half a heart. She and her parents didn't do 
anything to cause it. Louisa didn't have a choice. She needs 
comprehensive health insurance.
  Unfortunately, that kind of insurance is getting less and less 
affordable. Thanks to short-term plans and other health insurance 
changes, comprehensive health insurance will cost over 12 percent more 
next year in Michigan than it would otherwise cost, and it is only 
getting worse.
  Louisa should be able to focus on starting school, growing up, 
learning to drive, going to college, and having a family of her own, 
not whether she will pay more for insurance, if she can get it, because 
she was born with a preexisting condition.
  Louisa isn't alone. She is just one of the estimated 130 million 
people in our country with preexisting conditions. That is 130 million 
people who could be hurt either directly or indirectly by these short-
term junk plans.
  Perhaps you are incredibly lucky, and nobody in your family has a 
preexisting condition. These short-term policies are a good choice, 
then, right? Well, just ask Sam, who came to DC earlier this year to 
share his story.
  Sam is self-employed. He owns a small landscape design business. In 
2016, Sam was shopping for health insurance. He had been healthy, aside 
from some back pain. He told his insurance broker that he had been to 
the chiropractor a number of times and that the chiropractor had taken 
x rays but had not been able to make a diagnosis for his back pain. The 
broker assured Sam that as long as he didn't have a diagnosis, he would 
be wasting his money if he bought anything other than a short-term 
insurance plan. Sam took her advice, thinking he was signing up for a 
quality health insurance plan that would meet his needs.
  Fast-forward to 2017 when at age 28 Sam was diagnosed with stage IV 
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. What he thought was simply back pain turned out 
to be an aggressive form of blood cancer. After 6 months of 
chemotherapy and radiation, Sam's cancer was in remission; however, his 
doctors told him that a bone marrow transplant was his only hope for a 
long-term cure.
  Then Sam heard from his insurance company. They refused to pay for 
any of his treatment--any of his treatment--even though he had 
insurance, including the bone marrow transplant, because they claimed 
the cancer was a preexisting condition even though his broker had told 
him that was not the case. Sam appealed this decision and endured nine 
additional rounds of chemotherapy to keep his cancer in remission. 
After months of waiting--months of waiting--his appeal was denied.

  Sam was left with no health insurance, no way to pay for a lifesaving 
bone marrow transplant and about $800,000 in medical bills, even though 
he had bought an insurance policy. Sam eventually was able to buy some 
real health insurance--the kind that covers you when you get sick--and 
get the bone marrow transplant he needed. He is healthy again, thank 
goodness, but his finances aren't.
  In his words: ``Instead of planning a life together with my 
girlfriend and a future for my business, I am kept up at night worrying 
about staying afloat, how to pay the next bill, how to avoid 
bankruptcy.''
  This is the story of too many people before the Affordable Care Act 
passed, requiring comprehensive coverage and requiring people with 
preexisting conditions to be able to get affordable coverage. As I said 
before, healthcare isn't political; it is personal. People with 
preexisting conditions deserve to know their insurance will be there 
when they need it. Families with a sick child deserve to focus on 
getting her better, not how they are going to pay the bill for the 
doctor, and small business owners like Sam deserve insurance that 
covers them while they are sick or hurt and doesn't leave them on the 
verge of bankruptcy.
  That is what we are talking about. These current plans undermine the 
capacity for people to be able to get real coverage. They are less 
expensive, but they don't cover much, if anything, and the problem is 
you don't know until you get sick. What we need and what everyone needs 
is the confidence that they are buying affordable insurance that will 
actually cover them and cover their families. Everyone deserves that 
kind of insurance. This isn't about politics; it is about protecting 
what is most precious--our families and our health. Unfortunately, 
because of the administration's actions, we are seeing tremendous 
rollbacks that are putting more and more power back into the hands of 
insurance companies that are making their decisions based on what is 
best for their profits, not what is best for families.
  I am very disappointed that we weren't able to stop that today, but I 
am going to continue to try, as are my Democratic colleagues. We are 
committed to doing everything we can to ensure that people in the 
greatest country in the world know they can have affordable healthcare 
coverage that actually covers their healthcare needs.
  Thank you.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.
  Mr. PETERS. Mr. President, the topic of healthcare affordability 
should unite us as a common cause. We all need healthcare, whether 
young or old or male or female, rich or poor.
  Not one of us will go through life without experiencing a major 
health concern. Even if we have a clean bill of health today, we all 
face the prospect of accidents, illnesses, and the inherent universal 
health challenges of aging.
  The Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but it has moved us toward a 
shared goal of making healthcare more affordable for everyone. Most 
significantly, the Affordable Care Act prevents insurers from denying 
coverage or increasing premiums because of a preexisting condition. 
This critical protection has been widely and wildly popular, and 
rightly so. If you don't have a preexisting condition, you probably 
have a family member who does.
  The Affordable Care Act also requires plans to cover a full set of 
benefits that enrollees will realistically need over the course of 
their lives, and, overall, it encourages Americans to get their health 
insurance so that they will have the appropriate support when they need 
it the most.
  I will be the first to recognize that there is room for improvement 
in our healthcare law, but we need to be working together to fix it, 
not allowing the Trump administration to continue its relentless push 
to undermine the affordability of healthcare. Since the beginning of 
his administration, President Trump has taken every possible step to 
weaken consumer protections in health insurance, all the while 
misinforming the public about what the real impact will be on their 
daily lives. But Americans right now are feeling the impact. For too 
many hard-working families, health insurance and healthcare costs are 
still not affordable. Today, premiums are going up, healthcare prices 
are soaring, and the burden of cost is increasingly shifted to the 
patient.
  We should be focused on ways to strengthen our healthcare system so 
that it lowers out-of-pocket costs, removes barriers to healthcare, and

[[Page S6757]]

incentivizes cost efficiency. But the flawed Trump administration 
policy the Senate voted on earlier today is a step in the wrong 
direction. It is a step toward terrible coverage for consumers who will 
not understand what their plan fails to cover until they need it.
  We are seeing yet another Trump administration effort to roll back 
parts of the Affordable Care Act that are actually working every day to 
help Americans. President Trump is creating a new loophole for some 
insurers to ignore the Affordable Care Act's central patient 
protections. This is moving us back toward a period where insurance 
companies could discriminate against Americans based on their 
conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and even pregnancy--
yes, even pregnancy. Millions of Michiganders rely on the Affordable 
Care Act's safeguards for preexisting condition coverage.
  Americans should have the power to choose their own healthcare, but 
unfortunately this administration has it backward. President Trump 
wants to give more power to insurers to not only choose who they cover 
but also what they cover.
  The Affordable Care Act's 10 essential healthcare benefits are truly 
just that; they are indeed essential. The list includes things like 
prescription drugs, hospitalizations, and preventive care. Before the 
Affordable Care Act, we saw insurance companies neglect to cover 
services like maternity care, substance abuse disorder treatment, and 
mental health care. These are all truly essential elements of any true 
plan.
  The Trump administration is allowing for risky plans that make 
insurance companies money while shifting costs to taxpayers and 
Michiganders who choose to cover these essential health benefits. The 
Trump policy will create a parallel market that targets only relatively 
healthy, less costly individuals, and that is why I am deeply 
disappointed by today's vote and the actions of this administration.
  The true message President Trump is sending to the public is that he 
wants you to be misinformed. He wants you to make bad decisions and buy 
these flawed plans, increasing the profits of insurers.
  American taxpayers will be left with the bill when patients find out 
that their insurance and all of the money they have put into that 
insurance over so many years simply does not cover their healthcare 
needs when they need it the most.
  No matter where you live, how much money you make, or what your 
health record looks like, no one should be forced to make the 
impossible choice between seeking medical assistance or paying the 
bills for other basic necessities. Regardless of what the health 
condition is or when it arises, all Americans deserve certainty that 
their decision to go to a doctor will not push them into bankruptcy.
  Let's be clear that any Member who voted to support the Trump 
administration's efforts to undermine the ACA casts a vote today 
against coverage protections for preexisting conditions and against 
affordable, quality healthcare for all American families.
  Thank you.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.
  Ms. CORTEZ MASTO. Thank you, Mr. President.
  I rise today to share the story of one of my friends, Jesse 
Kleinedler. Jesse and her husband own and operate one of Reno's most 
successful small businesses--the Under the Rose Brewing Company. They 
are also the proud parents of a beautiful baby boy. Jesse, her family, 
and their business are doing great. But when I met Jesse last year, she 
told me her path to this point in life had not been easy.
  In 2012, Jesse left her job at a large firm--and the health insurance 
it provided--to pursue her dream of starting a brewery with her husband 
Scott. About 1 year later, she learned that she was pregnant. During a 
routine checkup 9 weeks before her due date, Jesse's midwife advised 
her to see an OB/GYN. Jesse didn't feel sick, so she hesitated, but the 
midwife urged her to go see a specialist anyway.
  Midway through her visit, the OB/GYN became concerned that Jesse's 
life was in danger. He diagnosed her with preeclampsia and rushed her 
to the hospital. Jesse's son was born a few hours later via emergency 
C-section. The doctors who delivered her baby agreed that had Jesse 
waited even 24 hours to see an OB/GYN, both she and her son would have 
died.
  In no uncertain terms, Jesse told me that she and her son owe their 
lives to the Affordable Care Act. Without the affordable coverage 
having been purchased on the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, 
Jesse would not have been able to have seen a specialist, and she and 
her husband, certainly, would not have been able to have afforded the 
$1 million in medical costs Jesse's son incurred over the course of a 
months-long stay in the NICU.
  Jesse's son is now a happy, thriving toddler, but he has a medical 
issue that interferes with his growth. Jesse and Scott, her husband, 
fear that President Trump's efforts to roll back protections for people 
with preexisting conditions will make it impossible for them to afford 
their son's health insurance.
  Donald Trump has not yet been able to get the support in Congress he 
needs in order to repeal protections for people with preexisting 
conditions, but he has taken steps to circumvent the wheel of Congress 
and hack away at these protections bit by bit.
  In August, he signed an Executive order to expand access to what are 
called junk plans. These are health insurance plans that don't cover 
essential services like prescription drugs, emergency room visits, or 
maternity care. These plans are designed for short-term use only and 
don't include protections for people with preexisting conditions. That 
means, if you sign up for one of these plans and are a cancer survivor 
or are a pregnant woman or are a war veteran, you could be charged a 
higher rate. It also means you could be forced to pay tens of thousands 
of dollars out of pocket for the care you receive in an emergency.
  Junk plans come in all shapes and sizes, but none of them comply with 
consumer protections established by the Affordable Care Act. The Kaiser 
Family Foundation looked at junk plans in 45 States and found that 43 
percent did not include coverage for mental health services, that 71 
percent did not cover outpatient prescription drugs, and that not a 
single one covered maternity care.
  Junk plans appear to be cheaper than comprehensive health insurance 
plans--that is, until you read the fine print. Junk plans have low 
monthly premiums and astronomical out-of-pocket costs. President 
Trump's Executive order allows insurance companies to trick consumers 
into signing up for these plans. Consumers think they are getting a 
good deal, only to find out, as soon as they get sick, that their 
medical bills are not covered.
  The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network says junk plans 
pose ``a serious threat to cancer patients' ability to access quality, 
affordable health coverage.'' It also says the present administration's 
rule will likely leave older and sicker Americans in the individual 
insurance marketplace, with few, if any, affordable health coverage 
choices and that patients who are living with serious conditions will 
be left paying more for the coverage they need if they can afford 
coverage at all.
  President Trump's Executive order to expand access to junk plans is 
not just an attack on our healthcare system, it is an attempt to send 
us back to the days when families like Jesse's could not afford the 
healthcare they needed. Jesse told me she owes her life to the health 
insurance she purchased through the ACA. Where would Jesse and her 
family be without it? What if she had not been able to afford a 
comprehensive plan? What if she had purchased a junk plan instead?
  There are 1.2 million Nevadans who live with preexisting conditions. 
That is nearly one in two. That number includes nearly 159,000 children 
and nearly 270,000 people who are nearing retirement. The junk plans 
rule directly threatens their healthcare.
  Heather Korbulic, who is the executive director of the Silver State 
Health Insurance Exchange, summed up the risk junk plans pose.
  She said: ``[Junk plans] are designed to basically take your 
preexisting condition and charge you more or tell you that you can't be 
on those plans at all.''

