[Congressional Record Volume 156, Number 132 (Tuesday, September 28, 2010)]
[Senate]
[Pages S7585-S7605]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]




     DEPARTMENT OF STATE, FOREIGN OPERATIONS, AND RELATED PROGRAMS 
              APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2010--MOTION TO PROCEED


                             CLOTURE MOTION

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, pursuant to rule 
XXII, the Chair lays before the Senate the cloture motion, which the 
clerk will report.
  The bill 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 motion to 
     proceed to Calendar No. 107, H.R. 3081, the Department of 
     State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs 
     Appropriations Act, 2010.
         John D. Rockefeller, IV, Byron L. Dorgan, Carl Levin, 
           Dianne Feinstein, Jack Reed, Mark R. Warner, Patrick J. 
           Leahy, Michael F. Bennet, Barbara Boxer, Benjamin L. 
           Cardin, Charles E. Schumer, Patty Murray, Debbie 
           Stabenow, Robert P. Casey, Jr., Christopher J. Dodd, 
           Daniel K. Akaka, Harry Reid.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call has been waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on the 
motion to proceed to H.R. 3081, the Department of State, Foreign 
Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2010 shall be 
brought to a close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Arkansas (Mrs. Lincoln) 
is necessarily absent.
  Mr. KYL. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Alaska (Ms. Murkowski).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 84, nays 14, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 243 Leg.]

                                YEAS--84

     Akaka
     Alexander
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Begich
     Bennet
     Bennett
     Bingaman
     Bond
     Boxer
     Brown (MA)
     Brown (OH)
     Brownback
     Bunning
     Burr
     Burris
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Cochran
     Collins
     Conrad
     Corker
     Dodd
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Ensign
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Goodwin
     Graham
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inouye
     Johanns
     Johnson
     Kaufman
     Kerry
     Klobuchar
     Kohl
     Kyl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     LeMieux
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lugar
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murray
     Nelson (NE)
     Nelson (FL)
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Roberts
     Rockefeller
     Sanders
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Vitter
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Webb
     Whitehouse
     Wicker
     Wyden

                                NAYS--14

     Barrasso
     Chambliss
     Coburn
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     DeMint
     Enzi
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     McCain
     Risch
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Thune

                             NOT VOTING--2

     Lincoln
     Murkowski
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote the yeas are 84 and the nays are 
14. Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in 
the affirmative, the motion is agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.


                             Change of Vote

  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, on rollcall vote No. 243 I voted 
``nay.'' It was my intention to vote ``yea.'' I ask unanimous consent 
that I be permitted to change my vote which will not affect the 
outcome.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The foregoing tally has been changed to reflect the above order.)
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois is recognized.
  Mr. BURRIS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                         Montford Point Marines

  Mr. BURRIS. Mr. President, I take the floor today to pay tribute to a 
group of Americans that blazed a trail, people who helped to shape the 
history we share, and whose contributions deserve recognition at the 
highest levels.
  There has been no war fought by or within the United States in which 
African Americans did not participate.
  The war for our independence featured all-Black units in Rhode Island 
and Massachusetts. During the War of 1812, about one-quarter of the 
Navy involved in the Battle of Lake Erie was Black. Nearly 190,000 
African Americans fought for their own freedom in the Civil War. In 
World War I, over 350,000 Black men served on the Western Front.
  But prior to 1941, Black servicemen were denied the honor and glory 
that comes with uniformed service, and their contributions went largely 
unnoticed. The units were segregated. Black infantry divisions hardly 
saw the battlefield. They served our Nation with honor, but our Nation 
did not honor their service.
  But on June 25, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt changed all that. 
Executive Order 8802 prohibited racial discrimination in the Nation's 
military. It was the first Federal action to promote equal opportunity 
in the United States.
  Immediately, people of color answered the call and joined all 
branches of the service. Soon, the very first Black U.S. marines began 
training at Camp Montford Point in North Carolina. These men would 
become the first Black drill instructors, the first Black combat 
troops, and the first Black officers the Marine Corps had ever seen.
  More than 19,000 Black marines served in the Second World War. Some, 
like SGM Edgar Huff and SGM Louis Roundtree, served in Korea and 
Vietnam as well. They earned decorations such as the Bronze Star, the 
Silver Star, and the Purple Heart.
  All of the Montford Point marines sacrificed for their country, and 
for that they deserve our deepest gratitude. But they also did far more 
than sacrifice on the battlefield. They broke down barriers. Their 
names may not be as familiar as Washington, Jefferson or Lincoln. But 
their contribution to the American story deserves more than our 
respect. Through their actions, they changed the face of the U.S. 
military.

[[Page S7586]]

They deserve our praise and recognition.
  Last fall, I introduced S. 1695, a bill to award the Congressional 
Gold Medal to the Montford Point marines. I urge my colleagues to move 
forward and honor these fine men and women. Every American has 
benefited from their sacrifice, their bravery, and their leadership. 
And every American should learn from their fine example.
  Unfortunately, time is not on our side. Every day, approximately 900 
brave American souls who served in World War II pass away. We should 
honor our greatest generation while we have the chance to look them in 
the eye and thank them.
  Since the day a few brave men began their training at Camp Montford 
Point more than half a century ago, the U.S. Marine Corps has been 
transformed into a stronger, more diverse fighting force. The legacy of 
the Montford Point marines represents what is best about this Nation's 
history. Theirs is a proud chapter in the continuing American story.
  As I address this Chamber today, I am surrounded by the towering 
monuments to our Founding Fathers, and the memorials to those who have 
fought and died so that we might live free. It is time to make the 
Montford Point marines a part of that immortal history--to award them 
the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal.
  I ask that my colleagues join with me in celebrating these American 
heroes.
  We need to do it before it is too late, and we will not have any of 
them to look into the eye and tell them: Thanks for your service. 
Thanks for standing up against some of the toughest situations on the 
battlefield but even tougher situations as Blacks on the homefront.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia is recognized.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I commend my friend, the Senator from 
Illinois, for his comments, and I associate myself with his effort. 
This is recognition that is long overdue. I am pleased to support his 
efforts in this area. It is a part of American history that has not 
received appropriate recognition, these individuals' service to and in 
defense of our country. I believe strongly that we need to take action 
on this, as the clock for many of these individuals, as they get 
advanced in age, is ticking.
  The Senator from Illinois will be leaving this Chamber at the end of 
this year. He and I came in together, as did the Senator from New 
Mexico. It has been a great honor of mine to serve with him. I consider 
Senator Burris a dear friend. I know there will be time for a more 
formal process, but I simply wish to say on this matter and countless 
others over the 2 years we have served together, it has been a real 
pleasure. I look forward to--perhaps not in this Chamber--other 
opportunities for us to serve and work together for many years to come.
  (Mr. BURRIS assumed the chair.)
  (The remarks of Mr. Warner pertaining to the introduction of S. 3853 
are located in today's Record under ``Statements on Introduced Bills 
and Joint Resolutions.'')
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania is recognized.
  Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, I commend the work of my colleague from 
Virginia, Senator Warner, on a very important set of challenges we 
have.
  I ask unanimous consent to speak as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                        Afghanistan and Pakistan

  Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, the conflict in Afghanistan enters its 
ninth year next month. Over the past few months, the United States has 
experienced the most casualties since the war began in 2001. In June, 
60 U.S. troops were killed; in July, 66; in the month of August, 55 
service members gave their lives.
  We always recall the words of Lincoln when we recall those who are 
killed in action, those who gave, as he said, the last full measure of 
devotion to their country. These are difficult days, and that is an 
understatement--very difficult days for the American people and 
especially for the families and the troops. I also believe these are 
days that have tried the patience of Americans and tested the resolve 
of our commitment to this conflict.
  At a minimum, we--when I say ``we,'' I mean those Members of the U.S. 
Congress--we owe the families of these service members every assurance 
that their elected officials, their elected representatives in 
Washington are vigilantly exercising oversight of the war. We also owe 
it to them that we ask and demand answers to very tough questions and, 
finally, that we are doing everything we can to make sure we get this 
policy and this strategy that goes with it right.
  Since I last spoke on the floor on the issue of Afghanistan, there 
have been many important developments with respect to the war. First, 
we have been confronted with new revelations of corruption by the 
Afghan Government--more about that in a moment--second, reports of 
ballot box stuffing and voter intimidation in the parliamentary 
elections earlier this month have raised long-held doubts by the Afghan 
people as to the durability of the country's democratic experiment. The 
number of IED attacks has increased, and while deaths due to the IEDs 
are, in fact, down, the number of injuries is, unfortunately, up. ISAF 
has also begun operations in Kandahar. We saw a story about this 
yesterday. This is notable because this is reportedly the first 
operation to be primarily made up of Afghan troops.
  I wish to spend a couple moments today to draw attention to the 
international response to the floods in Pakistan. The United States has 
played an important leading role. We were the first, and with the most 
assistance, of any country. While this may be the case, we also have a 
responsibility to encourage generosity from the public and private 
sectors in the international community.

  I mentioned before the issue of corruption in Afghanistan. This issue 
has nationwide implications and could serve to undermine the totality 
of our efforts in Afghanistan. Our troops are fighting and dying to 
help extend the reach of the Afghan Government outside of the capital 
of Kabul to show the Afghan people that their government has a monopoly 
on the use of force and is capable of providing goods and services to 
its people. But we need to put this very simply. We cannot be 
complicit. Our forces, our government, cannot be complicit in helping 
to extend the reach of a corrupt government. Afghanistan is a sovereign 
country, and if the fight against corruption is going to be effective, 
Afghans--Afghans--can and must own the process.
  The United States should support the work of the Major Crimes Task 
Force and the Special Investigations Unit, but, frankly, the track 
record to date has been very disappointing, and unless serious progress 
is made, support for U.S. engagement in Afghanistan will be seriously 
eroded.
  As a former auditor general of Pennsylvania who oversaw the auditing 
of government programs at the State level, I perhaps have a heightened 
sensitivity to the vital role transparency and accountability have in 
government--in any government. The importance of these basic elements 
of a representative democracy is especially compelling when the lives 
of courageous Americans, ISAF, and Afghan forces are, indeed, on the 
line.
  Just yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that there is a U.S. 
criminal investigation into President Karzai's older brother Mahmood, 
and prosecutors are trying to determine whether they can bring charges 
of tax evasion, racketeering, or extortion against him. Reportedly, he 
will travel to the United States this week to amend his tax returns. 
But these are serious allegations that we read about time after time. I 
have spoken and many in this Chamber have spoken about the allegations 
of corruption against Ahmed Wali Karzai, who has been implicated in 
local corruption schemes involving the opium trade. These are 
allegations, they are charges, but they are charges that are very 
serious and potentially damaging to the overall U.S. effort in the 
country, as it strikes to the heart of trust in the Afghan Government. 
Without this trust from Afghans and from the international community, I 
am concerned that support for U.S. efforts in Afghanistan will erode.
  On September 18, Afghans went to the polls to vote for a new 
parliament. This has also become a serious cause

[[Page S7587]]

