[Congressional Record Volume 166, Number 218 (Monday, December 21, 2020)]
[Senate]
[Pages S7910-S7911]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                             Cloture Motion

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Pursuant to rule XXII, the Chair lays before 
the Senate the pending cloture motion, which the clerk will state.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the nomination 
     of Eric J. Soskin, of Virginia, to be Inspector General, 
     Department of Transportation.
         Mitch McConnell, Lamar Alexander, Rick Scott, Tom Cotton, 
           Mike Crapo, Cory Gardner, Ron Johnson, James Lankford, 
           Roger F. Wicker, Marco Rubio, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Thom 
           Tillis, Shelley Moore Capito, John Boozman, Joni Ernst, 
           Mike Braun, Pat Roberts.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call has been waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on the 
nomination of Eric J. Soskin, of Virginia, to be Inspector General, 
Department of Transportation, shall be brought to a close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. THUNE. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Wyoming (Mr. Enzi), the Senator from Georgia (Mrs. Loeffler), the 
Senator from Georgia (Mr. Perdue), and the Senator from South Dakota 
(Mr. Rounds). -
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from California (Ms. Harris), 
the Senator from Virginia (Mr. Kaine), the Senator from West Virginia 
(Mr. Manchin), and the Senator from Vermont (Mr. Sanders) are 
necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 48, nays 44, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 287 Ex.]

                                YEAS--48

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blackburn
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Braun
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Collins
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Cramer
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hawley
     Hoeven
     Hyde-Smith
     Inhofe
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Romney
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott (FL)
     Scott (SC)
     Shelby
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                                NAYS--44

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Duckworth

[[Page S7911]]


     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Gillibrand
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Hirono
     Jones
     Kelly
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Markey
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Peters
     Reed
     Rosen
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Sinema
     Smith
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                             NOT VOTING--8

     Enzi
     Harris
     Kaine
     Loeffler
     Manchin
     Perdue
     Rounds
     Sander
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 48, the nays are 
44.
  Upon reconsideration, the motion is agreed to.
  The Senator from North Carolina.


