[Congressional Record Volume 156, Number 52 (Wednesday, April 14, 2010)]
[Senate]
[Pages S2275-S2289]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]




              CONTINUING EXTENSION ACT OF 2010--Continued

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senate will resume 
consideration of H.R. 4851.
  The Senator from Oklahoma is recognized.


                           Amendment No. 3723

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, if anybody has been watching the Senate 
today, there was a point of order made that the spending we are going 
to pass to pay for unemployment insurance extension benefits and 
benefits for health insurance for those people, in terms of buying 
through their former employers, as well as the sustainable growth rate 
formula, failed to be overriden.
  We will have another vote on that because the majority side was 
missing one Member, and they will eventually win on that. What that 
says is, we are once again back to the point where we refuse to make 
the hard choices to pay for things we need to do today by eliminating 
things that are not as important.
  The point of order was on the fact that it is an emergency so, 
therefore, we can say: Time out. But those who voted to override it 
fail to recognize the other major emergency that is happening in our 
country. We have $12.8 trillion worth of debt as of today. We are going 
to add another $1.4 to $1.5 trillion this year, this calendar year; 
that the increase in the cost of that debt over the last 12 months will 
require an additional, next year, $125 billion worth of expenditures.
  There has to come a point in time when we grow to the responsibility 
that has been given to us; that is, make hard choices. It is very easy 
to pass an unemployment insurance bill by charging it to our children. 
The majority leader has graciously agreed to give me an opportunity to 
offer three different ways to pay for that. I am going to put those out 
today. One amendment now, which we will vote on, another amendment 
later, and then a third amendment later.
  Most of the ideas for cutting spending, quite frankly, have come from 
my colleagues on the other side, and many of them you have already 
voted for. So it is going to be an interesting exercise today. The 
majority leader also spoke to me before lunch saying it did not matter 
because I was going to lose anyway.
  That sends a signal. The leadership of our Senate today says: We do 
not have to pay for things.
  Prior to leaving here, we agreed on a compromise of tax loophole 
closures that would have paid for this for a period of 30 days. The 
bill we voted on back then was for 30 days. We have now before us an 
identical bill before us for 60 days. It is going to cost $18.2 
billion. That is what CBO says. The question I have to ask is, is it 
morally right for us to steal that money from our children's future or 
make hard choices about wasteful spending today? The choices are not 
hard other than in our stubbornness that we don't want to agree.
  When businesses are taken over, when a larger business buys a smaller 
business, the first thing they do is become great cash managers of the 
business. In other words, they make sure the money in the business is 
always working for the business. So if there is excess cash lying 
around in accounts, they take that money and reduce whatever 
outstanding debts they have or forgo borrowing money and use that cash 
in a more efficacious and serious manner. The first amendment I will 
offer is asking us to do nothing but the same.
  At the end of last year, the Federal Government had on its books 
money it borrowed but had not spent of $676 billion. That is what is 
sitting in accounts, money we have borrowed that is not being utilized 
efficiently. At the end of next year, at the end of fiscal 2011, 
according to the OMB, it will be $614 billion. That is almost half of 
the debt we will borrow this year. This first amendment simply says: 
Let the administration utilize its executive prerogatives and instead 
of us borrowing $18.2 billion from our children and then paying 
interest on that--and, by the way, the interest on that $18.2 billion 
that will go on in perpetuity, because we are not retiring any debt, is 
about $900 million, almost $1 billion a year. Why would we borrow money 
when we have money sitting there that is not being utilized effectively 
and pay almost $900 million every year? Why would we borrow again next 
year an extra billion to pay for the money we are going to borrow to 
fund this program?
  Let me give an example of where this money lies. In our own accounts 
to run the legislature, we have $1.450 billion sitting there. In other 
words, it has not been promised to do anything. It is sitting there. It 
was sitting at $1.876 billion at the end of last fiscal year. It is 
projected to be $1.481 billion next year. We are keeping that money in 
the bank and not using it.
  The Department of Agriculture has $20 billion and is estimated in 
2011 to have still $12 billion sitting in an account that we are paying 
interest on that is not being utilized, not obligated for anything at 
the time, unobligated.
  What all these figures show when you total them up is that we are 
sending money so fast to agencies, they can't spend it. In other words, 
we are throwing money at the agencies far faster than they can spend 
it, and it would be wise and prudent of us to send less money--still 
with the same rules, still with the same instruction, to utilize their 
money better.
  The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman

[[Page S2276]]

Obey, has already agreed to do that on the summer jobs program in 
certain accounts.
  The idea behind this amendment is to take some of the $1 trillion 
that is sitting in accounts that is not obligated--in other words, it 
will not be utilized this year; it won't be utilized for at least 2 
years--and utilize that rather than charge our children.
  I have used Madeline's picture a lot, but I don't think you can 
overutilize this picture. This little girl was caught on the street 
outside of Washington protesting. Obviously, her parents put her up to 
it. At the time she was wearing a sign that says: I am already $38,375 
in debt and I only own a dollhouse. At the end of this fiscal year, she 
will be $45,000 more in debt, and she will still only own a dollhouse. 
Why would we want to do that?
  This bill adds $500 for every man, woman, and child in this country. 
Why wouldn't we want to not charge it to them and utilize what we have 
in excess now, the inefficient use of the cash balances we have, to pay 
for something we all agree we want to pay for but the disagreement is 
over whether we should steal it from our children or actually make hard 
choices? These are not even hard choices. These are easy choices. We 
were told, when we came to an agreement prior to the April recess, that 
the reason this wasn't acceptable in the House is they didn't want to 
set the precedent of starting to pay for things when we are spending 
money. I would put forth that the American people are ready for us to 
start doing that. They are ready for us to start making tough choices. 
They think we need to make tough choices.
  Out of every dollar we spend, we are borrowing 43 cents against the 
future. That is what happened last year. It will actually be probably 
higher this year. Maybe not. But somewhere about 43 cents out of every 
dollar the Federal Government spends is borrowed. Is there a time that 
we should stop and pause and say: Maybe a review is in order of our 
priorities, looking at the priorities of the Federal Government? I know 
that builds a lot of resistance in this body. But what I would like 
somebody to tell me is, when is that time? Is it when the Chinese won't 
buy our bonds anymore? Do we wait for the firestorm to come where we 
are at critical mass and then the choices are limited and few? Or do we 
start making the proper decisions now and live up to the authority and 
responsibility given to us?
  There is a saying that the easiest thing in the world is to spend 
somebody else's money. I also think it is the most addictive thing in 
the world. We can see that. It doesn't matter whether it is Republicans 
in charge or Democrats. We have not seen the kind of behavior in 
Congress that will get our Congress out of the financial problems we 
face.
  In terms of an almost $4 trillion budget, $18 billion doesn't seem 
like a lot, but if you keep doing that every 60 days, in a year you 
have done over $120 billion that you will add to the debt. Our kids 
will get to pay it back, but they will get to pay it back on compounded 
interest.
  The interesting thing is what the OMB and CBO agree to. Actually, CBO 
came out with the latest numbers. We are going to borrow $9.8 trillion 
if we don't change things over the next 9 years, and fully 50 percent 
of that will be borrowed money to pay interest on the money we have 
already borrowed. Should we not do what is right for the unemployed but 
also what is right for the Madelines of this world in terms of 
protecting their future?
  I call up amendment No. 3723 and ask for its consideration.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oklahoma [Mr. Coburn] proposes an 
     amendment No. 3723.

  Mr. COBURN. I ask unanimous consent that reading of the amendment be 
dispensed with.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

(Purpose: To pay for the full cost of extending additional unemployment 
  insurance and other Federal programs by rescinding unspent federal 
                  funds not obligated for any purpose)

       At the end of the amendment, insert the following:

     SEC. __. RESCISSION OF UNSPENT AND UNCOMMITTED FEDERAL FUNDS.

       (a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     law, of all available unobligated Federal funds, the greater 
     of $20,000,000,000 and the amount determined necessary under 
     the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-139; 
     124 Stat. 8) to offset the budgetary effect of this Act, 
     excluding this section, in appropriated discretionary 
     unexpired funds are rescinded.
       (b) Implementation.--Not later than 60 days after the date 
     of enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of 
     Management and Budget shall--
       (1) identify the accounts and amounts rescinded to 
     implement subsection (a); and
       (2) submit a report to the Secretary of the Treasury and 
     Congress of the accounts and amounts identified under 
     paragraph (1) for rescission.

  Mr. COBURN. Here is a fairly painless way--just more efficient 
management of the money we have--of paying for this needed program 
without charging it to the children. We don't have to go to the bond 
market to borrow more. We don't have to incur an additional $900 
million a year of debt, a tremendous benefit to those who follow us. 
The question is, when will we decide to start being responsible?
  I am going to be offering two other amendments, if this one is not 
agreed to, that will give specific choices. Wait to hear the howling. 
In other words, nothing is less important than unemployment insurance. 
Said the other way, everything is more important. In other words, we 
can't cut anything to pay for unemployment insurance.
  Let's talk about that for a minute. Just through competitive bidding, 
if we had mandatory competitive bidding in the Federal Government--in 
other words, we will not buy things that are not competitively bid--we 
would save $62 billion a year. But we have sweetheart deals out the 
kazoo. We have earmarks that have noncompetitive bidding. We have 
contracts that the government does without competitive bidding. We 
could save $62 billion a year by instituting competitive bidding.
  Here are examples. It was recently reported that the Defense 
Department rewards no-bid work to small contracts for repairs at 
military bases costing taxpayers $148 million more than they were 
competed for. This is in 1 year on repair contracts. That is just on 
the repair of small items on military bases. We could save $148 million 
a year. Federal funds were spent by the State of Wisconsin, $47.5 
million, on two Spanish-made passenger trains, no competitive bid. The 
Legal Services Corporation, 37 out of 38 consultant contracts had not 
been competitively bid. The Department of Interior inspector general 
issued a report on sole-source contracting within the Department of 
Interior total savings; $44.5 million, had they used competitive 
bidding.
  If we go through all of the agencies, what we come up with is a 
potential savings of billions and billions of dollars; as a matter of 
fact, enough to extend this same bill for 7 months, if we use 
competitive bidding. But that will not be considered important. It is 
going to be too important to do that so we will borrow the money from 
our children.
  Let's look at ourselves. In 2010, the legislative branch received 
$4.7 billion in discretionary funding, a 6-percent increase over last 
year. Do we know of any other people who got those kinds of increases 
who work in small business or private enterprise in a down economy? 
Last year and this year alone, every day without this bill we are 
adding $4.3 billion to our debt a day. Is that an emergency? I think 
that is the real emergency, that we are absolutely stealing opportunity 
from our children and grandchildren.
  When Members of the Senate or the House don't utilize all their 
funds--and I average turning back about $600,000 a year--that money 
does not go back to the Treasury. It is consumed in other areas of the 
legislative branch. There is a disincentive for Members to be efficient 
with the dollars they are allotted as they represent their individual 
States. We ought to change that. There ought to be an incentive to be 
efficient. We ought to change it to where whatever we turn back goes to 
retire the debt, not goes back to spend on something that is not a 
priority.

