[Congressional Record Volume 169, Number 65 (Wednesday, April 19, 2023)]
[Pages S1227-S1236]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  Mr. TUBERVILLE. Mr. President, I move to proceed to Calendar No. 35, 
S.J. Res. 10.

[[Page S1228]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the joint resolution.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       Motion to proceed to Calendar No. 35, S. J. Res. 10, a 
     joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval 
     under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule 
     submitted by the Department of Veterans Affairs relating to 
     ``Reproductive Health Services''.

 =========================== NOTE =========================== 

  On page S1228, April 19, 2023, first column, the following 
appears: The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the joint 
resolution. The legislative clerk read as follows: A joint 
resolution (S.J. Res. 10) providing for congressional disapproval 
under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule 
submitted by the Department of Veterans Affairs relating to 
``Reproductive Health Services''.
  The online Record has been corrected to read: The PRESIDING 
OFFICER. The clerk will report the joint resolution. The 
legislative clerk read as follows: Motion to proceed to Calendar 
No. 35, S. J. Res. 10, a joint resolution providing for 
congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United 
States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Veterans 
Affairs relating to ``Reproductive Health Services''.

 ========================= END NOTE ========================= 

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the time until 4:15 
p.m. will be equally divided between the two leaders or their 
  The Senator from Delaware.


  Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, happy Earth Week.
  I rise today, along with a couple of my colleagues--one from West 
Virginia and another from Arkansas--to speak on the Recycling 
Infrastructure and Accessibility Act of 2023 and on the Recycling and 
Composting Accountability Act, which is bipartisan legislation that 
would improve our Nation's recycling and composting systems.
  As a number of our colleagues know, my wife and I are both avid 
recyclers and composters and have been for some time. I have long 
believed in environmental stewardship. That is the way my parents 
raised my sister and me, and I suspect it is the way a lot of parents 
of Members of this body raised their sons and daughters. They raised us 
to leave behind a cleaner, healthier planet for future generations, and 
that is a belief I know is shared not just by elected officials here in 
Washington but by many people across this country.
  I am also a strong believer that bipartisan solutions are lasting 
solutions. Whenever possible, we ought to work to find common ground 
and put forward bipartisan solutions that can stand the test of time. 
To that end, I am pleased to have found great partners--not just good 
partners but great partners--in developing these bipartisan recycling 
bills: Senator Capito, our ranking member on the Environment and Public 
Works Committee, with whom I am privileged to serve and to chair, along 
with Senator John Boozman, cochair of the Senate's Recycling Caucus, 
our colleague from Arkansas. All three of us recognize that we have to 
do our part to continue to improve our Nation's recycling and 
composting efforts. In doing so, it not only benefits our environment 
but also creates economic opportunity and jobs--a lot of jobs.
  The legislation we are here to discuss today would address several of 
the challenges that America's recycling efforts currently face and what 
we might do about them. One of these challenges is the availability of 
good data.

  In November of 2021, with input from many stakeholders, the 
Environmental Protection Agency released its first-ever national 
recycling strategy. When that strategy was released, I was delighted to 
learn that many of the comments I had submitted to the EPA on behalf of 
our committee had been incorporated into the final version. It was a 
happy day when we learned that. This document offered a transformative 
vision for strengthening our Nation's waste management efforts. It also 
highlighted the need for greater standardization around data 
  To address this challenge around data collection, Senator Boozman and 
I, along with our staffs, developed the Recycling and Composting 
Accountability Act. Our bill would improve the EPA's ability to gather 
data on our Nation's recycling systems and explore opportunities for 
implementing a national composting strategy.
  The EPA has also set a goal of increasing the U.S. recycling rate to 
50 percent by 2030. With a current recycling rate of only 32 percent, 
it is clear we have a long way to go. That is why we must also focus on 
increasing access to recycling opportunities throughout our Nation--not 
just in urban areas or suburban areas but in rural areas as well. Many 
Americans in disadvantaged communities want to recycle and compost, 
too, but they are unable to do so because they, in many cases, live in 
communities that lack curbside pickup, that lack bottle return, and 
that lack other necessary recycling infrastructure.
  Senator Capito's Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act of 
2023 would address this challenge by creating a pilot program with EPA 
to help expand recycling services in underserved areas. The Recycling 
Infrastructure and Accessibility Act that she has written would bring 
many communities, including those in rural areas, into the recycling 
world while also better protecting our environment.
  I commend Senator Capito for her work and her leadership in 
developing this legislation. I also want to continue working with her 
to ensure that her bill helps to jump-start recycling in communities 
with the greatest need, especially in disadvantaged and historically 
underserved communities.
  Both of the bills that I have referred to from members of our 
committee are a result of a true collaboration, and they reflect a 
substantial amount of bipartisan effort dedicated to exploring and 
addressing our Nation's recycling and composting challenges.
  The adoption of these bills this week is fitting and timely, as 
Saturday marks the 53rd anniversary of the very first Earth Day. This 
day is personal to me. Some 53 years ago this Saturday, I stood side by 
side with tens of thousands of people in San Francisco's Golden Gate 
Park. I was a naval flight officer. I had completed my training and was 
about to deploy out of Moffett Field, CA, to head for Southeast Asia, 
but I had an opportunity to join tens of thousands of people in Golden 
Gate Park that day to celebrate our country's first-ever Earth Day.
  That same year, Democrats and Republicans worked together with then-
President Richard Nixon to create a Federal Agency dedicated to 
protecting our environment. The name of that Agency? The Environmental 
Protection Agency.
  Decades later, I can still vividly remember--I can; I can close my 
eyes and remember it now--that first Earth Day and the urgency we felt 
to save our planet. Today, a younger generation also shares that sense 
of urgency.
  While I believe we ought to live every day like it is Earth Day, on 
April 22 of each year, I especially welcome the opportunity to reflect 
and give thanks for all of the incredible natural resources and natural 
beauty that God has given us on this planet of ours.
  Earth Day is also a time for all of us to reflect on our actions 
individually and as a whole, to think about what more we can do and 
should be doing to protect our planet and its inhabitants. Like many 
people, I try to live my life by the golden rule of always treating 
people the way I want to be treated. I also believe that principle 
extends to the way we treat and care for our planet and those with whom 
we share it.
  A couple of years ago--and some of my colleagues may remember--we had 
a visitor on the other side of the Capitol, in the House Chamber. He 
was a fellow from France named Macron, the Prime Minister of France. He 
came to address a joint session of Congress that day, and he did a 
great job. He was very well received, I think, by everybody.
  On that day, he spoke of the importance of protecting our environment 
from the threats of climate change, hazardous waste, and toxic 
pollution. At the end of his speech, he said something I will never 
forget. He was talking about our planet, and these were his words:

       There is no planet B. There is no planet B. This is the 
     only one we are going to have.