[[Page S6758]]

  She continued: ``If they find that you've not disclosed a preexisting 
medical condition . . . then you're left high and dry with no 
insurance.''
  I don't want to go back to a world where Nevadans with preexisting 
conditions can't get the care they need or where insurance companies 
aren't required to cover basic services like maternity care.
  I was a proud cosponsor of Senator Tammy Baldwin's resolution to 
overturn President Trump's Executive order. In failing to pass this 
resolution, the U.S. Senate has done a profound disservice to families 
and communities all across the country. I will continue fighting to 
restore protections against junk plans, and I encourage all of my 
colleagues to do the same.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Dakota.


                                Economy

  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, 2 years ago, when Republicans took control 
of the White House as well as of Congress, we promised the American 
people that growing the economy was going to be our No. 1 priority, and 
we got right to work.
  Under the Obama administration, American workers and businesses faced 
a lot of obstacles, including burdensome regulations and an outdated 
Tax Code that acted as a drag on economic growth, so we immediately 
focused on removing burdensome regulations. Then we focused on 
developing a historic, comprehensive reform of our Tax Code, which was 
signed into law last December. Now, the Tax Code isn't necessarily the 
first thing people think of when they think of economic growth, but the 
Tax Code has a huge impact on our economy.
  It helps to determine how much money individuals and families have to 
spend and save. It helps to determine whether a small business can 
expand and hire. A small business owner who faces a huge tax bill is 
highly unlikely to be able to expand her business or hire a new 
employee. The Tax Code helps to determine whether large businesses 
hire, grow, and invest in the United States. A large business is going 
to find it pretty hard to create jobs or improve benefits for employees 
if it is struggling to stay competitive against foreign businesses that 
pay much less in taxes. A large business is also unlikely to keep jobs 
and investment in the United States if the Tax Code makes it vastly 
more expensive to hire American workers.
  Prior to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last December, our 
Tax Code was not helping our economy or American families. It was doing 
just the opposite so we took action.
  We cut tax rates for American families, doubled the child tax credit, 
and nearly doubled the standard deduction. We lowered tax rates across 
the board for owners of small and medium-sized businesses, farms, and 
ranches. We lowered our Nation's massive corporate tax rate, which, up 
until January 1, was the highest corporate tax rate in the developed 
world. We expanded business owners' ability to recover the cost of 
investments they make in their businesses, which frees up cash that 
they can reinvest in their operations and their workers, and we brought 
the U.S. international tax system into the 21st century so American 
businesses would not be operating at a competitive disadvantage next to 
their foreign counterparts.
  Now we are seeing the results. The economy is thriving. Our economy 
grew at a robust 4.2 percent in the second quarter of this year. The 
unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 1969--almost 50 years 
ago. Think about that. In other words, it has been almost 50 years 
since the last time unemployment was at this low level.
  More than 1.8 million jobs have been created since the Tax Cuts and 
Jobs Act was signed into law. Wages are growing at the best rate in 
years, and incomes are up 4.2 percent. Businesses are bringing money 
back into the United States, and business investment is up--from an 
average of 1.8 percent before the 2016 election to an average of 10 
percent so far this year. Small business optimism is at historic 
levels. Consumer confidence is at an 18-year high. The list goes on.
  Those are a lot of stats, but they basically boil down to one thing; 
that is, that life is getting better for American families. Incomes are 
growing, and families have access to more jobs and opportunities and 
better benefits. That means fewer families have to live paycheck to 
paycheck, that an unexpected car repair or doctor bill is less 
devastating, that it is easier to afford that family vacation or the 
fees for piano lessons, and that more families have money to save for 
their kids' college or for their retirement.
  That was the goal--getting the economy thriving again so American 
families can thrive. I am proud to say, we are succeeding. I am proud 
that our policies are making life better for American families. Yet we 
are not stopping there. We are going to keep working to secure the 
gains we have made for the long term and make sure every American has 
access to a future of security and opportunity.


                       Tribute to Chuck Grassley

  Mr. President, I want to take a brief moment to express my gratitude 
to the Judiciary Committee chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley, for his 
leadership over the past months as we worked to confirm Judge--now 
Justice--Kavanaugh.
  Every Supreme Court confirmation process is a somewhat arduous 
affair, but Chairman Grassley had to contend with more than an 
increased workload. He had to contend with Democratic colleagues who 
did everything they could to delay and disrupt the process and to taint 
Justice Kavanaugh's confirmation. Yet no matter what tactics the 
Democrats resorted to, from interrupting the confirmation hearing to 
withholding critical information, Chairman Grassley stayed above the 
fray. He carried on with what needed to be done, whether that was 
compiling information from Justice Kavanaugh's time in the White House 
or interviewing witnesses. He made sure the entire confirmation process 
was thorough and fair, and he ensured that Dr. Ford and Justice 
Kavanaugh were treated with dignity and respect.
  I am grateful we had him at the helm of the Judiciary Committee 
during this process, and I am grateful that, once again, he helped to 
put an outstandingly qualified Justice on the Supreme Court.