  If you look at the Department of Agriculture, for which one of my 
amendments will have some recommended eliminations, there are hundreds 
of millions of dollars that are wasted every year. But when we offer an

[[Page S2277]]

amendment that is going to have a program that both the Bush 
administration and the Obama administration have recommended be 
removed, we are going to have people say: Oh, no, you can't do that 
because maybe 1,000 people or 1,500 people want that gravy train, when 
we have 10 million people unemployed. So we are going to keep the gravy 
train for the small numbers and borrow the money from our children and 
grandchildren to take care of unemployment benefits.
  In 2009, the Department of Agriculture made errors in payments and 
overpaid by $4.2 billion in that year alone. Think about that. That is 
just the Department of Agriculture. Should we not eliminate that to pay 
for unemployment insurance or should we borrow from our children? Which 
is it we should do? Should we make the hard choice and force the 
Department of Agriculture to clean up its act or should we borrow the 
money from our kids? It is a lot easier to just borrow it from our 
kids. Then we do not have to work. Oh, by the way, we do not get any of 
the complaints from the administration that: You are making our job too 
hard--let alone the fact that they are not efficient and oftentimes not 
effective.
  In 2008, the Agriculture Department had 7,000 different employees 
attend conferences around this country. There was $22 million of 
expenditures in 2005 alone. The USDA is ranked among the four worst 
Federal agencies in paying its travel credit bills on time. As a matter 
of fact, they get charged interest because they cannot even pay their 
bills on time. Ten percent of their travel cards are in delinquent 
status. They have embezzlement cases on their credit cards. But have we 
done the work to clean that up? No. Have we gone after the $4.5 billion 
in overpayments? No. Mr. President, $4.5 billion a year for 10 years is 
$45 billion. Just cleaning up one aspect of improper payments at only 
the Department of Agriculture will pay for this bill for 4 months. But 
we will not do the hard work. We do the easy work. And the easy work is 
to put the credit card into the machine and not think about how that is 
going to steal opportunity and potential from those who follow us.
  The Department of Defense--everybody says: Well, you can't go after 
the Department of Defense. My question is, Why not? It is the only 
Federal Government agency that cannot even come close to an audit 
anywhere. We cannot even audit their books they are in such a mess. But 
what we do know is we can save at least $36.5 billion from the 
Department of Defense by putting in competitive bidding, by making 
cogent management changes that every small business in this country 
runs on in the practices that are there. But it has not been changed. 
We have not insisted it be changed. We have not limited funding in 
areas that are noncritical to our troops to force the Department of 
Defense to come up and save this $36.5 billion.
  Mr. President, 10 to 15 percent of everything that is spent in the 
Pentagon is wasted. Why wouldn't we go after that? Because somebody 
will accuse us of not supporting our troops? Well, what are our troops 
fighting for? They are fighting for the future of their kids and our 
country. Yet we refuse to look where the payments can be made in a way 
that is more efficient in the elimination of waste and fraud, with the 
institution of competitive bidding so we are not borrowing $18.2 
billion against our kids and grandkids. Why do we refuse to do that? Is 
it too hard? Do we love our jobs so much that we love our jobs more 
than our children and our grandchildren? I do not think that is the 
case. I think the case is that we are focusing on the wrong emergency.
  The emergency in front of us is that in 2020 we are going to have a 
debt-to-GDP ratio of 90 to 100 percent. Every economist in the world 
will agree that will suppress our potential growth by at least 2 
percent a year. So we will go in a downward spiral. When you have that 
kind of a debt-to-GDP ratio, what happens is the debt service--the 
money that pays the interest--is not available to invest in capital and 
equipment to grow jobs, to improve efficiencies, to expand our Nation's 
economic base. We are adding to that problem by being irresponsible in 
terms of paying for an $18.2 billion program.
  Over the past 4 years, I have identified in the Federal Government 
waste, fraud, abuse, and duplication in excess of $350 billion a year. 
When I bring those amendments to the floor, they get voted down--not 
because they disagree with them but because we do not have the 
political will to make the hard choices.
  The Congress, in a historic move, passed the health care bill that is 
going to continue to allow $150 billion of fraud a year to come out of 
Medicare and Medicaid. We did not do anything to fix it. There are no 
significant changes in the health care bill that will address a source 
of $150 billion in losses. Why? Because it is too hard? Kids are not 
important?
  We are at a turning point in our country like we have never been 
before. We have never been walking into a financial situation that will 
totally limit our ability to get out of a situation. We can come out of 
this recession. But if we do not change the trajectory of the way we 
spend money and put the government back within the limited role the 
Constitution says it is to have, then the future will not only be 
economically not bright but not bright from a standpoint of liberty.
  I have told my colleagues--and we are going to have this on every 
bill that comes before the Senate--it does not matter if it is a 
supplemental spending bill for the war, we ought to be paying for it. 
Rather than borrowing it from our kids, we ought to be paying for it. 
We ought to be making the hard choices about what is not as important 
as supporting our troops rather than charging the extra funding to our 
grandkids. So we are going to go through at least three cycles of votes 
on every bill that comes to the floor that is not paid for, that will 
add to the debt. I am not going to serve my last year in the Senate and 
say I did not do everything I could to try to put us back on track. So 
when we vote that this is an emergency and we do not have to pay for 
it, we are not hurting us. You are not hurting Tom Coburn. You are 
hurting the generations that follow us.
  It would be different if we had an efficient, effective, well-run 
Federal Government that was within the bounds of what the Constitution 
said we were supposed to be doing. But we are not anywhere close to 
that. There is so much fraud, so much waste, so many well-connected 
goodies going to the well-endowed and well-heeled in this country 
because they have a connection politically, and we need to clean it 
out.
  Everything ought to be competitively bid. There is no reason for it 
not to be competitively bid. To pass up that $65 billion a year because 
we do not do it--there is another thing we do. We spend $8 billion a 
year maintaining properties the Federal Government does not want. Think 
about that. For 3 years, I have tried to get through real property 
reform and cannot get it through. We either need to tear these 
structures down so we quit spending money on them or sell them, but we 
should not continue to spend $8 billion a year on buildings and 
properties we do not need. We have not done a thing to solve that 
problem in the last 3 years.
  I have a book full of further examples. Just think about this: We 
want people to go into math, engineering, science, and technology. 
Everybody agrees with that. We know if we can get our younger students 
going into those areas, that is where they are going to have their 
greatest benefits of having a wonderful living in utilizing those 
skills.
  The Federal Government has 105 different programs through six 
different agencies to incentivize math, engineering, science, and 
technology. The administrative cost for 105 different programs is 
ridiculous, and not 1 of them has a metric on it of whether it is 
working. So every time somebody raises the issue, some Senator comes 
and creates another new program, and we pass it, and we never look at 
what we are doing already. We do not eliminate things that are not 
effective. We do not put metrics on it to say we are going to look at 
this every year, and if it is not working we are going to get rid of it 
or we are going to fix it, and we are not going to create another 
program. Yet we have 105 different programs.

  In the month of December, my staff found 640 separate instances just 
like that where we have duplication of programs across government 
agencies. In

[[Page S2278]]

the last debt limit extension, we passed one of my amendments that said 
the GAO must report to us a governmentwide assessment of all the 
duplications in all the programs because Congress does not know it. We 
do not know what is out there. So we see another problem. It does not 
matter that we may have 105 programs working on it; we go create 
another one. That is called incompetence. It is also called laziness.
  Just inside the Department of Education are 230 duplicative programs 
and $10 billion in waste, fraud, and mismanagement--230. Why? Because 
we refuse to do the hard work of oversight.
  So when we vote on this amendment, what we are going to be voting on 
is whether we have the courage to start making choices. If you vote to 
defeat this amendment, what you are saying is you lack the courage to 
do the hard work to pay for something out of waste today and 
mismanagement of Federal funds and you think the Madelines of this 
world ought to pay for that lack of integrity and lack of hard work. 
And there is not another reason for it.
  We are going to hear why you should not vote for this. We are going 
to hear why it is going to be hard if we take $18.2 billion out of the 
management accounts of all these agencies. It is just going to be, out 
of what is there, about 3 percent of the cash that is sitting idle--
about 3 percent of what will be idle in 2011. What is idle this year, 
it will be less than 3 percent; it will be about 2.5 percent. Yet we 
are going to vote it down. We are going to vote it down because we care 
more about making a political point than doing the hard work of getting 
our country back on track.
  We do not have forever to get our country back on track. If we get to 
90 to 100 percent of our GDP, the job of making these decisions becomes 
3 and 4 and 5 and 6 and 7 times more difficult because we will have 
less growth. We have a precarious economy right now. It is coming out 
of a recession. We want that growth to boom. We want those jobs to be 
created. When we borrow more money, we are putting a brake on that.
  So if we can utilize the money we already have, we get the 
stimulatory effect of getting people unemployment insurance that buys 
the necessities of life, but we are not adding to the debt, which 
depresses the economy.
  I will close for right now on this amendment. I will ask for the yeas 
and nays at a time that is agreeable to the majority leader.
  I note the absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant editor of the Daily Digest proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Merkley). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, we seem to be muddling along here with 
short-term extensions and incremental stimulus bills to deal with a 
failure as this Congress decides what we are going to do about 
unemployment insurance and physicians' pay and things of that matter 
that are in the bill.
  I believe this is an important discussion, I do, and I am worried 
about where we are. This legislation before us would add another $18.1 
billion to the national debt. Just like that, another $18 billion. 
Oddly, that is almost the same amount of money that was tacked on to 
the Defense bill last year, and I produced a chart about it and 
demonstrated what happens when we get into that mode of appropriating, 
when we forget what our budget is and we treat everything as an 
emergency and just ignore our budget and spend. The truth is, this 
cannot continue.
  Every witness we have had before the Budget Committee--every one--
two-thirds of which are usually called by our Democratic leader, and 
usually about one-third are Republican witnesses--have all said our 
spending and our debt is at an unsustainable rate. They didn't say that 
lightly. What they meant was it is unsustainable. We cannot continue to 
spend like this and to borrow this amount of money on top of the $800 
billion that is now being spent that we appropriated last year--$800 
billion. Every penny of that $800 billion is borrowed because we don't 
have the money. We are already in debt to fund another $800 billion in 
stimulus, and we will have to, of course, borrow that.
  I think a lot of people haven't understood that. People tell me, when 
I am in my State, that they are shocked, stunned, and worried about our 
spending. They know we are spending too much, but I don't think they 
know how much we actually are spending and how much we are adding to 
our debt and that it can threaten the future viability of the American 
economy for a short-term benefit.
  I will just remind my colleagues that the history of stimulating an 
economy with borrowed money has not been too good. If it was, Japan 
would have a booming economy today. They have been trying this year 
after year and it has not worked for them.
  We were told we would have an unemployment rate that would stop at 8 
percent if we would just pass this $800 billion and borrow the money 
and spend it today to stimulate the economy. It sounds so good. It 
sounds so tempting. But I didn't believe it was an appropriate 
allocation of that much money, No. 1; and No. 2, that the money we were 
being asked to spend was going to be spent in ways that would stimulate 
the economy and create jobs.
  I cited here before the vote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by 
Gary Becker, the Nobel Prize winner from the University of Chicago. Mr. 
Becker said that, in his opinion, the bill fell far short of being the 
kind of stimulative spending that would create jobs and help this 
economy bounce back and, therefore, he had to oppose it. Mr. Becker is 
in his seventies and he was just sharing his experience. He had another 
person participate with him in the research that led them to that 
recommendation. Was Mr. Becker proven right or not?
  The great tragedy--the biggest tragedy with the stimulus package--was 
what little stimulus we got. If you spend $800 billion, it is 
breathtaking how much that can be done with it. The Alabama general 
fund budget for the entire State, including State government and State 
troopers and all of that is less than $2 billion. But $800 billion? 
That is huge. So I am worried about what we are doing.
  At the time the legislation passed--this stimulus package that added 
so much to our debt--the Congressional Budget Office, whose Director is 
hired by our Democratic majority, had good people working in that 
office. They try to do a good job. They have some economists who I 
think have been successful in years past at predicting things. They 
said: Yes, if you spend $800 billion in the next 2 to 3 years, you will 
have an economic benefit during that period, there is no doubt. They 
didn't predict a lot--not nearly as much as a lot of people said it 
would do--but they predicted some benefit. But do you know what they 
said? They said over 10 years that this economic spending, this 
borrowing to spend, would actually weaken the economy and the total 
growth over 10 years would be less than if we did not pass the stimulus 
package at all. It does appear if they were in error, their error was 
that we did not get as much growth as they predicted in the short run. 
But when you spend $800 billion, surely you are going to get some 
benefit--some, economically. But we have not gotten what we need. It 
was not crafted in that way.