  I sat there that day, thinking, boy, he has gotten it right; there is 
no planet B. That means we only have one chance to get it right when it 
comes to protecting and caring for this planet of ours.
  As I said earlier, I am committed to leaving behind a cleaner, 
healthier planet for future generations. I welcome all of our 
colleagues to join Senator Capito and myself in that effort. 
Fortunately, we have made remarkable progress over the past five 
decades following that very first Earth Day. From enacting 
comprehensive laws to protect our environment and support good-paying, 
clean energy jobs to ratifying the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal 
Protocol and phasing down the use of superpolluting chemicals like 
HFCs, which are 1,000 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon 
dioxide, there is much to be proud of. Still, our work is not finished. 
We have a long way to go. I think it was Robert Frost who said we have 
miles to go before we sleep--miles to go before we sleep.
  So, today, we celebrate the opportunity to build on this progress and 
leave behind a livable planet with our

[[Page S1229]]

bipartisan recycling legislation. We also acknowledge that there is 
more to be done. In the spirit of Earth Day, I am prepared to roll up 
my sleeves and keep marching forward in my effort to do the right thing 
by our planet and the people who call it home just as I did some 53 
years ago this Saturday. I invite Americans from all walks of life to 
join the Senator from West Virginia, Senator Capito; Senator Boozman 
from Arkansas; and myself in this effort. It is the right thing to do, 
and it will make you feel good all over. I promise.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mrs. CAPITO. Mr. President, it is a pleasure to be on the floor today 
with the chair of our EPW Committee and with my friend from Arkansas, 
Senator Boozman.
  I am going to speak again about another example of the bipartisan 
work of our EPW Committee, where we have had accomplishments that are 
real, practical, and positive and result in good change for our 
country. On the EPW Committee, we have a history of working together, 
of crafting legislation together, and of getting good policy going. 
Sometimes it is not easy, but we have been able to do it.
  The cornerstone of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which 
made needed investments in our Nation's core infrastructure, was 
written and passed out of EPW. With the Water Resources Development 
Act, it was the same thing. It supports the work of the U.S. Army Corps 
of Engineers on projects across this country. It was passed out of our 
EPW Committee unanimously, and it eventually became law.
  Today, Chairman Carper, Senator Boozman, and I are reintroducing two 
pieces of legislation that had been previously approved by EPW and the 
Senate unanimously--both the committee and the full Senate--to tackle 
another issue in a bipartisan way, which is access to recycling in 
  Not only is recycling something that we have found people really want 
to do, but it is great for the environment, and it is good for 
business. It supports over 1 million jobs and generates billions of 
dollars in economic output every year. But in order to grow these 
numbers, we need to ensure people who want to participate really can, 
particularly those in rural and underserved areas, such as areas of my 
State, so that they can do so.
  Mr. President, the first bill we are reintroducing today, the 
Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act, addresses challenges 
when it comes to recycling for many of our smaller cities and towns.
  In the one I live in, we have sort of stopped and started on 
recycling. Recycling services, including curbside recycling, are just 
simply not available. These rural areas share common barriers to 
accessibility: location and proximity to material recovery facilities 
and the size and density of the population. This is just not available. 
This has led to low processing yields and high costs in collection and 
transportation costs, making it difficult for material recovery 
facilities to operate at a profit.
  Our legislation would establish a pilot recycling program to ensure 
places like West Virginia, Arkansas, Wyoming, or Alaska aren't being 
left behind. The pilot program would award grants on a competitive 
basis to eligible entities for improving recycling accessibility in a 
community or communities within the same geographic area.
  Along with improving access to recycling, it is important to fix 
important data gaps, as the chairman spoke about, when it comes to 
recycling in America. That is the intent of the Recycling and 
Composting Accountability Act, which is the other piece of legislation 
we are introducing today. It would improve data collection on our 
Nation's recycling systems and explore the potential of a national 
composting strategy. Not only would this give us a better idea of how 
well States are doing through recycling and composting rates, but it 
would also help us identify those areas that may be struggling to 
sustain and grow proper recycling programs.
  These are simple steps we can take, supported by both Republicans and 
Democrats, to improve and expand recycling in this country. Americans 
in every community--rural and urban, on the coasts or in the 
heartland--share a desire to protect our environment. These pieces of 
legislation will help make it easier for them to recycle, to contribute 
to a healthier planet, and to create jobs along the way.
  With Earth Day coming up, it is fitting that we continue our efforts 
to expand recycling by reintroducing these bills today, alongside 
Chairman Carper and Senator Boozman, and I thank them both for their 

                              Drug Crisis

  Mr. President, I informed the Senator from Arkansas, but I need to 
inform Senator Carper that I am having back-to-back speeches, so I am 
going to totally change the topic here real quick before Senator 
Boozman talks about recycling. Thank you for letting me move ahead 
  Mr. President, I rise today to talk about an issue that is impacting 
every State in our Nation, an issue that has the potential to impact 
every community, every family, and every person in the Chamber today, 
and that is the drug and substance abuse crisis.
  My home State of West Virginia knows all too well about the scars 
that this crisis has created and the devastating toll that it takes. 
West Virginia, unfortunately, continues to lead the Nation in overdose 
deaths per capita. It is a sad statistic for us, and although these 
deaths have been declining, every single overdose death is one too 
  In 2020, we lost 1,197 West Virginians to overdoses. Data from our 
State health department indicates that over 80 percent of these deaths 
included an opioid.
  Our State's EMS teams responded to over 9,000 suspected overdose 
calls, and there were 6,916 emergency room visits related to overdoses. 
These numbers are just staggering and clearly show the continued and 
urgent need to address this crisis and the many forms that it comes in.
  This is certainly an issue that requires immediate attention from 
every level of government and deserves more than just four mentions in 
the President's most recent budget proposal.
  While I feel the President and his administration lack that sense of 
urgency, ending the addiction crisis and taking action to save 
countless lives remains one of my top priorities.
  Each time I meet with our northern or our southern U.S. attorneys in 
West Virginia, the drug crisis is by far the largest topic of 
discussion. Their offices see firsthand the amount of illicit drugs 
that are entering our State and work around the clock to remove the 
threat that these substances create in our communities.
  Like I have said in this Chamber before, last October our U.S. 
Attorney's Office of the Northern District of West Virginia recovered 
approximately 75 pounds of cocaine, 19 pounds of methamphetamine, and 
nearly 5 pounds of fentanyl in Wheeling, WV, on one bust.
  Investigators found that traffickers had these drugs shipped from the 
U.S.-Mexican border to Ohio via tractor-trailer and used cash payments 
to people who flew from California to Pittsburgh to move the cash back 
and forth. The connection between the crisis at our southern border and 
the drug epidemic we are seeing at home does not get any clearer than 
  In December of last year, the DEA announced nationwide seizures of 
over 50.6 million fentanyl pills and more than 10,500 pounds of 
fentanyl powder. The DEA estimates that these seizures could represent 
379 million potentially deadly overdoses of fentanyl. That is enough 
fentanyl to kill every single American. And these are just the drugs 
that they found.
  With the Border Patrol stretched unfathomably thin, there is no 
telling the amount of drugs that are getting through undetected. We 
know that these drugs are entering our country through the southern 
border, making their way into each and every State and wreaking havoc.
  If President Biden would get a little more serious about stopping 
this, I think he has to get serious about border security. In a crisis 
this urgent, it is time to act.
  I have spoken with the DEA administrator about the support they need 
and the challenges that they are facing. I have introduced legislation, 
led letters, and pushed for initiatives that informed the public of the 
dangers of fentanyl getting in the hands of our youth, that strengthen 
our investigations on fentanyl trafficking, and that