                         Tribute to Nikki Haley

  Mr. President, I also want to take just a minute to recognize the 
outstanding work that Nikki Haley has done as the U.S. Ambassador to 
the United Nations.
  Ambassador Haley has been a terrific ambassador and a real leader on 
the President's foreign policy team. She has been a clear, unequivocal 
voice for the principles our country values, and she has been a tough 
and outspoken critic of the tyrannical regimes that threaten our 
country and the free world.
  I am sure the President will choose an excellent replacement, but 
Nikki Haley will be a tough act to follow. I wish her all the best as 
she begins her next chapter. She will be missed.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Lee). Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that at the 
conclusion of my remarks, the Senator from New Hampshire, Senator 
Shaheen, be recognized. She will be picking up at the end of my 
remarks.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                             Climate Change

  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, it is a real pleasure to be joined 
here today on the Senate floor by Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New 
Hampshire. Senator Shaheen has been a tireless advocate for clean 
energy and is the Senate's bipartisan champion on energy efficiency, 
alongside Senator Portman.
  The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a major 
warning last week. Ninety-one authors and editors from 40 countries 
reviewed more than 6,000 scientific papers to assess what it would take 
to hold global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial 
levels. The report says that we will need to invest roughly five times 
what we do now in low-

[[Page S6759]]

carbon energy and energy efficiency by 2050. The Shaheen-Portman energy 
efficiency legislation would help move us toward that target.
  The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says that the 
bill would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 650 million metric 
tons over a 15-year period. The cumulative net savings from the bill 
would reach nearly $100 billion.
  My State of Rhode Island is a national leader in promoting energy 
efficiency, so we know how good programs like the Shaheen-Portman 
reforms are for consumers, for businesses, and for the environment. 
Rhode Island has consistently ranked among the top States for energy 
efficiency. This year, we are in the top three on the State Energy 
Efficiency Scorecard.
  To keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the IPCC tells us we 
need renewables to grow to about half of the world's energy mix by 2030 
and to perhaps 80 percent of the world's energy mix by midcentury. Coal 
in the global electricity mix needs to be mostly phased out by 2050.
  The fossil fuel industry's front groups, of which there is a 
considerable legion, tell us that this will raise costs on consumers, 
but renewables are now beating fossil fuel power on cost, and renewable 
costs are still falling.
  In a recent report on global energy trends, Deloitte notes:

       Solar and wind power recently crossed a new threshold. . . 
     . Already among the cheapest energy sources globally, solar 
     and wind have much further to go.

  The Deloitte report shows the top solar States here in yellow, the 
top wind States here in blue, and these two--Texas and California--are 
in green because they are leaders in both wind and solar.
  If you look at the top 20 U.S. solar and wind States, three-quarters 
of those States have electricity prices below the national average, so 
clearly renewables don't hurt energy costs. By the way, these States 
include some of the reddest politically, including Oklahoma, Kansas, 
Nebraska, North Dakota, Iowa, and Texas.
  The cost transition with renewables coming down through the price of 
fossil fuel is showing up in U.S. solar projects' purchased-power 
agreements. You can see in this chart from Greentech Media that over 
time, solar generation costs have come down in line with new-built 
natural gas generation. That is what this band is. This is the price 
for new-built natural gas generation.
  This dot here represents a new project by NextEra Energy to sell 
power to the southern Arizona utility, Tucson Electric Power, from a 
100-megawatt solar array with an accompanying 30-megawatt energy 
storage system for $45 per megawatt hour, right in line with new 
natural gas plants. One industry analyst suggested that this facility 
effectively took the place of a peak-demand gas plant.
  Defenders of old, dirty energy sources paint renewables as 
unreliable, as intermittent, but Deloitte's report finds that 
renewables have actually proven ``to strengthen grid resilience and 
reliability.'' Integrating renewable capacity into the grid has gone 
well in practice, and FERC analyses predict increased renewable uses to 
improve grid security and resiliency.
  The grid operator in Iowa, the most heavily wind-powered State, 
figured out a while ago the algorithms to treat wind across its grid as 
baseload. When you pair wind or solar projects with battery storage, 
like that NextEra project, then individual renewable projects become 
baseload power sources. You don't have to aggregate and run algorithms; 
that is a new baseload source.
  The transition involves batteries, and batteries are booming. Wood 
Mackenzie Power & Renewables projects worldwide storage capacity 
currently around 6 gigawatt hours to grow tenfold, to at least 65 
gigawatt hours by 2022; 2022 is right around the corner--a tenfold 
growth.
  Costs are falling fast. Lithium-ion batteries are down in price 80 
percent since 2010, just in these 7 years. That is an 80-percent drop 
in price.
  Regulators are adapting. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 
just finalized a new rule--a unanimous and bipartisan new rule--for 
energy storage on America's electric grids.
  One study has predicted the rule could spur 50 gigawatts of 
additional energy storage across the United States, enough to power 
roughly 35 million homes.
  Energy storage is actually coming to market already. The Colorado 
State Public Utility Commission just unanimously approved an Xcel 
Energy Program to build $2.5 billion in renewable energy and battery 
storage, to retire 660 megawatts of coal-fired power, shutting down 
ongoing plants for cheaper, new renewable battery combinations. The 
request for bids didn't just smoke out this one bid; it brought out a 
flood of renewable energy proposals at costs that beat out existing 
coal and natural gas facilities.
  The IPCC warning was particularly serious and specific about the 
urgent choices before us, and we, too, need to be serious about a new 
direction to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. 
Renewable energy and energy efficiency are our pathways in that 
direction, along with a new technology--trapping carbon emissions to 
use or store them, even pulling carbon dioxide straight from the air.
  These carbon-captured technologies have been starved without revenue 
because of a failure in energy market economics, which is that there is 
no revenue proposition for capturing carbon pollution. Which brings me 
to the Nobel Prize in economics just won by William D. Nordhaus of Yale 
University.

  Nordhaus aligns with the well-established market economics that 
polluters should pay for damage to the environment and to public 
health. That is econ 101. Without that, the price signal, which is at 
the heart of market economics, is off, and subsidies result. The market 
fails. And when the International Monetary Fund estimates the fossil 
fuel subsidy at $700 billion per year just in the United States, that 
is a massive market failure.
  Nordhaus recommends that we correct the enormous market failure which 
the fossil fuel industry now so busily protects politically. ``There is 
basically no alternative to a market solution,'' Nordhaus said in 
response to the Nobel Prize award. ``The incentives,'' he said, ``are 
market prices--to raise the price of goods and services that are carbon 
intensive and lower the ones that are less carbon intensive.''
  The science on this, as I think most of us understand, is firmly 
established, and the economics are widely understood. It is the 
politics that keep getting in the way--the fossil fuel industry dark 
money politics.
  ``This is the last frontier of climate change,'' said Nordhaus. ``I 
think we understand the science,'' he said. ``I think we understand the 
economics of abatement,'' he said. He said: ``We understand pretty much 
the damages. But we don't understand how to bring countries together. 
That is where the real frontier work is going on today.''
  America should be leading at this frontier, not lagging. Lost in our 
fossil fuel politics, we are failing in leadership. History will not be 
kind with our failure.
  It is well past time for Congress to wake up.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor to my distinguished colleague from 
New Hampshire, saluting her once again for the leadership that I 
remarked on at the beginning of my remarks in working with Senator 
Portman to be the Senate's bipartisan leader on energy efficiency.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Mr. President, I thank my colleague Senator Whitehouse, 
not just for those kind words but for all of the work he has done and 
continues to do. For the last 6 years, Senator Whitehouse has come to 
the floor of this Senate week after week, every week, to talk about 
climate change and to talk about its effects throughout the United 
States and around the globe and our need to take action to address this 
crisis.
  Thank you very much, Senator Whitehouse, for your leadership.
  Climate change is real, and it is a present threat to our planet. 
Senator Whitehouse talked about some of the science involved with that. 
It is very clear to anybody who has looked at the science who doesn't 
have a political agenda that this is real. It is a threat, and we need 
to address it.
  In New Hampshire, we are already seeing the impacts of climate change 
in so many ways. Rising temperatures

[[Page S6760]]

are shortening our fall foliage season, they are disrupting our maple 
syrup production, and they are shortening our ski seasons and our 
snowmobiling. Ice-out occurs earlier each year on our lakes. They are 
causing sea level rise that can imperil businesses and homes along our 
seacoast.
  The strains on our fisheries and the increases of insect-borne 
diseases that endanger our wildlife can all be tied to the effects of 
climate change.
  I have here a photo that I think it is important for people to see. 
Moose have been one of New Hampshire's iconic wildlife representatives, 
to put it, I guess, the easiest way. The moose are something that we 
are very proud of in New Hampshire. We have seen them in the wildest 
parts of our State, some even as far south as where I live in southern 
New Hampshire. What we are seeing as the result of climate change is a 
40-percent reduction in the moose in New Hampshire. As I said, that is 
happening because of increases in insect-borne diseases.
  If we look very closely at this picture, it looks like there are 
little round balls on this moose. Those are ticks. Those are ticks that 
have been able to attach to the moose and, in so many cases, kill the 
moose. They are there because it is not getting cold enough in our 
winters to kill off those ticks, so they multiply in such numbers that 
they attach to the moose and they kill them. You can see this is a 
distressed moose that has been affected by those ticks. She shouldn't 
look like this, but it is the ticks. Those insect-borne diseases are 
also responsible for something called brain worm that affects moose as 
well.
  So for our hunters and the people who enjoy the outdoors and wildlife 
viewing, that is being threatened now because of climate change.
  The beautiful maples that produce maple syrup and that produce such 
beautiful colors in our fall foliage are being threatened because of 
climate change. The estimate is that in several decades, we will no 
longer see either moose or maple trees in New Hampshire because they 
will have been forced out because the warming temperatures will mean 
they can no longer survive.
  Climate change is also affecting the public health of New Hampshire 
citizens. Rising temperatures increase smog levels. They heighten the 
effects of allergy season. They increase the number of children with 
asthma. New Hampshire has one of the highest childhood asthma rates in 
the country, and that has gotten worse because of climate change.
  Scientists have proven without a doubt that CO2 and other 
greenhouse gases are the primary culprits for the climate changes that 
we are seeing and that human activity has increased the concentration 
of these greenhouse gases.
  If we are going to stop global warming, the United States must reduce 
its greenhouse gas emissions in every sector, starting with how we 
produce and consume energy.
  One of the things that I have learned since my days as Governor is 
that the easiest, fastest way to reduce our energy use is through 
energy efficiency. It is without a doubt America's largest energy 
resource. It has contributed more to our Nation's energy needs over the 
last 40 years than any other fuel source. Without the economy-wide 
improvements in energy efficiency that have occurred since 1973, it is 
estimated that today's economy would require 60 percent more energy 
than we are now consuming. In fact, savings from energy efficiency 
improvements over the last 40 years have reduced our national energy 
bill by an estimated $800 billion--with a ``b''--all while growing and 
expanding our economy. Put another way, in the last 40 years, we have 
saved more energy through energy efficiency than we have 
produced through fossil fuels and nuclear power combined. So think 
about that. Think about the potential of energy efficiency in 
addressing our energy needs.