for concern. On Sunday, the Afghan election officials ordered recounts 
in seven provinces. A government antifraud elections watchdog has 
received more than 3,500 complaints--3,500 complaints--about this 
election. They are concerned that up to 57 percent of these complaints 
could change the outcome of the vote. The Free and Fair Election 
Foundation of Afghanistan, the main independent Afghan observer group, 
observed ballot box stuffing in 280 voting sites in 28 provinces. We 
don't expect elections in a developing country to be perfect, 
especially a country that is in a war zone, but these reports are 
alarming, to say the least, because they indicate that not enough 
progress has been made over the past 9 years to create an Afghanistan 
in which the people resolve their own differences through politics and 
not violence.
  Next let me move to the question of security, which is so fundamental 
to our strategy. I have sought to highlight the threat posed by 
ammonium nitrate, the fertilizer that is a key ingredient in the 
improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan. According to a recent 
report from the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, 
known by the acronym JIEDDO, there have been 1,062 effective IED 
attacks against coalition forces in 2010 that killed 292 soldiers and 
wounded another 2,178 others. In the first 8 months of 2009, there were 
820 such attacks that killed 322 and wounded 1,813. So while the number 
of deaths in the comparable period of 2009 versus 2010 may be down--
instead of it being 322 deaths in those 8 months, it is 292--even 
though the number of deaths is down, the number of wounded, the number 
of injuries has risen dramatically in 2010.
  It is essential that we highlight this threat and support U.S. and 
international efforts to crack down on the proliferation of dangerous 
chemicals such as ammonium nitrate that can be used in IEDs. I 
sponsored a resolution which was passed by unanimous consent--which we 
know is hard to do in this body these days--calling for increased focus 
by the Governments of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asian nations 
to effectively monitor and regulate the use of ammonium nitrate 
fertilizer in order to prevent terrorist organizations from 
transporting ammonium nitrate into Afghanistan. As we know, a lot of 
the inflow, a lot of the movement of this precursor chemical that is 
used in IEDs comes from Pakistan into Afghanistan. As a show of 
bipartisan strength on this resolution, Senators Kyl, Snowe, Reid, and 
Levin--two Democrats, two Republicans--were original cosponsors of this 
resolution. I also had language inserted into the foreign operations 
funding bill which requires the State Department to report on its 
efforts to encourage Pakistani assistance on this issue. We must remain 
vigilant and persistent to address this ongoing problem. This is about 
protecting our troops from the horror of an IED attack. We must do all 
we can to minimize the threat to our brave men and women fighting for 
us in the field.
  At a different level, at a strategic level, ISAF has launched 
Operation Dragon Strike, a joint operation with Afghan forces which 
will look to eradicate Taliban elements in Kandahar. This operation 
could mark a crucial and critical turning point in the war, and we will 
be watching closely in the coming weeks to gauge the progress as it 
moves forward. This operation is notable as there are more Afghan 
troops than ISAF troops on the ground, and this is indeed an 
encouraging sign that the training of the Afghan National Army is 
beginning to reap benefits. That is a bit of good news--more good 
news--as it relates to the training of the Afghan Army; not such good 
news--in fact, some bad news--as it relates to the training of the 
Afghan National Police.
  Let me move finally to the floods in Pakistan. I wish to draw 
attention to the devastating humanitarian crisis that continues to 
plague Pakistan after the flood. This has affected millions of people 
in Pakistan across the country--maybe not always directly but in some 
way or another through displacement, death, injury--in so many ways 
this has adversely affected the people of Pakistan. This is the worst 
natural disaster in the history of the country.
  To assist the people of Pakistan during this difficult time, the 
United States has provided more than $340 million to support immediate 
relief and recovery efforts. The United States has provided food, 
infrastructure support, and air support to transport goods and rescue 
thousands stranded by the floods.
  These floods will require a substantial international commitment of 
assistance. The United Nations has issued appeals, but the response 
from the international community has been, in a word, weak, and that 
might be an understatement. Private contributions have slowed to a 
trickle.
  Last week, we heard from Cameron Munter, the President's nominee to 
be Ambassador to Pakistan, who described at our hearing in the Foreign 
Relations Committee the administration's plans to bolster support for 
the Pakistan relief fund. The American response to the flood has been 
substantial, but we can and must do more to rally the international 
community and the private sector to be generous in Pakistan's time of 
need. The Pakistani-American community has led an important effort to 
draw attention to the devastation wrought by the flood. We should 
bolster their work and use our platforms as public officials to broaden 
their appeals for help.
  So we have many challenges in this area to get our strategy right in 
Afghanistan as it relates to governance. Increasingly, that word really 
means anticorruption, mostly--obviously on security in terms of what 
our strategy is but also in terms of training the Afghan National Army 
and police so that we can eventually draw down our troops and have them 
take over the fight and govern their own country.
  Finally, on development, which I didn't speak much about today, there 
is the ability for the Afghans to develop the infrastructure and 
support they need to govern themselves, whether that is services, water 
and sewer--any indication, any element any country would need to have 
in place so that people can live in peace and security. Finally, there 
are the efforts we are making to help the people of Pakistan at a time 
of great need. We have all kinds of important humanitarian reasons to 
be helpful and to show solidarity with suffering people, and we also 
have several security imperatives that come into play when it comes to 
the flood and the aftermath.
  So for all of these reasons, it is critically important to continue 
to debate and discuss and even argue about what our policy in 
Afghanistan should be. That is the least the Senate can do when our 
troops are fighting and sometimes dying in the field to carry out this 
mission.
  With that, I yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                          For-Profit Colleges

  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, if you opened the newspaper over the last 
several weeks, you have probably noticed a large full-page 
advertisement that has appeared almost every day. It shows, usually, a 
young person, and it has a caption that reads: ``A hundred thousand 
working Americans don't count? Put the brakes on the Department of 
Education's gainful employment rule.''
  There are a lot of photos of young people with that basic statement 
popping up in newspapers not only in Washington but across the United 
States. Others show photos of young people saying: ``I don't count? 
Some in Washington think I don't.''
  These ads have been hard to miss. They have been running in more than 
10 newspapers on a daily basis for several weeks, at a cost of millions 
of dollars. Most Americans, when they look at it, are puzzled and say: 
What is this debate and this battle all about?
  Well, many of these ads are being paid for by Corinthian Colleges, 
Incorporated. This is a for-profit higher education company that 
provides training and education after high school for young people 
across America--and for those who are not so young anymore. Corinthian 
and other for-profit colleges

[[Page S7588]]

are upset about a regulation that the Obama administration has 
proposed. Corinthian is spending millions of dollars on a barrage of 
ads across the United States, rather than basically taking the same 
money and offering it in scholarships to help their students. They want 
to stop the Obama administration from its proposed change in the rules. 
The proposed regulation could end Federal subsidies to some of the 
poorest performing for-profit colleges in America. That might hurt the 
profits of some very wealthy corporations, especially Corinthian.
  This is simple dollars and cents. They are spending millions of 
dollars now to persuade Congress, and perhaps some voters and opinion 
makers, not to enforce a rule that holds them to a standard of 
performance because they may lose business. If they lose business, they 
may lose profits. In losing profits, they think it is worth putting 
money into this advertising effort. They are worried, because if you 
take a look around, you cannot miss them in Washington. I have said, 
half jokingly, that having served in Congress for more than 20 years, 
the best way I can find to meet former Members of Congress whom I have 
served with over those 20 years is to take on this issue because they 
have all signed up as lobbyists for these for-profit colleges. They are 
calling me and saying: Durbin, guess who I am working for. It turns out 
my efforts to hold for-profit colleges accountable for the students 
going to school there and ending up deeply in debt is a full employment 
bill for former Members of Congress to be lobbyists. That was not my 
intention. It is not my goal.
  They are also spending millions of dollars on these ad campaigns, 
about which I have spoken to newspaper people who say: The newspaper 
business isn't profitable anymore, but thank goodness these schools are 
buying full-page ads. So I have this sort of one-man campaign to put 
Americans back to work and make American newspapers more profitable. It 
is almost the basis for a comedy routine, except what I am talking 
about is not funny at all.
  I am talking about some of these for-profit schools that are sinking 
young people deeply into debt in student loans that they can never pay 
off, promising them courses, training, and degrees that will lead to a 
good job and, in fact, it leads to a dead end, where they end up with a 
worthless piece of paper. They don't end up with the skills they need 
to get a job, but they do end up in debt, with student loans to the 
heavens.
  I think the Department of Education is on the right track. If we are 
going to send literally millions, if not billions, of dollars to 
colleges and schools that are training those who finish high school, we 
should have some standards there. We should not just give them to 
anyone who happens to call themselves a school or calls their effort an 
education and training. It is right to ask these questions.
  The proposed gainful employment regulation is complicated, and some 
changes may be made before it is all over. It is basic: For-profit 
colleges should not routinely leave students with student loan debt 
that they cannot afford to pay back. Luring a 19-, 20- or 21-year-old 
deeply into debt, when they are being promised a job they will never 
have, is cruel and unfair. In a moment, I will tell you what happens 
when the students default on their debts. In the meantime, the 
taxpayers are subsidizing this. It is our Federal tax dollars passing 
through Washington and out to these schools, loaned to students, paid 
to the colleges that are representing they have something good to 
offer, leaving students deeply in debt and many without a job.
  This rule the Obama administration is looking at would look at debt-
to-income ratios and student loan repayment rates to determine those 
education and training programs that are leaving students with more 
debt than they can realistically ever pay back. Those programs might 
have to print a warning label on their promotional materials about the 
high debt levels of their students or there might be restrictions on 
enrollment in departments of schools that regularly produce students 
who are deeply in debt without a job. Some programs would actually lose 
their eligibility for Federal student aid if they don't meet certain 
standards. I think that is an honest approach for the students and for 
our need in this country to educate and train people in our workforce.
  Recently, I had a hearing in Chicago, and it was on this issue. I 
could not get over the crowd. I expected a few people to be interested, 
but 450 people showed up. We had to have an overflow room in the 
Federal courthouse. As I walked into that Federal courthouse building, 
I thought there was something else important going on there beyond my 
hearing. It turned out the demonstrators on the sidewalk outside were 
there for me. So I went up to talk to them; they were students. These 
two students I spoke to were dressed in a white tunic, which chefs 
wear, with buttons on the side. They were carrying a sign against the 
gainful employment rule. I talked to them. I said: Where do you go to 
school? They said they went to the Institute of Art of Chicago, located 
in the suburb of Schaumburg, IL.
  For those of us who know Chicago, the reason that name is written the 
way it is written is because there is a real art institute in Chicago. 
This school is not affiliated with it, but it is creating the 
impression that it may have some connection. It doesn't. I asked the 
student: What are you studying? The student says: Culinary arts. I want 
to be a chef. I said: How long does the course last? He said: 2 years. 
I said: How much do you pay in tuition for this course? He said: 
$54,000. It costs $54,000 to work in a restaurant. I said: How much 
will you get paid after you finish the course, when you go to work? He 
said: We usually start at about $10 an hour, and if I work 6 days a 
week or maybe more and do overtime, I might make $30,000 a year gross. 
I said: Do you have any idea how long it will take to pay off this 
debt? What is this leading to? He said: Someday I want to own a 
restaurant. I said: That is a great ambition, but if you start this 
journey $54,000 in debt, what is the likelihood you will reach your 
goal? He said: Well, I am going to pursue it. I think it is the thing 
to do.
  The same culinary course is offered at the community colleges in 
Chicago--a 2-year course, with the same preparation, and the tuition 
for 2 years is $12,000 versus $54,000. This young man is going to be 
deeply in debt, a debt which people our age think, my goodness, that is 
more than my first home cost. They are going to have that facing them 
as they start a job that pays about $10 an hour.
  That, to me, is unfair and creates an unrealistic expectation. I wish 
there would be a suspension, for about 6 months, of the super chef, 
master chef shows, so all the young people who are bored and watching 
cable TV will not turn to these shows and have these dreams about being 
the master chef of tomorrow. For many of them, it will be a dream that 
is never realized, although the debt they incur will be realized in a 
hurry. We think these schools would either have to improve the salary 
outcomes of their students or cut tuition costs. Either way, that is 
good for students.
  But the for-profit colleges want us to believe that the idea of 
controlling student debt somehow hurts these students. Look at 
Corinthian College spending millions of dollars on these ads to stop 
this accountability. This company is buying full-page print advertising 
all across America. It owns Everest College, Everest Institute, and 
Everest University. How many students are enrolled at the colleges 
owned by Corinthian? It is 112,000, including 20 percent through online 
courses.
  If I did a quiz and asked the American people which institution of 
higher learning they believe receives the most Federal funds of any 
institution in America, most people would get it wrong. It is an 
institution that is owned by a company called the Apollo Group, and it 
is known as the University of Phoenix. The University of Phoenix has 
over 450,000 undergraduates enrolled. That is more than the combined 
undergraduate enrollment of all of the Big Ten schools--450,000-plus. 
They receive more Federal aid for education than any other institution 
in America. Next is DeVry out of Chicago--for 75 years--and I might add 
during the course of testimony before our panel, our investigation did 
come up with some very positive things to say. I hope what I am about 
to say is not taken to condemn every for-profit

[[Page S7589]]