[[Page S1230]]

prevent fentanyl and synthetic drug shipments from being smuggled into 
the United States through the mail.
  Currently, we are working on efforts to crack down on and schedule 
the illicit drug xylazine, which I understand is also known as 
``tranq.'' If you didn't know by now, xylazine is an easily accessible 
veterinarian tranquilizer that is being mixed with opioids, including 
fentanyl, increasing the number of fatal overdoses nationwide.
  This crisis is ever-changing, which means our approach needs to be 
multifaceted as well.
  I encourage the President, his administration, and all of our 
colleagues right here in the Congress to stay on this effort and stop 
the latest modifications before it is too late.
  Even in the midst of devastating losses in our State, I have always 
been inspired, encouraged, and moved by the efforts of people in West 
Virginia to end the drug crisis and help those in our State during the 
times when they need it the most. West Virginians continue to be 
responsible for the most innovative recovery solutions and prevention 
efforts that we have seen.
  The opioid crisis has made a personal targeted impact on communities 
all across our State, and in turn we have seen success through these 
community-based solutions.
  I have seen in Martinsburg, WV, with a program that is a police-
school-community-health-and-education partnership working to prevent 
substance use disorders from ever happening to our youth. By building 
strong families and empowering the community, we build resiliency in 
children and families to help them overcome this horrible addiction.
  I have seen this in Kearneysville, WV, where they are building a 
recovery village so that individuals who are struggling with addiction 
receive access to family and community they definitely need.
  The detailed focus is on housing and workforce development, aspects 
of recovery that are absolutely critical.
  I have seen drug court programs all across our State, where West 
Virginians are building each other up, holding each other accountable, 
and giving those who struggle with addiction the chance for a life of 
  You know, West Virginians take care of West Virginians, and there is 
no other issue that requires each and every one of us to work together 
quite like this one.
  So, President Biden, the drug crisis has created a dire situation in 
communities not just across my State but across the country. We have no 
time to waste. Every day of inaction results in turmoil and devastation 
for so many families and loved ones.
  We need to secure the southern border; we need to crack down on 
illicit drug trafficking and new tactics that criminals are 
implementing; and we need to deliver the tools our communities need to 
implement Federal programs and develop those community-based solutions 
that we know work best. We must do this together. We must do it now. 
Countless lives depend on us.
  With that, I yield the floor to my colleague from Arkansas, my fellow 
recycler, Senator Boozman.


  Mr. BOOZMAN. Mr. President, it is great to be here with Senator 
Carper and Senator Capito--two dear friends but also two leaders in the 
recycling effort, not only recycling in general but the Recycling 
Caucus--to raise the visibility of the importance of recycling from an 
environmental standpoint as well as the important role the industry has 
in our economy.
  Of the many caucuses that I am a member of, the Senate Recycling 
Caucus is one of the most active.
  The attention to recycling in Congress is night and day compared to 
what it was a couple of years ago, in large part because of Chairman 
Carper's leadership. So I want to thank him so much for his commitment 
not only in word but in deed.
  When China implemented its ``National Sword'' policy in 2018, that 
halted the import of plastics and other materials destined for its 
recycling processors. As a result, we really began to see how crippled 
our domestic recycling abilities were. But through a lot of hard work, 
we are beginning to help the policymakers and the public and private 
sectors understand how recycling is common sense.
  This is not a red or a blue State issue. Recycling is good for the 
economy, it creates jobs, and helps the environment. Everyone should be 
able to get on board with those incentives.
  Recycling is a critical part of the United States, with it being a 
$200 billion industry that has created over 680,000 jobs. However, with 
the recycling rate in the United States currently sitting at around 32 
percent, there is certainly room for improvement.
  It will take a team effort to get where we want to be. Corporations, 
manufacturers, and leaders from across the spectrum all have a role to 
play in developing the best ways our country can be a global leader in 
this important industry.
  One of the bills we are introducing today is the Recycling and 
Composting Accountability Act. This is a data collection bill at its 
  As it stands, there is no standardized data for our national 
recycling system, since there are upward of 10,000 individual recycling 
systems in the United States at local and State levels. It is hard to 
fix a recycling problem--it is hard to fix any problem--if you don't 
have a baseline data point to work with. That is what this bill is all 
  The other bill that we are championing is the Recycling 
Infrastructure and Accessibility Act. This pilot program will award 
grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible entities to improve 
recycling accessibility in a community or communities within the same 
geographic area.
  While these bills will not completely fix our Nation's recycling 
system, we know it is progress. If we keep building on commonsense 
wins, I am confident the United States can become the leader globally 
in recycling, as it should be.
  I look forward to further working with Senator Carper and Senator 
Capito and, again, thank them for their leadership and their efforts as 
we champion sustainable and economically beneficial policies that 
recycling is all about. We must continue to develop meaningful, long-
term solutions that address the challenges facing the recycling 
industry today.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Rosen). The Senator from North Carolina.

                            Southern Border

  Mr. BUDD. Madam President, our country is in the midst of the worst 
border crisis in our history. Since President Biden took office, there 
has been more than 5 million illegal crossings at the southern border.
  I have been to the border multiple times, and I have seen this crisis 
firsthand. In fact, the last time I was there, I was touring a heavily 
trafficked sector with off-duty Border Patrol officers. As we were 
driving along, the officers spotted a couple of cartel members. One of 
the officers turned to me, and he apologized. He said: I am sorry, but 
I am going to have to go on duty now. He went over and he apprehended 
and he arrested the cartel members there, right on the spot.
  This is just a small taste of what they have to face each and every 
day. We have to keep these men and these women in our prayers, and we 
must give them all the tools that they need to keep our homeland safe.
  Beyond the rampant lawlessness, the crime, the human trafficking, one 
of the worst aspects of this crisis is the devastating amount of drugs 
that are pouring into our country.
  The last annual numbers showed that over 100,000 Americans died just 
last year from drug-related overdose, and about 90 percent of those 
were related to fentanyl.
  This crisis has gotten so bad that fentanyl-driven overdose deaths 
are now the leading cause of deaths for those who are between 18 and 45 
years old. And this is perhaps the worst statistic: Children under 14 
years old are dying of fentanyl poisoning faster than any other age 
  The drugs that come through the border cause unspeakable harm back in 
communities in North Carolina. To many, they are only one or two 
degrees away from a personal tragedy with a name having to do with 
illegal drugs.
  I routinely talk to sheriffs all over the State. I recently went to 
all 100 counties, and I talked to a lot of those sheriffs. Many of them 
told me that every single county in North Carolina