                  Unanimous Consent Request--H.R. 1964

  Mr. BURR. Mr. President, I rise and in a moment I will ask unanimous 
consent to right a wrong that has lingered for over a century and to 
call up and pass H.R. 1964, the Lumbee Recognition Act. Prior to that, 
I want to say that I am honored, with my colleague Senator Tillis, to 
represent the Lumbee people.
  The Lumbee are the largest Native American Tribe east of the 
Mississippi River, with a membership of over 60,000. They have called 
the present-day counties of Robeson, Scotland, Hoke, and Cumberland 
their home in North Carolina. They have been a cohesive part of the 
community in North Carolina for centuries, and they have developed 
unique Tribal instructions that have served their membership well in 
the face of extraordinary adversity.
  They have been teachers, farmers, doctors, small business owners, 
sheriffs, clerks of court, State legislators, and judges. Many have 
protected our Nation by serving in the Armed Forces. Their contribution 
to their community, to the State of North Carolina, and to the country 
is innumerable.
  Their commitment to education is unparalleled. In the 1800s, the 
State authorized the Tribe to run the State's school district for 
Lumbee children. The State also authorized the opening of a specially 
advanced Indian school known as the Normal School to train teachers to 
teach in Lumbee Indian schools. Although the State provided no money 
for construction for the facilities, the Lumbees pulled together and 
constructed an Indian Normal School of their own. Since then, the 
Indian school has been in operation continuously. Today it is the 
University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
  The State of North Carolina recognized the Lumbee Tribe in 1885. 
Three years later, the Tribe began its quest for full recognition. Over 
the next 50 years, they repeatedly petitioned the Federal Government 
for assistance but to no avail.
  Then, during the height of the shameful termination era, Congress 
passed the Lumbee Act of 1956. This partial recognition designated the 
Lumbees residing in Robeson and adjoining counties of North Carolina as 
the ``Lumbee Indians of North Carolina,'' while simultaneously blocking 
the Lumbees from accessing Federal services and benefits available to 
other federally recognized Tribes. It is nothing short of 
discrimination.
  To put this in context, four other Tribes were terminated by Congress 
in 1956, like the Lumbees. All have had their Federal recognition 
status restored. Only the Lumbees have yet to receive the full Federal 
recognition they deserve. As a matter of fact, in 2018, this Senate 
recognized Indian Tribes. In 2019, seven Tribes in Virginia were 
recognized by this Congress and this Senate.
  It is unfortunate while the Lumbee Tribe is incredibly resilient, 
decades of discrimination have caused severe economic consequences for 
the people. Robeson is one of the poorest counties in the United 
States. The 1956 law has put them on an unequal footing compared to 
other federally recognized Tribes and has prevented them from obtaining 
access to critical services through the Bureau of Indian Affairs and 
the Indian Health Service. This is simply unjust and it is immoral.
  To correct this injustice, since 1987, members of North Carolina's 
congressional delegation from both sides of the aisle have repeatedly 
come together to introduce the Lumbee Recognition Act, which would 
grant full Federal recognition to the Tribe.
  Over the past 11 years, I have been proud to be the lead sponsor of 
this legislation in the Senate, and it has always been a bipartisan 
effort.
  This year, the bill was led by a Democratic Member of the House of 
Representatives, G. K. Butterfield, and supported by Congressman Hudson 
and Congressman Bishop, both Republicans. Last month, the House passed 
the Lumbee Recognition bill by voice vote unanimously. Let me say that 
again--by voice vote unanimously.
  You would think that this great deliberative body could process and 
understand the--really the discrimination that is going on here to 
these folks. People claim that the Lumbees are not a Tribe. Yet read 
the statistics--it is the largest Tribe east of the Mississippi River. 
I think they finally educated the House. But despite the overwhelming 
support for doing the right thing, Congress has yet to actually do it.
  The time for excuses is over. The time for action is now. It is time 
to finally do what should have been done 130 years ago. It is time for 
the Federal Government to recognize the Lumbees for the Tribe they are.
  I have had a great partner in Senator Tillis, and I would yield to 
him for any comments he would like to make.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Carolina.
  Mr. TILLIS. Mr. President, I thank Senator Burr for his leadership 
and leaning into this for many years before I even joined the Senate.
  I thank Senator Dole for filing this bill that actually even had 
Senator McConnell's cosponsorship many, many years ago.
  I thank the Lumbee people for their patience, but, quite honestly, 
when you are talking about the ninth largest Tribe east of the 
Mississippi River--I am sorry--the ninth largest in the Nation and the 
largest Tribe east of the Mississippi River, a Tribe that has been 
seeking recognition since 1888--they were recognized as Indian by the 
State of North Carolina in 1885. In 1956, they were partially 
recognized.
  We heard a unanimous vote coming out of the House. They were prepared 
to provide recognition. In November, we heard President Trump and Vice 
President Biden both say they support recognition. So we are so close.
  There is a compelling case. It is a century in the making. And the 
fact that we couldn't get this through today when it passed unanimously 
out of the House just a month ago I think is a shame.
  I appreciate Senator Burr for his patience and his tenacity. We are 
not going to let this go. Hopefully, it gets done tonight, but we have 
to recognize that the Lumbee people deserve recognition, they deserve 
respect. They have been fighting for it for a century, and I am going 
to fight for it as long as I am in the U.S. Senate.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. BURR. Mr. President, I thank my colleague, and I reiterate that 
if for some reason there is an objection--and I think there will be 
tonight--either before we swear in a new Congress or after we swear in 
a new Congress, I promise my colleagues that this place will come to a 
grinding halt, and we will take up through regular order the Lumbee 
Recognition Act. We will debate it for as long as people want to, and 
we will make the case as to why this discrimination is despicable.
  So, at this time, as if in legislative session, I ask unanimous 
consent that the Committee on Indian Affairs be discharged from further 
consideration of H.R. 1964 and the Senate proceed to its immediate 
consideration. I ask unanimous consent that the bill be considered read 
a third time and passed and that the motion to reconsider be considered 
made and laid upon the table.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. TESTER. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. BURR. Mr. President, I thank my colleagues for their time 
tonight, and I urge all of our colleagues to prepare. This will be back 
up.
  I yield the floor

                          ____________________