school. I think some are doing a good job in some areas and they are 
valuable and should continue. The other is Kaplan University. Kaplan is 
owned by the Washington Post and is the biggest moneymaker in their 
corporation.
  They have quite a few students. They are No. 3 in terms of receiving 
Federal aid to education. The fourth school, incidentally, is Penn 
State University, finally one you would guess would be there. It is a 
large university with online courses. That gives us an idea of where 
the Federal money is flowing from student loans and Pell grants. It is 
going to for-profit schools. They represent about 9 percent of all the 
students taking postsecondary education. They represent 25 percent of 
all the Federal aid to education and 43 percent of all the student loan 
defaults: 7 to 9 percent of the students, 43 percent of the defaults. 
It is an indication that we have a problem. We are shoveling money in 
the name of educating students at institutions which are heaping them 
up with debt and not providing them with training or preparation for a 
good-paying job.
  In 2009, Corinthian--the one buying the millions of dollars in pages 
of advertising--had $1.3 billion in revenue, up 22 percent over the 
previous year, and 89 percent of the revenue for Corinthian Colleges 
across the United States came from the Federal Treasury, from 
taxpayers, in the form of Federal Pell grants and student loans. That 
does not include the GI bill, Department of Labor funding or Department 
of Defense funding.
  The company's net income--that is their profit--was $71 million. The 
CEO of Corinthian Colleges, buying all these ads, was paid $4.5 million 
in executive pay and other compensation last year. Corinthian spent, 
out of the money they brought in--89 percent of it from the Federal 
Government--$295 million in advertising and recruiting in 2009. That is 
22.5 percent of the total revenue went to advertising and recruiting.
  They are, by and large, a marketing operation: bring the students in, 
sign them up, bring in the Federal dollars; bring in more students, 
sign them up, bring in more Federal dollars.
  Given the ad campaigns in the newspapers, the amount spent on 
advertising by Corinthian is likely to go up even higher.
  On average, for-profit schools, which receive the lion's share of the 
revenue from taxpayers, spend 25 percent of their revenue on 
advertising and recruiting.
  What do community colleges across America spend in recruiting 
students to come to their campuses and classrooms? Not 25 percent of 
the revenue, 2 percent. They are being outclassed in the marketing 
battle by these for-profit schools.
  How are the students doing at Everest College, for example? Recently, 
an undercover Government Accountability Office investigator went and 
took a look. That investigator posed as a potential student and found 
that the admissions representative at Everest College misrepresented 
the cost and length of the program and refused to disclose the 
graduation rate to this so-called potential student--not surprisingly. 
Do you know why? Only 15 percent of the student loans are being paid by 
the students who go to Everest; 85 percent of them are not paying on 
their loans. It shows they are getting into debt they cannot pay off.
  Data from the Department of Education indicates that Corinthian, 
overall--in all their different colleges--has a 24-percent repayment 
rate. Three out of four students who go to their schools cannot pay the 
principal on their debt after they finish--three out of four. It is the 
lowest repayment rate of any publicly traded corporation in this 
business.
  On a recent investor call, Corinthian acknowledged some campuses are 
at risk of losing their accreditation and that a majority of campuses 
will have 3-year default rates over 30 percent.
  We cannot expect a young student fresh out of high school or someone 
without worldly experience to launch an investigation about whether a 
school is accredited. One assumes, if the Federal Government is going 
to send its money to that school for the students, somebody in 
Washington is keeping an eye on the school to make sure it is the real 
thing. The honest answer is we are not. That is why the Obama 
administration thinks we should change the rules, create more oversight 
on these schools, make sure Federal dollars are well invested and 
students do not end up overwhelmed by debt.
  An independent analysis predicted that the Corinthian companywide 3-
year default rate may be 39 percent. Do you know what that means? Two 
out of every five students who attend a college owned by Corinthian 
will default on their student loan within 3 years--40 percent of them.
  That is happening despite the company's strong efforts to lower the 
number of defaults within the government's 3-year window. They are 
encouraging students to just pay interest on their debt if they cannot 
pay the principal so they can at least say you are paying something.
  Corinthian spent $10 million over the last year to strengthen what it 
calls default management because they see the writing on the wall. It 
is indefensible that we are sending this money to the Corinthian 
corporation. They are heaping debt on the students and not producing an 
education that leads to a job.
  Everett College in Illinois is doing slightly better with a default 
rate of 25 percent.
  Corinthian also offers private loans to students who are in trouble. 
Listen to this. Corinthian Colleges' chief financial officer, Ken Ord, 
stated in a Federal 2010 investor call that they anticipate a 56- to 
58-percent default rate on the private loans the school makes directly 
to students.
  That is a 56- to 58-percent default rate on an estimated $150 million 
in internal student lending. Why is Corinthian willing to lend money to 
the students--their own money--when they know these students are 
already defaulting on their government loans?
  The company is willing to take this loss of $75 million in private 
student loan defaults because these loans help ensure the Federal loans 
and Pell grants will keep coming in to these students, despite the fact 
they are in over their head in debt and have nowhere to turn.
  Corinthian Colleges was sued by the State of California in 2007. The 
State argued it misled students about career opportunities. They 
reached a $6.5 million settlement in the State of California to refund 
tuition to former students, pay student debt cancellation, and pay 
civil penalties.
  That was not the first time they had been in court. There have been a 
number of lawsuits from former students who had spent tens of thousands 
of dollars for useless degrees and useless certificates from Corinthian 
and Everest.
  Recently, Corinthian and several of its executives are being sued by 
their own shareholders for allegedly making false and misleading 
statements about the company's business prospects.
  I have questions about whether Corinthian is the education 
opportunity students are looking for. There are certainly students who 
have a good experience at one or more of the Corinthian schools, but I 
wish to share a story that they are not featuring in their full-page 
ads, arguing that they should not be subject to oversight by the 
Department of Education.
  Last year, Washington Monthly magazine told the story of a student 
named Martine. At the age of 43, Martine decided to go back to school 
and pursue a career in nursing. She came across a Web site for Everest 
College, part of the Corinthian Colleges chain.
  Martine was promised hands-on training in state-of-the-art labs and 
rotations at the Los Angeles Medical Center. She was worried about the 
$29,000 tuition but was told it would not be a problem. She was going 
to make $35 an hour as a nurse.
  When Martine filled out her paperwork, she was rushed through the 
process and was not told the terms of her loans, including private 
loans that carried double-digit interest rates.
  The education did not prove to be what she had been promised. The 
instructors were inexperienced. The lab equipment was old and broken. 
Instead of the promised rotations at UCLA Medical Center, her clinical 
training consisted of passing out pills in a local nursing home.
  Martine was unable to find a job after she graduated. Instead, she is 
working as a home health care aide, and she cannot pay back her student

[[Page S7590]]

loans. She said: ``I made one mistake, and I will be paying for it for 
the rest of my life.''
  Many of these for-profit colleges argue that we need them desperately 
because the community college system in America is filled. Not true. 
Over the last week, I went to Olive-Harvey College, part of the 
community college system in Chicago. They have new leadership that is 
inspiring. I said: What is your capacity?
  They said: We are at about 50 percent of our capacity. We can absorb 
many more students in our community colleges.
  The cost is a fraction of what these for-profit colleges charge. It 
is important we give to students the information about the variation in 
costs for education and training and what they can expect to receive. 
According to the Department of Education, Everest College in Skokie, 
IL, costs, on average, $14,000 in tuition and fees for education.
  Less than 3 miles away from the Everest campus in Skokie is a school 
you and I both know, Mr. President--Oakton Community College.
  At Oakton, students can earn degrees in the same fields, same 
certificates for dramatically less. A certificate in medical billing, a 
program offered at Everest College--the private, for-profit school--for 
over $10,000 will cost you $1,000 at Oakton Community College, one-
tenth the cost of this private school.
  The Corinthian ad campaign suggests we do not think the students who 
are enrolled in their schools count. I disagree with them. I think they 
count for a lot. They count for our future. I would like to tell the 
students attending for-profit colleges, it is because they count that 
we are asking these hard questions.
  I see another colleague on the floor, the Senator from Minnesota, so 
I will wrap up quickly and tell one thing I want students across 
America to know. First, the standards I wish to impose on for-profit 
colleges I also wish to impose on community colleges, public 
universities, and private universities. They should be accredited so 
their hours are worth taking. They should not promise a job leading 
from a certificate that is earned there if it is not true. They should 
have full disclosure to students about what it means to enter into a 
student loan, and they ought to have some revenue coming in other than 
the Federal Government.
  For many of these, 75 to 90 percent of their revenue comes straight 
from the Federal Government. When the GAO did the undercover survey of 
what some of these for-profit schools are saying to students, some of 
these recruiters were saying to them: I am a recruiter, but I just 
finished college, and I have a big debt I will never pay back. I am 
going to have a good job and make a lot of money, so it is OK.
  Do you know what happens when you default on a student loan in 
America? It is time we tell students what they get into if they get in 
over their heads with a worthless education.
  Your loan will be turned over to a collection agency and they may 
charge 25 percent more to collect what you owe.
  Your wages can be garnisheed; that is, they can take it right out of 
your paycheck.
  Your tax refunds can be intercepted by the Federal Government if you 
still owe on a student loan.
  Your Social Security benefits ultimately will be withheld if you end 
up in debt at that point in life from a student loan.
  Your defaulted student loan will be reported to a credit bureau and 
will remain on your credit history for 7 years, even after it is paid. 
That means you may not be able to buy a car, a house or take out a 
credit card. It might be you cannot get a job because of your credit 
history. You cannot take out more student loans or receive Pell grants 
to go back to school.
  You are no longer eligible for HUD or VA loans.
  You could be barred from the Armed Forces and might be denied some 
jobs in the Federal Government.
  I might also add, most student loans are not dischargeable in 
bankruptcy. When the bottom falls out and you go to bankruptcy court, 
that is the one that will still be hanging over you when you walk out 
of that court process.
  We have to be honest with students across America and let them know 
what they are getting into when they get into student loans. I borrowed 
money. I went to a good school. I think it paid off for me. It was an 
important decision. I was not misled about my education. I knew what it 
would get, and I was willing to risk the debt to reach that goal, and 
it worked. That is a good thing.
  For those who are misleading students and burying them deeply in 
debt, I can tell them the time of accountability has arrived. The 
Federal Government is going to keep its obligations to the students 
across America to help them with education, but these schools have an 
obligation to their students to be honest with them, to be accredited, 
and to produce training and education that leads to a good-paying job.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota is recognized.
  Mr. FRANKEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                            The Recovery Act

  Mr. FRANKEN. Mr. President, I rise to discuss something I regret. I 
regret that Democrats have allowed the word ``stimulus'' to become a 
dirty word, one that we avoid using.
  The President spoke a few weeks ago about his new plan to invest $50 
billion in new infrastructure--projects that will improve safety and 
transportation. But he never once mentioned the words ``stimulus'' or 
``recovery.'' That was probably a smart move on his part because, 
frankly, the stimulus has gotten a bad rap. But this is a reputation it 
absolutely does not deserve.
  There are Members of this body who opposed the Recovery Act because 
they thought it would not work or did not jibe with their theory of 
economics or of how the government should address recessions, and that 
is fine. They were entitled to vote the way they thought best. But now 
a year and a half later, we have been able to see the economic effects 
of the Recovery Act. To deny it has been a success is simply to ignore 
the facts.
  A recent poll showed that a majority of Americans believe that either 
the stimulus bill did nothing to help the economy or even made it 
worse. The economic data, however, indicates otherwise. How do we 
explain this disparity between what people believe and what the data 
supports?
  Members of the American public do not form opinions out of thin air. 
They engage themselves. They watch the news. They listen to speeches by 
elected officials. One would expect that watching the news and 
listening to your elected officials would be a decent way to form an 
opinion about something. Unfortunately, the talking heads on many of 
the news shows, along with many elected officials, have been feeding 
the American public half-truths, at best, about the Recovery Act, and 
that, frankly, is cheating the American people out of the facts.
  Today, I wish to go through some of these claims made by these 
talking heads and elected officials and then follow it up with some 
data, and that way the American people can use the facts to decide for 
themselves.
  Let's take claim No. 1 about the Recovery Act, made by one of my 
colleagues in February: ``It didn't create one new job.''
  The Congressional Budget Office--the arbiter and referee of economic 
questions that we in the Senate all have agreed to abide by--reports 
that the Recovery Act has increased employment by 1.4 million to 3.3 
million people. A separate report issued by two respected economists 
corroborates CBO's estimates, putting the figure at about 2.7 million 
jobs. That report was issued by Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi. That is 
Mark Zandi, who, incidentally, was a key economic adviser to the John 
McCain Presidential campaign in 2008.
  I understand that economic analysis has a lot of errors; that 
estimating jobs figures is very complex and it is difficult to 
determine whether a job was created or saved. But when CBO and 
respected economists agree that employment has increased by millions of 
jobs, is it at all plausible that the Recovery Act didn't create a 
single new job? Well, of course it is not. But that doesn't seem to 
stop some misinformed souls from claiming that.

[[Page S7591]]

  Let's tackle the second claim. My friends on the other side of the 
aisle often imply that tax cuts would have been more effective than the 
Recovery Act. But perhaps they have forgotten that over one-third of 
the stimulus package in the Recovery Act was comprised of tax cuts--
$288 billion of it.
  Unfortunately, the tax cuts were designed in a way so that many 
Americans didn't notice they were getting them. An extra 20 bucks on 
your paycheck adds up for you and the economy over time but people 
don't notice it as they do when they get a big lump sum rebate or 
refund. But here is the thing about lump sum refunds. People like to 
save them or pay off debts with them. When you get an extra 20 bucks in 
the paycheck, you are more likely to spend it, giving the economy a 
boost.
  This explains one unfortunate paradox of the Recovery Act. Because 
the tax cut was well designed, it helped boost consumer spending, but 
nobody noticed it. But that is not a failure of Recovery Act policy, 
that is a failure of getting the message to the American taxpayers. The 
tax cuts in the Recovery Act did their part. According to CBO, tax cuts 
for those in lower income brackets increased GDP by $1.70 for every 
dollar in tax cut.
  For those who would argue the Recovery Act should have been only tax 
cuts, consider this: While tax cuts for lower brackets yielded a $1.70 
GDP boost, tax cuts for higher income earners and companies only raised 
GDP by 50 cents per dollar spent, and neither of these figures compares 
to the return on the Recovery Act's public works investment--an 
impressive $2.50 increase in GDP for every dollar spent.
  After tax cuts, another substantial portion of the stimulus was 
fiscal aid to States. The Recovery Act provided about $224 billion to 
States so they wouldn't have to slash essential State programs. State 
budgets across the country are in dire straits. The Center on Budget 
and Policy Priorities estimates 46 States will have budget shortfalls 
this year. Over the past 2 years, the Recovery Act has helped fill in a 
large percentage of State fiscal gaps.
  Imagine where State budgets would be had they not received assistance 
from the Recovery Act. Imagine the layoffs of teachers and firefighters 
and law enforcement, and of people who deliver key social services, for 
which there is far more demand during an economic downturn.
  Let's look at another misleading claim--that the Recovery Act failed 
because it didn't keep the employment rate under 8 percent, as 
President Obama promised. Well, it is true that President Obama's 
advisers did not accurately forecast the gravity of the unemployment 
crisis. But, frankly, nobody did. And because of the lag in 
unemployment data, we now know that unemployment had already surpassed 
8 percent by the time the Recovery Act was signed into law.
  Let me walk you through this, because it is interesting, I promise. 
The claim about Obama's promise of keeping unemployment down actually 
came from a report issued by Obama's advisers on January 9, 2009--
before he took office. In early January, we only had access to job 
numbers through November. Back in November 2008, unemployment was about 
6.9 percent. By December, it had risen to 7.4 percent. But the Recovery 
Act wasn't signed until February 17, and by February the unemployment 
rate had risen to 8.2 percent.
  So the unemployment rate was already over 8 percent when the Recovery 
Act was signed, let alone had any chance to go into effect. By that 
time, Obama's advisers, along with most other economists, had realized 
the tide of unemployment was going to be much more severe. So it is 
fair to say that President Obama's advisers underestimated the coming 
employment crisis, but it is not fair to say that unemployment 
exceeding 8 percent was a failure of the Recovery Act. It is 
preposterous to say that because the report issued by Obama's advisers 
contained an economic forecast that later proved to be inaccurate, 
therefore, Obama lied or that he broke his promise or that he is an 
expert in snake oil, as I heard a talking head on a Sunday show say. A 
forecasting error is not a lie.
  Let's look at another claim. As an elected official has stated:

       According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since the 
     stimulus was passed we have lost 3 million real jobs, 2.4 
     million net jobs in this economy and all the calculations and 
     reports from the White House are not going to change the fact 
     that their economic stimulus bill has failed.