[[Page S1231]]

is now a border county because of President Biden's policies.
  In fact, a recent drug bust in Iredell County, just north of 
Charlotte, uncovered enough fentanyl to kill 250,000 individuals. That 
is poison from just one traffic stop in North Carolina.
  It begs the questions: How did we get here, and what can be done?
  We got here at precisely the moment that President Biden stopped 
enforcing the law at the southern border. President Biden stopped 
building the border wall on his first day in office. He has reversed 
policies to quickly deport criminal illegal aliens. He refused to get 
tough on sanctuary cities that don't obey Federal law. He ended the 
``Remain in Mexico'' policy. And next month, he will end title 42 with 
no plan on how to manage the impending surge.
  The story of President Biden's border crisis is one of preventable 
tragedies compounding day in and day out. And if the White House won't 
act to stop it, then Congress should.
  The very first bill I introduced as a U.S. Senator is called the 
Build the Wall Now Act. It requires border wall construction to restart 
immediately, it removes all legal roadblocks to construction, and it 
unlocks $2.1 billion in unspent funding.
  I have seen for myself the idle heavy equipment just sitting there, 
the concrete and the steel that have sat unused since January 20 of 
2021. My bill simply orders the Biden administration to use those 
supplies and finish the job.
  When I spoke to those border agents, they told me that they really 
need a wall and, yeah, they need funding but that what they really need 
is an administration that has their back. And right now, they don't 
have that.
  Securing the border used to be a bipartisan issue. So I would call on 
President Biden to stop ignoring the border crisis, suspend any 
partisanship that is stopping him from doing what we know would stop 
this suffering, and for the sake of our law enforcement, for our 
parents, for our children, we need this administration to change course 
so that we can save lives.
  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nebraska.
  Mr. RICKETTS. Madam President, I rise today to join my colleagues who 
are continuing to sound the alarm about the ongoing drug crisis we have 
here in our country.
  I will reiterate what my colleague said with regard to the fact that 
the leading cause of death of Americans age 18 to 45 today is fentanyl. 
In 2021, 106,000 Americans died of a drug overdose, 70,000 because of 
fentanyl. Now, let's think about if a terrorist attacked our country 
and killed 106,000 Americans. We would be up in arms. We would be 
mobilizing the country. Yet we do not see that response out of the 
Biden administration.
  Fentanyl is a drug that is coming to us from across the border. The 
precursors of it are manufactured in China and shipped to Mexico, where 
the cartels then, in illegal labs, create the fentanyl that they ship 
across the border. When it comes across the border, it does not stay 
there; it goes all across our country.
  The last 2 years I was Governor--the first 2 years of the Biden 
administration--we saw the increase in the drugs the Nebraska State 
Patrol was confiscating go up dramatically. We saw twice the amount of 
methamphetamine confiscated, 3 times the amount of fentanyl, and 10 
times the amount of cocaine. In 2019, Nebraska law enforcement 
confiscated 46 pills--46. In the first 6 months of 2021, that number 
had grown to 151,000 pills confiscated--unbelievable.
  It is killing people in my State, as it is across the country. I have 
talked on this floor before about Taryn Lee Griffith, a 24-year-old mom 
of two. She was out with friends when she took a pill she thought was 
Percocet, but it was laced with a lethal dose of fentanyl. She died 
that night. Now, her two little girls are going to have to learn about 
their mom through pictures and stories from family.
  This is shameful, and it must end. It is impacting people all across 
this country. As I have said before on this floor, if this is not our 
job, to fix this, I don't know what is. So what more can we do? Well, 
first of all, we can address the southern border.
  I have had the opportunity to go to the southern border several 
times, and when I talk to Customs and Border Protection officials, they 
tell us they need three things: They need infrastructure--wall, build a 
wall; they need more technology, like better drones; and they need more 
personnel. This Congress needs to provide Customs and Border Protection 
the resources they need to be able to stop the flow of drugs coming 
into this country.
  Another thing we can do--unbelievably, if you distribute fentanyl and 
it kills somebody, that is not a murder charge. However, I am proud to 
cosign on Senator Marco Rubio's bill, the Felony Murder for Deadly 
Fentanyl Distribution Act, which would make it a Federal felony murder 
charge to distribute fentanyl and then have somebody die from it. This 
is a very serious crime that is going on. It needs serious 
consequences. We need to make this a felony murder charge. And let me 
tell you, the families are asking for this.
  One of the other things we periodically do here is we put fentanyl on 
the schedule I drug list, but it is temporary. We need to make that 
permanent. We know fentanyl and the analogues are dangerous and need to 
be schedule I drugs that have no medical purpose. So let's do that. And 
that is why I have cosponsored Senator Johnson's Stopping Overdoses of 
Fentanyl Analogues Act, otherwise known as SOFA.
  This is a drug crisis. It is killing our young people in this Nation. 
I call on my colleagues to act, to take these steps to combat this 
crisis. Too many Americans are dying because of what is going on. We 
need to act.
  With that, Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  (The remarks of Mr. Hagerty pertaining to the introduction of S. 1192 
are printed in today's Record under ``Statements on Introduced Bills 
and Joint Resolutions.'')
  Mr. HAGERTY. Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.


  Mr. LEE. Madam President, I would like to talk about fentanyl. It is 
cheap, it is highly addictive, and it is deadly. It is responsible for 
more overdose deaths in America than any other drug. Last year alone, 
110,000 Americans died from fentanyl poisoning in America.
  I recently joined a U.S. delegation to Mexico focused on stopping 
illicit drug trafficking, curbing illegal immigration at the U.S.-
Mexico border, and addressing China's role in providing precursor 
chemicals for fentanyl production and laundering money for the cartels.
  I can say that the drug crisis spilling into our country is apparent 
to anyone willing to travel to the border and witness it for 
themselves. It is becoming more and more apparent every day. In fact, 
it is becoming more apparent even within Mexico.
  During my recent visit with President Lopez Obrador in Mexico, I 
heard him talk about the fact that, although in many instances, with 
many other drugs, drug production in Mexico has often been sending 
drugs just to the United States, at least far more than it has to 
Mexico, but with fentanyl, we are seeing something different. We are 
seeing that fentanyl is now spilling into the Mexican market, and many 
Mexican citizens are starting to die from fentanyl poisoning.
  So he, too, is concerned about it and is looking for ways he can make 
sure that China keeps closer track of the precursor chemicals and that 
the Government of Mexico is notified when those shipments of large-
scale containers of these precursor chemicals arrive in Mexico, 
presumably for the production of fentanyl inside of Mexico.
  Yet, notwithstanding all these developments and 110,000 Americans 
dying in the last year alone from fentanyl, the Biden administration 
has utterly failed to stop this massive influx of fentanyl flowing 
across our southern border. In fact, fentanyl is one of the only 
commodities to see a price decrease since Biden took office. We have 
seen rampant inflation everywhere else but not with fentanyl. So 
despite this historic inflation that we have been experiencing ever 
since January 21, 2021, street prices for this deadly drug have fallen, 
indicating supply is meeting demand without significant impediment,