  Energy efficiency is also the largest sector within the U.S. clean 
energy economy. It employs nearly 2.25 million Americans nationwide, 
and the majority of those people work in our small businesses. We know 
that small businesses create about two-thirds of the new jobs in this 
country. They are overwhelmingly responsible for innovation. Sixteen 
times more patents are produced by small businesses. So this is where 
innovation is going on, and it is going on in energy efficiency.
  Just to reiterate, energy efficiency measures have proven time and 
time again to be the easiest and most cost-effective way to address 
climate change, while reducing energy costs and creating private sector 
jobs.
  The thing that I like about energy efficiency is that you don't have 
to live in a certain part of the country and you don't have to be a 
proponent of other types of fuel sources to appreciate and to support 
energy efficiency. Everyone benefits from energy efficiency.
  Unfortunately, since he took office, President Trump and his 
administration have proposed policies that seek to undermine America's 
clean energy economy and delay our progress toward addressing climate 
change. The administration has proposed rollbacks to clean car 
standards that will force Americans to pay more at the gas pump and 
harm our environment.
  Here is a chart that shows very clearly what rolling back CAFE 
standards--the vehicle emissions requirements--would do. By 2035, the 
rollback would add at least 158 million metric tons of carbon dioxide 
annually. It would increase U.S. fuel consumption by 13.9 billion 
gallons per year. This is according to the American Council for an 
Energy-Efficient Economy. If we think about that in terms of fossil 
fuels--this fuel consumption--that is more fuel than we import from 
Iraq or Venezuela each year. Think about what that will mean for 
increased consumption.
  The administration has also proposed to replace the Clean Power Plan 
with regulations that would relax standards for powerplants at the 
expense and well-being of current and future generations. Appliance 
efficiency standards have been frozen in place. After four decades with 
energy efficiency as a bipartisan cornerstone of Federal energy policy, 
the President has once again proposed profound cuts to energy 
efficiency and to renewable energy programs at the Department of 
Energy.
  For those of us who support energy efficiency, there can be only one 
response to these rollbacks: We must address them head-on, and we must 
redouble our efforts to keep America on the right track.
  As a result of bipartisan efforts in the House and Senate--as I said, 
energy efficiency is one thing that we can get behind, Republicans and 
Democrats--last month the President signed into law a spending bill 
that includes increased investments for clean energy programs at the 
Department of Energy--something that has enjoyed strong bipartisan 
support.
  In addition to increasing those investments, this appropriations bill 
marks the first time since 2009--so the first time since I have been in 
the Senate--that the Department of Energy will secure its funding 
before the start of a fiscal year. This financial certainty will 
strengthen these programs and the industries they support.
  The passage of the Energy and Water appropriations bill that we did 
today demonstrates that Congress remains committed to advancing 
commonsense, bipartisan policies that will strengthen our Nation's 
energy efficiency.
  Just last week, this Senate adopted a bipartisan resolution that was 
sponsored by Senator Portman of Ohio and me, along with 19 of our 
colleagues, that recognizes the economic and environmental benefits 
that energy efficiency has contributed to this country. Senator Portman 
and I are also committed to advancing our legislation to spur energy 
efficiency innovation and other initiatives across the most energy-
intensive sectors of our economy. Senator Whitehouse talked about the 
efforts that we have engaged in over the last 7 years. We have 
introduced our bill into Congress in each Congress over the past 7 
years. Each time, we are getting a little more momentum in getting this 
through. We have gotten certain provisions of the bill through in the 
last two Congresses.
  It has been far too long since Congress passed a comprehensive energy 
bill, so it is time for us to work together to pass an energy bill that 
includes energy efficiency. This is bipartisan legislation. If it were 
brought to the floor today, I guarantee you it would pass 
overwhelmingly, and it would improve our Nation's energy policies and 
help to grow the economy.

[[Page S6761]]

  We have some great examples of what is being done, and Senator 
Whitehouse talked about some of what is being done around the country 
to address energy efficiency and reduce our energy use.
  New Hampshire, like Rhode Island, is one of the States that are part 
of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. At the State, local, and 
grassroots levels, individuals, businesses, and governments are rising 
to the challenge by intensifying their efforts to advance energy 
efficiency and clean energy.
  This chart shows what has happened in the States that have been part 
of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Carbon pollution has gone 
down 51 percent, and electricity prices are down 6.4 percent. For us in 
New England, where we have very high energy costs, that is very 
positive. So if you don't support energy efficiency for any other 
reason, you should support it because it reduces costs. Look at how 
much in energy savings to consumers: $773 million.
  Since 2009, the nine States in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative 
have outperformed the national average in terms of all of these 
measures. Because the majority of proceeds are invested in energy 
efficiency, they have allowed electricity prices to fall, and they have 
saved consumers millions on their energy bills. As we look in the 
outyears, billions more are expected in savings, thanks to those 
investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy under the 
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

  In August of 2017, RGGI's nine States agreed to strengthen their 
program by reducing greenhouse gas emissions at least 30 percent more 
by 2030. New Hampshire and other RGGI States have shown the Nation that 
States can make smart clean energy choices that benefit the environment 
while strengthening the economy. For those who say we need a market-
driven approach to addressing climate change, this is a perfect example 
of that.
  Climate change represents an enormous challenge, but solutions are 
within reach if we put into place policies that will allow for swift 
action. We have a responsibility to help protect our children and 
grandchildren from the severe consequences of global warming. We have 
to start now, and we have to start with energy efficiency.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor, and I note that my allergies are a 
result of that climate change.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. SULLIVAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                         Tribute to Lisa Sauder

  Mr. SULLIVAN. Mr. President, as the Presiding Officer knows, I have 
been coming down here nearly every week--usually Wednesday or 
Thursday--for the last 2 years to talk about somebody who is making a 
big difference in my State, the great State of Alaska. I call this 
person our Alaskan of the Week.
  Most of the people who visit Alaska do so in the summer--I was 
honored the Presiding Officer and his family came up to visit this 
summer--and we know that is understandable, to come up when the Sun is 
high in the sky, but this time of year is truly magnificent in my great 
State. To borrow a phrase that is no doubt familiar to many, including 
some of the pages: Winter is coming. Winter is coming.
  Every day, the Sun comes up later and sets earlier. Snow is already 
on the ground in some places in Alaska. In some places in the State, 
the mountains are dusted--termination dust, we call it--and that dust 
is quickly turning into deep snow and making its way down the 
mountains. It will not be long before it spreads out all throughout our 
communities in Anchorage and other cities. The whole State is crackling 
with energy to get ready for the long winter, like we do every year.
  For some, though--particularly for the hungry and the homeless--
winter in Alaska can be incredibly difficult and incredibly 
challenging. Actually, as we all know here, for the hungry and the 
homeless any time of the year can be incredibly difficult and 
challenging.
  In Anchorage, there is a place where everyone, no matter who you are, 
is greeted with dignity, respect, and a hot meal. The place is called 
Bean's Cafe, and the person who makes sure it all happens and comes 
together is Lisa Sauder, the executive director of Bean's Cafe, and 
Lisa is our Alaskan of the Week.
  Let me tell you a little bit about Lisa. She was born in Anchorage 
and moved to the west coast with her parents when she was a young 
teenager. When she graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree 
in communications and political science, she was on her way back home 
to Alaska. ``Alaska always calls you when you leave it,'' she said. 
``It's always the place that feels most like home.''
  She worked at a local bank and the Anchorage Convention and Visitors 
Center, where she was able to travel all around the country to talk 
people into visiting our great State, particularly in the off seasons 
like fall, like now. Then her husband's job took them to the east 
coast, where they stayed for some time, but, once again, Alaska 
beckoned, and they returned.
  Shortly after coming back home again, Lisa saw an ad to help run 
Bean's Cafe, and she knew she had to go for it. She knew that passion 
was in her heart. The fact that it is completely local and completely 
community supported was a huge lure to her, she said but so was helping 
and working with the homeless throughout the State.
  Lisa's uncle, for example, was a Vietnam veteran with mental health 
challenges after serving in Vietnam. For decades, he lived on the 
streets in Seattle. She saw the pain that her uncle's homelessness 
caused her mom and the rest of the family, and of course her uncle, but 
then he got help at a place like Bean's Cafe, and she also saw the 
positive impact that not only had on her uncle but the entire family, 
the entire community.
  Bean's is an Anchorage institution. It serves breakfast and lunch 
every day--about 950 meals a day--to the hungry and the homeless. This 
requires the work of about 120 volunteers a day. People from all across 
the community come to help out. On any given day, you will see a 
business executive, maybe a pastor, a construction worker, 
politicians--so many, from all walks of life--serving food to the 
homeless and hungry. We have also seen the recipients of that 
generosity of food volunteering themselves, all of them--such a 
supportive community--working together to help one another.
  Bean's is so much more than a place for a meal. It serves as a 
mailing address for their clients. It is a place where you can call a 
loved one, a place to get some dry socks, a hat and a coat, warm 
clothing for the cold winter. You can get help with your VA benefits. 
You can get help finding a job or it is a place to get out from the 
cold for a few hours.
  Lisa said:

       Oftentimes, the day that someone walks into Bean's Cafe is 
     the worst day of that person's life. And we're there to greet 
     them with compassion and respect.