  It was a bill that said it was going to fix crumbling infrastructure, 
and what happened? We spent less than 4 percent of this money on 
bridges and roads. We spent it mostly on social spending, we spent it 
on State aid, we spent it on a lot of different things. But at least 
when you build a road you have a highway that is there and it will be 
there for another 50 or 100 years, making the Nation more productive 
and efficient. But this other kind of spending has produced so little 
for us. I express my concern about that.
  All of this is where we are. The point is simply this. The spending 
track we are on is unsustainable because in 2008 our total public debt 
was $5.8 trillion. It is more than that if you consider the gross debt, 
the internal debt, but this is what is held by private investors from 
around the world and in the United States--$5.8 trillion. By 2013 it 
will double to $l1.8 trillion; by 2019 it will be $17.3 trillion, and 
there is no plan to pay it down. But in 2019, 2020, we are talking 
about deficits of almost another $1 trillion a year. So we are not even 
close to moving to a balanced

[[Page S2279]]

budget, much less paying down this debt.
  Where does the money come from? As I said, we borrow that. This chart 
shows what the borrowing costs are. When you borrow money, people pay 
interest, you pay them interest on the money they give you. They loan 
you money, you pay them rent on the money. They do not give you money 
for no good reason.
  In 2009 we paid $187 billion in interest that 1 year. Remember, 
Alabama's general fund budget is $2 billion; the Federal highway bill a 
year or so ago was $40 billion. We spent $187 billion, almost five 
times the highway bill. But look what happens in 2020 after we spent 
all this money and run up our debt--$840 billion in interest payments 
in 1 year. That exceeds the Defense bill, it exceeds any other bill in 
our budget. It is a stunning number. These are Congressional Budget 
Office numbers based on the President's budget. Surely something will 
intervene. We will elect somebody, somewhere--in this Senate, 
probably--who is going to say no to this because the American people 
are getting hot about it. Some people are going to be wondering why 
they are no longer here, if they keep up with this kind of stuff.
  They say don't worry about this, it is just $18 billion, and after 
the $800 billion, $18 billion may look small. But let me show you what 
I demonstrated previously with $18 billion when you cheat, or you add 
it and bust the budget by one $18 billion expenditure.
  In 2010 we slipped another $18 billion on the Defense appropriations 
bill, and added it to the debt. People said don't worry, it is just $18 
billion. But it goes into the baseline. It goes into your basic funding 
of the government. So what happens next year when you say OK, we are 
not going to spend this $18 billion. They say: You are cutting 
spending. We cannot do that. You can't cut spending. Besides, we need 
an increase in spending--inflation was 2 percent. We need at least 2 
percent.
  The State Department got a 30-percent increase in funding this past 
year. The Environmental Protection Agency got a 30-percent increase in 
funding.
  Look at that. What if you do it another year? You come up with 
another $18 billion. You got around the budget, you declared it an 
emergency event and you spent another $18 billion. It is not just $18 
billion because you have $18 billion in the first baseline, you add 
another to it and that year it has cost the taxpayers $36 billion. 
Let's say the next year, 2013, now you are adding $18 billion to $36 
billion and it is $54 billion in your baseline. You have another budget 
gimmick to add $18 billion and you end up with $72 billion that year.
  This is how we get out of control. And you end up, that $18 billion, 
when it goes into the baseline and we do not understand how it 
occurred, increases our spending to a degree that we should not do. So 
that ends up, if you add it up, to $990 billion from an $18-billion-a-
year gimmick, manipulation, violation of the budget.
  What I want to say is this bill before us today violates the budget. 
It is for unemployment compensation, it is for other things that are 
not emergencies. They are part of our governmental operation that needs 
to be paid for. Luckily, we have some money to pay for it. We have it 
in an unspent stimulus package. We have some opportunities that our 
Democratic colleagues have said they could take money from in the past. 
If we put all those together we could pay for this, fund this bill 
without having to borrow it all.
  I am at a point where I am not inclined to go along with this 
anymore. I think the American people are of the same mind. What we have 
to do is we have to lead and we have to be responsible like our 
Governors. They are having to face challenges. Our mayors are having to 
face challenges. They are making tough decisions. But not us. We spend 
more, not less. We are spending more. I believe we have done enough. We 
have gone beyond what is logical and reasonable. We are in the realm of 
reckless and dangerous and it is time for us to begin having a national 
discussion in this country and in this Congress about how much we can 
borrow to spend today to make our life better today and then shift that 
debt to the future.
  The reason CBO said that the $800 billion would not advance the 
economy over 10 years, it actually would hurt the economy over 10 
years, is that you crowd out investment. If the government borrows $800 
billion, it is not available for private people who need to go out and 
borrow money. It has already been loaned to the government. It crowds 
out, the economists said, private borrowing.
  Also, we have an interest on it that we have to carry and pay every 
year that is a burden on every generation. Every young person after us 
will carry that interest burden. It hurts them and makes them less able 
to prosper and to have economic growth. So it is a moral question: How 
much can we afford to benefit ourselves this very day and shift it to 
our children and to what extent do we need to be responsible? I think 
it is time to get responsible, so reluctantly I feel an obligation to 
vote no to this legislation.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.
  Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, I stand in strong support of the comments 
of my distinguished colleague from Alabama. Of course I agree with 
virtually every single Member of the Senate that these programs need to 
be extended. But I also agree with many Members here, and the huge 
majority of the American people, that we need to pay for it. We cannot 
keep running up the deficit as though it had no consequence to us and 
our economy and our children and grandchildren. The American people get 
it. Certainly my constituents in Louisiana get it. They say of course 
you need to extend necessary programs and of course you cannot run up 
the deficit to do it every 2 months.
  Mr. President, $18 billion--the distinguished Senator from Alabama 
has used the figure over and over, and he is right, $18 billion, but it 
is $18 billion for 2 months of extension. So we are supposed to come 
back every 2 months and put another $18 billion on our kids' and 
grandkids' tab? It is $108 billion over a year of increasing deficit 
and debt that is already at historic levels. That is crazy.
  We can do better. We can meet both of those commonsense objectives of 
the American people. We can extend necessary programs and we can do it 
in a way that does not add to deficit and debt. We have several ways to 
do that. We have a menu of proposals. We will have votes a little later 
on about doing that. In fact, before the recess we had discussions on 
the floor of the Senate and we had come to agreement here in the Senate 
about an extension without increasing the deficit and debt. 
Unfortunately it was rejected by the Speaker of the House. So it is not 
as though this goal of achieving both of those important objectives is 
impossible. It is absolutely possible and many different Members have 
laid out how to get there.
  Let's follow the common sense of the American people. Let's follow 
the common sense of folks all across Louisiana who say of course you 
need to extend necessary programs and of course you cannot add to the 
deficit and debt every month, every 2 months that you need to do this, 
$18 billion a pop, $108 billion. That is a good part of $1 trillion 
over 1 year.
  I want to focus on a particular part of this package that is 
particularly galling, quite frankly, for someone such as me from 
Louisiana. A tiny part of this overall bill is extending the National 
Flood Insurance Program. Again, I hope everyone agrees we need to 
extend the National Flood Insurance Program. I certainly agree with 
that. I have certainly fought for that. It is about 1 percent of this 
bill.
  Do you know what percent it is of the debt increase, the deficit 
increase? It is zero percent of that because that extension does not 
even increase the deficit or debt in any way. So it should not be held 
up by this debate in any way, shape, or form--a necessary program, 1 
percent of the bill in terms of dollar figures, zero deficit and debt 
increase, zero impact on that central issue. Why can't we at least come 
together and extend that necessary program immediately and not have 
that held up at all? It never should have been held up before the 
recess. It should not be held up now. There is a simple way to fix that 
and the simple way is to take that portion of the bill out; to extend 
it immediately. I do not think there is any opposition to the 
underlying extension of the program. It has zero impact on the deficit 
and debt

[[Page S2280]]

so there is no reason for it to be caught up in this other debate.
  With that in mind, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to 
the immediate consideration of S. 3203. That is a bill I have 
introduced that extends the National Flood Insurance Program for the 
same amount of time as this underlying bill but does it separately. I 
ask that the bill be read a third time and passed, and the motion to 
reconsider be laid upon the table.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Franken.) Is there objection?
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, I might 
note that the Senator seeks to take up and pass one of the specific 
provisions in the underlying bill, section 7 in the underlying bill. 
Since the Senator seems to be endorsing a part of the underlying bill, 
and the pending Baucus amendment, I might ask the Senator to amend his 
request to provide for the passage of all of the underlying bill and 
pending Baucus amendment.
  Mr. VITTER. I will be happy to do that in a version that is paid for, 
incorporating the very sensible, commonsense objections that have been 
offered to pay for all of this extension. So I would be happy to amend 
my request in that manner if the Senator would agree to it.
  Mr. BAUCUS. So the Senator is not willing to amend his request for 
passage of all of the underlying bill containing the section 7?
  Mr. VITTER. Not if it increases the deficit and debt $108 billion a 
year. No, sir, I am not. And the American people are not. And the 
American people are getting fed up with it.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I am constrained to object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. VITTER. Reclaiming my time, the suggestion was pretty simple. 
There is the one element of this bill which is a necessary program for 
all of the United States, particularly for flood-prone areas. It is 1 
percent of the overall bill, but it is zero percent of the deficit and 
debt increase. It has no impact on deficit and debt. So the suggestion 
was pretty simple: Why don't we take that out? Why have that stalled 
because of this broader debate? Let's take that out and pass it. There 
should be no objection to that. Everybody is for the program. It does 
not increase the deficit and debt. Unfortunately, there is objection 
from the Democratic chairman.
  I hope we have given the chairman and other Members of the majority 
the detailed proposal. It is, as the chairman said, taking section 7 
out and passing it separately because it has no deficit and debt 
impact. I would urge the chairman and others to look at that and to 
hopefully agree to that because--I heard the objection. I don't 
understand the basis for the objection, and I would be happy to hear 
the basis for the objection because I just don't understand it.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, the Senator from Louisiana supports part 
of the bill. I would just ask the Senator to broaden his mind to 
support all of the bill. That way, we can get this done.
  Mr. VITTER. Sort of like the ``Louisiana purchase'' with health care 
reform. Let's put one sweetener in the bill to pass something really 
bad--a $108 billion debt increase over a year. Let's take one hostage, 
including folks who are held hostage who need this insurance, to pass a 
debt increase that big because otherwise that is a stinker.
  I get it. I have seen that deal played out over and over, including 
with the ``Louisiana purchase'' for health care reform. I am not taking 
that offer, no offense. I hope the Senator will reconsider my very 
reasonable proposal.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, there are a number of reasons to oppose 
the amendment offered by the Senator from Oklahoma. First, it would 
reverse the considered judgment of the Congress as expressed through 
the annual appropriations process. Congress has spoken on 
appropriations that are authorized and obligated, and his amendment 
defers that considered judgment. I will defer, frankly, to the chairman 
of the Appropriations Committee to address these concerns in greater 
detail when he arrives on the floor.
  Second, the House of Representatives has made it clear that it views 
unemployment insurance and the other provisions in this bill as 
emergency provisions. The House has made clear that it would send the 
bill back to us again if we adopted the amendment by the Senator from 
Oklahoma. That is clear. I have had conversations with the House. It is 
clear that it would be sent back, and that would needlessly delay much 
needed aid to the people receiving unemployment insurance benefits. 
Let's not forget that there are so many people--200,000 people, in 
fact--who are not receiving benefits because we let the legislation 
expire. It has expired. So 200,000 people today who are entitled to 
unemployment insurance payments are not getting them, and if we send 
the bill back to the House again, that is further delay. It will not be 
long before that number of 200,000 is going to double to 400,000. That 
is just playing games with the lives of unemployed Americans.
  Third, and perhaps most dramatically, the amendment would delegate 
powers to rescind $20 billion to the unelected Director of the Office 
of Management and Budget. This would be a breathtaking abdication of 
Congress's power of the purse. In the Federalist Papers, the power of 
the purse is described as the most singular power to protect the rights 
of the free people. We should not quickly surrender that power, and the 
Senator's amendment would surrender that power to the tune of $20 
billion. The Senator's amendment would give the Director of the Office 
of Management and Budget a blank check. It would give him the power to 
cut whatever unobligated balances he should choose. This is truly a 
sweeping grant of power, and it is truly a dramatic surrender of that 
power.
  The Senator from Oklahoma talked about budget deficits. He and I 
agree. We do, as a nation, need to address the budget deficits. As a 
rhetorical question, he asked: When is the time to make the changes to 
balance the budget? The Senator asked the question as if the answer 
were self-evident, but the answer is not self-evident.
  A wise person once said: For every difficult question, there is 
usually a very simple answer and it is usually not true. This is an 
example of that maxim at work.
  The simple answer in this case would be to require the government to 
balance the budget every year, year-in and year-out. That is pretty 
simple. That answer, even though it sounds nice, would be wrong. The 
Nation should balance the budget over the course of a business cycle. 
We should spend in a recession and exercise more discipline when the 
country is very prosperous to get the budget under control.
  But the Nation should not attempt to balance the budget in the grips 
of a recession. Why is that? That is because in a recession, business 
slows down. People actually pay less tax revenue to the government. In 
a recession, spending on automatic stabilizer programs automatically 
increases, like unemployment benefits, food stamps, and many others. 
That is what should happen during a recession. To do otherwise would be 
economically disastrous.
  To try to balance the budget in the grips of a recession would mean 
raising taxes or cutting spending even more than is automatically 
occurring. That would reduce the amount of demand in the economy, and 
that would further slow economic growth and put even more people out of 
work. So most reputable economists would say you should not try to 
balance the budget in a recession. There is pretty broad agreement on 
that point among reputable economists.
  So that is why it does not make sense to try to balance the budget 
this year. Yes, we should balance the budget over the business cycle, 
but we should not try to raise taxes and cut spending even more to 
balance the budget right now. And that is why it does make sense to 
spend money on unemployment insurance benefits as an emergency matter.
  As the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said, spending on 
unemployment insurance benefits is one of the most effective things 
Congress can do to increase economic growth. It is one of the most 
effective things we can do to save and create jobs. For every dollar we 
spend on unemployment insurance benefits, the Congressional Budget 
Office says economic growth is increased by up to $1.90; it is