[[Page S1232]]

bringing down the price. For example, in Arizona, users were paying $20 
per pill in early 2021, but by early 2022, the price had plummeted to 
$5. In Ohio, the cost of fentanyl went from $75,000 per kilogram in 
2017 to $50,000 in 2019 and then to $36,000 in 2021.
  This is the last of the places where we want to see the opposite of 
inflation. We wish that our consumer products at grocery stores and 
everywhere else were going down, not the price of illegal, deadly 
  To put these numbers in perspective, we have been talking about the 
price per kilo--$75,000 per kilo a few years ago; and then 50,000 in 
2019; and then 36,000 in 2021. To put it in perspective, each of those 
kilos--just 1 kilo of fentanyl contains half a million lethal doses. 
That is to say, 1 kilogram could wipe out the entire city of Atlanta, 
GA; and 1 kilo could essentially wipe out the entire population of the 
State of Wyoming. And 2 kilos could kill the entire State of Delaware.
  The DEA recently announced the seizure of more than 50 million 
fentanyl-laced pills and more than 10,000 pounds of fentanyl powder, 
just in 2022 alone. These seizures--that no doubt just represent a 
fraction of all fentanyl that made its way into the United States 
without detection and seizure--represented a staggering 379 million 
lethal doses, far more than enough to kill every man, every woman, and 
every child in the United States.
  Fentanyl is a killer. It is more powerful than morphine and has a 
potency that is measured in micrograms. Even a tiny amount can be 
lethal. Just 2 milligrams can kill an adult. That is why, when you 
measure this out, 2 milligrams--or 2,000 micrograms--going into a 
kilogram is going to get you to half a million lethal doses in 1 kilo.
  It is just unconscionable for this administration to turn a blind eye 
to the problem of fentanyl trafficking across the border. In the face 
of such a lethal threat, we need to have bold and decisive action, not 
empty rhetoric, because the drug cartels really don't care about party 
politics. They only care about making money. And that money is coming 
from the pockets of our fellow Americans suffering from addiction.
  This isn't just a problem for border States like Texas and Arizona. 
It is a threat to every community in America. It is sold on street 
corners in small towns and in big cities. It is killing our friends, 
our neighbors, and our loved ones.
  We must secure our borders to disrupt the drug cartels. We cannot 
tacitly allow fentanyl and other deadly drugs to continue flowing into 
our communities and destroying the lives of our everyday citizens.
  Now, yes, it is true, they are working to seize the stuff; and our 
law enforcement agents have seized a lot of it. But with millions of 
people crossing into our border--our southern border--over the last 
slightly more than 2 years--millions of people pouring in--it is making 
it worse, especially when you consider those same people are being 
trafficked into the United States, earning billions of dollars--the 
extortionate rates that they charge--to smuggle human traffic into the 
United States. It would be folly to assume, as the Secretary of 
Homeland Security recently suggested at a hearing before the Senate 
Judiciary Committee, that that doesn't play a very significant role in 
fentanyl making its way into the United States. He insisted that nearly 
all of the fentanyl comes in by way of vehicles--trucks and passenger 
vehicles--at points of entry. I don't know how he can possibly know 
that. In fact, it is impossible he could know that, because when you 
have 5 million people coming into the United States illegally through 
our southern border in slightly more than 2 years, it would be folly to 
assume that those people being trafficked by the drug traffickers 
wouldn't also be used to carry fentanyl.
  In short, every pill of fentanyl is a potential killer. Every 
shipment of fentanyl is a ticking time bomb, if not a weapon of mass 
destruction. And every life lost to fentanyl is a tragedy.
  We owe it to ourselves, our families, and our communities to tackle 
this problem and to do everything in our power to stamp out the scourge 
of this drug in American communities.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. DAINES. Madam President, when most people talk about the fentanyl 
crisis crippling our communities today, they talk the numbers. And the 
numbers are very powerful.
  In 2022, synthetic opioids like deadly fentanyl claimed over 75,000 
lives in our country. In fact, it is estimated that over 150 people die 
every day from overdoses related to the synthetic opioids, the most 
common one being fentanyl.
  But today, what I really want to tell you about is one person. I want 
to tell you about Reilly Schrapps from Butte, MT. Reilly was born 
November 6, 1997. We have four children. Our youngest of four was born 
in 1996. This all hits way too close to home.
  You see, Reilly loved his mother and his father, Tom. Incidentally, 
Tom was my guest at the State of the Union Address earlier this year. 
His stepmother, his brother, his stepsiblings, their family's two dogs, 
were all loved by Tom. In fact, according to those who knew him best, 
Reilly was an avid fisherman, he was a sportsman--so much like most 
Montanans--and he spent his free time enjoying the great outdoors in 
Montana with family and friends, floating the Big Hole, skiing 
Discovery, and camping Canyon Ferry.
  Reilly was also an artist. He enjoyed all these things and more until 
July 30 of 2022, the day Reilly died taking a pill laced with fentanyl. 
Reilly was in Montana when this happened. He was just 24 years old.
  Reilly lives on in the stories that families and friends tell about 
him. But that shouldn't be the case. Reilly should be alive today.
  Fentanyl overdoses quickly became the leading cause of death for 18- 
to 45-year-olds in our country. It is a fast-acting poison--50 times 
more powerful than heroin, 100 times more potent than morphine. And it 
is taking children away from their parents and spouses away from their 
partners. We lost over 75,000 people just last year.
  And I commend law enforcement in Montana and across our country for 
doing everything in their power, many times risking their own lives, to 
get fentanyl off our streets, but they can't do it alone. We must stop 
fentanyl from flooding our streets to begin with by securing our wide-
open southern border.
  Since President Biden took office, there have been over 5 million 
illegal border crossings. Montana has just over 1 million total 
residents. We have had over 5 million illegal border crossings since 
the President took office. This includes gang members, drug dealers, 
suspected terrorists, as well as thousands of pounds of deadly, illegal 
fentanyl. This is the most in our Nation's history.
  You see, Mexican cartels are using chemicals that come from China 
sent to Mexico; and there in Mexico, they manufacture illicit fentanyl, 
which is pressed then into counterfeit pills, smuggled across the 
southern border, and sold as pills in powder form in our communities.
  These cartels are terrorist organizations. We need to call and treat 
them as such. The cartels are taking advantage of the wide-open and 
lawless southern border. So many of us have spent nights on the 
southern border, including myself, shoulder to shoulder with those 
brave men and women, with Border Patrol, trying to protect our country 
but vastly outnumbered, because they are not only flooding the southern 
border with illegals but also flooding the southern border with poison, 
including our Montana communities.
  Montana is a northern border State. But we have a southern border 
crisis. And the consequences of this crisis are most tragic. These are 
not just numbers and statistics. They are human lives--lives like 
Reilly's. Every single one is someone's child, somebody's parent, 
somebody's friend. And they are people that should still be here today.
  When Tom Schrapps joined me at the State of the Union Address earlier 
this year, he said that even though talking about what happened to 
Reilly is so painful, that if he could just save one person, one 
family, from the pain that he has gone through, the pain would be worth 
  So I am here talking about this, urging--urging--the administration 
and my colleagues to secure the southern border, change the policies 
that once were working that this President rescinded. We need to do 
everything to prevent more families from feeling this pain.