  Lisa has also expanded the program to include a very popular program 
now in Anchorage called Children's Lunchbox, which provides after-
school and weekend meals for children. All told, between the meals 
served at Bean's and for the Children's Lunchbox, under Lisa's 
guidance, leadership, and passion, more than 700,000 meals were served 
last year.
  Lisa loves her job. She loves how supportive the community is. She 
loves watching people grow and helping them get the help they need--and 
then their coming back to help others. She said:

       We're all very fortunate here. We get to help people, 
     [which is a passion]. Not everybody can say that.

  Lisa's work extends far beyond Bean's Cafe and the Children's 
Lunchbox. She is also very involved in Alaska's recovery community--
recovery from addiction, particularly in the past few years.
  Anchorage, AK, like the rest of the community, isn't immune to what 
is happening all across the country with regard to the opioid and 
heroin crisis. The good news is, we are working in the Senate and in 
the House on this issue. We just passed a bill, a very important bill, 
that will help States and communities address this, but we have a long 
way to go.
  Too many young people--people of all ages--are being lost to us 
because of this horrible epidemic, and, unfortunately and very 
tragically, Lisa's son

[[Page S6762]]

Tucker, 23 years old, was one of those we lost. She has put the pain--
the deep pain of losing her son--to good work. She has turned into a 
fierce advocate for those suffering from addiction. She talks about 
Tucker often, wanting people to know that this can happen to anyone. 
That is why we need to continue to focus.
  Through her work and the work of so many advocates across the State, 
people are finally getting the help they need. Lisa said:

       The peer mentorship that is going on right now is saving 
     lives. So much progress has been made. There are so many 
     people who have really helped to shine a light on the issue.

  Lisa is such a force for good in my State. She has tenacity, grit, 
courage, and a huge heart. She is doing so many things. For that, we 
want to thank Lisa for all she is doing.
  Congratulations on being our Alaskan of the Week.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.


                               Healthcare

  Mr. BROWN. Mr. President, today in the Senate we were faced with two 
opportunities to side with cancer patients over insurance companies. In 
our country, almost everybody would say that we ought to side with the 
cancer patients over the insurance companies, but the Senate failed 
again in both cases. Let me explain.
  Today, as we considered this, we wanted to make clear whose side we 
are on. The side the Senate chose, and it looks like the Judiciary 
Committee chose, is not the side of patients.
  This morning, I testified at the Judiciary Committee's hearing on the 
White House's two nominees to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Chad 
Readler and Eric Murphy. Both of these men have a troubling record of 
stripping Ohioans of their rights, and Mr. Readler's actions on 
healthcare are particularly threatening to millions of Americans--not 
just the 5 million Ohioans who have preexisting conditions but millions 
of Americans with preexisting conditions. Five million Ohioans under 
age 65, as I said, have preexisting conditions. That is half the 
population in my State.
  Because of the Affordable Care Act, these Ohioans can rest a little 
easier, knowing they can't be turned down for health coverage or have 
their rates skyrocket because their child has asthma or their husband 
has diabetes or their wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Mr. 
Readler is willing to take that peace of mind away and throw those 
families into financial chaos.
  This summer, he did what three career attorneys with the Department 
of Justice refused to do. He filed a brief challenging the law that 
protects Americans with preexisting conditions. The next day, the White 
House appointed him to a Federal circuit court judgeship. Filing this 
brief earned him rebukes from across the legal community. Three 
attorneys withdrew from the case, and one actually resigned in 
objection to the Department of Justice's unprecedented action.
  Our Republican Senate colleague from Tennessee, Mr. Alexander, called 
the brief ``as far-fetched as any [he has] ever heard.'' Mr. Readler 
had no problem putting his name right at the top and filing it.
  We should not be putting on the bench for life anyone who puts 
partisanship ahead of cancer patients or ahead of people with diabetes 
or ahead of someone with high blood pressure or ahead of Americans' 
healthcare.
  Unfortunately, the White House is also chipping away at the ability 
of Ohioans with preexisting conditions to get affordable coverage that 
actually covers their conditions. Again, we are talking about 5 million 
Ohioans, tens of millions of Americans. You can talk about anxiety and 
autism. You can talk about heart disease or heartburn, cholesterol, 
stroke, thyroid issues. We are talking about families. We are talking 
about neighbors. We are talking about some of the people in this body.
  Everyone here, by the way, takes care of themselves. We all have good 
health insurance. We don't mind, apparently, denying it to millions of 
others.
  Some Senators think it is fine to let insurance companies sell junk 
to our constituents back home. These insurance policies are just that: 
They are junk. They are insurance until you need the insurance. 
Allowing insurance companies to sell these plans drives up healthcare 
for everyone. They weaken protection for anyone with a preexisting 
condition.
  Under their new rules, insurance companies could force Americans with 
preexisting conditions into these junk plans--and ``junk'' is the right 
word--that barely cover anything. They can charge exorbitant, 
unaffordable rates for a decent plan.
  Half of my colleagues--exactly half--voted for Senator Baldwin's 
motion. Senator Baldwin, from Wisconsin, has been a hero on this. Half 
of my colleagues--all with health insurance paid for by taxpayers--have 
told the people: Sorry, you are on your own. We are letting the 
insurance companies do whatever they want--rip you off, hike up your 
costs. That is the way it goes.
  It all comes down to whose side you are on. Chad Readler, the 
President's nomination for the Sixth Circuit, has made it clear: He 
stands with insurance companies, not with cancer patients. The 
administration has made it clear: They stand with insurance companies, 
not kids with asthma.
  Today, the Senate chose to stand with those insurance companies over 
their constituents who need prescription medicines.


                          Honoring Journalists

  Mr. President, a free, independent press is critical to our 
democracy. Reporters do vital work, not just in Washington but around 
the country. They shine a light on the important issues in our 
communities. Right now, that means covering the addiction crisis that 
grips our country.
  Today alone--if today is an average day in Ohio, as I assume it is--
11 people will die of an opioid overdose. Yesterday, 11 died. Tomorrow, 
11 will die. Friday, 11 will die.
  We have been working bipartisanly to help get communities the 
resources they need. This month we passed a bipartisan package to fight 
opioid addiction. It is a start. We need more help from a generally 
disengaged White House. We need a State government to get out from 
under its corruption, day to day, that afflicts it and get out and do 
what they should be doing to fight opioid addiction.
  Everyone has a role to play. Local journalists do vital work keeping 
Ohioans informed of all the resources we have in our State. That is 
why, this week, I want to highlight another story in an Ohio paper 
informing the public, reported by a journalist serving his community.
  I remind my colleagues that the media are not the enemy of the 
people, as the White House likes to say, but they serve our 
communities. They live in our communities. They are part of our 
communities. They fight for our communities.
  Joshua Keeran reported for the Delaware Gazette about Maryhaven, a 
local addiction and mental health treatment center. Maryhaven is 
Central Ohio's oldest and most comprehensive treatment center. It has 
been a great partner to my office in our work, along with Senator 
Portman, to help Ohioans fighting addiction.
  In my conversations with Maryhaven clients, it is clear what a 
difference this organization makes in so many lives in Central Ohio. 
Mr. Keeran reported on Maryhaven's Families in Recovery Program, which 
provides education, training, and counseling support to families 
confronted with substance abuse problems. Through its reporting, the 
Delaware Gazette is raising awareness about this important local 
resource.
  This kind of reporting is what journalists do every day in every 
community in Utah, Rhode Island, Ohio, and across the country. That is 
why they are deserving of respect. We should reject the out-and-out 
attacks by the President of the United States and others who call 
journalism and journalists in the media enemies of the people. They 
serve their readers. They serve their viewers. They serve their 
communities. They deserve our respect.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.