[[Page S2281]]

almost a 2-to-1 return on our investment. That is a pretty sound 
investment.
  That is the economic reason why it makes sense to spend now on 
unemployment insurance benefits and to balance the budget over a longer 
period, but even more compelling is the human reason. The human reason 
is people such as the single dad in Missoula, MT, who depends on the 
extra unemployment insurance benefits to support his daughters and put 
food on the table. He called the Montana unemployment office, and we 
learned that this fellow said he honestly did not know how he was going 
to make ends meet without these benefits. The Senate should not be 
playing games with the lives of people like this man and his daughter 
in Missoula and all of the other men and women around the country who 
desperately depend on unemployment payments to make ends meet. Congress 
should not balance the budget on the backs of the unemployed.
  Last of all, we must reject amendments like these. That is why we 
should pass the underlying bill.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Hawaii is recognized.
  Mr. INOUYE. Mr. President, this is the third time we find ourselves 
debating the same rescission amendment that sounds like good policy on 
first blush but in fact is not.
   Members need to understand that this amendment is irresponsible 
governing, and causes harm to our national and international security, 
and to our economy.
   Members on the other side of the aisle have frequently criticized 
the majority party for asking them to vote on measures that they have 
not had a chance to thoroughly read or comprehend.
   But that is certainly what Members are being asked to do today.
   It is irresponsible to vote in support of this amendment that 
indiscriminately cuts $20 billion from discretionary projects and 
services given that we do not know what programs are impacted by such 
significant cuts.
   On January 27 of this year I spoke at some length about an almost 
identical amendment offered by the junior Senator from Oklahoma, and 
again on March 3 about an almost identical amendment offered by the 
junior Senator from Kentucky. Today it is the junior Senator from 
Oklahoma's turn to offer the amendment again.
  I would like to take just a few moments to remind my colleagues of 
why they voted against this amendment twice already, and why I hope 
they will again choose to vote against this financially irresponsible 
and harmful amendment.
  The majority of unobligated balances are not eligible for rescission 
under this amendment because they are, in fact, mandatory funds.
  Second, because of the small amount of unobligated funding eligible 
for rescission, this amendment indiscriminately rescinds prior year 
unobligated funding from certain critical programs, jeopardizing our 
national defense, and our homeland security.
  I have mentioned this before, but need to mention it again because 
nothing has changed between January, March and today.
  While we cannot say with certainty which programs are impacted by 
this amendment, here are some of the expected impacts based on current 
discretionary unobligated balances available.
  We require the Department of Defense to budget up front for all the 
costs required to procure military equipment such as ships or aircraft. 
But it takes several years to complete construction.
  For shipbuilding specifically, funds provided to the Department of 
Defense are available for obligation for 5 years.
  Rescinding unobligated funds now could require the Navy to cancel 
contracts for ships under construction and layoff thousands of workers 
across our Nation's shipyards.
  In terms of our veterans who have returned from war or have fought 
bravely in past wars, this amendment could impact the construction of 
new hospitals by the Veterans Administration. It takes a few years to 
build a hospital. The Veterans Administration requests full funding for 
a construction project in the first year. As a result, the VA has 43 
active major construction projects at various stages of completion 
totaling over $1.6 billion in unobligated balances. This could be wiped 
out. Over 49,000 construction jobs would be terminated with the loss of 
that funding, further delaying critical services to our brave men and 
women who have served. We made a solemn promise to them.
  Rescinding unobligated balances in the Department of Homeland 
Security could stop the construction of the Coast Guard national 
security cutter and would rescind funding for the purchase of explosive 
detection systems. Rescinding unobligated balances in NOAA could create 
a minimum 6-month gap in coverage for the geostationary weather 
satellite system which focuses directly over the United States and 
constantly and accurately monitors storm conditions. Over 200 employees 
would lose their jobs.
  The Senator from Oklahoma argues that if funding is not spent 
immediately, then it is not necessary. This reasoning is irresponsible 
when it comes to overseeing taxpayers' dollars and the capitalization 
of large projects such as ships, hospitals, and satellites. I am 
certain everyone in this Chamber knows that a ship is not built in a 
year. I hope everyone knows that a hospital is not built and equipped 
in a year. I hope everyone knows that satellites are not built and 
launched every year.
  In addition to the potential impact on large procurements, this 
amendment could impact the funding of programs the Congress voted on 
and agreed to provide only a few months ago. The impact of these cuts 
could have significant consequences for many critical services such as 
HUD programs providing affordable housing to our Nation's low-income 
citizens--we had a great debate on that here--or funding for climate 
change research or funding to purchase explosive detection equipment 
for airports.
  This is a bad amendment with bad consequences. It is time for us, the 
Members of the Senate, to act responsibly. We have a well established 
process for funding the Federal Government. It involves the Budget 
Committee that sets our allocations. It involves the consideration and 
approval by the Senate of every appropriations bill. I can assure my 
colleagues in this Chamber that the Appropriations Committee takes this 
responsibility seriously. Every agency budget is reviewed and oversight 
provided throughout the year. Each year the Appropriations Committee 
recommends rescissions of funds that are not needed, but those 
rescissions are based on detailed oversight and understanding of the 
programs, not indiscriminate action such as this amendment.
  This amendment is not based on careful review, would harm many 
worthwhile programs, and fails to meet the test of proper oversight.
  Therefore, I urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant editor of the Daily Digest proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. COBURN. I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum 
call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                    Amendment No. 3723, as Modified

  Mr. COBURN. I send to the desk a modification of the pending 
amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has the right to modify his 
amendment at this time.
  The amendment is so modified.
  The amendment, as modified, is as follows:
       At the end of the amendment, insert the following:

     SEC. __. RESCISSION OF UNSPENT AND UNCOMMITTED FEDERAL FUNDS.

       (a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     law, of all available unobligated Federal funds, the greater 
     of $40,000,000,000 the amount determined necessary under the 
     Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-139; 124 
     Stat. 8) to offset the budgetary effect of this Act, 
     excluding this section, in appropriated discretionary 
     unexpired funds are rescinded.
       (b) Implementation.--Not later than 60 days after the date 
     of enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of 
     Management and Budget shall--
       (1) identify the accounts and amounts rescinded to 
     implement subsection (a); and
       (2) submit a report to the Secretary of the Treasury and 
     Congress of the accounts and amounts identified under 
     paragraph (1) for rescission.


[[Page S2282]]


  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I am prepared for the vote anytime the 
chairman of the Finance Committee is ready to proceed.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I move to table the Coburn amendment and 
ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from West Virginia (Mr. 
Byrd), the Senator from Vermont (Mr. Leahy), and the Senator from Rhode 
Island (Mr. Whitehouse) are necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 51, nays 46, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 111 Leg.]

                                YEAS--51

     Akaka
     Baucus
     Begich
     Bennet
     Bingaman
     Boxer
     Brown (OH)
     Burris
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Conrad
     Dodd
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Inouye
     Johnson
     Kaufman
     Kerry
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Levin
     Lieberman
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murray
     Nelson (FL)
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller
     Sanders
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Warner
     Webb
     Wyden

                                NAYS--46

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Bayh
     Bennett
     Bond
     Brown (MA)
     Brownback
     Bunning
     Burr
     Chambliss
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     DeMint
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Feingold
     Graham
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Klobuchar
     Kyl
     LeMieux
     Lincoln
     Lugar
     McCain
     McConnell
     Murkowski
     Nelson (NE)
     Risch
     Roberts
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Snowe
     Thune
     Vitter
     Voinovich
     Wicker

                             NOT VOTING--3

     Byrd
     Leahy
     Whitehouse
  The motion was agreed to.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote, and I move 
to lay that motion on the table.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, we are not in a quorum call; is that right?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. That is correct.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, the Republican leader and I have discussed 
this vote that will take place at 5:45, if the unanimous consent 
request is granted, and we are going to keep the vote open for a while. 
There are a number of things people have to do this evening, and there 
is one Senator, because of the funeral of his best friend, who is going 
to be getting here late, so we will keep the vote open until he returns 
from the funeral. Everyone knows that. I have spoken to the Republican 
leader and he is fine with that.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that at 5:45 p.m. 
today the motion to proceed to the motion to reconsider the vote by 
which the Budget Act was not waived be agreed to, the motion to 
reconsider be agreed to, and the Senate then proceed to a vote on the 
Baucus motion to waive all applicable Budget Act points of order.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BAUCUS. 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. DORGAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                      Cobell v. Salazar Settlement

  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, while we are waiting, I want to speak 
about two issues. First is something called the Cobell settlement, 
which perhaps many will not know about. It is the settlement of a class 
action lawsuit against the federal government for mismanaging the trust 
accounts of American Indians for well over a century.
  The trust accounts for American Indians come from property that 
belonged to the Indians that the federal government holds in trust. The 
trust was managed by the U.S. Interior Department and many accounts 
over a long period of time were mismanaged. Revenue from oil wells, 
from extraction of minerals, and revenue from leasing lands for cattle 
never showed up in the accounts or mailboxes of the Indians who owned 
the property. Many of these Indians and members of the class action 
have long since passed away, not having survived the 14 years of this 
lawsuit. The lawsuit has been ongoing for some 14 years now, and the 
Federal court has become very impatient while waiting for Congressional 
approval.
  At long last, the Interior Secretary, Secretary Salazar, negotiated 
an agreement to settle the Cobell suit. Friday, April 16th, is the 
third date which the court set for Congress to act on this settlement. 
We will miss this date just as we missed the first two dates. The court 
has just now indicated that it will approve a fourth date by which the 
Congress must act to approve this settlement of Indian claims. The 
judge has also indicated that if Congress does not act, he will invite 
some Members of the Congress to his court to talk about why action was 
not taken. That would probably be an interesting constitutional issue.
  In any event, the judge in this case is very impatient and wants to 
see the settlement approved by Congress.
  The first Americans, Indians who are owed this money and for whom the 
settlement was acceptable and, the Interior Secretary, who has called 
me many times urging approval of the settlement, are also very 
impatient. I hope we will not miss a fourth deadline established by the 
Federal court.