  Okay, this is a fun one because, technically, the first part of the 
claim is correct--since the Recovery Act, we have had a net job loss.
  Here is a chart illustrating the job losses mentioned. These are job 
losses, here. See. You may notice a trend. I am going to show another 
chart that might put this more in context. You may notice a trend here. 
This is President Bush. If we had a slide whistle, it would whistle up 
on the scale. And if you had a slide whistle for here--here is the 
Recovery Act--it would whistle up on the scale. There is a trend. You 
can tell by my slide whistle that the Recovery Act was clearly a 
turning point. We went from a downward slide to a relatively upward 
climb. It is not as fast as we would like, and things have been 
slightly stalled of late, but clearly--clearly--we are doing much 
better.
  This is Bush's last day in office.
  In fact, one could make the argument that the stimulus was key in 
reversing our slide into a depression. In fact, that is pretty much 
exactly what Blinder and Zandi have said about the Recovery Act. 
Remember, this is Mark Zandi, who was John McCain's economic adviser. 
The Blinder-Zandi report sums it up this way: The government response 
to the crisis ``probably averted what could have been called Great 
Depression 2.0.'' Again, from the adviser to the 2008 Republican 
Presidential candidate.
  I think avoiding a depression is, on balance, a good thing, and I 
think most Americans would agree. And if they knew the facts, they 
would thank President Obama and the Members of Congress who kept us 
from sliding into another Great Depression.
  Let's look at a fifth claim. A prominent elected official said 
recently that he thinks the Recovery Act created only bureaucratic 
government jobs--only bureaucratic government jobs. In response to 
that, I wish to show a few recovery projects in progress in my State of 
Minnesota. You can judge for yourself whether they are bureaucratic 
government jobs.
  I am not sure how the cameras work here in the Senate for those 
watching on TV, but maybe they can push in here on Jamie, a Local 361 
carpenter from Cloquet, MN. Here he is performing scaffolding work on 
the north tower of the Duluth aerial lift bridge. He is doing this in 
January 2010. The Duluth aerial lift bridge, I think, is the largest in 
North America. The south tower will be completed this winter as part of 
the two-phase $5 million project funded by the Recovery Act.
  Jamie, his wife and two children--aged 19 and 14--went without health 
insurance for 13 months when he was on unemployment. He was hired for 
this job last winter and worked enough hours on this job to get back on 
health insurance. The Recovery Act has enabled Jamie and his family to 
get back on their feet. I ask you: Does Jamie look like a government 
bureaucrat?
  How about Cecil? Here is a picture of Cecil. I want to ask you: Does 
Cecil look like a bean counter for OMB? Cecil is pictured here working 
on the Highway 610 extension project in Brooklyn Park, MN. He is 
building 6 miles of sound walls. I attended the groundbreaking ceremony 
for this project. So did a Republican Congressman from this district, 
who voted against the stimulus package. Cecil had been unemployed since 
2008 before being hired onto this Recovery Act-funded project. He has 
told us he is very thankful for the opportunity to earn a living wage 
to support his family.
  Next, we have Spencer, a Local 49'er crane operator for a contractor 
named LUNDA, working on the 694/35W widening of bridge and on and off 
ramps--a $2.5 million project. There are 11 onsite contractors--private 
contractors--working on the project. Spencer, who is 23, is from Isle, 
MN, and was unemployed until this job came along. Spencer told me:

       I wasn't working until this job came along . . . investing 
     in our country's infrastructure is an investment in my 
     financial fate and family's future.

  As I said, his Local 49'ers run heavy machinery. I don't know about 
you, but I don't know many Washington bureaucrats who can safely 
operate heavy machinery.

[[Page S7592]]

  Who is next? Matthew and Randy, both Laborers Local 563. They had 
been employed by contractor CS McCrossan for 7 and 13 years, 
respectively, before they were both laid off last fall. But this 
spring, they were hired back to work on several different Recovery Act-
funded projects. They are pictured here working on a pedestrian 
replacement bridge on 49th Avenue Northeast over Central Avenue in 
Columbia Heights, MN. You can see them. They are, you know, a couple of 
CBO paper pushers, I guess.
  Next we have Sheila. Here she is working on the night shift on the I-
94 rehabilitation project. I-94 is a huge interstate highway in 
Minnesota--a very important artery. Sheila is new to the construction 
industry but her work ethic has led her colleagues to comment that she 
has a bright future in the industry. These are just a few of the 70,000 
Recovery Act projects happening across our country.

  Here is another project in Two Harbors. These guys are building a 
water tower. In addition to five crews of workers on the project, the 
tower tank is made of 723,000 pounds of American steel. Let's get a 
picture of it; looks like a little more in progress--723,000 pounds of 
American steel, and the rebar is another 33,000 pounds of American 
steel. So additional American workers made this steel. More American 
workers mined the iron, Minnesotans on the Iron Range--Minnesotans. 
More jobs. I visited Two Harbors on September 6, just a few weeks ago, 
and personally saw this project in progress.
  As you can see, these folks are not in suits and ties shuffling 
papers; they are building bridges, they are building roads, they are 
building water treatment plants and water towers. These projects are 
going to improve transportation and the health and safety of people in 
Minnesota. Because of these jobs, made possible by the Recovery Act, 
they will keep a roof over the heads of their families, put food on the 
kitchen table, send their kids to college, and, yes, buy stuff.
  Another vital component of the Recovery Act that is often overlooked 
is its expanded funding for unemployment insurance that helped keep 3.3 
million unemployed people, including 1 million children, out of poverty 
in 2010.
  Another overlooked but critical program in the Recovery Act is the 
funding for Head Start. The $2 billion allocation preserved Head Start 
and Early Head Start programming for 64,000 children across the 
country--over 900 in Minnesota alone. These programs are helping the 
most vulnerable kids, kids in our communities.
  It is simple. Economic analysis suggests that the Recovery Act 
boosted demand, created millions of jobs, kept families in their homes, 
and helped the economy start growing again.
  Let me tell you what I love about being a Senator as opposed to being 
a candidate for the Senate. I think most of my colleagues can relate to 
this. The Presiding Officer has been a statewide candidate many times. 
When you are a candidate, you are speaking mainly to your own people. 
If you are Republican, you are speaking to Republicans to get the 
nomination and then to get out the vote. If you are a Democrat, you are 
doing the same. But as a Senator, you talk to everyone.
  As Senator, I have been privileged to go all around the State of 
Minnesota and talk to folks at economic development meetings. I have 
talked to county commissioners and mayors and city councilmen and small 
businesses and community bankers. You know what. I don't know what 
party they are in, and I don't care. We are trying to get people going. 
We are trying to get the economy moving. Everywhere in Minnesota, do 
you know what these folks say to me? Thank you for the Recovery Act. 
Thank you. Thank you for the teachers we are able to keep on here in 
Brainerd, the firefighters, and for the Workforce Investment Act funds 
so we are able to train people for jobs that were available but didn't 
have trained people for. Thanks for the highway underpass so school 
buses do not have to cross the train tracks or an ambulance doesn't 
have to cross the train tracks. Thanks for funds for the wastewater 
plant or for rural broadband or for the weatherization of public 
buildings--speaking of which, Michael Grunwald, writing for Time 
Magazine, wrote this:

       The Recovery Act is the most ambitious energy legislation 
     in history, converting the Energy Department into the world's 
     largest venture-capital fund. It's pouring $90 billion into 
     clean energy, including unprecedented investments in a smart 
     grid; energy efficiency; electric cars; renewable power from 
     the Sun, wind and Earth; cleaner coal; advanced biofuels; and 
     factories to manufacture green stuff in the U.S. The act will 
     also triple the number of smart electrical meters in our 
     homes, quadruple the number of hybrids in the Federal auto 
     fleet and finance far-out energy research through a new 
     government incubator modeled after the Pentagon agency that 
     fathered the Internet.

  A few weeks ago, I heard a prominent conservative talking head on one 
of the Sunday news shows describe the Recovery Act this way. He said:

       If I pay my neighbor $1,000 to dig a hole in my backyard 
     and fill it up again, and he pays me $1,000 to dig a hole in 
     his backyard and fill it up again, according to the national 
     income statistics, that is a $2,000 increment to GDP and two 
     jobs have been created. The American people understand, 
     however, there is no real wealth created in this kind of 
     transfer payment.

  How offensive. How out of touch. Yet this is why so many Americans 
believe the Recovery Act has not created any jobs or just created jobs 
for bureaucrats.
  I worry that my speech today is too little, too late. I worry that 
most Americans have already formed their opinion about the Recovery Act 
based on the inaccuracies they hear from beltway pundits or from 
elected officials. But I challenge these talking heads and these 
elected officials to find the Spencers and Sheilas and Cecils and 
Randys in their State, go out and watch them work or talk to a teacher 
in a classroom or a cop on the beat. They are not digging and filling 
holes in their neighbor's backyard. They are doing skilled work, 
necessary work, hard work rebuilding our roads, teaching our children, 
and getting paid for it. With their paychecks, they buy food for their 
families and make their car payments and maybe buy a new one, which 
generates more demand. That is an economic recovery in the making.
  Mr. President, 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. KAUFMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Webb.) Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mr. KAUFMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak in 
morning business for up to 10 minutes.


               U.s. Senate Staff: Great Federal Employees

  Mr. KAUFMAN. Mr. President, last week I stood at this desk and 
recognized my 100th and final great Federal employee. Since May, I have 
come to the floor each week to share the stories of dedicated men and 
women who have chosen to work in public service.
  Honoring these individuals has been truly one of the highlights of my 
time in office. As my term nears its end, I look over at this mosaic of 
dedicated government employees, and I hope that these speeches each 
week in their honor have drawn attention to the excellent work they 
have done and continue to do for our Nation.
  At a time when politicians express their frustration with lack of 
progress by attacking nameless, faceless Washington ``bureaucrats,'' I 
thought it important to shed light each week on the face, story, and 
accomplishments of individual Federal employees. In that way, in my own 
small way, I hope I have helped remind people that those who pursue 
government work are constantly trying their best, often at great 
personal sacrifice, to make this a better country and a better world.
  These 100 are a microcosm of our government workforce; as I have said 
before, they are not exceptional but exemplary. They come from over 40 
departments, agencies, and military service branches. They represent a 
Federal workforce of 1.9 million.
  Just as we 100 Senators are a snapshot of the American people, these 
100 great Federal employees are a snapshot of the hard-working men and 
women who serve the American people every day.
  But, just as it takes more than a 100 great Federal employees to 
carry out the work of the American people, it takes more than us 100 
Senators to perform the work of the U.S. Senate. This week, in closing 
my series of speeches

[[Page S7593]]

honoring public service, I want to recognize the untiring efforts of 
U.S. Senate staff.
  I am not only speaking of those who work for Members as personal 
staff. I mean everyone here who has a role in making the Senate work, 
including those who work in the cloakrooms, the Parliamentarian's staff 
and that of the clerks, those who provide support services through the 
Sergeant at Arms and the Secretary of the Senate, the men and women who 
serve as Capitol Police, and so many more. Over 7,200 people work as 
Senate staff in personal offices, for committees, and for the various 
services that keep the modern Senate functioning.
  All of them know well the importance of the Senate in our system of 
government and the role it plays binding our large and diverse Nation 
together. Indeed, on the west pediment of the Dirksen Building it is 
inscribed: ``The Senate is the living symbol of our union of states.''
  It is a living symbol in that we rely upon a deliberative group of 
wise men and women to smooth out our differences and keep fastened 
securely our union's many parts.
  We cannot do this without the help of our staff. They brief us on 
issues and provide up-to-the minute research. They are our link with 
executive agencies and the military. They maintain our busy schedules 
and keep us on time, or mostly so. They form a network that links our 
offices together with one another and make bipartisan deals possible. 
Most important, they keep us connected to our constituents while we are 
here working for them in Washington.
  Who are these staffers, and what brought them to these Halls?
  Many of them are young, in their twenties and thirties. They have an 
energy and passion for the issues on which they work. Those who stay 
more than a few years often spend their whole careers here, becoming 
some of our Nation's leading experts in their issue areas. Just like 
Members, staff preserve the institutional memory of this body and pass 
on its traditions and history.
  We have staffers from both civilian and military backgrounds. Every 
profession and field of education is represented here. Senate staffers 
have trained as doctors, lawyers, writers, farmers, nurses, engineers, 
teachers, manufacturers, the list is endless. They come from every 
State and territory in the Union.
  They are creative and intellectual, pragmatic and imbued with good-
old common sense. Senate staffers are diverse in both their origins and 
their ideas.
  The paths that led them to the Senate are diverse as well. Staffers 
have come here because they are driven by a shared love of country and 
they long to play a constructive role in our Nation's history. One of 
the common traits of Senate staffers is that, when asked, they will say 
that there is something truly special about working in the Capitol and 
these impressive office buildings. Their eyes light up talking about 
the history and gravity of this place. They share the great feeling of 
excitement from living inside the news.
  Staff work under the long shadows cast by this body's Members. 
Infrequently seen in the public spotlight, nevertheless their hands 
mold and shape everything we debate and pass. Here no 2 days are the 
same; there is no routine.
  I like to think that my staffers are the best, but I know that every 
Member or Senate officer thinks his or her staffers to be the greatest. 
I would never dare dispute any of them.
  Senate staffers share in common a deep sense of pride in their public 
service. They share the experience of walking through these august 
Halls and feeling goose-bumps from the power and weight of history and 
their palpable role in it. On both sides of the aisle they all want 
America to be strong, prosperous, and safe.
  Senate staffers are so great because they take their jobs so 
personally.
  This is why they work so hard. It is why they are here on weekends, 
drafting legislation, hammering out deals across the aisle, and 
advising their Members on the next day's votes. It is why front desk 
staff assistants are so compelled to engage with the constituents who 
call in with questions about bills.
  It is why security guards, maintenance personnel, and those who work 
in the Printing, Graphics, and Direct Mail division trudged through the 
snowstorm to get here when all other government offices were closed. It 
is why all kinds of staff are here past midnight regularly.
  I was a Senate staffer for 22 years. My service as chief of staff to 
Joe Biden gave me the chance each day to work with wonderful people on 
both sides of the aisle who came to the Senate motivated by love of 
country. Many of those with whom I worked during those days went on to 
other jobs in government and continue in public service today. A number 
of former Senate staffers now serve in the House of Representatives and 
in this Chamber.
  As I come to the end of this series, I cannot help but think about 
all those great Federal employees I have not had a chance to honor from 
this desk. There are so, so many. They are the unsung heroes that keep 
our Nation moving ever forward.
  I hope my colleagues and all Americans will join me in thanking those 
who serve and have served as staff here in the U.S. Senate. They are 
all truly great Federal employees.
  I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CASEY. I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call 
be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The remarks of Mr. Casey and Mr. Durbin pertaining to the 
introduction of S. 3849 are located in today's Record under 
``Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions.'')
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
  (The remarks of Mr. Enzi are printed in today's Record under 
``Morning Business.'')
  Mr. ENZI. I yield the floor and 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. GOODWIN. 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. GOODWIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business for up to 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                   Unanimous-Consent Request--S. 3671