                         Russian Hybrid Warfare

  Mr. REED. Mr. President, today I rise to continue my series of 
speeches on Russian hybrid warfare and the threat it poses to our 
national security. Russian hybrid warfare occurs

[[Page S6763]]

below the level of direct military conflict, yet it is no less a threat 
to our national security and the integrity of our democracy and our 
society. We must reframe our thinking to understand that these are 
attacks from a foreign adversary on our democratic institutions, our 
free markets, and our open society.
  We recently honored our fallen and observed the attacks of September 
11, 2001. The 9/11 Commission Report, which looked into what happened 
after the attacks, assessed that one of our government's failures in 
preventing those attacks was a failure of imagination. Now, too, we 
have the Director of National Intelligence telling us that the ``system 
is blinking red,'' akin to the threats we received before 9/11. We must 
be focused on the current problem as a national security threat. This 
threat requires that the United States defend itself against hybrid 
attacks with the same level of commitment and resolve as we would 
against a military attack against our country.
  For far too long, we have failed to recognize that hybrid attacks are 
the new Russian form of warfare. As laid out in the Russian National 
Security Strategy of 2015, the Kremlin's approach to conflict includes 
weaponizing tools and resources from across government and society. The 
Russian strategy states: ``Interrelated political, military, military-
technical, diplomatic, economic, informational, and other measures are 
being developed and implemented in order to ensure strategic deterrence 
and the prevention of armed conflicts.''
  The Russian strategy describes the conventional and nonconventional 
arenas of warfare as the Kremlin envisions it and how Russia has 
utilized all of the tools of statecraft to engage an adversary without, 
in many cases, firing a shot. These different disciplines make up a 
Russian hybrid approach to confrontation below the threshold of direct-
armed conflict, a method that has been developing and escalating since 
the earliest days of Putin's rise to power in Russia.
  The main tenets of the Kremlin's hybrid operations are these: 
information operations with cyber tools, which people commonly think of 
as hacking; propaganda and disinformation; manipulation of social 
media; and malign influence, which can be deployed through political, 
legal, or financial channels.
  A further characteristic of Russian hybrid warfare is denial and 
deception used to obscure its involvement. The Kremlin deploys more 
than one hybrid warfare tactic simultaneously to provide maximum 
effect.
  A look at the Russian hybrid warfare doctrine also illuminates that 
the Kremlin sees deterrence and prevention differently than we do. This 
is a critical point. We see deterrence as a way to avoid conflict. They 
are not merely using these tactics as deterrence or strategic 
prevention in the way we think about these conflicts.
  Instead, they are deploying these tactics aggressively but below the 
threshold of where they assess we will respond with conventional 
weapons. One such example was the hybrid warfare operations the Kremlin 
deployed in Crimea, including covert forces sometimes referred to as 
``little green men'' and the use of coercive political tactics, 
including an illegitimate referendum.
  Now, previously I have addressed aspects of Russia's hybrid warfare 
operations against the United States dealing with tactics of financial 
malign influence and multiple hybrid tools they have deployed against 
our democratic elections. Today I will discuss another Russian tactic 
and its hybrid warfare arsenal: the use of assassination, politically 
motivated violence, intimidation, or detention to pursue the Kremlin's 
objectives. These tactics are sometimes referred to as dirty active 
measures.
  With dirty active measures, the immediate attack is deployed against 
an individual who is working counter to the Kremlin's strategic goals 
by challenging Putin's power base, exposing corruption, or unearthing 
hybrid warfare operations.
  But the damage of these hybrid warfare tactics goes well beyond the 
individual killed, hurt, threatened, or jailed by the Kremlin. These 
tactics cause chaos, fear, and instability to bystanders and have a 
deterrent effect, sending a chilling message to others that might seek 
to challenge the Kremlin's rule.
  Further, the reach with which Putin has deployed these weapons inside 
Russia, across Ukraine, Europe, and even in the United States instills 
fear that if the Kremlin wants to get rid of you, there is nowhere to 
hide.
  Like all aspects of Russian hybrid warfare, dirty active measures are 
part of a pattern of behavior that serve Russia's strategic interests. 
Putin's highest strategic objective is preserving his grip on power. He 
also seeks to operate unconstrained domestically and in the near 
abroad. Finally, Putin seeks for Russia to be seen equal to the United 
States and to regain the great power status it lost at the end of the 
Cold War.
  He knows he cannot effectively compete with the United States in 
conventional ways and win. Instead, he seeks to use tools from his 
hybrid warfare arsenal in order to divide us from our allies and 
partners in the West and weaken our democratic societies from within.
  The Putin regime has been engaged in a pattern of dirty active 
measures for more than a decade, and the tempo has only increased since 
he retook the Presidency in 2012. These tactics have increasing 
implications for the United States and allied national security.
  I want to address this tactic of dirty active measures because it has 
taken on greater urgency due to recent events. In particular, I am 
thinking of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military 
intelligence officer, and his daughter on British soil and Putin's 
threat against Ambassador McFaul and other U.S. Government officials at 
the Helsinki Summit. These events may seem unrelated, but they are 
actually part of a pattern of malicious and threatening Russian 
behavior.
  Today, I will explain the connection and make recommendations for how 
we can deter and counter Russia's use of dirty active measures as part 
of its hybrid warfare operations below the level of military conflict.
  Dirty active measures have a long and sordid history in Russia and 
the Soviet Union, dating back to czarist times. For assassinations, 
poison was often the weapon of choice, including the attempted cyanide 
poisoning of Rasputin in 1916. In 1921, Lenin opened a poison 
laboratory to test methods to be used against political enemies named 
the ``special room,'' which was also known as the ``lab of death.'' At 
this lab, they developed the nerve agents known as novichoks, which 
were designed to be undetectable and were recently deployed against the 
Skirpals. These tactics were amplified under Stalin and featured 
killings by hired assassins, staged automobile accidents, and 
poisonings, used inside Russia and deployed abroad. Stalin notoriously 
said:

       Death solves all problems. No man, no problem.

  Given President Putin's background as a spy master, it should come as 
no surprise that Russia's use of dirty active measures have continued 
under his regime. Before becoming Prime Minister and President, Putin 
spent the majority of his career in the KGB, the state's security 
service, and its successor, the FSB.
  As Russian journalist Andrei Soldatov wrote, the KGB's ``main task 
was always to protect the interests of whoever currently resided in the 
Kremlin.'' In this system, loyalty and fidelity to the state is prized 
above all, and Putin's values were shaped by it.
  In 2005, Putin lamented that the breakup of the Soviet Union was the 
greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century. When he assumed 
power, he resurrected a system that reflected Soviet methods. He 
employed all of the instruments of the state, including the Parliament, 
the courts, and security services, to protect his power base and to 
allow him to pursue strategic objectives in the foreign arena 
unconstrained.
  Putin's use of hybrid warfare tactics of assassination, political 
violence, intimidation, and detention--the dirty active measures--are 
tenets of this system he created to cement his hold on power.
  Putin has also manipulated the Parliament and the court system to 
make and enforce laws that manufacture legal consent for tactics of 
dirty active measures. As opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza, who 
survived being

[[Page S6764]]

twice poisoned, wrote recently in the Washington Post, ``in Vladimir 
Putin's Russia, laws are often passed with specific people in mind, 
whether to reward or punish.'' Notably, in July of 2006, the Russian 
Parliament gave President Putin permission to use Russian armed forces 
and security services to perpetrate extrajudicial killings abroad on 
people that Moscow accused of extremism. Companion legislation passed 
about the same time expanded the definition of extremism to include 
libelous statements about Putin's administration. This legislation 
effectively gave those who carry out dirty active measures immunity.
  In addition to the use of the legislative and legal mechanisms at 
their disposal, the Kremlin unleashes a barrage of propaganda against 
those targeted for dirty active measures. These information operations 
contribute to a climate of fear targeting both the individuals the 
Kremlin is trying to silence and the broader population. Propaganda 
campaigns are also deployed after the dirty active measure is carried 
out, in order to sow confusion and make people doubt whether Russia is 
culpable.
  Putin and his inner circle have drawn a distinct narrative, branding 
those who oppose the Kremlin as criminals, thus deeming them as 
deserving of punishment. They are often also accused of being part of 
the so-called ``fifth column,'' Russians that Putin defines as 
advancing foreign interests.