       Republicans and Democrats in this Chamber and in the House 
     of Representatives have an obligation. Literally, money was 
     stolen from American Indians, from property they owned and 
     the income from that property that was supposed to go for 
     their assistance and living conditions because it was owned 
     by them, and in many cases these accounts were mismanaged, 
     and in some cases the money was stolen.

  This settlement, which will be paid from the United States Judgement 
Fund, is fair and is long overdue. It will settle a lawsuit that has 
languished for about 14 years. I hope, in working with the House of 
Representatives, we will not miss another deadline. Perhaps if we do, 
the judge will ask some Members of Congress to visit with him. We will 
see what happens as a result of that.
  Mr. President, on another matter, I ask unanimous consent to speak 
for 5 more minutes as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                   Brigadier General Michael J. Walsh

  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, I would not criticize another Member of 
the Senate on the floor of the Senate--certainly not by name--unless I 
first had told the Senator I was intending to do so. I have done that, 
and I will shortly explain why.
  There is a man named GEN Michael Walsh, a commander in the Corps of 
Engineers. He is an extraordinary general. He is a one-star general, a 
brigadier general, and he has been recommended for the rank of major 
general. That recommendation was made nearly 6 months ago.
  Six months ago, the Armed Services Committee, with the support of 
Senator Levin, the chairman, and Senator John McCain, the ranking 
member, unanimously approved the promotion to major general for Michael 
Walsh. Six months ago that action was taken in the committee. There has 
been no major general rank for General Walsh because it has been held 
up on the Senate floor, with what is called a hold, by a Member of the 
Senate, Senator Vitter from Louisiana.
  The fact is, this is an extraordinary general, a general who has been 
to war. This is a general who went to Iraq to fight for this country. 
This general has 30 years of distinguished service to America, a 
patriot. He doesn't make the policy at the Corps of Engineers. This is 
a commander who executes the policy at the Corps of Engineers.

[[Page S2283]]

  My colleague, in letters to the Corps of Engineers, is upset with the 
Corps of Engineers and is demanding they do certain things that the 
Corps in some cases cannot and in other cases will not do because it is 
unwise. Some of the demands have been met where the Corps believed it 
was appropriate, although it has not been funded yet because that has 
to be done by the Appropriations Committee. The Corps cannot meet other 
demands. I opposed one of the significant ones brought to the 
Appropriations Committee, and upon my opposition, the full 
Appropriations Committee voted against it. So it is not going to 
happen.
  But to hold up a general's rank to major general, hold up his 
promotion and have him now 6 months behind other generals both in pay 
and promotion and opportunity is just unfair. It is just not fair. This 
is not someone who can fix the aches and pains and ills and concerns of 
my colleague from Louisiana.
  This is a general who is a patriot and has served this country for 30 
years. I don't think he ought to be used as a pawn in some concerns 
about water policy or concerns about issues in New Orleans or Louisiana 
dealing with flood control and responding to the needs of that city and 
that State. As chairman of the committee that funds energy and water 
programs, I can tell you that we have sent billions and billions of 
dollars down to Louisiana and to New Orleans--I am proud to have done 
it--in order to say, after Hurricane Katrina and during the rebuilding, 
to the people of Louisiana: You are not alone, we are with you. We have 
spent a lot of money doing that. I am proud to have been a part of 
that.
  But the demands that are required now by Senator Vitter in order for 
him to lift a hold on the move to the rank of major general for a one-
star general who has served this country for 30 years and fought in 
Iraq, in my judgment, are unfair. We should not hold a general's 
promotion and career hostage to the demands of one Member of the 
Senate. That is exactly what has happened for 6 months.
  I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record a January 13 
letter from my colleague to the Corps of Engineers. It is a letter from 
my colleague, Senator Vitter; a March 12 letter in response to that 
letter by the Corps of Engineers to Senator Vitter; a March 16 letter 
to the Corps of Engineers from Senator Vitter; and, finally, a March 19 
letter back to Senator Vitter from the Corps of Engineers.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                                  U.S. Senate,

                                 Washington, DC, January 13, 2010.
     Brigadier General Michael J. Walsh,
     Commander, Mississippi Valley Division, United States Army 
         Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, MS.
       Dear General Walsh: Here is a detailed brief of the issues 
     I would like you to address for me to release my current 
     nomination hold. This list was also hand delivered to you and 
     your staff in our meeting November 5, 2009.
       Issues for Resolution:


                    Outfall Canals/Pump to the River

       Request: Corps provide a formal commitment to complete a 
     comprehensive risk analysis associated with the three options 
     laid out in the Corps pumping station report within 18 
     months, suspend any activity unless the activity is 
     consistent with options 2 and 2a described in the Corps 
     report, and conduct a feasibility level of analysis 
     (including a cost estimate) for the project.


                            Ouachita Levees

       Request: Corps performs bank stabilization or levee 
     setbacks as needed to stabilize the flood control structures.
       Cite past practice by the Corps in performing levee 
     setbacks under FCA of 1928 and the MR&T Program, or,
       Raise the issue that much of the bank caving has been 
     caused by barge wakes, which are the result of the federal 
     navigation channel project, or,
       Use P.L. 84-99, 33 USC 701, Flood Emergencies.


                                 agmac

       * * *
                                  ____

         Department of the Army, Office of the Assistant 
           Secretary, Civil Works,
                                   Washington, DC, March 12, 2010.
     Hon. David Vitter,
     U.S. Senate, Hart Senate Office Building,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Vitter: This letter is in response to your 
     letter of January 13, 2010, and follow up to meetings held on 
     November 19, 2009 and March 2, 2010, regarding issues that 
     you would like the Army Corps Engineers to address in order 
     for you to release your current nomination hold on Brigadier 
     General (P) Michael J. Walsh. We have thoroughly analyzed all 
     nine issues. Our response to each issue raised in your 
     January 13, 2010 letter follows below. We have made every 
     effort to provide you the best way forward within the limits 
     of existing law, funding and policy for each of the nine 
     issues.


               Issue 1: Outfall Canals/Pump to the River

       REQUEST: Corps provide a formal commitment to complete a 
     comprehensive risk analysis associated with the three options 
     laid out in the Corps pumping station report within 18 
     months, suspend any activity unless the activity is 
     consistent with options 2 and 2a described in the Corps 
     report, and conduct a feasibility level of analysis 
     (including a cost estimate) for the period.
       In fulfillment of the requests of the Louisiana Coastal 
     Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), the Southeast 
     Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, Jefferson Parish, 
     and the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, which you 
     have supported, the Corps previously agreed to construct the 
     permanent structures and pump stations with adaptability 
     measures that will facilitate addition of Options 2 or 2a 
     features should either option be authorized and funded by 
     Congress for construction or undertaken and funded by non-
     Federal interests in the future. In light of the limited 
     service life of the existing temporary pumps (estimated to 
     expire in 2011-2013), it is vitally important for the 
     protection of the citizens of New Orleans that a permanent 
     pumping solution be implemented as quickly as possible, and 
     suspension of any activity not consistent with Options 2 and 
     2a would create an unacceptable risk to the citizens. The 
     Corps will conduct a supplementary risk reduction analysis as 
     part of the detailed engineering feasibility study, including 
     the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance 
     documentation, for Options 2 and 2a, if Congress appropriates 
     funds for the study. When completed we would transmit the 
     study to the Office of Management and Budget for 
     consideration of submission to Congress for appropriate 
     action. This study would provide the information necessary to 
     allow the Congress to make an informed decision on 
     authorization of Option 2 or 2a. As we discussed, we estimate 
     that it will cost $15.6 million and take approximately 36 
     months to complete this study (including NEPA compliance).


                     Issue 2: Ouachita River Levees

       REQUEST: Corps performs bank stabilization or levee 
     setbacks as needed to stabilize the flood control structures.
       At you urging, the Corps is using Public Law (PL) 84-99 to 
     address bank caving associated with recent flood events. We 
     have identified 8 to 9 discrete sites, addressing bank caving 
     along approximately one percent of the Ouachita River and 
     Tributaries project, where it appears that damages have 
     occurred as a result of flood events during the period of 
     October 2009 to January 2010. We anticipate that the cost of 
     pursuing the repair work at these sites will cost 
     approximately $10-$20 million.
       The Corps' assessment indicates that the bank caving along 
     the Ouachita River is not attributable to vessel wash. In 
     addition, the bank caving is not associated with features of 
     the Mississippi Rivers and Tributaries (MR&T) project. The 
     authorization for the Ouachita River and Tributaries projects 
     specifies that levee maintenance is a non-Federal 
     responsibility. Congress has not enacted a general provision 
     of law that would supplant this non-Federal responsibility or 
     that would allow the Corps to correct levee damages that are 
     not associated with flood events.


         Issue 3: Acadia Gulf of Mexico Access Channel (AGMAC)

       REQUEST: Corps work with the state (CPRA) using existing 
     CWPPRA projects along Freshwater Bayou to develop a plan to 
     build significant bank stabilization and spoils build-up 
     within the 902 limit before January 1, 2010.
       The AGMAC request envisions the placement of dredged 
     material along the Freshwater Bayou and refers, directly or 
     indirectly, to two distinct authorities: 1) the Port of 
     Iberia navigation project authorized in Water Resources 
     Development Act (WRDA) of 2007 at a total cost of 
     $131,250,000; and 2) the CWPPRA authorization that provides 
     for the creation, protection, restoration, and/or enhancement 
     of wetlands to provide for the long-term conservation of such 
     wetlands and dependent fish and wildlife populations. The 
     Port of Iberia authorization directs the Corps to ``use 
     available dredged material . . . [on] the west bank of the 
     Freshwater Bayou to provide incidental storm surge protection 
     . . .'' This authorization would allow the Corps to place 
     available dredged material from the Port of Iberia navigation 
     project along the west bank of the Freshwater Bayou provided 
     this work provides incidental storm surge protection and is 
     within the applicable section 902 cost limitation. You are 
     correct that CWPPRA provides independent authority to create 
     wetlands along the Freshwater Bayou. The Corps will work with 
     the State and others to explore use of CWPPRA authority to 
     implement a project along the Freshwater Bayou. The CWPPRA 
     Task Force identifies and selects which projects will be 
     pursued under this authority. If the project is selected as a 
     nominee, then the CWPPRA Technical Committee will consider it 
     at an April 4, 2010 public meeting for further evaluation as 
     a Priority Project List 20 Candidate Project.

[[Page S2284]]

                     Issue 4: Morganza to the Gulf

       REQUEST: Corps restart the lock design on the Houma 
     Navigation Canal, provide separate authority for the Houma 
     Navigation Lock project or the next WRDA bill, and help 
     expedite the 404 permitting process on existing projects.
       The Houma Lock is part of the Morganza to the Gulf 
     hurricane and storm damage risk reduction project, which was 
     authorized in WRDA 2007 at a total cost of $886,700,000. 
     Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the levee design 
     criteria for this project changed and, as a result, the 
     project can no longer be built for the amount envisioned by 
     the Congressional authorization. Some design work on the 
     Houma Lock had been completed based on the design criteria 
     used in the original project plan, but because this criteria 
     had changed, the Corps halted further design work on the Lock 
     pending the redesign of the overall project plan that takes 
     the new criteria into account. The Corps is not authorized to 
     construct the Houma Lock as an independent, freestanding 
     project or as a separable element of the Morganza to the Gulf 
     project, and additional authorization will be required to 
     construct the Morganza to the Gulf project in accordance with 
     the new design criteria. The Post Authorization Change report 
     required to support the request for additional authorization 
     is scheduled to be completed by December 2012. The Corps is 
     willing to resume design of the Houma Lock using the new 
     criteria, but has insufficient funds to resume this effort 
     and complete the overall project plan. The Corps will work 
     with others to expedite the Section 404 permitting process. 
     Additionally, enclosed, as a legislative drafting service, is 
     draft legislation for separate authority for the Houma 
     Navigation Lock.