[[Page S1233]]

  The scourge of fentanyl on our communities is the single greatest 
threat to public safety today. When you look at the violent crime that 
we are seeing increasing across the State of Montana--you spend a 
little time; it doesn't take a lot of time--a little time with any law 
enforcement across the State of Montana, they will tell you it is the 
drugs that are causing the crime--every one of them. Fentanyl will 
continue to fuel the worst drug crisis in American history until we 
take serious action to address the open border crisis at our southern 
border. And there are solutions right here at our fingertips.
  If this administration and my colleagues across the aisle would join 
us, we can crack down on these Mexican drug cartels and those who 
supply them with the chemicals to produce illicit fentanyl.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana.
  Mr. YOUNG. Madam President, we are entering graduation season; 17- 
and 18-year-olds should be attending their senior prom, preparing to 
finish high school, and looking forward to their futures, as my oldest 
daughter is right now. They should not be in the obituaries of our 
local newspaper. Their high school lockers should not be makeshift 
memorials covered in flowers. And yet all over America, they are.
  Fentanyl is the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45--
the leading cause of death. A rapidly increasing number of the dead are 
teenagers. And the rate of teen overdoses since the pandemic have more 
than doubled compared to the decade before.
  Between 2019 and 2021, the number of deaths caused by fentanyl among 
10- to 19-year-olds increased by 182 percent. And this is due almost 
entirely to the fentanyl found in counterfeit pills, many of which are 
sold via social media--platforms like TikTok and Snapchat.
  The drug is incredibly lethal. Two milligrams, the equivalent of 10 
grains of salt, can kill. It is inexpensive to produce and 
exponentially more dangerous than heroin or morphine. Even the overdose 
rate of children 5 and under is growing. Hundreds of thousands of 
Americans are dying, so many of our kids among them.
  How can we be so powerless to prevent this?
  To all the families who have lost loved ones to fentanyl, we grieve 
with you. We share your anger, and we vow--we vow--not to let your 
loved one's death be in vain. It is past time we took the fight to the 
monsters who traffic in this poison, who profit from our loss.
  I know the Presiding Officer feels the way I do about this issue.
  First, we know that the majority of fentanyl is making its way into 
our communities through Mexico. To President Biden and his 
administration: Secure the border now.
  Second, let's give the frontline soldiers in this fight the tools 
that they need to keep fentanyl off our streets. The HALT Act, which my 
colleagues and I recently introduced, would do this. It would 
permanently classify fentanyl-related drugs as schedule I, meaning they 
would be deemed dangerously addictive with no medical value, and holds 
those who deal in this poison liable to civil and criminal punishment. 
This legislation would enable our law enforcement officials to better 
fight the impact of this deadly drug.
  Lastly, we need to cut off the dealers' back channels to our 
children. We know that pushers prey on teenagers across social media 
platforms, embedding advertisements with emojis or codes. Social media 
companies must work with the Federal Government to shut down these one-
stop digital drug shops--shut them down.
  Another recently introduced bill, the Cooper Davis Act, would require 
social media companies to play their part in this fight and duly report 
drug trafficking across their platforms. To accomplish this, our bill 
would create a standardized reporting system with the Federal 
Government, modeled after the existing reporting system for child 
sexual abuse material on social media platforms. It has worked there. 
It will work here as well.
  The Cooper Davis Act is a bipartisan proposal reflecting the scale of 
devastation caused by the drug crisis across all of the 50 States. In 
fact, this crisis knows no region, no class, no party. No American 
family is immune from it.
  By securing the border, by passing the HALT Act, and by passing the 
Cooper Davis Act, we can start--we can start--to rally a true national 
response to this crisis. We cannot let the deaths of so many young 
Americans be for naught. Enough is enough.
  I yield the floor.
  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. BENNET. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


  Mr. BENNET. Madam President, I feel like, in fact, I have been here 
on a weekly basis to talk about this issue. And the reason I feel that 
way is that I have been here on a weekly basis to talk about what is 
happening in the wake of the Dobbs decision, which stripped the 
American people of the first fundamental freedom, the first fundamental 
right, that we have lost since reconstruction.
  This was a 50-year effort on the part of certain people in this 
country, with an ideological commitment to overturn Roe v. Wade, who 
used every single mechanism that they could of our democracy and, now, 
ultimately, our judiciary, to enforce a legal outcome that the vast 
majority of the American people have never supported and, today, don't 
  We find ourselves on the floor today, I dare say, facing a resolution 
by the Senator from Alabama, whom I have been out here arguing with for 
the last 6 weeks--a resolution that would be decried by, I would bet, 9 
out of 10 Americans. I will be fair: 8 out of 10 Americans. This is an 
effort in the wake of the Dobbs decision, which stripped the American 
people of this fundamental freedom, this fundamental right that 
families have relied on for 50 years.
  Millions of veterans now live in States where abortion is banned. I 
will come to that in a second.
  In an attempt to deal with the catastrophe in the wake of Dobbs, the 
VA has promulgated some rules to make it allowable in the Veterans' 
Administration. When a veteran or their family member has been raped, 
is the victim of incest, or when the life of the mother is at stake, 
what the VA has said--because we are dealing with the overturning of 
Roe v. Wade--in those cases, those three limited cases, we are going to 
allow people to get access to care at the Veterans' Administration.
  That has set off the Senator from Alabama, who is now trying to get 
the Senate to pass a resolution to ban that so that veterans and their 
families who are the victims of rape, who are the victims of incest, or 
where the life of the mother is at stake, cannot get medical care at 
the Veterans' Administration. In a State like his, which has banned 
abortion, that is what is at stake this week.
  A month ago, we were on this floor because the same Senator from 
Alabama was putting a blanket hold on every single flag officer's 
promotion in the U.S. military. Think about that. That sounds 
impossible. That sounds like an exaggeration.
  Madam President, the reason it sounds that way to you is because, 
first of all, you are a reasonable person, but, second of all, it has 
never happened in the history of this Senate before--that somebody has 
held up the promotion of every single flag officer, put a blanket hold 
  Now, that is not because of what the VA is doing. That is because of 
what the Department of Defense is doing, because the Department of 
Defense, again, in the wake of Dobbs--the Dobbs decision overturning 
Roe v. Wade--in the wake of that, DOD has said: If you are serving in a 
State where abortion is banned, we will pay for your travel from that 
State to another State. We will say that you don't need to use unpaid 
leave to get to that other State.
  And we have said--DOD, not me, has said: If you want to take a little 
longer to talk to your commanding officer about one of the most 
personal decisions anybody could make, any family could make, any woman 
could make, we are going to give you a little bit of extra time to do 
  Those are the three things. I bet 80 percent of the American people 
support those things, and I guarantee you more than 80 percent of the 
American people