  Mr. GOODWIN. Mr. President, I rise to talk about an issue of 
incredible importance to my home State of West Virginia, to the 
Presiding Officer's home State of Virginia, and, indeed, to our entire 
country; that is, the safety of our coal miners.
  Unfortunately, during the past 4 years, West Virginia has dealt with 
three significant mining disasters. On an early morning in January 
2006, an explosion rocked through a central West Virginia coal mine 
killing 12 people. Less than a month later, tragedy struck again at a 
mine fire in Logan County, where two more miners were lost, and just 
this past spring, West Virginians mourned, yet again, when 29 of their 
neighbors were lost in the worst coal mining disaster in nearly a half 
century.
  Through these tragedies, our Nation was sadly reminded of the dangers 
and risks miners face every day to provide a living for their families 
and affordable energy for our country. We collectively were reminded 
how important it is for miners, companies, and regulators to work 
together to keep our mines safe. Finally, we witnessed how my fellow 
West Virginians have come together in the midst of crisis and in a time 
of tragedy.
  Yet the story of West Virginia lies not simply in such tragedy but, 
rather, in the story of thousands of West Virginians who go to work 
every day to produce nearly half the electricity consumed in this 
country. It is a story of good-paying jobs with benefits that help form 
the foundation of strong families and strong communities across my home 
State. It is a story my predecessor, Robert C. Byrd, knew very well.
  In remarks he gave as a young Congressman in his maiden speech on the 
floor of the House of Representatives nearly 60 years ago, Senator Byrd 
emphasized the importance of coal in a

[[Page S7594]]

speech lamenting our Nation's increasing dependence on foreign oil, 
remarking in that 1953 speech:

       We . . . must pursue not a policy that is detrimental to 
     the economy of this nation and which impairs its strength 
     while enriching other nations, but a policy that will 
     strengthen our beloved country.

  Those are words that certainly resonate and ring true today, which is 
why we should continue our efforts to develop technologies that allow 
our country to harness this abundant energy source in a cleaner way, 
such as the bipartisan carbon sequestration bill put forward by 
Senators Rockefeller and Voinovich.
  Coal can and must be a part of the solution to the energy challenges 
of the 21st century. West Virginians know this and understand that our 
future depends on our ability as a nation to extract and burn coal more 
cleanly. West Virginians simply want to be part of that conversation 
and part of the solution.
  As we move forward to ensure coal's vital role in the future of our 
economy, we must simultaneously also keep our focus on assuring that 
mines remain safe. It is not simply about preventing or investigating a 
large-scale disaster when that may capture the attention of the Nation 
and the world for a brief period of time. Rather, when tragedy strikes 
in a coal mine, it is usually far away from satellite trucks, 
international media, and the glare of television cameras. All too 
often, when a coal miner is seriously injured or perishes or succumbs 
after a battle with black lung disease, it is simply a community and a 
family who mourns quietly.
  I would note that in addition to the 29 miners lost at Upper Big 
Branch, another 15 coal miners have been killed on the job so far this 
year, and it is only September.
  Sadly, these deaths often go unnoticed by the country at large. The 
loss is just as great and just as tragic to the families, which is why 
everyone must remain committed to coal mine safety each and every day 
and each and every shift.
  I know my colleagues in the Senate understand this and have taken 
this responsibility seriously. The changes brought about in 2006 after 
Sago and Aracoma were significant and positive. I was privileged to 
have played a small role in drafting legislation in West Virginia to 
help form part of the basis for the Federal MINER Act--the first 
comprehensive mine safety legislation passed by Congress in nearly 30 
years.
  Our work, however, is not complete. In his final months of service to 
West Virginia and our Nation, Senator Byrd was working with Senator 
Rockefeller to craft and push additional mine safety legislation. 
During my brief tenure in this body, that has been a fight I have been 
honored to carry on. Although these efforts may not be completed during 
my tenure, I have every confidence that the Senate will continue its 
hard work on passing additional coal mine safety legislation.
  There are serious issues that additional legislation needs to 
address. We need comprehensive and targeted inspections and increased 
transparency in mine safety recordkeeping. We need a sophisticated and 
effective way to separate good operators from the bad. For those who 
are irresponsible, we need enhanced oversight and enhanced penalties. 
We need to strengthen protection for miners who speak out about unsafe 
conditions and make certain their livelihoods are not jeopardized when 
they choose to do so.
  Although my time in the Senate is not long, it has been and will 
always remain my enduring privilege to have served in this body 
alongside so many dedicated public servants, including and especially 
my friend, colleague, and senior Senator from West Virginia, Jay 
Rockefeller. My remarks here today are on behalf of the State we 
represent and her people whom we both revere.
  No coal miner should have to go to work fearing for his safety, and 
no coal miner should fear for his job for raising concerns about that 
safety. Coal mine safety is workplace safety, and it is the right thing 
for our country to do.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The senior Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, the Senator from West Virginia wishes 
to continue as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, in the Senate, the core job, 
obviously, of any Senator is to do all we can every day to help our 
constituents. It has been such an honor for this Senator to stand with 
our newest Senator from West Virginia, Carte Goodwin, and work with him 
to do exactly that.
  Before joining this body, Senator Goodwin made serving West Virginia 
his focus in everything he did--as an attorney; general counsel to our 
Governor; chairman of the School Building Authority, which is a very 
complex matter--and all the while exuding enormous character, great 
character, dignity, and always keeping West Virginia families first and 
foremost in his mind.
  It has been interesting to watch him on this floor in this relatively 
short period of time in which he has been a Senator and still is--the 
way people come up to him, see him as a breath of fresh air, respond to 
his intelligence, his integrity, his modesty, and his very smart brain.
  Senator Goodwin comes from a family deeply committed to public 
service that has taught him to work very hard, to give back, and be 
proud of where he came from. I respect him a very great deal.
  More importantly, he has a deeply ingrained sense of what matters to 
West Virginia. He does not come from one of our big urban counties. He 
comes from a very small rural county, Jackson County. He knows what 
working families need. He knows what people who represent them in 
Washington need to bear in mind. As I say, his character is strong, his 
work ethic is unmatched, and his heart is always in the right place.
  So it is a sad day for me, in a sense, because I respect him so much 
and like him so much and I will not be hearing him enough, except if he 
is dissatisfied with my work, in which case he can call me and tell me 
that and I will be taking copious notes.
  I join Senator Goodwin to talk about an issue that impacts the lives 
of every American in this country; that is, workplace safety.
  This past April, as West Virginia's other Senator has mentioned, we 
suffered the worst mining disaster in 40 years in this country. It was 
statistically shocking, it was personally horrifying, and deeply 
poignant. Twenty-nine miners were killed in an explosion at the Upper 
Big Branch Mine in Montcoal.
  I was there with the families as we hoped and we prayed for any sign 
that their loved ones would emerge. For the most part, they did 
not. The sorrow and hurt and anguish I saw on their faces is 
unimaginable and indescribable. It is something that no family should 
have to go through, but it happens in West Virginia and, as it turns 
out, in other States.

  But mining tragedies are not just happening in West Virginia. Nearly 
one-third of our States have experienced mining disasters this year, 
including Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, 
Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, 
and Utah. Yet the mining industry is not the only industry where 
significant improvements to workplace safety are necessary. We have 
seen major disasters take the lives of hard-working Americans employed 
in a variety of other industries: 7 dying in a refinery blast in 
Washington, 6 in an explosion at a clean energy plant in Connecticut; 
11 died with the BP Oil rig disaster off the coast of Louisiana which 
we all know about.
  In fact, there were more than 4,300 workplace deaths in the United 
States in the year 2009, this year not having been completed, but it is 
a decent benchmark. That is 11 deaths each and every day of the year--
11 men and women who went to work but did not return home to their 
loved ones.
  This is America. We are the greatest country on Earth. All of us 
together must do more to protect the lives of these workforces. That is 
why Senator Goodwin and I introduced the Robert C. Byrd Mine and 
Workplace Safety and Health Act of 2010.
  Senator Byrd worked diligently with the two of us on this bill, as 
have Chairman Harkin, Senator Murray, and obviously Senator Goodwin. 
They are committed advocates to the working men and women of our 
country and

[[Page S7595]]

in our State, and I wish to thank them for their tireless dedication to 
doing what is right.
  This legislation contains commonsense proposals that will give 
Americans the peace of mind that comes from safe working conditions. It 
fixes the broken ``pattern of violations'' process which was meant to 
give MSHA authority to crack down on mines that repeatedly violate our 
laws, but has never been effectively implemented, this process. It 
takes a hard look at MSHA itself to make sure it is doing its job by 
creating an independent panel to investigate the Mine Safety and Health 
Administration's--MSHA's--role in serious accidents. In these matters 
where regulation is done on discrete and for the most part invisible 
industries, the people who do the regulating and the checking need to 
be looked at carefully, just as do those who operate coal mines. It 
gives teeth to existing whistleblower protections so miners can come 
forward to report safety concerns. It gives MSHA additional tools to 
keep miners safe, including the ability to subpoena documents and 
testimony outside of the public hearing context. This is something 
which OSHA has, and it is amazing to me that MSHA has not had it and 
does not have it. If this bill were to pass, it would happen.
  Finally, sort of, it provides protections that will apply to workers 
across, as I indicated earlier, all industries; greater rights for 
victims and their families to participate in investigations and 
enforcement actions; updating civil and criminal penalties; and the 
requirement that hazardous conditions be addressed immediately so that 
litigation doesn't shoot right into the middle of it and delay the 
whole process.
  Over the past few months, I have been working with my colleagues on 
the HELP Committee on bipartisan legislation--and I deeply appreciate 
the efforts of Senators Enzi, Isakson, and Hatch on the Republican 
side. I have worked closely with Senator Enzi and Isakson in the past 
on other matters, first with Senator Enzi on, of all things, the 
President's Commission on Coal back in the 1970s when he was mayor of 
Gillette, WY, and later with both him and Senator Isakson to pass the 
MINER Act which came right after the Sago disaster.
  I stood with both Senators Enzi and Isakson at the Sago disaster as 
we tried to comfort families, as we sat in circles and Senator Isakson 
and Senator Enzi seemed to--well, Senator Enzi comes from a coal-
producing State, Senator Isakson does not--but both of them profoundly 
related to the families. It was very clear in their voices and what we 
saw in their eyes, and the families felt it. I know they care deeply 
about coal miners.
  But it is also no secret that I am deeply frustrated we have yet to 
produce a bipartisan bill. The families of the Upper Big Branch are 
wondering, What is the holdup, and, quite frankly, so am I.
  The provisions that should be included in a strong workplace safety 
bill are not that hard to figure out. In fact, they are the very 
provisions Senator Goodwin and I have included in the Robert C. Byrd 
Mine and Workplace Safety and Health Act, which is why I come before 
the Senate today to at the proper time ask for unanimous consent that 
our legislation be passed.
  Before I ask for unanimous consent, which I will do, I wish to 
address three of the main objections I have heard from my colleagues on 
the other side of the aisle. First, my colleagues on the other side of 
the aisle have expressed concerns that including workplace safety 
standards for all industry amounts to overreaching. I am sure the loved 
ones of the workers who died at the refinery, at the clean energy 
plant, and the BP Oil rig would see things a little bit differently. I 
am sure they would tell us that this bill cannot simply be about mine 
safety alone--although that is huge and the bulk of the bill--we must 
include important Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
provisions that cover all industries. OSHA, for example, does have 
subpoena power, and it does cover all industries, but it too needs to 
be strengthened.
  Second, my colleagues have questioned whether MSHA, the Mine Safety 
and Health Administration, needs adequate subpoena authority. The idea 
that a law enforcement agency such as MSHA does not have subpoena power 
to proactively make mines safer is, to me, unimaginable. We are seeing 
problems with the existing system right now. The State of West 
Virginia's subpoenas in the Upper Big Branch investigation are being 
challenged in court--totally predictable. The intent, of course, is to 
challenge them in court before they can be effective and to prevent the 
questioning of company officials and others with vital information. 
That is the story of mine enforcement in the coal fields.
  Third, it has been suggested that we do not have enough data to 
support additional whistleblower protections for coal miners. Let me 
answer that by saying that back in April, the Health, Education, Labor, 
and Pensions Committee heard testimony from Jeffrey Harris, a miner 
from Beckley, WV. Jeffrey told us--I was there--what it was like to 
work for Massey Energy. This is quoting Jeffrey Harris:

       Either you worked or you quit. If you complained, you'd be 
     singled out and get fired. Employees were scared but, like 
     me, they have to feed their families. Jobs are scarce, and 
     good-paying coal mining jobs are hard to come by.