  Worse than criminals in Putin's mind are those the Kremlin viewed as 
having been loyal in the past but who are now working against the 
interest of the state. These people are branded as traitors, and as the 
New York Times reported last month, traitors hold a special status for 
Putin. Putin's disdain for traitors stems from the early days of the 
end of the Cold War, when dozens of former Soviet intelligence officers 
became defectors or informants for the West.
  According to the Times, ``Mr. Putin cannot speak of them without a 
lip curl of disgust. They are `beasts' and `swine.' Treachery, he told 
one interviewer, is the one thing he is incapable of forgiving. It 
could also, he said darkly, be bad for your health.''
  Putin publicly threatened those considered traitors on multiple 
occasions. One of those episodes occurred in 2010. After a spy swap 
between Russia and the United States, which included the recently 
poisoned Skripal, Putin stated ominously: ``A person gives his whole 
life for his homeland, and then some . . . [blank] comes along and 
betrays such people. How will he be able to look into the eyes of his 
children, the pig? Whatever they got in exchange for it, those thirty 
pieces of silver they were given, they will choke on them. Believe 
me.''
  For Putin, labeling his political opponents in these stark terms 
helps to justify the dirty active measures deployed against these 
individuals.
  These tactics of dirty active measures have been used with impunity 
inside Russia to silence and intimidate Kremlin critics and preserve 
the system of power Putin created. They have been unleashed against 
journalists, opposition leaders, oligarchs, and others seen as 
betraying the system. A Senate Foreign Relations minority staff report 
from January detailed more than two dozen Kremlin critics who died 
under mysterious circumstances in Russia since Putin took power in 
2000. The report separately compiled violent attacks and harassment on 
human rights activists and journalists.
  Russian opposition activists are also a target of dirty active 
measures inside Russia. One example was the assassination of Boris 
Nemtsov, a popular regional Governor and Deputy Prime Minister under 
Yeltsin, who became disenchanted with Putin's political system. He 
publicly exposed extensive corruption and covert use of Russian hybrid 
warfare tactics in Ukraine. Arkady Ostrovsky, a Moscow correspondent 
for the Economist, described the tactics of intimidation deployed 
against him, including that he was stigmatized as a ``national 
traitor'' and an ``American stooge.'' He was demonized on television 
and on the streets banners with Nemtsov's face were hung on building 
facades framed by the words ``fifth column--aliens among us.''
  These threats were followed with Nemtsov being brazenly assassinated 
steps from the Kremlin. Nemtsov appears to have been killed for 
exposing corruption in Putin's inner circle and trying to serve as a 
constraint on his ability to conduct hybrid warfare operations in 
Ukraine. These acts were clearly seen as a threat to Putin's power and 
his ability to act with impunity.
  Attacks of dirty active measures inside Russia continue unabated. 
This April, Russian journalist Maxim Borodin fell to his death after 
investigating the Wagner paramilitary forces linked to a close Putin 
ally and Russian troll farm patron, Yevgeny Prigozhin. Three additional 
Russian journalists who were investigating Prigozhin-sponsored, 
Kremlin-linked military activities, particularly in the Central African 
Republic, were killed under suspicious circumstances in August. Just a 
few weeks ago, the publisher of a website that exposes Kremlin abuses 
in the criminal justice system fell ill from apparent poisoning. This 
attack occurred on the same day he expected to receive the results of 
an investigation he commissioned into the deaths of the journalists in 
the Central African Republic.
  As I have detailed here, these attacks are not officially linked back 
to the Kremlin, allowing for plausible deniability, but are part of a 
clear pattern of tactics deployed against those who work to expose 
activities that may hurt Putin's base of power.
  Putin has resorted to using dirty active measures beyond Russia's 
borders, which demonstrates the willingness of the Kremlin to use these 
tactics not only for domestic political purposes but also as part of 
its hybrid warfare operations to advance Russia's strategic interests 
against other countries.
  Similar to other tactics of hybrid warfare operations, Ukraine is 
usually where Russia deploys these tactics first, a testing ground for 
tools that may be deployed in the West at a later time.
  We see these tactics of dirty active measures deployed in Ukraine as 
far back as 2005, when the more Western-oriented Viktor Yushchencko was 
poisoned after he won the Presidency, beating Victor Yanukovych, the 
preferred pro-Russian candidate.
  The Kremlin continues to deploy dirty active measures, including 
assassination, in Ukraine with impunity. Last May, Denis Voronenkov, a 
former FSB colonel and a former Russian Parliament Member, was shot in 
the head on a crowded Kiev sidewalk in broad daylight. Voronenkov was 
once a close Putin ally who used his position to promote key Kremlin 
priorities, including, ironically, annexing Crimea. He fled to Ukraine 
in October of 2016 and began to criticize Putin's government. He was 
slated to provide testimony to Ukrainian authorities that would expose 
Kremlin deliberations prior to hybrid warfare operations against 
Ukraine. Forebodingly, a few days before his murder, he told the 
Washington Post: ``They say we are traitors in Russia.'' Again, the 
idea that he could be shot brazenly in broad daylight served as a 
warning to others who might want to expose hybrid warfare operations to 
think twice, and that they can't escape even if they leave Russia.
  Similar tactics were deployed against Montenegro as it considered and 
ultimately chose to join NATO in 2015 and 2016. The Kremlin saw the 
Montenegrin Government's decision to move closer to the West as a 
threat to its strategic interests, including Russia's ability to 
operate in Eastern Europe unconstrained.
  When several other hybrid warfare operations, including propaganda 
and information operations, failed to keep Montenegro from joining the 
alliance, Russian military intelligence officers planned and attempted 
to execute an election day coup that included a plan to assassinate the 
Montenegrin Prime Minister. The attempt on the Prime Minister's life 
was unsuccessful, fortunately. However, it showed the extremes to which 
the Kremlin would go and the methods that were used to try to maintain 
its strategic interests.
  Beyond Ukraine and Montenegro, the Kremlin has increasingly 
demonstrated a willingness to use dirty active measures in the West, 
suggesting a sense that Russia feels it can operate with impunity even 
in these countries.
  One Western country where a pattern of Russian dirty active measures 
appears prominently is in the United Kingdom. Investigative reports 
have

[[Page S6765]]

unearthed an estimated 16 suspicious deaths over the past 12 years, and 
that may not even be the totality.
  The most well-known measure of Russian dirty active measures inside 
the UK is Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB and FSB officer who blew 
the whistle on corrupt practices of the FSB. While Litvinenko had 
retired from spying, he did consulting work with the British and 
Spanish intelligence services, helping both governments understand 
connections between the Russian mafia, senior political figures, and 
the FSB. Further, he continued to speak out against the Putin 
government and expose Kremlin corruption.
  Because of these actions, the Kremlin branded Litvinenko a traitor. 
He received threatening emails from a former colleague who told him to 
``start writing a will.'' Litvinenko was later poisoned with polonium-
210. The poisoning also served as a deterrent to others.
  The day after Litvinenko's death, a member of the Russian Parliament 
stated:

       The deserved punishment reached the traitor. I am sure his 
     death will be a warning to all the traitors that Russian 
     treason will not be forgiven.

  Litvinenko's poisoning served as a prologue for the poisoning of 
Sergei Skripal 12 years later. Skripal was a former Russian military 
intelligence officer who was convicted of being a double agent and 
sentenced to prison. As I mentioned earlier, he was traded as part of a 
spy swap in 2010. He was given asylum in the United Kingdom. Press 
reports indicate that, similar to Litvinenko, Skripal appeared to have 
been working with the Spanish, Czech, and Estonian intelligence 
services.
  This March, he and his daughter were poisoned by novichok sprayed on 
the door handle of his Salisbury, England, home. In conjunction with 
the assassination attempt, Kremlin officials deflected, denied, and 
deployed absurd propaganda and disinformation. They unleashed an 
estimated 2,800 bots to cast doubt on Prime Minister May's assessment 
that Russia was responsible and to amplify divisions among the British 
people. They blamed the West for the poisoning and suggested it was a 
hoax. Once the UK named suspects and pointed a finger at Russian 
military intelligence, the two alleged perpetrators went on TV and 
absurdly claimed to be sports nutritionists with a yearning desire to 
visit a Salisbury cathedral.
  Again, these killings are part of a pattern. Both Litvinenko and 
Skripal were part of security services. They turned on the state and 
were deemed traitors. Even when they appeared to be safe, they were 
targeted for dirty active measures, sending the message that the 
Kremlin was the ultimate arbiter and that they could reach traitors 
anytime or anywhere. This message was also directed at others who might 
wish to expose Putin's secrets in the future or try to constrain or 
challenge his power.
  The pattern of dirty active measures also extends to the United 
States. This includes Mikhail Lesin, a former Kremlin insider who was 
crucial to Putin's consolidation of the Russian media. Lesin was also 
responsible for the rise of Russian TV and internet platform RT, a tool 
the Kremlin uses to deploy propaganda and disinformation across the 
world, including against the United States during the Presidential 
election in 2016.
  Lesin was reported to have had a falling out with two members of 
Putin's inner circle, including a longtime friend known as Putin's 
banker. Lesin was found dead in a Washington, DC, hotel room in 
November of 2015. The DC coroner concluded that the death was 
accidental and that he died alone, despite noting that Lesin had 
sustained blunt force injuries to his neck, torso, and upper and lower 
extremities. Lesin was allegedly planning to tell the secrets of a 
major component of the Kremlin's hybrid warfare operations to the 
Justice Department when he appeared to have conveniently died before he 
could explain its inner workings.
  Similar to other dirty active measures campaigns, the Kremlin 
unleashed a disinformation campaign to ensure plausible deniability and 
generate confusion about the circumstances surrounding his death. Here, 
too, Lesin appears to fit the pattern of being targeted for revealing 
aspects of the hybrid warfare campaigns that the Kremlin has come to 
rely on.
  In what appears to have been an even more brazen move for Putin, he 
engaged in dirty active measures while the whole world was watching. 
While standing next to President Trump in Helsinki, President Putin 
proposed that he would allow Special Counsel Mueller to interview the 
12 Russian military intelligence officers indicted on charges of 
``large-scale cyber operations to interfere with the 2016 Presidential 
election.'' But there was a catch. Putin announced that in return, he 
would expect that Russian authorities would be able to question current 
and former U.S. Government officials whom Putin described as having 
``something to do with illegal actions on the territory of Russia.'' 
President Trump stood next to President Putin during this 
disinformation operation and endorsed it as being an ``incredible'' 
offer that he and his administration actually considered.
  The very next day, Russian officials announced a list of 11 accused 
``criminals'' whom they wanted to interrogate because, in the course of 
doing the work of the United States of America, they took stances that 
the Kremlin opposed. Among those listed was a congressional staffer who 
helped write the Magnitsky sanctions act and former U.S. Ambassador to 
Russia Michael McFaul, who served as the point person during the Obama 
Administration and as Ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014.
  During McFaul's time as Ambassador to Russia, the Kremlin unleashed 
its hybrid warfare playbook against him. They denounced him as an enemy 
and had security forces follow his family. The Kremlin also deployed a 
disinformation campaign against him that accused him of being a 
pedophile. The Kremlin was using these active measures in an attempt to 
instill fear in him and others that they could be killed, hurt, or 
jailed for doing the work of the U.S. Government.
  The United States and Western countries more broadly must understand 
that these attacks are not random; they are part of a pattern, a 
doctrine of hybrid warfare being expressed across the globe. We need to 
understand that assassinations, violence, threats, and intimidation are 
tools and tactics that Putin is using to achieve strategic or foreign 
policy goals, and these activities are harming our national security.
  For instance, the New York Times reported in August that vital 
Kremlin informants have gone silent, leaving our intelligence community 
in the dark about what Russia's plans are for November's midterm 
elections. The report continues that American officials familiar with 
the intelligence ``concluded they have gone to ground amid more 
aggressive counterintelligence by Moscow, including efforts to kill 
spies.''