[[Page S1234]]

do not support the idea that we are going to hold up every single flag 
officer who is coming here for a promotion, at a moment when Putin has 
invaded Ukraine and China is rattling their saber over their 
idiosyncratic view of how the world ought to work.
  I heard that somebody today said: Well, this veterans rule violates 
the Hyde amendment.
  First of all, the Hyde amendment, as is well known, doesn't even 
apply to the VA. And, if it did--guess what--there are three exceptions 
to the Hyde amendment: rape, incest, and the health of the mother.
  So they are even trying to turn back Hyde. That is what they are 
trying to do on the floor of this Senate, and they are messing with the 
readiness of the American Armed Forces to do it.
  What brought us here?
  What brought us here was the Dobbs decision. What brought us here was 
a Court packed--packed--with a wish list of people who, for 50 years, 
have been fighting for an originalist--so-called originalist; made up, 
made up--but an originalist conception of constitutional law, and they 
finally found a guy in the form of President Donald Trump who was 
willing to put these people on the Court.
  And they gave the Court the majority they needed to eviscerate Roe v. 
Wade, to strip this fundamental right, to strip this fundamental 
freedom, and to do it with contempt; to not wrestle with the question 
of what is going to happen to people serving in the Armed Forces of the 
United States if they are unlucky enough to need an abortion and they 
live in a State like Alabama, for example, where, if you are a doctor 
and you perform an abortion, you can go to jail for 99 years--although, 
admittedly, admittedly, there is an exception in Alabama for the life 
of the mother.
  This end point--I hope it is an end point. This end point of that 50-
year war on freedom, war on Roe v. Wade, war on a set of expectations 
that women, in particular, have in this country, but that families have 
in this country--that war was brought to a conclusion, in some sense, 
by a majority opinion written by Justice Scalia that, essentially--read 
it, read it--essentially came down to this: If it wasn't a right in 
1868, it is not a right in 2023. If it wasn't a freedom in 1868, it is 
not a freedom today.
  Forget that, at that time of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, 
Black people and women didn't even have the right to vote. They didn't 
even have the right to vote. But in the 21st century, when we are meant 
to compete in a global economy, in a society that, by any measure, is 
still profoundly unequal but far more equal than it was in those days, 
where women do have the right to vote, where Black people do have the 
right--thank God--in this country to vote, we are reading the language 
in 1868 and saying: Well, was it a right or a freedom then? That is how 
we are going to decide whether it is one today.
  In the early 1990s, when I was in law school and when we knew that it 
was at the dawn of originalism--I mean, that was happening right then. 
It was part of the Reagan revolution. It was part of law and economics. 
It was part of making the shareholder the supreme being in the United 
States of America--part of that whole measure, that whole time period 
in the country's history. That is when some genius--and they were a 
genius--came up with the word ``originalism'' to describe a legal 
ideology that says: We are only going to look in the rearview mirror to 
figure out what our rights are today--as if they could divine the 
intent of the Founding Fathers on a question like abortion, who, by the 
way, had massive disagreements among themselves.
  Anybody who has ever read even a signpost or a tourist--you know, 
some sort of signpost on the side of Independence Hall in Pennsylvania, 
in Philadelphia--knows how many disagreements the Founders had with 
themselves. The idea that somehow you are going to divine their one 
view about what the Constitution should say is preposterous. But here 
we are. Here we are.
  And we were told when this happened: Don't worry about it. You know, 
this is just a matter of the Supreme Court sending this right, sending 
this fundamental freedom--this fundamental freedom--back to the States. 
That is all. It is just an exercise in federalism.
  Well, since this happened, since Dobbs was passed, 18 States have 
banned abortion. I have one kid who is about the age of the pages now. 
Two others are older than the pages now. I am telling you, I was with 
my daughter Caroline the other day, riding through Colorado, looking at 
the billboards as we went by, and I said to her: Man, Caroline--she is 
now 23--if you had told me 20 years ago that in 2023 we would be living 
in a country that was legalizing marijuana and banning abortion, I 
would not have believed you. I would not have believed you.
  She doesn't believe it either.
  As my friend Jon Tester, my friend the farmer from Montana, says, his 
daughter is having to fight for rights that her mother never had to 
fight for because her grandmother won these rights. And now we are 
rolling it all back because the Supreme Court majority that Donald 
Trump made possible after all these years, after all this effort to 
strip the American people of this freedom, has decided, if it is not a 
right in 1868, it is not a right today.

  So 18 States have banned abortion. Nine have no exceptions for rape 
or incest. There have been now restrictions on freedom to travel. Texas 
famously has put $10,000 bounties. It is like the Wild West, all of a 
sudden, where if you are a friend or a neighbor who is driving somebody 
to access abortion services and somebody catches you, says you 
shouldn't have been doing it, you can get a $10,000 bounty.
  In Florida, in the Sunshine State--I think Florida is the third 
largest State in the country--one of them, the third largest State in 
the country--in broad daylight--actually, to be honest with you, it was 
at 11 o'clock at night--the Governor has now signed a 6-week ban on 
  One in three women don't even know that they are pregnant. A third of 
women don't even know that they are pregnant at 6 weeks.
  I don't know whether the Governor of Florida knows that or doesn't 
know that, but it is an interesting question: Which would be worse, him 
knowing it or not knowing it?
  And, now, all of a sudden, 9 million veterans and their families, 
including 2 million female veterans, live in States that have banned 
abortion or restricted it in ways that would have been unimaginable to 
my daughter Caroline, to families all over the country.
  And, as I said, in some limited way of dealing with it, the VA 
announced these rules. But these narrow rules that have to do with rape 
and incest and the life of the mother, they are not enough for the 
Senator from Alabama, and, this afternoon, he is forcing a vote to 
strip away the VA policy and impose a position on every veteran in 
America that is more extreme than his own State.
  Hyde doesn't apply to the VA, and, even if it did, there are 
exceptions for rape, for incest, for the life of the mother. That is 
not extreme enough for them. His resolution would ensure that veterans 
who have been raped, who are victims of incest, whose life is at risk, 
can't seek an abortion at the VA, along with their spouses and their 
  Even in Alabama there is an exception for the life of the mother, and 
they have one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.
  I am going to come to an end because my colleague is here from 
Nevada. I have two colleagues here from Nevada. So I am confused. I 
said I am going to finish, but I will take a couple of minutes and then 
finish, but by saying that it is tragic that we have to have this vote 
in 2023. It is.
  This is a tragedy. It is a tragedy. It is a spectacle. It is an 
embarrassment. But at least people will have the opportunity to know 
where every Member of the Senate stands, and they are going to 
understand what a 50-year political effort to strip America of this 
freedom looks like.
  You know, there was a survey in a poll last month in Florida, and my 
colleague won't be surprised to know this: 75 percent of Florida 
opposes a 6-week ban; 61 percent of the GOP in Florida opposes a 6-week 
ban. Let that sink in.
  I don't know. I am not a great politician, unlike some people. But, 
maybe, that is why he was signing it at 11 o'clock at night. Maybe that 
is why, when the Governor of Florida signed it,

[[Page S1235]]

he sent out a tweet that didn't say he had signed a 6-week ban on 
abortion in Florida, because 75 percent of the people there oppose it, 
just like the majority of Americans.
  And so I think we should defeat this resolution. I think the American 
people should take note of every single vote that is cast here by these 
  But, really, as important as that, we need to understand what has 
happened to our politics, what has happened to our Supreme Court 
through this 50-year war on American freedom and this 50-year war on a 
woman's right to choose.
  And we need to come together as a country and codify a woman's right 
to choose so the next generation of Americans has the benefit that the 
last 50 years of Americans have had.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Baldwin). The senior Senator from Nevada.
  Ms. CORTEZ MASTO. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
following Senators be permitted to complete their remarks prior to the 
scheduled recess: Senator Rosen, myself, Senator Klobuchar, and Senator 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The junior Senator from Nevada.