  The Presiding Officer knows exactly what I mean. We are looking at 
$60,000-plus salaries, mostly in the very rural areas of our States, 
the southwestern part of the Presiding Officer's State, and it is quite 
true. What is somebody to do? They have a $60,000 salary or they have 
nothing, because jobs in those areas are not plentiful or, in some 
cases, simply don't exist.
  To continue, in May, the House Education and Labor Committee held a 
hearing in Beckley, WV. We heard testimony from miners who have worked 
at Upper Big Branch and one of those miners, Stanley, nicknamed 
``Goose,'' Stewart told us that:

       No one felt they could go to management and express their 
     fears. We knew that we would be marked men. And the 
     management would look for ways to fire us. Maybe not that 
     day, maybe not that week, but somewhere down the line, we 
     would disappear. We'd seen it happen.

  So enough is enough. No employee should be fired for reporting safety 
concerns. A lot of manufacturing companies--I am thinking of Toyota in 
West Virginia--have the assembly line and they have a rope that goes 
all the way down. If any worker sees any problem of any aspect, whether 
it is real or he imagined it or whatever, he pulls that rope, the 
production line shuts down, and the manager comes over and they fix the 
problem if it exists. But the comfort that brings to the worker is a 
very small price to pay for very well-made cars.
  Finally, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have expressed 
concerns about reforming the pattern of violations process. The pattern 
of violations process, which does not sound very interesting but which 
is usually important in bringing things to a head, to justice--was 
intended by Congress to allow MSHA to take action against operatives 
that refused to follow our laws. But to date, no mine has ever 
officially been placed on pattern status. Why would that be? Well, one 
can only speculate.
  I think everyone agrees that the process must be fixed, but what I 
don't want to do is to tie MSHA's hands or to dictate a formula that 
will virtually guarantee that no mine is ever placed in pattern of 
violations status. I want a proactive system, one that will identify 
troubled mines before accidents happen and one that focuses on 
rehabilitating mines that are having problems.
  Mr. President, at this point, I ask unanimous consent that the HELP 
Committee be discharged from further consideration of S. 3671, the 
Robert C. Byrd Mine Workplace Safety and Health Act of 2010, and that 
the Senate then proceed to its consideration; that the bill be read 
three times, passed, and the motions to reconsider be laid upon the 
table; and that any statements relating to the measure be printed in 
the Record.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, reserving the right to object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, as the Senator from West Virginia notes, the 
only change in mine safety law that was

[[Page S7596]]

made was with his and my leadership and several others. That was the 
first change in 30 years. I know he is aware that in the area of OSHA, 
the only legislative changes that have been made in the 28 years the 
law has existed were under my chairmanship, with me as a major sponsor. 
So I am interested in safety.
  The Republicans weren't invited to work on a bipartisan bill until 2 
weeks before the August recess. We had our staffs work through the 
entire recess. There were numerous meetings. We were making great 
process. I think we had agreed on 14 different parts or so. We still 
had six or so provisions that were in the process of negotiation, but 
very close, and seven or so that the Senators themselves would have to 
work out. So I am disappointed that was called off. It was not called 
off by my staff. I think we could have had a bipartisan bill that would 
wind up unanimous on this side like the last one, with only a few 
objections on the House side.
  So I am disappointed my colleague is attempting to bring up a bill 
with no bipartisan support at this late stage of the Senate schedule. 
They went back to the original one, not the one we have been 
negotiating. If the majority truly wanted to pass a bill on this issue, 
we would have continued those bipartisan negotiations, or they could 
have taken this bill through the Senate procedure and allowed a hearing 
and a markup on the bill.
  As I stated last week on the floor, if this were to be brought up 
this way, I would have to object, and I do object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, having objected, I would like to take a 
moment to clear up some confusion about what caused the breakdown of 
bipartisan negotiations on mine safety legislation last week.
  The terrible tragedy that occurred in West Virginia this past April 
has focused us again on the strength of our Federal mine safety laws 
and regulations. As a Senator from a State that leads the Nation in 
coal production, I have always considered workplace safety as one of 
the most important missions of the HELP Committee and I have been 
pleased to work across the aisle to improve safety. That is exactly 
what I have tried to do this year as well with my colleagues from West 
Virginia and members of the committee.
  As my colleagues well know, negotiations had been making significant 
progress until we ran into a stumbling block known as the election 
cycle. The staffs of seven Senators had been meeting several times a 
week for over 2 months and all throughout the recess period. Agreements 
had been formed on over a dozen important proposals, and several more 
important ones were right on the brink of compromise when the talks 
were abruptly called off until after the election. Despite what has 
been said in the press and on this floor, the simple fact is that we 
might well have had an agreement by now if the majority hadn't decided 
they would rather have an election issue. Certainly, it is not for me 
to consult on the political calculations of my colleagues. But it seems 
to me that political theatre and failing to work together to get 
important things like this done are exactly what the American people 
are so frustrated by this year.
  We are serving this Nation best when we work together to accomplish 
the people's business. The formula is not that complicated and, really, 
anyone can do it:
  Bring both sides together for discussions,
  Establish agreed upon goals and work toward agreement on those goals,
  Consult with stakeholders that will be affected by the changes being 
discussed,
  Once substantial agreement has been reached, determine which issues 
the sides will never be able to agree upon, and set those aside for 
another day's debate. This is what I call the 80-20 rule.
  This formula has worked in the past for the very issue we are 
discussing today--mine safety. In 2006, when I was chairman of the HELP 
Committee, we were faced with a string of tragic mine accidents in West 
Virginia. In response to the first one, Senator Rockefeller and Senator 
Kennedy organized a trip to Sago, WV, to meet with miners, victims' 
families and investigators. The three of us, along with Senators 
Isakson, Murray, and Byrd, then began negotiations and were able to 
come up with an agreement in less than 2 months--the MINER Act, which 
was the first major revision of the Mine Safety and Health Act since 
1977. This bill made important improvements to the emergency 
preparedness of underground mines and has fostered tremendous 
improvements in communications technology adaptability to the 
underground environment.
  One of the reasons I am so proud of the MINER Act is that we wrote it 
in the way I believe all legislation should be drafted. We brought in 
all of the stakeholders--the union, the industry, the safety experts, 
the Mine Safety and Health Administration--MSHA--and we sat them all 
around the table and worked through the biggest safety concerns and the 
best way to approach them. Because of the bipartisan nature of the 
bill, it sailed through a committee markup, was passed by the Senate 
unanimously a week later, and passed the House 2 weeks later with just 
37 House Members opposing. One more week later it was signed into law. 
That is how it was done.
  During my tenure as the chairman of the HELP Committee, we were able 
to move 27 bills to enactment this way. In total, we reported 35 bills 
out of committee and, of those, 25 passed the Senate. This is the kind 
of cooperation and accomplishment Americans are demanding, especially 
on an issue as important and timely as workplace safety.
  Every day, thousands of Americans go to work in the energy production 
industry. The work they do benefits every single one of us and 
underpins our entire economy. This year, major accidents in the energy-
producing sector have taken the lives of 29 men in West Virginia, 6 in 
Connecticut, 7 in Washington State, 3 in Texas and 11 men off the coast 
of Louisiana.
  If there was ever a time to work together to actually enact 
legislation, as opposed to playing at political theatre, this should be 
it.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, first, I wish to reemphasize how much 
I respect Senator Enzi, the senior Senator from Wyoming, and the fact 
that he is quite right about the MINER Act and what took place after 
Sago, which was another rural spot in West Virginia where a number of 
people were killed--a lot of anguish--and it was the first time in 30 
years that there had been any revision of the Federal mine safety laws.
  I have to say, though, that the bill we passed, the MINER Act, was 
not fully--because it had to pass through the committee at that time 
that was controlled by the present minority, it did not come out as 
strongly as I would have preferred. However, it was a good bill and has 
had a good effect in mining.
  One of the aspects of mining, which is hard for people to understand, 
is that there is no margin for error. There is no margin for it. It is 
a discreet industry, which, for the most part, is carried on out of 
sight--in this case, underground. The great majority--I would say well 
over 95 percent--of West Virginians and people from the Presiding 
Officer's State have never been underground--or I guess sometimes 
Senators and Congressmen and Cabinet officers.
  Obviously, I am disappointed that my colleague objected to this bill. 
However, I very much believe Senator Enzi when he said that he wants to 
start working on a bill that will keep people safe. I point out to him 
that at no point did we call off the negotiations. We were simply at 
the end of the work period, at the end of August, and there had to be a 
period of negotiation going on with the staff, and we would come back 
and take the fruits of that negotiation and go ahead and work on the 
bill. That is what I would have wished to have seen happen, and what 
still can happen. As I listened to the Senator from Wyoming, I believe 
he wants that to happen. As it turns out, so do I, and I am sure 
Senator Goodwin does too.
  People are counting on us to get this done. They deserve nothing 
less. I look forward to working on this. Obviously, it cannot be passed 
now. We have our work to do, but then again we have our work to do in 
any event.

[[Page S7597]]

  Senator Goodwin and I and Senators Patty Murray and Tom Harkin wanted 
to lay this down as a benchmark of what a mine safety bill should be. 
It probably won't end up being in a bill, but that doesn't mean it 
should not be this bill. You can't do everything at once, and I 
understand that. I have faith that the process will produce--as the 
Senator indicated, a number of things were agreed on by Senators, and 
sometimes I wish it were the Senators negotiating with each other; I 
think we would get a better bill.
  In any event, I have faith in the future, and we all have the eyes of 
29 miners and so many others looking down on us waiting for us to take 
action.
  I thank the Chair and yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Gillibrand). The Senator from Kansas.
  Mr. ROBERTS. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to speak for 15 
minutes to eulogize our former colleague and friend, the President pro 
tempore of the Senate, the distinguished Senator from Alaska, Ted 
Stevens.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The remarks of Mr. Roberts are printed in today's Record under 
``Morning Business.'')
  Mr. ROBERTS. I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia.
  Mr. WEBB. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to speak for 15 
minutes as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


          National Criminal Justice Association Commission Act

  Mr. WEBB. Madam President, first, I would like to say that Senator 
Schumer and I are sharing 30 minutes today--we are going to have to do 
it in divided time--to speak about concerns with respect to the 
relationship of the United States with China and where we need to move 
forward.
  Before I do that, I wish to express my hope that my colleagues on the 
other side will allow a vote on the National Criminal Justice 
Association Commission Act which I introduced a year and a half ago 
after 2 years of hearings. We have bipartisan support on this bill. The 
identical version of this bill has passed the House of Representatives 
already. We have met with more than 100 different organizations, from 
our office. We have a buy-in on the necessity of this bill from people 
across the political spectrum and the ideological spectrum. The three 
major criminal justice associations strongly back this bill, as do the 
American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, and the NAACP. 
There is no controversy on this bill. It passed the House by a voice 
vote.
  I certainly hope that before the end of this year, we will see this 
national commission come into place. It is 18 months of getting the 
finest minds in America to come together and examine all aspects of our 
criminal justice system so we can do two things: one, reduce mass 
incarceration in this country but also reduce the fear in our 
communities with the present rate of crime.
  There are two charts for people to look at to see why we need to move 
forward on this legislation. The first is to look at what has happened 
to the incarceration rate in this country. From 1980 up to today, it 
has gone off the charts. We have more people in prison than any other 
country in the world. We have 5 percent of the world's population and 
25 percent of the world's known prison population. At the same time, 
any survey you look at, you will see that three-quarters of the people 
of this country feel less safe than they did a year ago. These two 
realities do converge in the need to examine our entire criminal 
justice system.
  I say again to the one or two people on the Republican side who are 
not allowing this to come to a vote, this is not a controversial 
measure. The top three corrections associations in this country want to 
see it happen, as do people on the other side.
  I hope we can get a vote before the end of the year on this 
legislation and start fixing our criminal justice system.


                 United States Relationship With China

  The main purpose of my speaking today is to join with Senator Schumer 
in stating to our colleagues and to the people of this country that we 
need to have the courage and the wisdom to reconfigure our relationship 
with China in a way that reflects more clearly its emerging status 
economically and in terms of our own national security and the security 
of the East Asia region. This has been an incremental process. I have 
been talking about the need to balance a relationship with China for 20 
years.
  Actually, I will begin these remarks by reading from an article I 
wrote for the Wall Street Journal 9\1/2\ years ago. I wrote:

       China engaged in a massive modernization program . . . It 
     shifted its aviation doctrine from defensive to offensive 
     operations, including the ability for long-range strikes 
     throughout Southeast Asia. It has continually rattled its 
     sabers over the issue of Taiwan. It has laid physical claim 
     to the disputed Paracel and Spratly Island groups, thus 
     potentially straddling one of the most vital sea lanes in the 
     world. In the last year--

  And this meant 2000 and 2001--

     it has made repeated naval excursions into Japanese 
     territorial waters, a cause for long-term concern as China 
     still claims Japan's Senkaku Islands, just to the east of 
     Taiwan, and has never accepted the legitimacy of Okinawa's 
     1972 reversion to Japan.