  These are not just brutal tragedies or incidents; the use of dirty 
active measures are purposeful and are intended to advance Putin's 
agenda short of using tools of conventional warfare.
  The United States must lead with strong denouncements against dirty 
active measures and all other hybrid tactics used by Russia or any 
other country. It is particularly critical that the President denounce 
Russian threats against U.S. officials for their actions in carrying 
out U.S. foreign policy or advancing our national security interests. 
Instead, the President's deference to Putin at Helsinki sent the wrong 
signal to Putin in the face of his threats.
  Fortunately, the Senate has taken some action, including voting 98 to 
0 to protect our diplomats and other government officials implementing 
U.S. policy after Putin requested they be turned over for questioning. 
However, our government must speak with one voice and send consistent 
messages that this kind of action will not be tolerated and that Putin 
will pay consequences for his behavior.
  While it is important that we respond to these attacks, including 
with unequivocal denouncements of these tactics by the President and by 
the Congress, we should not be in the business of trying to respond to 
these attacks symmetrically. Putin resorts to using these tactics 
because he believes they give him an advantage over the West. We need 
to stay true to our ideals of democracy, human rights, and liberty.

[[Page S6766]]

We don't need to normalize or legitimize these methods by engaging in 
them ourselves. Doing so would simply create a false moral equivalence 
that plays right into Putin's hands. Instead, we must employ responses 
that play to our strengths. We stand for transparency and 
accountability in the United States. We stand for the rule of law. We 
must develop and implement a comprehensive strategy that deploys tools 
that are consistent with and showcase these values. We must shine a 
light on corruption at the highest levels of the Putin regime. We must 
shine a light on how Putin's cronies are hiding their ill-gotten gains 
in the West. We must deploy a systematic and strategic messaging 
campaign that counters the base of Putin's power, reputation, and 
funding.
  We must take these actions in concert with our allies and partners. 
In response to the Skripal poisoning, the United States expelled 60 
Russian diplomats, joining with more than 25 ally and partner nations 
in applying diplomatic pressure on Russia. This action sent a strong 
signal that the world would not allow Putin to act with impunity. When 
we act together with our allies and partners to push back against these 
hybrid operations, it imposes a cost to Putin's reputation on the world 
stage, which thwarts one of his major strategic interests.
  While these steps were in the right direction, they have been 
undermined by the President's words and actions. Despite punitive 
measures in response to the Skripal poisoning, the Kremlin thought that 
the Helsinki summit erased that damage. Press reports indicate that 
Western and U.S. intelligence agencies assessed that the Kremlin was 
pleased with the outcome of the summit at Helsinki and is confused as 
to why President Trump is not implementing more Russia-friendly 
policies.
  One important tool in our arsenal for holding the Kremlin accountable 
is sanctions, including those on Putin's inner circle. In particular, 
sanctions implemented under the Magnitsky Act appear to be particularly 
threatening to him. This act was passed in response to the death of 
Sergei Magnitsky, who uncovered massive tax fraud and corruption that 
was traced back to Kremlin officials. He was arrested in Russia and 
placed in jail, where he was tortured until he died.
  The origins of the Magnitsky Act were to hold accountable those in 
the Russian Government who were complicit in Magnitsky's abuse and 
death by sanctioning their assets and barring them from receiving 
American visas. Subsequently, the Magnitsky Act has been expanded to 
include others who are culpable of acts of significant corruption and 
abuse.
  Russia expert Heather Conley of the Center for Strategic and 
International Studies testified recently at a Banking Committee hearing 
about the significance of the Magnitsky sanctions to Putin. She said:

       Because the Kremlin has based its economic model and its 
     survival on kleptocracy, sanctions and other policy 
     instruments dedicated to preventing the furtherance of 
     corruption--or worse yet in the minds of the Kremlin, to 
     providing accurate information to the Russian people of the 
     extent of this corruption--are a powerful countermeasure to 
     Russia's malign behavior.

  The Magnitsky sanctions, along with those designated under the 
Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, 
threaten Putin's power structure and present a counter-narrative of 
corruption and abuse by the Kremlin.
  We need to continue to use these sanctions to hold those who are 
complicit in dirty active measures and those who are responsible for 
aggression, corruption, and interfering in our elections accountable. 
Ratcheting up sanctions on those in Putin's inner circle is a way to 
make Putin and his cronies feel pain and has the potential to change 
their behavior. Additional sanctions should be imposed on oligarchs and 
high-ranking government officials to target Putin's base of power and 
further expose the corrupt nature of their sources of income.
  We should also consider declassifying the so-called 241 report 
compiled by the intelligence community along with the Departments of 
Treasury and State. This report required an assessment of the net worth 
of senior Kremlin officials and oligarchs, their relationship to Putin 
and his inner circle, and evidence of corrupt practices. If we were to 
release such a report--with redactions for portions with national 
security implications--to the public, it would further expose malign 
activity and unexplained streams of wealth.
  Congress has provided many tools for the administration to implement, 
and it is time to utilize them fully. Implementing them in a 
transparent, public manner is likely to cause reputational harm to 
Putin himself and restore a level of confidence in the administration 
here at home. However, specifically targeting sanctions this way is 
unlikely to cause large-scale harm to the Russian people or to our 
European allies.
  It is very clear that implementing sanctions is far more effective 
when done with the cooperation of the international community. The most 
effective sanctions regimes are those that are implemented in a 
multilateral fashion.
  I urge the administration to engage with our allies and partners to 
coordinate sanctions enforcement and further escalatory steps as 
warranted. That includes working through diplomatic channels to ensure 
that the sanctions placed on Russia by the European Union remain in 
place. A coordinated front of the United States and our European allies 
provides the greatest chance of successful implementation of sanctions 
and deterring further aggression by Russia.
  The administration must also place a premium on exerting diplomatic 
pressure to isolate those who flout or do not enforce sanctions on 
Russia.
  Another form of pressure should be an increase in assistance to pro-
democracy and civil society groups in Russia and in nations of the 
former Soviet Union. Working with these groups in conjunction with our 
allies, partners, and the private sector would provide another means of 
raising the costs of Putin and his oligarchs. Putin is threatened by 
the success of democracies and private enterprise.
  In addition to sanctions, we must continue to play a strong role in 
law enforcement, along with our allies and partners. That includes 
aggressive prosecution of murders and threats of violence to limit the 
impunity. With Litvinenko, it took almost 10 years for the United 
Kingdom to have an official inquiry into the assassination. The United 
Kingdom has acted quicker in the wake of the Skripal poisoning, moving 
to identify suspects and hold the Kremlin accountable for these 
actions. We need to adopt UK's lessons learned to ensure that those who 
seek to use these weapons will be prosecuted fully and without delay.
  We have missed too many of these dirty active measures operations for 
far too long. We must recognize this is an element of Russia's hybrid 
warfare. We must not fail to have the imagination to see what is 
happening right before our eyes. We must do more to identify and 
attribute these attacks from Russia. These attacks have only grown more 
brazen and will not stop unless we take strong measures to counter them 
and send the message that dirty active measures are unacceptable and 
will be costly to Russia or any other country which uses them.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sullivan). The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                      Unanimous Consent Agreement

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that 
notwithstanding the provision of rule XXII, all postcloture time on the 
Clark nomination be considered expired at 12:10 p.m. on Thursday, 
October 11, and that if confirmed, the motion to reconsider be 
considered made and laid upon the table and the President be 
immediately notified of the Senate's action.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          ____________________