                    Issue 5: West Bank and Vicinity

       REQUEST: Corps provide for O&M costs associated with 
     proposed navigation project on the Algiers Canal. Corps 
     policy states: (1) ``If the waterway users are subject to 
     fuel taxes paid into the IWTF, there are not any non-Federal 
     cost sharing requirements in connection with the Federal 
     project improvements to the waterway (not for LERRD, 
     construction, or OMRR&R)''; (2) Section 206 of the Inland 
     Waters Revenue Act of 1978, as amended, (33 U.S.C. Section 
     1804) contains the listing of inland waterways subject to 
     fuel taxes paid in to the IWTF. The Gulf Intracoastal 
     Waterway, from St. Mark's River, Florida, to Brownsville, 
     Texas, is included on that list; and (3) The Corps' decision 
     to provide, in lieu of raising the Algiers Canal Levees to 
     100-year level of protection, works along the Algiers Canal 
     and the construction of a navigation closure structure 
     complex on the GIWW does not preclude this according to its 
     internal policy associated with navigation and section 206 of 
     the Inland Waters Revenue Act of 1978.
       The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) closure structure 
     across the Algiers Canal is part of the West Bank and 
     Vicinity project. Its purpose is to provide hurricane and 
     storm damage risk reduction. The GIWW closure structure will 
     only be operated when needed to prevent damages from storm 
     surge, or during maintenance exercises of the structure and 
     pumps. When Congress authorized this project, it specified 
     that the non-Federal Sponsor is responsible for the costs of 
     operation and maintenance. Additional authority and funding 
     would be required for the Corps to operate and maintain the 
     hurricane and storm damage reduction closure structure across 
     the Algiers canal.


    Issue 6: New Orleans to Venice, Jesuit Bend 100-year protection

       REQUEST: Formal commitment to Local Preferred Plan (LPP), 
     with milestone schedule, and a minimally visible closure at 
     Oakville.
       The Corps is receptive to implementing a LPP for Jesuit 
     Bend as part of the incorporation of non-Federal levees into 
     the Federal New Orleans to Venice project. To date, the State 
     and Plaquemines Parish have not identified a specific LPP 
     that they are certain they want to pursue. They have asked 
     the Corps to assist them in the analytical effort necessary 
     to determine the cost of the plan and whether or not it 
     should be pursued at non-Federal expense. The State and 
     Parish must enter into a written agreement with the Corps in 
     which the State and Parish agree to pay for this analysis. 
     Once the agreement is executed, the Corps will complete the 
     analysis within four months. If the State and the Parish 
     determine that they want to pursue a LPP, the LPP must be 
     approved by the ASA(CW). Our offices will work expeditiously 
     to approve an LPP when presented. The Corps plans to 
     construct a swing gate for closure at Oakville for the West 
     Bank and Vicinity project. This closure option was considered 
     along with several other closure options, including a 
     minimally visible closure option. The Corps has determined 
     that the swing gate option was a superior closure option from 
     a risk, reliability, and operation and maintenance 
     standpoint.


      Issue 7: Lower Atchafalaya Basin Backwater Flood Protection

       REQUEST: Corps produce the study on the backwater flood 
     issue, as committed in writing to Mayor Matte on Nov 2007 and 
     Dec 2008. Because the issue pertains to the Atchafalaya River 
     and the Floodway Basin, such a study clearly should be 
     covered under MR&T. Furthermore, the original solution to the 
     backwater flooding, the Avoca Island Levee Extension, was 
     deemed to be under MR&T; so should any other solution to be 
     studied or proposed.
       The Corps has the authority to conduct a study addressing 
     this backwater flooding issue and is working with the local 
     representatives on scope and schedule. The study would 
     determine if there is Federal interest and would determine if 
     the recommended solution can be implemented within existing 
     MR&T project authority or if additional authority would be 
     required. The Corps is willing to pursue this study effort. 
     However, since this study is a new activity, an appropriation 
     is required to initiate this effort.


                    Issue 8: Louisiana Highway 3241

       REQUEST: Corps create a significantly accelerated 
     Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or other timetable 
     compared to the current timetable.
       Similar EIS's typically take two to three years to 
     complete. The Corps is working with the Louisiana Department 
     of Transportation and Development to streamline this process 
     and to expedite completion of the Louisiana Highway 3241 EIS. 
     Significant progress has been made on this front and the 
     current schedule for completing this effort already has been 
     reduced to 18 months. The Corps will adopt other streamlining 
     proposals provided they are acceptable under applicable law 
     and regulation. The Corps will provide your office with 
     monthly reports advising you of further schedule adjustments.


               Issue 9: Louisiana Water Resources Council

       REQUEST: Corps create and fund the Louisiana Water 
     Resources Council, as mandated in WRDA 2007.
       The Corps previously planned to establish the Louisiana 
     Water Resources Council with appropriations specifically made 
     available for this purpose. The Corps will now use existing 
     appropriations. The Corps has developed a proposed draft 
     charter that was forwarded to the State of Louisiana on 
     February, 26, 2010, and has received initial comments that 
     are under consideration.
       We trust that it is evident the Corps and the Army have 
     listened to you carefully and are providing the answers in 
     this letter as our best attempt to address your concerns. We 
     both look forward to resolving the nomination hold on a very 
     able and deserving General Officer in the very near future.
           Very truly yours,
                                                   Jo-Ellen Darcy,
                    Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works).

                                            R. L. Van Antwerp,

                                      Lieutenant General, US Army,
     Chief of Engineers.
                                  ____



                                                  U.S. Senate,

                                   Washington, DC, March 16, 2010.
     Hon. Jo-Ellen Darcy,
     Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), Washington, 
         DC.
     Lieutenant General Robert Van Antwerp,
     Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC.
     Re Brigadier General Walsh Issues.
       Dear Secretary Darcy and Lieutenant General Van Antwerp: 
     Thank you for our most recent meeting two weeks ago and the 
     commitments you made, including to have the Louisiana Water 
     Resources Council operating within four months of that 
     meeting.
       I identified a finite number of follow-up questions/
     requests at that meeting. Although you always underscore how 
     time-sensitive Brigadier General Walsh's promotion is, you 
     still have not responded to those questions/requests, 
     including in your letter of March 12, 2010.
       In one final effort to resolve this impasse, I offer the 
     following very short list of three items, some of the details 
     of which are different from our last discussion. Please 
     indicate in writing if the Corps can honor all of these 
     requests.


                  1. Outfall Cauals/Pump to the River

       Request: Corps conduct within 18 months a formal cost/
     benefit analysis, using existing Corps' authority and money, 
     of previously cited project options 1, 2, 2a, and any other 
     options the Corps deems advisable to consider. This cost/
     benefit analysis to be peer reviewed by the soon-to-be 
     operational Louisiana Water Resources Council. The Corps 
     clearly has the authority for this study under previous 
     language and can find the money for it if it wants to. 
     Regarding Lieutenant General Van Antwerp's suggestion at our 
     last meeting that this must be a full feasibility-level 
     analysis, the Corps was given broad authority to do post-
     Katrina work without full feasibility studies and in an 
     expedited manner, and has not even performed feasibility-
     level analysis on Option 1.


                                2. AGMAC

       Request:
       Option A--Corps provide containment areas for the 
     deposition of spoil material using O&M funds which should be 
     constructed to provide embankment stabilization and 
     reestablish the berm that historically provided storm surge 
     attenuation benefits to Vermilion Parish. Thus, Corps O&M 
     authority can be used to help solve the 902b cost issue. This 
     would be directly analogous to O&M work done on the MRGO. If 
     O&M funds are not available, the Corps/Administration would 
     proactively request and support the appropriation of such O&M 
     funds as are necessary.
       Option B--Corps successfully obtain final approval at the 
     state level of a CWPPRA program which, when combined with the 
     Corps' WRDA authority, accomplishes the bank build-up as 
     authorized and intended in WRDA. This will require some type 
     of special/emergency CWPPRA meeting.

[[Page S2285]]

                        3. Morganza to the Gulf

       Request:
       Option A--Corps restart the lock design on the Houma 
     Navigation Canal using existing authority and move the lock 
     forward as an independent project. In 1998, a Chiefs Report 
     established authority to move the lock forward outside of the 
     overall Morganza Project in response to a WRDA 1996-directed 
     study. The Corps would either use this existing authority to 
     move the lock forward independently or proactively support 
     language in the next WRDA to do so. (The reason I am not 
     pursuing Lieutenant General Van Antwerp's suggestion at our 
     most recent meeting that we work on full project 
     authorization language for a 2011 WRDA subject to a Chief's 
     Report, is because the re-study of the project is not due 
     until December 2012, and contingent authorizations for 
     projects have only been granted up to December 31 of the year 
     of a WRDA's passage.)
       Option B--Corps outline any other way the entire Morganza 
     to the Gulf project or a significant portion of it is 
     authorized and moves forward under the new WRDA, assuming a 
     new WRDA is passed in 2011. If Corps cannot do this, then you 
     are admitting that you plan on our missing the next WRDA 
     train yet again regarding this vital and long-suffering 
     project, which is completely unacceptable.
       These three goals can clearly be met under the Corps' 
     significant existing authority and flexibility. If you truly 
     want to do so but need to explore the above methods more 
     fully before transmitting a written response, please have 
     your staff contact Glen MacDonald of my office and Garrett 
     Graves of the State of Louisiana. If, on the other hand, 
     these three goals are not going to be met by the Corps, I 
     look forward to moving on with an existing Major General for 
     the position in question.
           Sincerely,
                                                     David Vitter,
     U.S. Senator.
                                  ____

         Department of the Army, Office of the Assistant 
           Secretary, Civil Works,
                                    Washington DC, March 19, 2010.
     Hon. David Vitter,
     U.S. Senate, Hart Senate Office Building,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Vitter: This letter is in response to your 
     letter of March 16, 2010. On March 12, 2010, we responded to 
     your previous letter and to questions raised in several 
     meetings addressing nine specific issues. In your letter of 
     March 16, you posed three follow-on questions, which are 
     addressed below. In summary, the responses we provided on 
     March 12, 2010 represent the best way forward within the 
     existing law, funding and policy. The new requests in your 
     most recent letter either require changes to law or changes 
     to policy which, given current legal and fiscal constraints, 
     we regretfully cannot support.


                  1: Outfall Canals/Pump to the River

       REQUEST: Corps conduct within 18 months a formal cost/
     benefit analysis using existing Corps' authority and money, 
     of previously cited project options 1, 2, 2a, and any other 
     options the Corps deems advisable to consider. This cost/
     benefit analysis to be peer reviewed by the soon-to-be 
     operational Louisiana Water Resources Council. The Corps 
     clearly has the authority for this study under previous 
     language and can find the money for it if it wants to. 
     Regarding Lieutenant General Van Antwerp's suggestion at our 
     last meeting that this must be a full feasibility-level 
     analysis, the Corps was given broad authority to do post-
     Katrina work without full feasibility studies and in an 
     expedited manner, and has not even performed feasibility-
     level analysis on Option 1.
       Following Hurricane Katrina, the Administration requested 
     authorization and funding for the work referred to as Option 
     1 for the purpose of reducing exposure of the interior of the 
     City of New Orleans to surge from Lake Pontchartrain. 
     Congress authorized and funded Option 1 in the 4th 
     Supplemental, P.L. 109-234 and the 6th Supplemental, P.L. 
     110-252. This construction work is being completed under a 
     design/build contract, which incorporates ongoing planning 
     and design while the project is being built.
       Your new request is that the Corps complete a formal cost/
     benefit analysis of Options 1, 2, 2a, and other possible 
     appropriate options, within 18 months. Determining whether 
     and how the City's interior drainage facilities could be 
     improved is a complex and extensive undertaking. As we have 
     stated previously, the Corps is willing to proceed with such 
     a study; however, we estimate that it will take approximately 
     36 months to produce a cost/benefit analysis that would 
     provide Congress with adequate information to make an 
     informed decision on whether to authorize construction of 
     Option 2, 2a, or some other option.
       You also suggested that we complete the study with existing 
     appropriations. The appropriations provided by Congress were 
     for the purpose of hurricane and storm damage risk reduction. 
     Options 2 and 2a would address interior drainage issues 
     without providing additional storm surge protection. The 
     Administration's focus is on providing the storm surge 
     protection for the City of New Orleans that Congress expected 
     us to provide on a priority basis. It would not be 
     appropriate to divert existing appropriations away from this 
     high priority objective.