  This is rather relevant, even though this was written 9\1/2\ years 
ago, as we examine Chinese activities in areas in the South China Sea 
and the need for us as a nation to stand alongside the other countries 
in this region on issues of sovereignty.
  Just in the past 3 weeks, we saw an altercation in the Senkaku 
Islands.
  By the way, I mentioned the Senkaku Islands in a debate in my 
campaign 4 years ago, asking my opponent what he thought we should be 
doing there. There were some who thought I was being a little bit 
arcane by mentioning a place of which few people had ever heard.
  It is a major flashpoint between China and Japan. Both claim these 
islands just off Taiwan. We saw a very serious diplomatic confrontation 
with the potential to have a military confrontation just in the past 
couple of weeks in the Senkaku Islands. The Chinese still claim the 
Paracel Islands, which Vietnam also claims. They have made naval 
incursions there. They claim the Spratly Islands, which are also 
claimed by other countries, including the Philippines, Vietnam, and 
Borneo. This is a very serious matter in terms of how we approach the 
stability of East Asia.
  There was a column written in the Washington Post on Sunday, the 
title of which was ``The South China Sea, China's Caribbean.'' I 
emphasize to my colleagues that this is not the Caribbean in terms of 
the stakes and the threat of the wrong sort of action in this region. 
From the Strait of Malacca, where a huge percentage of the world's oil 
and cargo passes, up through the South China Sea into Japan, South 
Korea, Taiwan, we see a tremendous amount of world trade move through 
there.
  In Southeast Asia, in the ASEAN countries, we have 650 million 
people. We have almost 1 billion people living not in China but in this 
region who would be affected by Chinese sovereignty claims if we do not 
responsibly assist this region in getting a balance.
  This is happening at a time when I think we have deluded ourselves as 
a nation for economic reasons as to the nature of the governmental 
system in China. We tend to look at these as comparable governmental 
systems because we have such a high reliance on trade. And Senator 
Schumer is going to talk about the trade aspects of this issue.
  Just as one little data point, every year the Freedom House publishes 
a record of the freedom of the press. It ranks countries in the world 
in terms of global press freedom. In their last ranking for 2009, China 
ranked 181 out of 195 countries in terms of freedom of the press inside 
the country. Of the 40 countries in Asia, the only countries that 
scored lower than China in terms of freedom of the press were Laos, 
Burma, and North Korea.
  The second-tier countries in East and Southeast Asia watch very 
closely how the United States articulates its relationship with China. 
History warns them that they must hedge their bets against eventual 
change. And any failure by the United States to take firm action when 
the Chinese manifest aggressive behavior is viewed in this region as a 
sign of a permeating weakness in the United States.

[[Page S7598]]

  The reality of a smaller size of our naval forces, the turbulence, at 
times, with relationships we have had with countries that are friends, 
the mistreatment and sometimes neglect of our major ally, Japan, causes 
some to wonder if China will become so powerful that we will abandon 
our friends.
  On the one hand, this is an administration that has done a good job 
in terms of reconnecting with eastern Southeast Asia. Secretary Clinton 
made a strong statement in July at the ASEAN conference about the 
importance of these sovereignty issues.
  On the other hand, we have a situation that is now evolving. It is 
continuing between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands, where we 
must be very clear in our signals to China that we will not tolerate 
instability that can be created with false claims of sovereignty in 
these regions. There are ways to resolve these sovereignty issues, and 
the expansionist pressure from military actions and other actions is 
not the way to do that.
  My major point today is that we must reinvigorate our vitally 
important relations with the ASEAN countries and our allies--Japan, 
Korea, the other treaty allies we have--in order to maintain the 
stability in this region, to maintain our own national interest in this 
region economically, with regard to security, diplomatically, and 
culturally, and ultimately in the long term for a proper balance 
between our country and China. This will only be done if we stay with 
our friends and articulate very clearly to China that the wrong type of 
behavior is not going to be rewarded with a weak form of behavior by 
the United States.
  I yield the floor and 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. WYDEN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent the order for the 
quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. WYDEN. I ask unanimous consent to speak for up to 15 minutes as 
in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                              Secret Holds

  Mr. WYDEN. Madam President, there are currently 48 vacancies on 
courts that the Federal judiciary considers to be judicial emergencies. 
Let me restate that. Filling these vacancies is now such a priority 
that they are considered judicial emergencies. One of those vacancies 
considered to be a judicial emergency is one of the positions for the 
U.S. District Court for Oregon. My view is this problem is only going 
to get worse with another 20 judges having announced plans to retire. 
If these positions remain vacant, we all understand it could delay 
trials and certainly justice delayed is justice denied.
  The stalling of judicial nominations also discourages qualified 
candidates from serving on the bench. Those the country most needs on 
the bench cannot put their lives on hold for months or years while 
their nominations sit on the Senate calendar, blocked for no apparent 
reason.
  One of the things that is most striking about how the country has 
gotten into this predicament is that experts who have analyzed the 
situation with respect to the delay in getting judges confirmed come 
back to Senate procedures as a significant factor in the holdup. 
Repeatedly, these independent experts say the Senate's secret hold, the 
process by which one Senator, just one, can anonymously block a 
judicial nomination from being considered on the floor of the Senate, 
is a central factor in the delay in getting these judges confirmed.
  I have come to the Senate floor today to say, when we have so many 
designated judicial emergencies, when there are so many individuals who 
have won bipartisan support, and a big factor in not getting judges 
confirmed is the Senate is unwilling to do public business in public, 
it suggests to me it is time to eliminate the secret hold which is 
keeping sunshine from coming to the Senate when it comes to the 
consideration of judicial nominations and other important business.
  Fortunately, colleagues on both sides of the aisle--a big group on 
our side of the aisle and a big group on the other side of the aisle--
have repeatedly said they want to come together, end secret holds, and 
do public business in public.
  At this time I would particularly like to commend my colleague from 
Iowa, Senator Grassley, who has spent well over a decade working on 
this effort with me, and also single out Senator McCaskill from 
Missouri, who has done outstanding work as well mobilizing colleagues 
from both sides of the aisle, and who also wants to have this procedure 
changed and have new accountability and sunshine in the Senate.
  All we need to be able to do is get this out in front of the Senate--
frankly, out in front of the American people--so they can find out who 
is in favor of transparency, who is in favor of accountability, and who 
still thinks we ought to do business behind closed doors.
  Some in the Senate continue to claim a secret hold does not prevent 
the Senate from consideration of a nomination or piece of legislation. 
They say, for example, the majority leader can always file what we know 
as cloture on that nomination or bill to overcome a hold. That may be 
true in theory, but for all practical purposes it cannot be done. The 
process of filing cloture on a nomination certainly can gobble up 
almost a week on the Senate schedule. So the Senate could easily spend 
the remainder of the time remaining this year with votes on just a few 
nominations now on the Executive Calendar and still not come close to 
clearing the backlog of nominations. The fact is, a secret hold can 
effectively kill a nomination or piece of legislation.
  As we have said, our big bipartisan group in the Senate repeatedly 
has said all of this secrecy, all of this work to keep the public from 
finding out what is going on--all of it can be done without anybody, 
any colleagues in the Senate or the American people, knowing who was 
the secret obstructor and why they were, in fact, obstructing.
  There is one other point I would like to make, particularly with so 
much of the country looking at how Washington, DC, works and how broken 
so much of our system is; that is, how much power a secret hold 
provides to a lobbyist. I am sure virtually every Member of the Senate 
has at some point gotten a request from somebody who is a lobbyist 
asking if the Senator would put a secret hold on a bill or nomination 
in order to kill it--to kill it without getting any public debate and 
without the lobbyist's fingerprints on it anywhere.
  Certainly, if a lobbyist finds it possible to get a Senator to put an 
anonymous hold on a bill, it is pretty much like hitting the lobbyist 
jackpot. Not only is the Senator protected by the cloak of anonymity, 
but so is the lobbyist, and in effect, through secrecy, a secret hold 
can let the lobbyist play both sides of the street. It can give a 
lobbyist a victory with clients without alienating a potential or 
future client.
  Given the number of instances where I heard a lobbyist asking for 
secret holds, I think it is fair to say a secret hold is in effect a 
stealth extension of the lobbying world.
  So when you think about the powers that lobbyists already have, why 
in the world would you want to give them another tool, the secret hold, 
which could, as I have characterized it, literally be a stealth 
extension of the lobbying world. I think it makes no sense at all, and 
I come down on the side of openness and transparency.
  I congratulate my colleague, Senator Grassley from Iowa, who stood 
with me, and Senator McCaskill--a big group of colleagues from both 
sides. On the other side of the aisle, Senator Collins, Senator Inhofe, 
and others have spent a great deal of time. Here it has been Senator 
Whitehouse, Senator Udall, and the presiding officer, Senator 
Gillibrand--a whole host of colleagues, Democrats and Republicans, who 
think it is time, when the American people are obviously so angry at 
the way Washington, DC, does business, to make it clear that we are all 
going to come together and change the process of letting an individual 
Senator obstruct the people's business in secret.
  It seems to me the bottom line is that a secret hold is literally an 
indefensible denial of the public's right to know, particularly at a 
time when there is so much frustration and anger at the way business is 
done in Washington, DC. The public's right to know

[[Page S7599]]

ought to be sacrosanct. Certainly, we are talking about the kind of 
matters Democrats and Republicans talk about all the time in public. 
Nobody is talking about national security or classified matters being 
brought out here for the kind of sunshine that I and Senator Grassley 
and Senator McCaskill want to bring to the Senate. This is about the 
people's business--legislation and nominations, those judicial 
emergencies and the scores of appointments that are being held up, 
pieces of legislation that involve millions of people and billions of 
dollars. It seems to me there ought to be public disclosure. There 
ought to be consequences if a Senator fails to disclose a secret hold.
  In the interest of dealing with the crisis in our courts and the 
importance of bringing public business to the floor of the Senate, I 
hope my colleagues will come together and quickly pass the bipartisan 
proposal which will once and for all eliminate secret holds.
  There have been past attempts. Senator Grassley and I were able, as 
part of the ethics legislation, to get a provision through that we 
hoped would make a big difference. What happened then is, the friends 
of secrecy went back and found other ways to get around it. It is time 
once and for all to strangle secret holds. That is what a bipartisan 
group in the Senate wants to do, and it is important that measure be 
enacted and enacted quickly.
  I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Kaufman). The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. LEVIN. I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call 
be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Presiding 
Officer, Senator Kaufman, be recognized for 10 minutes as though in 
morning business--during that period, I will preside--and then that I 
be recognized for up to 10 minutes as though in morning business while 
the Presiding Officer resumes the chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEVIN. I thank the Chair.
  (Mr. LEVIN assumed the chair.)
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Delaware is recognized.


                        Equity Markets Integrity

  Mr. KAUFMAN. Mr. President, I come to the floor one final time to 
talk about the integrity of our equity markets, a subject I have made a 
central focus of my Senate tenure. It is an issue that has gained 
increasing attention, especially since the May 6 flash crash, yet still 
lacks fundamental transparency, regulation or oversight.
  A year ago, I wrote to Mary Schapiro, Chairman of the Securities and 
Exchange Commission, to outline my concerns. Seven times since then I 
have come to the Senate floor to talk about the dramatic changes taking 
place in our equity markets, discussing obscure practices such as 
colocation, naked access, flash orders, and the proliferation of dark 
pools. But the most striking change has been the rise in high frequency 
trading which has come to dominate equity markets and now accounts for 
well over half of all daily trading volume.
  My message about high frequency trading has been straightforward. The 
technological advances and the mathematical algorithms that have 
allowed computers to trade stocks in millionths of a second in and of 
themselves are neither good nor bad. Indeed, as an engineer, I have a 
deep appreciation for the importance of technological progress. But 
technology cannot operate in a vacuum, nor should it dictate how our 
markets function. Simply put, technological developments must operate 
within a framework that ensures integrity and fairness. That is why our 
regulatory agencies are so critically important. Because while 
technology often produces benefits, it might also introduce conflicts 
that pit long-term retail and institutional investors against 
professional traders who are in and out of the market many times a day.
  As Chairman Schapiro has consistently asserted, including in a letter 
to me over a year ago:

       If . . . the interests of long-term investors and 
     professional traders conflict . . . the Commission's focus 
     must be on the protection of long-term investors.