                              S.J. Res. 10

  Ms. ROSEN. Madam President, since the Supreme Court overturned 
longstanding protections for the fundamental right to access abortion 
care nearly a year ago, we have seen countless attacks on women's 
reproductive rights from anti-choice States across our Nation--States 
that are banning abortions without exceptions for rape or incest; 
States that are risking the lives of women who have miscarried; and I 
have been doing everything I can to stand up and to defend a woman's 
fundamental right to make healthcare choices for her own body without 
interference from anti-choice politicians.
  And this includes making sure we protect our veterans' rights, and 
that includes the right for those veterans to make decisions over their 
own bodies. Our veterans and their families--you know, they have risked 
so much to protect our Nation, to protect our rights. And we owe it to 
them to defend their fundamental right to access reproductive care, 
regardless of where they live. They put themselves in harm's way. We 
must protect them.
  That is why, last year, I urged the Department of Veterans Affairs to 
make it clear that they will provide access to abortion care to 
veterans and their families, and I am glad they listened. But today--
today--anti-choice Republicans in Washington want to overturn that 
decision, and they want to restrict our veterans' access to 
reproductive care.
  That is what today's debate is about. If they get their way and they 
roll back this rule, the VA healthcare system would no longer be 
allowed to provide abortion counseling or any kind of care to 
servicemembers and veterans and--listen to this--even in the cases of 
rape, even when the mother's life is at risk.
  I am not going to let that happen.
  My State of Nevada is honored to be the home of hundreds of thousands 
of veterans, and we are a proud pro-choice State. When Nevadans sent me 
here to the Senate, they sent me here to fight for their rights, and 
that is what I will always do.
  So I urge my colleagues to join me in fighting back against this 
ideological attempt to restrict reproductive rights for veterans by 
opposing this resolution.
  For our veterans, for our women in Nevada, for women everywhere in 
the United States, I urge a ``no'' vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The senior Senator from Nevada.
  Ms. CORTEZ MASTO. Madam President, I join my colleagues today to 
continue to speak out against the far-right Republicans' harmful and, 
frankly, insulting resolution to prevent women veterans from accessing 
essential healthcare in this country.
  You know, our veterans stepped up to serve our country, putting their 
lives on the line to protect our freedoms and keep our families safe. 
We owe them a debt of gratitude. That is why I am working to ensure 
that we protect veterans' rights to essential healthcare.
  We trust these women to make critical decisions in the line of duty 
to protect our national security; so why don't extremists on the right 
trust them to make decisions about their own bodies?
  The purpose of the VA is to protect veterans' health and life. Since 
the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, my colleagues and I pushed 
the administration, including the VA, to take action to protect women 
veterans' access to abortion care across the country. At our urging, 
the VA created a rule to provide abortion counseling to pregnant 
veterans as well as abortion services in the limited cases of rape, 
incest, or the life or health of the mother. This is critical for women 
veterans, especially those who live in States with strict abortion bans 
and no access to care in their communities.
  But we knew that after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, 
anti-choice policymakers wouldn't stop trying to take away a woman's 
right to choose. And now they are going after the health and well-being 
of women who have fought for our country. There are 550,000 women 
veterans who get their healthcare through the VA. And 300,000 of those 
women veterans are at a point in their lives at which they need 
reproductive care. That is 300,000 women who have sacrificed for our 
country and who, according to extremist Republicans, don't deserve to 
make their own healthcare decisions. Some of these women veterans live 
in States where they can access reproductive care outside the VA, but 
over 155,000 of them live in States with harsh abortion restrictions on 
the books.
  Now, I am leading legislation to ensure our veterans--and all women--
maintain their right to travel to pro-choice States to get the care 
they need. Unfortunately, for many of these women, the VA is their only 
option for accessing abortion care. That is why the VA's new rule is so 
critical to protecting veterans' health and why extremist Republican 
attacks on reproductive care is so dangerous.
  Women veterans put their lives on the line to fight for our freedom, 
including control of our own bodies, our lives, and our futures; and 
now the far right wants to take these freedoms away. We cannot let that 
happen. We have to ensure that this resolution does not pass, because 
we should be looking out and protecting the rights of women across this 
country, not taking away their rights and freedoms.
  I yield the floor.
  Ms. SMITH. Madam President.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The junior Senator from Minnesota.
  Ms. SMITH. Madam President, I rise today in strong opposition to the 
resolution before us today. This resolution would overturn the VA's 
rule protecting veterans' access to abortion counseling and care in 
cases of rape, incest, or when the life of a woman or her health is in 
danger; and, unfortunately, it is just the latest attack on women's 
freedom to make their own healthcare decisions without interference 
from politicians.
  Today, veterans, their spouses, and dependents are protected and have 
the freedom to receive essential healthcare in the most devastating of 
  By voting yes today, the Senate would take that freedom away. So 
let's be clear about what this means. A ``yes'' vote means you would be 
saying to women who are entrusted to protect our national security that 
they can't be trusted to make their own medical decisions. You would be 
saying that the person who has been raped or the victim of incest 
should not have the freedom to get an abortion. You are saying, in 
effect, sitting in this Chamber that those of you sitting in this 
Chamber should have the power to decide what healthcare a veteran can 
receive if she faces a serious or even life-threatening health threat 
if she continues a pregnancy.
  So if you are considering a ``yes'' vote, I ask you, what makes you 
think that you know better? What makes you think that you should have 
the power over another person and their body?
  This is an insult to the dignity of people, to veterans, and to their 
families. These are people who have given so much; and yet this body 
would deprive them of their right to freedom and self-determination, 
the very rights that they sacrificed and fought to defend.
  Colleagues, I understand that people have differing views on 
abortion. And I

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respect that. But I cannot understand why anyone would think that they 
should have the power to impose their own views on others in such 
extreme ways, because this resolution is extreme. And everyone who 
votes for it is saying that when it comes to our Nation's veterans who 
get their healthcare through the VA, that there should be no exceptions 
for abortion, even if that veteran has been the victim of rape or 
incest, even when continuing the pregnancy would endanger the veteran's 
life or health. That is not just extreme; that is cruel.
  Here in this Chamber, some are also going after current 
servicemembers. There is currently an unprecedented and reckless 
campaign in this Chamber to hold up the promotions of career military 
personnel in order to force the Department of Defense to deprive 
servicemembers of their legal right to seek abortion care.
  Let that sink in. They are willing to compromise our national 
security and leave 187 important military leadership posts vacant in 
order to enact their dangerous and unpopular anti-abortion agenda.
  And they are not doing this because of what Americans want. It is the 
opposite, in fact. According to a Pew Research Center poll, over 60 
percent of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
  Before I was in the Senate, I worked at Planned Parenthood, and I saw 
there, firsthand, the capacity of people to make good decisions--moral 
decisions--for themselves and their families about how and when or if 
to start a family. So I ask my Republican colleagues to reject this 
extreme proposal. Ask yourself: Why do you think that you know better 
than these women, these veterans, whose lives and stories, whose health 
and family situations you will never know?
  And I can tell you: For women, this is personal. They don't want any 
of us making these decisions about their bodies and their health and 
their families for them. They are perfectly capable of making these 
decisions for themselves. So I urge my colleagues to stand with our 
veterans and vote to protect their rights after they fought so hard to 
defend ours.
  I yield the floor.