                                2: AGMAC

       REQUEST:
       Option A--Corps provide containment areas for the 
     deposition of spoil material using O&M funds which should be 
     constructed to provide embankment stabilization and 
     reestablish the berm that historically provided storm surge 
     attenuation benefits to Vermilion Parish. Thus, Corps O&M 
     authority can be used to help solve the 902b cost issue. This 
     would be directly analogous to O&M work done on the MRGO. If 
     O&M funds are not available, the Corps/Administration would 
     proactively request and support the appropriation of such O&M 
     funds as are necessary.
       Option B--Corps successfully obtain final approval at the 
     state level of a CWPPRA program which, when combined with the 
     Corps' WRDA authority, accomplishes the bank build-up as 
     authorized and intended in WRDA. This will require some type 
     of special/emergency CWPPRA meeting.
       Your new AGMAC request envisions using Operation and 
     Maintenance (O&M) funds to construct containment areas for 
     the deposition of spoil materials to provide embankment 
     stabilization and reestablishment of the berm that 
     historically provided storm surge attenuation benefits to 
     Vermilion Parish. You believe that this would help to solve 
     the section 902 of WRDA 86 cost issue related to the Port of 
     Iberia navigation project authorized in Water Resources 
     Development Act (WRDA) of 2007 at a total cost of 
     $131,250,000. The Corps does not have authority to use O&M 
     funds to construct projects or separable elements of 
     projects, nor does the Army have authority to reprogram O&M 
     or any other Civil Works funds to initiate a previously 
     unfunded project. This is not analogous to O&M work done on 
     the MRGO. In that case, Congress specified that the Corps 
     undertake certain enumerated activities with appropriations 
     made available for O&M.
       There is an established nomination process under the CWPPRA 
     program, as outlined in the CWPRRA project standard operating 
     procedure manual dated June 3, 2009, whereby agencies, 
     parishes, landowners, and other individuals may confer to 
     further develop projects. The guidelines suggest that 
     nominated projects should be developed to support one or more 
     ``Coast 2050'' strategies to create, restore, protect or 
     enhance coastal wetlands. Should this project make it through 
     the CWPPRA nomination process, the Corps, as a member of the 
     Task Force, will support its inclusion in the CWPPRA program.


                        3: Morganza to the Gulf

       REQUEST:
       Option A--Corps restart the lock design on the Houma 
     Navigation Canal using existing authority and move the lock 
     forward as an independent project. In 1998, a Chief's Report 
     established authority to move the lock forward outside of the 
     overall Morganza Project in response to a WRDA 1996-directed 
     study. The Corps would either use this existing authority to 
     move the lock forward independently or proactively support 
     language in the next WRDA to do so. (The reason I am not 
     pursuing Lieutenant General Van Antwerp's suggestion at our 
     most recent meeting that we work on full project 
     authorization language for a 2011 WRDA subject to a Chief's 
     Report, is because the re-study of the project is not due 
     until December 2012, and contingent authorization for 
     projects have only been granted up to December 31 of the year 
     of a WRDA's passage).
       Option B--Corps outline any other way the entire Morganza 
     to the Gulf project or a significant portion of it is 
     authorized and moves forward under the new WRDA, assuming a 
     new WRDA is passed in 2011. If Corps cannot do this, then you 
     are admitting that you plan on our missing the next WRDA 
     train yet again regarding this vital and long-suffering 
     project, which is completely unacceptable.
       The Corps does not have authority to implement the Houma 
     Navigation Lock as an independent project. Section 425 of 
     WRDA 1996 authorized a study of an independent lock, but did 
     not authorize construction. Section 425 in part reads . . . 
     ``The Secretary shall conduct a study of environmental, flood 
     control, and navigation impacts associated with the 
     construction of a lock structure in the Houma Navigation 
     Canal as an independent feature of the overall damage 
     prevention study being conducted under the Morganza, 
     Louisiana, to the Gulf of Mexico feasibility study.'' The 
     Corps conducted a study in response to Section 425, but that 
     study did not recommend construction of an independent Houma 
     Navigation Lock feature due to uncertainties of benefits and 
     concerns over justification of an independent lock structure. 
     As a result, a Chief's Report was not completed for the Houma 
     Navigation Lock project.
       The Army understands the importance of completing the 
     Morganza to the Gulf project reanalysis, and will continue to 
     look for ways to move forward as expeditiously as possible on 
     the Post Authorization Change report required to support a 
     request for additional authorization. As noted previously, 
     our best estimate is this report will be completed by 
     December 2012. You have our commitment that we will continue 
     to seek ways to accelerate this schedule.
           Very truly yours,
                                                   Jo-Ellen Darcy,
                    Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works).

                                            R. L. Van Antwerp,

                                      Lieutenant General, US Army,
                                               Chief of Engineers.

  Mr. DORGAN. Simply, GEN Michael Walsh is someone I have known for a

[[Page S2286]]

long time. He is an extraordinary soldier and a patriotic American who 
doesn't deserve, and never deserved, to have his promotion derailed for 
6 months by one Member of the Senate. That is not fair. That is using 
this person, this patriot, as a pawn in trying to extract from the 
Corps of Engineers something the Appropriations Committee has already 
voted against, in one case.
  In other cases, it is something that the Corps of Engineers cannot 
legally do without authorization from Congress. We cannot do that to 
soldiers who have served their country. That is not fair.
  I am not going to ask consent today because my colleague, Senator 
Levin, previously asked consent, and Senator Coburn from Oklahoma, on 
behalf of Senator Vitter, the other day objected to this promotion. But 
I will ask my colleague from Louisiana to stand down on this and give 
this soldier the respect and honor and the due that is owed him by the 
Congress.
  The Armed Services Committee, with its chairman and ranking 
Republican member, unanimously decided that this good soldier should be 
promoted to the rank of a two-star general. That was 6 months ago. Six 
months later, he is a pawn on the floor of the Senate held by one 
person trying to extract from the Corps of Engineers some things that 
the Corps cannot possibly do, and some things that are not wise to do, 
and I would not support in any event.
  As I said when I started, I would not come to the floor of the Senate 
and criticize a colleague without first informing him of that 
criticism. I did that. I don't take any measure of satisfaction in 
criticizing a colleague. But I will tell you this: What happened to 
this general is just flat wrong. There is no way for anybody in this 
Congress to justify holding this general hostage for 6 months in his 
promotion to major general.
  I ask my colleague from Louisiana to end this hold, to give this 
soldier his due. This soldier has earned his second star, and 6 months 
ago this Congress should have voted in response to the unanimous vote 
by the Armed Services Committee to give this soldier his second star. I 
hope that soon my colleague will delete that hold so my colleague from 
Michigan can seek unanimous consent to do right by GEN Michael Walsh.
  I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. DORGAN. 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. DORGAN. Mr. President, my colleague wishes to offer an amendment. 
I want to make sure there is time available to him.
  Mr. COBURN. I am only going to take 5 minutes.
  Mr. DORGAN. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                Amendment No. 3726 to Amendment No. 3721

(Purpose: To pay for the full cost of extending additional unemployment 
                 insurance and other Federal programs)

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I thank my colleague for giving me a short 
time to deal with these two amendments. I have an amendment at the desk 
that I call up.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oklahoma [Mr. Coburn] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 3726 to amendment No. 3721.

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading 
of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The amendment is printed in today's Record under ``Text of 
Amendments.'')


                Amendment No. 3727 to Amendment No. 3721

(Purpose: To pay for the full cost of extending additional unemployment 
                 insurance and other Federal programs)

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the pending 
amendment be set aside and my next amendment be called up.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The clerk 
will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oklahoma [Mr. Coburn] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 3727 to amendment No. 3721.

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading 
of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The amendment is printed in today's Record under ``Text of 
Amendments.'')
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I yield the floor to my colleague from 
North Dakota.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota.
  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, I again ask unanimous consent to speak as 
in morning business for 5 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                              The Internet

  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, we just completed a hearing moments ago in 
the Senate Commerce Committee on something that has received some 
headlines recently, although in the scheme of things, it is not ranking 
with health care or energy or education reform. It is the issue of a 
circuit court decision a week ago in the Comcast case dealing with the 
Federal Communications Commission and its ability or inability to be a 
referee with respect to the free market system and the Internet.
  The Internet is an extraordinary innovation in our lives. We tend to 
take it for granted, I suppose, because it is so normal for all of us 
every day to use the Internet, whether it is a wireless device or a 
laptop computer, or whatever. We use the Internet in so many different 
ways.
  The question is: What is the regulatory approach to the Internet? We 
know what we have done for telephones over the many years, the many 
decades of regulatory capability. What is it for the Internet?
  What we have always had for the Internet from its origin is what is 
called a free and open Internet, the open architecture. Anybody can get 
on the Internet with their Web site, and anybody from the rest of the 
world who has broadband capability or Internet capability can access 
that site.
  A man named Larry and a man named Sergey in a dorm room in California 
conceived of something which 10 years later we know as Google. What if 
somebody had said to Larry and Sergey: You know what, you are in a dorm 
room, you are not much of a business; you only have two employees. We 
want to charge you for being able to get on our system so others can 
see you. There would not have been Google, would there?
  Free and open architecture of the Internet means anybody, anyplace, 
any time can access anything. I told a story in the Commerce Committee 
about going to the home I grew up in in a town of slightly less than 
300 people. I had not been back to my boyhood home since I was a 
teenager. I knocked on the door in my hometown and asked the woman if I 
could see the home I grew up in. She said: Of course.
  In the shed where you walk in first, there was cardboard and tape. 
And in the kitchen just off the shed, the woman had a camera and a 
little arm that stuck out of a little appendage she had by the kitchen 
counter. She was taking a picture of a bracelet that was hanging from 
this arm. I said: What are you photographing?
  She said: I am photographing a bracelet because I sell jewelry on the 
Internet.
  From a town of 250 or 300 people in my little two-bedroom white house 
in that small town, this woman has an Internet business. Her Web site 
can be accessed by anybody in the world. She is not a big business 
person. She makes some money. It could not have happened years ago but 
can happen now in that small town. It can happen in any town. Anybody 
around the world can access her Web site. But what if somebody said: We 
are going to decide which Web sites are going to get on our system. 
That is a gatekeeper, a provider

[[Page S2287]]

that is deciding we are going to pick winners and losers.
  We do not do that. We let the marketplace pick winners and losers on 
the Internet. That is why the Internet grew. Its origin and growth was 
under something called a nondiscrimination rule. You cannot 
discriminate. Just like telephone service, you cannot discriminate.
  The FCC, under former Chairman Powell, moved the Internet from a 
telephone service to an information service, and that is what the 
lawsuit was about. Comcast brought a lawsuit and said under Title I of 
the Communications Act, as an information service, the FCC does not 
have the authority with respect to Internet freedom as I call it, to 
impose net neutrality rules. The circuit court said the FCC does not 
have that authority under Title I. That gets very technical and very 
legal.
  The question is: What does the FCC do now? The question is what 
should we aspire to achieve for the Internet in the long term? Some say 
hands off, let's have what is called in the hearing today a light 
touch. I said: I am not interested in a light touch; I am interested in 
the right touch by regulators. I have just seen a decade in which 
regulators at the SEC and the CFTC and others who engaged in financial 
regulations said: We are engaged in light touch. In fact, we are 
engaged in no touch. We will be blind for 8 years. We will not even 
look. We are regulators, but we intend to get paid. We do not even care 
what you do. That is the ultimate light touch, but I have had a 
bellyful of that. I want regulators to regulate effectively to make 
sure the market remains open and free and fair. That is the job of a 
regulator. That is the job of the FCC.

  We are going to have a big debate about this in the Congress. But 
first and foremost, I hope the Federal Communications Commission takes 
action under its own authority because it has plenty of authority to 
respond to this decision. It has authority under Title II of the 
Communications Act, and it has other authorities it can use. I 
encourage it to proceed. I hope that is the case.
  Second, Senator Snowe and I and others on a bipartisan basis will 
continue to press the Congress to enact net neutrality, what I call 
Internet freedom, legislation, because if the FCC does not do it, let's 
make sure we do it in law.
  This is a very important issue. The issue of the Internet and the 
question of who controls the Internet, if anybody, is very important.
  At town meetings when somebody says, The Federal Government cannot do 
anything right, I say there are a number of things it cannot do right, 
but answer the question, Who invented the Internet? Who created the 
Internet? The Federal Government did that. It started here. It is a 
wonderful innovation that has changed our lives in so many wonderful 
ways. I just described one with the woman living in my former boyhood 
home. It changed her life. But that is multiplied a billion times 
around this world.
  We need to make certain the Internet remains open and free. The free 
market system is the best system I know with which to allocate goods 
and services. I know none better. But I also understand that the free 
market system needs referees to make sure it remains free and open, to 
call the fouls, to wear the striped shirt with the whistle and call the 
fouls when necessary. It did not happen in the financial area. It did 
not happen at all. When people traded things that did not exist, buying 
things from people who did not have them, making money on both sides, 
all of a sudden there should have been regulators saying: Wait, this is 
gambling. You can't do that. You are putting the American people at 
risk. On the telecommunications side, we need effective regulatory 
capability, not to stifle or injure the free market but to protect it.
  This is a very important issue in the wake of the circuit court 
decision. I believe Chairman Genachowski has the capability and 
authority to move forward in the Federal Communications Commission to 
do the right thing, and I encourage him to do that.
  I know as well going forward that legislation, perhaps not this year 
but legislation in future Congresses will reaffirm the opportunity for 
the FCC to protect and nurture a free and open architecture of the 
Internet. I believe it is critically important.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, before the Senator yields, in the form of 
a question, I deeply appreciate the Senator's statement. He is on the 
right track. I believe the Internet should be free and open, too. I was 
stunned by the circuit court decision.
  I ask the Senator if he could tell us how he thinks the FCC can 
remedy the situation now without legislation, and if the FCC cannot, we 
need legislation. But I am asking for the Senator's view again. He 
already stated it once. Maybe he can expand on it further.
  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Montana. Let me 
state the reason for the urgency. I described it today, but it has been 
said in other venues. Mr. Whitacre from AT&T most famously said it: 
These are my pipes. I want Google to pay for the use of my pipes. That 
was a famous statement by Mr. Whitacre. Yes, those pipes belong to the 
providers, but there is a requirement there be a nondiscrimination 
approach to the use of those pipes. We do not want providers to set up 
tollbooths or gates to say: OK, you are a big site out there. We are 
going to charge you to use this. Maybe that person cannot pay the 
charge. The billions of people who would access that site now will not 
have access because there is a gatekeeper who said: We are only going 
to allow these folks to be on our site. That is the point of it.
  There is, it seems to me, a potential problem that could not have 
existed previously when the nondiscrimination rules existed. But now 
that the nondiscrimination rules were obliterated, we need to restore 
them.
  The Senator from Montana asked the question how can the Federal 
Communications Commission do this. I believe there are general powers 
in the Federal Communications Commission Act, and I believe the 
Commission itself has general powers that will allow it to act in a 
manner that the court would view to be in compliance with the law.
  The FCC is not interested in doing something that it does not have 
the legal authority to do. I believe they have the capability. They 
certainly have the capability to determine that the Internet is 
regulated under Title II in which they would have the capability to 
enforce the nondiscrimination rule.
  Again, this is not going to be one of those headline issues, but 
nonetheless it is a very important issue and one we need to get right. 
The last time we had a discussion about this issue in the Commerce 
Committee, it was a very contentious discussion. Senator Snowe and I 
offered an amendment that lost on an 11-to-11 tie. This is not an easy 
issue. There are a lot of people who feel strongly on both sides, but I 
come down on the side of saying the way the Internet was conceived and 
the way it grew and the way it flourished was with nondiscrimination 
rules that say anybody--it is the ultimate democracy--anybody anywhere 
can set up a site and anyone in the world can access that site. That is 
the genius of this great innovation in our lives.
  Mr. President, 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.
  Mr. BAUCUS. 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. BAUCUS. Mr. President, the Senate just rejected the previous 
Coburn amendment by a vote of 51 to 46. The Senate, I might say, 
rejected an attempt by the Senator from Oklahoma to give the Director 
of the Office of Management and Budget sweeping powers to cut 
unobligated balances by billions of dollars.
  The Senator from Hawaii, Mr. Inouye, chairman of the Appropriations 
Committee, explained why that would be unwise. Essentially, there are 
many contracts which take more than 1 year to be fulfilled--building 
ships, for example, aircraft carriers, and so on. It takes a good 
number of years to build them, and it would make no sense to rescind 
all those unobligated balances.
  The Senator from Oklahoma has two more amendments. One in particular 
is virtually the same amendment. It gives the Director of OMB powers to 
cut unobligated balances by billions of dollars, so the arguments of 
the Senator

[[Page S2288]]

from Hawaii would apply there as well. So the same reasons given for 
opposing the Coburn amendment just a short while ago--and the one that 
was defeated--should be the same reasons that would apply with respect 
to this next Coburn amendment that we will be voting on in the not-too-
distant future.
  The Senator from Oklahoma has another amendment which would reverse 
decisions of the Congress through the appropriations process, and it 
also would, I might say, affect some tax provisions that would be 
inappropriate if we were to pass them now.
  I would remind my colleagues if the Coburn amendment were to be 
adopted, there is another problem with it; that is, the delay of the 
extension of unemployment benefits. Because if it were to pass, it 
would have to go over to the House, and I am not quite sure how quickly 
the House would accept the Coburn amendment. They have said many times 
they would not accept it; that they would send it back, probably as is, 
without the pay-fors on the extension of unemployment benefits. So we 
would just be delaying unemployment benefits to people who were cut off 
a few days ago because of the failure of Congress to act on the 
extension.
  So I would suggest to my colleagues that the other two amendments the 
Senator from Oklahoma has offered are very similar to the first 
amendment he offered. The Senate defeated that first amendment by a 
vote of 51 to 46, and I suggest that these other two amendments be 
defeated when they are brought up because then we can give needed 
unemployment benefits to people who need it during this time of 
recession.
  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.
  Mr. BAUCUS. 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. BAUCUS. Mr. President, not to belabor the point, but at a hearing 
I held in the Finance Committee this morning, we heard from Mark Zandi, 
who is the chief economist and cofounder of Moody's Analytics, and he 
was talking about unemployment benefits.
  In fact, part of the hearing was to determine ways to improve the 
efficiency and effectiveness of unemployment benefits. Actually, the 
panel came up with a lot of very interesting ideas. Different States 
are, frankly, using the unemployment program to help create jobs as 
well as make payments.
  Anyway, at this hearing, Mr. Zandi volunteered, frankly, that now is 
not the time for extension of unemployment benefits to be paid for. He 
said that is self-defeating. It is unproductive. He said, now that we 
are in a recession, frankly, unemployment compensation benefits should 
not be paid for.
  Who is Mark Zandi? Mark Zandi is a moderate economist, very well 
respected by Senators on both sides of the aisle. He also was the 
adviser for Presidential candidate John McCain--Mark Zandi was. The 
point is, clearly, he is not a liberal, leftwing economist. I don't 
know even now if he is a moderate economist. But whatever he is--
moderate, leftwing or liberal--he is an economist, and he has worked 
for Presidential candidate John McCain. He volunteered today on the 
record at the Finance Committee hearing that it would not be wise to 
pay for unemployment benefits at this time because that would be self-
defeating.
  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.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                             Cloture Motion

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I have at the desk two cloture motions.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motion having been presented under 
rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to read the motion.
  The 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, 
     hereby move to bring to a close debate on the Baucus 
     substitute amendment No. 3721 to H.R. 4851, a bill to provide 
     a temporary extension of certain programs, and for other 
     purposes.

         John D. Rockefeller, IV, Benjamin L. Cardin, Jeanne 
           Shaheen, Al Franken, Daniel K. Akaka, Kent Conrad, 
           Sheldon Whitehouse, Patty Murray, Tom Udall, Bernard 
           Sanders, Richard J. Durbin, Ron Wyden, Robert P. Casey, 
           Jr., Edward E. Kaufman, Patrick J. Leahy, Mark L. 
           Pryor, Byron L. Dorgan.


                             Cloture Motion

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motion having been presented under 
rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to read the second motion.
  The 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, 
     hereby move to bring to a close debate on H.R. 4851, a bill 
     to provide a temporary extension of certain programs, and for 
     other purposes.

         John D. Rockefeller, IV, Benjamin L. Cardin, Jeanne 
           Shaheen, Al Franken, Daniel K. Akaka, Kent Conrad, 
           Sheldon Whitehouse, Patty Murray, Tom Udall, Bernard 
           Sanders, Richard J. Durbin, Ron Wyden, Robert P. Casey, 
           Jr., Edward E. Kaufman, Patrick J. Leahy, Mark L. 
           Pryor, Byron L. Dorgan.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the motion to 
proceed to the motion to reconsider the vote by which the Budget Act 
was not waived was agreed to, and the motion to reconsider was agreed 
to. The question on reconsideration is on the Baucus motion to waive 
all applicable budget discipline for the consideration of amendment No. 
3721, as modified, and the underlying bill.
  The yeas and nays have been ordered.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 60, nays 40, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 112 Leg.]

                                YEAS--60

     Akaka
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Begich
     Bennet
     Bingaman
     Boxer
     Brown (OH)
     Burris
     Byrd
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Conrad
     Dodd
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Inouye
     Johnson
     Kaufman
     Kerry
     Klobuchar
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lincoln
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murray
     Nelson (NE)
     Nelson (FL)
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller
     Sanders
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Webb
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--40

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Bennett
     Bond
     Brown (MA)
     Brownback
     Bunning
     Burr
     Chambliss
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     DeMint
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Graham
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Kyl
     LeMieux
     Lugar
     McCain
     McConnell
     Murkowski
     Risch
     Roberts
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Snowe
     Thune
     Vitter
     Wicker
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Udall of Colorado). On this vote the yeas 
are 60, the nays are 40. Upon reconsideration, three-fifths of the 
Senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in the affirmative, the 
motion is agreed to.
  The motion to waive the point of order made pursuant to section 4(g) 
of the Pay-As-You-Go Act having been reconsidered and agreed to, the 
Chair's previous action sustaining the point of order is annulled and 
the language previously stricken by the Chair is now restored to the 
amendment.
  Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the mandatory 
quorums, as required under rule XXII, be waived.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                            vote explanation

  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, due to an official event in New Jersey, 
I was necessarily absent for rollcall vote No. 109. Had I been present, 
I would have voted ``yea'' on the motion to invoke cloture on the 
motion to proceed to H.R. 4851, the Continuing Extension Act of 2010.
  Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, I ask consent to speak as in morning 
business.

[[Page S2289]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          ____________________