  Many people have asked me why I focused so intently on the arcane 
details of how stocks are traded during my time as a Member of the 
Senate. There are several reasons. First, it is Congress' job not just 
to look backward and analyze the factors that brought about the last 
financial crisis, it is also our job to be proactive and identify 
brewing problems before they put us into a new financial crisis.
  Second, we simply must protect the credibility of our markets. I have 
said time and again that the two great pillars on which America rests 
are democracy and our capital markets. But there is more at stake than 
a structural risk that could bring our market once again to its knees 
as occurred on May 6. There is a real perceptual risk that retail 
investors will no longer believe the markets are operating fairly, that 
there is simply not a level playing field.
  If investors don't believe the markets are fair, they won't invest in 
them. And if that happens, we can all agree our economy will be in 
serious trouble.
  Third, we should have learned the lesson from derivatives trading 
that when we have opaque markets that are nontransparent, disaster is 
often not far behind.
  It is hardly surprising that high frequency trading should deserve a 
watchful, and possibly critical, government eye.
  It is simply a truism that whenever there is a lot of money surging 
into a risky area, where change in the market is dramatic, where there 
is no transparency and therefore no effective regulation, we have a 
prescription for disaster.
  We had a disaster in the fall of 2008, when the credit markets 
suddenly dried up and our market collapsed and almost brought down not 
only our financial system but the financial systems of the world.
  We had a near disaster on May 6, 2010.
  Soon, the SEC will issue a second report on the causes of that May 6 
flash crash.
  I hope the SEC has moved much closer to truly understanding the 
dramatic changes in market structure that have taken place in the past 
few years, the potential ramifications of high frequency trading, and 
its impact on retail and institutional investors.
  But this is about more than investor confidence. The primary function 
of our capital markets is to permit companies to raise capital, 
innovate, and grow in order to create jobs.
  Publicly traded companies employ millions of Americans and are at the 
heart of our economy.
  Their stock symbols should not be used simply as the raw material for 
high frequency traders and exchanges and other market centers more 
concerned with churning out serving long-term trade volume than 
investors and supporting fundamental company value.
  Perhaps it is not surprising that our IPO markets--initial public 
offering markets--have deteriorated dramatically and only seem to work 
for the largest public offerings worth several hundred million dollars.
  Indeed, the IPO situation today is so dire that had it been the case 
two decades ago, many of our most famous U.S. corporations, including 
Dell, Yahoo, Computer Associates, and Oracle, among others, might never 
have been nurtured--or perhaps even born.
  Many people, including the consulting firm Grant Thornton, link this 
phenomenon directly to the rise of high frequency trading under a one-
size-fits-all set of market rules that favors efficiency of trading 
above all else.
  As for the Securities and Exchange Commission, I believe the SEC is 
still in the early stages of what I hope will be an extraordinary 
turnaround.
  After years of deregulatory fervor which sapped morale and led to an 
egregious case of regulatory capture, we now have an emboldened agency, 
with a beefed up enforcement division, a serious chairman, and an 
invigorated staff.
  That was evident in last week's hearing that I chaired in the 
Judiciary Committee on the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act.
  The commission must still reform the way it gathers the facts it 
needs to study market issues and particularly high frequency trading.
  Evidence-based rulemaking should not be a one-way street in which all

[[Page S7600]]

the ``evidence'' is provided by those whom the SEC is charged with 
regulating.
  We need the SEC to require tagging and disclosure of high frequency 
trades and to quickly implement a consolidated audit trail so that 
objective and independent analysts--in academia, private analytic 
firms, the media, and elsewhere--are given the opportunity to study and 
discern what effects high frequency trading strategies have on long-
term investors.
  They can also help determine which strategies should be considered 
manipulative.
  The recent ``layering'' case brought by FINRA against a high 
frequency trading firm was a good start, but much more needs to be done 
to end the ``wild west'' trading environment that today is eroding 
market integrity.
  We cannot afford regulatory capture nor can we afford consensus 
regulation, not in any government agency, but especially not at the 
SEC, which oversees such a systemic and fundamental aspect of our 
entire economy.
  Colocation, flash orders, and naked access are just a few practices 
that were fairly widespread before ever being subjected to any 
regulatory scrutiny.
  For our markets to remain credible--and it is absolutely essential 
that they do so--it is vital that regulators be proactive, rather than 
reactive, when future developments arise.
  After a year of intense study by me and my staff, I sent a letter to 
the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 5, 2010, with my best 
summary of the market structure problems and potential solutions the 
commission faces.
  I will now wait for the SEC report and findings before I add or 
subtract from my views, as expressed in that letter.
  Though this work must be completed in my absence, I will continue to 
speak out on market structure issues long after I leave the Senate.
  Because if we fail, if we do not act boldly, if the status quo 
prevails, I genuinely fear we will be passing on to my grandchildren a 
substantially diminished America: one where saving and investing for 
retirement is no longer widely practiced by a generation of Americans 
and where companies no longer spring forth from the well of capital 
flows that our markets used to provide.
  Wall Street is a business like any other business in America. But it 
is also different in one important way: It is Wall Street that gathers 
up the hard-earned cash of millions of Americans and allows them to 
invest in capital markets that up until now have been the envy of the 
world.
  These markets, like all markets, will ebb and flow.
  But they should never be brought down by inherent structural 
problems, by trading inequities, or by opaque operations that shun 
transparency.
  Wall Street holds a piece of American capital, our collective 
capital, and it has a real and profound responsibility to handle it 
fairly.
  But that entails another obligation as well: to come to the table and 
play a constructive role with Congress and the Securities and Exchange 
Commission in resolving its current issues--especially the possibility 
of high frequency trading manipulation and systemic risk.
  For too long, many on Wall Street have urged Washington to look the 
other way, to accept the view that all is fine. If Wall Street does not 
engage honestly and constructively, then these issues must be resolved 
without their input, and resolve them we will.
  The credibility of our capital markets is too precious a resource to 
squander; as I say every time I have the chance, it is a fundamental 
pillar of our Nation. And if it is now threatened, Congress and the 
regulatory agencies will surely act.
  We can fashion a better solution with industry input, not a biased 
solution, but a better solution, one that should benefit Wall Street in 
the long term, one that must benefit all Americans now. The American 
people deserve no less.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Kaufman). The Senator from Michigan.


                     Commending Senator Ted Kaufman

  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I come to the floor today simply to thank 
my friend, the Senator from Delaware, for his extraordinary work in the 
Senate and to make a comment on some of the things he has been working 
on.
  Since coming to this body, Senator Kaufman has proven to be a 
tireless advocate for his State of Delaware and the country, and his 
remarks he just provided are further evidence of that.
  Senator Kaufman joined us here and joined me on the Permanent 
Subcommittee on Investigations, where he and his staff dug deeply into 
the weeds of financial statements and e-mails in efforts that helped 
ferret out some of the astonishing findings of our hearings into the 
causes of the financial crisis. Senator Kaufman's dedication and 
thoughtful questioning during those hearings helped expose some of the 
root causes and crass conflicts of interest that led to the crisis that 
brought our economy to its knees.
  I also want to make particular note of Senator Kaufman's work on high 
frequency trading, flash trading, and other trading market issues, 
where those with powerful computers are able to exploit weaknesses in 
our regulatory systems to their own financial advantage, while hurting 
long-term investors and hurting the real economy.
  Senator Kaufman cares deeply about these issues, and he has voiced 
his concerns about them in this Chamber for over a year. Last year, he 
called for a ban on flash trading, a practice in which some firms pay 
for a ``sneak peak,'' only a few thousandths of a second long, at 
trades. With their computers, those firms can take advantage of that 
split-second head start on market-moving trades. The Securities and 
Exchange Commission is working on rules to ban the practice, and I join 
Senator Kaufman in urging that this practice be stopped.
  Senator Kaufman has studied the trading markets in great detail, 
communicating with regulators and industry participants. He has learned 
that our regulatory system for monitoring trading is outdated and that 
the technology and capabilities of those who seek to exploit loopholes 
in the rules or avoid them altogether have too often outpaced those 
tasked with their oversight.
  Senator Kaufman has come to this floor many times over the past 
several months to warn us of the risks of our current trading market 
structure, and of his concerns with the inadequate regulatory process 
we have to police them.
  On August 5, he sent a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission 
Chairman Schapiro outlining proposals to address some of those 
concerns. His thoughtful proposals make a significant contribution to 
the debate over how to make our financial system safer.
  On May 6 of this year, we all watched helplessly as the stock market 
plunged nearly 1,000 points in a few minutes. While the regulators have 
committed to studying it and are expected to release their report soon 
on the root causes of that ``flash crash,'' I cannot help but think 
that we in Congress owe it to families and businesses around this 
country to better understand what happened and to make sure we do what 
we can to stop it from happening again.
  Although Senator Kaufman will soon be departing this body, we must 
continue his work so that those who seek to exploit our markets to the 
detriment of long-term investors and the real economy will not be able 
to do so without a battle from the Senate. Senator Jack Reed is 
committed to doing just that. He held a hearing in May shortly after 
the flash crash in which he looked into the causes of the crash. I will 
join him and others and do all we can to respond to these high-tech 
threats to market fairness and transparency.
  The world of trading stocks, bonds, commodities, and other financial 
instruments today occurs on two levels. There are those who invest for 
the long haul, investing in companies and products they expect to do 
well for some time. They drive our economy. But then there are those 
who seek to ``invest'' for thousandths of a second or just long enough 
to profit on split-second price swings. These traders argue that they 
provide ``liquidity'' to the markets, but in many cases they are 
actually hurting the markets by promoting volatility and undermining 
the integrity of those markets.
  As Senator Kaufman said, we owe it to the millions of families who 
have

[[Page S7601]]

their savings in the markets and to the businesses that rely on the 
markets for the capital they need to survive and grow to make sure our 
markets function properly. I applaud Senator Kaufman for his 
extraordinary work on these issues and other issues in the Senate. I 
thank him for his service. One way for us to recognize that service is 
to continue his quest for more fair and transparent markets.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor and 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. BROWNBACK. 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. BROWNBACK. I ask unanimous consent to speak as in morning 
business for up to 15 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The remarks of Mr. Brownback are printed in today's Record under 
``Morning Business.'')
  Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, I yield the floor, and I note the 
absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. JOHANNS. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Hagan). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.


                      The Sherers: Adoption Angels

  Mr. JOHANNS. Madam President, Scott and Nicole Sherer, of Lincoln, 
NE, are extraordinary Nebraskans who opened their hearts and homes to 
four beautiful children in need of parents. This is a tale of love, 
devotion and caring.
  In 2007, Nebraska officials found a young boy named Darren, 
developmentally disabled--a victim of neglect.
  The State removed Darren from the household and began to search for a 
foster family.
  They didn't have to search far because Nicole and Scott Sherer were 
happy to take him into their home.
  The following year, a little girl named Mariah was found to be a 
shaken baby and was taken to Children's Hospital.
  Mariah's brother Christian was also removed from the home and the 
State again looked for a healthy home.
  Once again, the Sherers did not blink. Two more children needed 
parents; they needed a home. Two more children found their family.
  And this exceptional family still had more room in their hearts and 
their home.
  Two year later, Darren's sister Desiree was born and was delivered to 
the Sherers from the hospital.
  They formally adopted Christian and Mariah in April 2009 and then 
adopted Darren and Desiree in July 2010.
  During this time, they were able to provide a safe, healthy home for 
a fifth little boy until a permanent home could be found. The family 
was able to keep the biological siblings together and provide a loving 
home for four children.
  And the new family began their lives together.
  Nicole and Scott recently celebrated their seventh wedding 
anniversary. They have taken in four children in need and consider 
themselves to be blessed.
  I have great admiration for foster and adoptive parents, and I was 
thrilled to nominate Nicole and Scott Sherer as Adoption Angels.
  Their commitment to care for these four children, to give love 
freely, is an inspiration for all. It is my hope that their example 
will inspire other couples to open their hearts and homes to children 
awaiting adoption.
  May God bless Nicole, Scott, Darren, Desiree, Christian, and Mariah, 
as well as all adoptive parents who give children the gift of a loving 
family.
  I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. REED. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The remarks of Mr. Reed are printed in today's Record under 
``Morning Business.'')
  Mr. REED. Madam President, 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. SCHUMER. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that I be 
allowed to speak as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                     Chinese Currency Manipulation

  Mr. SCHUMER. Madam President, I am pleased to join my colleague, 
Senator Webb, in discussing serious concerns with Chinese economic and 
foreign policies and their impact on the United States, U.S. companies, 
U.S. workers, and U.S. citizens.
  Earlier, we were supposed to speak together, but the vicissitudes of 
the floor broke us up. Earlier today, my esteemed and erudite 
colleague, Senator Webb, gave an excellent address, which I hope my 
colleagues will read, about how China is simply taking advantage in the 
foreign policy area. They are pursuing policies that just move forward 
without any concern for the world community, for peace, for comity. It 
seems China is first, second, and third.
  Unfortunately, they are doing the same thing in the economics sphere. 
I have been working with colleagues such as Senators Stabenow, Brown, 
and Graham to try and reverse this situation.
  I rise to speak about what many of us consider the biggest sticking 
point in U.S.-Chinese relations: Chinese overt and continuous 
manipulation of its currency to gain a trade advantage over its trading 
partners.
  The Economic Policy Institute estimates that 2.4 million American 
jobs were lost or displaced in manufacturing and other trade-related 
industries between 2001 and 2008 as a result of increased trade with 
China and the Chinese Government's manipulation of currency. New York 
has suffered some of the biggest losses with over 140,000 jobs lost or 
workers displaced over the past 10 years.
  Accession to the WTO was supposed to bring China's policies in line 
with global trade rules meant to ensure free but fair trade. Instead, 
China has flouted those rules to spur its own economy and export-
oriented growth at the expense of its trading partners, including the 
United States. Clearly, our relationship in the economics sphere, as 
well as the foreign policy sphere and diplomatic sphere, with China 
needs fundamental change.
  I say that loudly and clearly to the Chinese because they seem to 
think we are patsies. Past policies might give some corroboration to 
that view. Let me explain.
  Six years ago, Senator Graham and I came up with the idea of doing 
something about manipulation of currency. At first everyone said: Oh, 
no, this is not a problem. There were editorials in both the Wall 
Street Journal and New York Times that said it is OK for China to peg 
its currency. We were attacked from the far right and the far left and 
many others.
  Now, at least we have made some progress. Everyone admits it is a 
problem. Now that we have consensus--quite broad consensus--that this 
is a problem, this is wrong, this is unfair, the fundamental question 
hangs out there: Who is going to fix this problem and how?
  The administration continues--this administration, and I say that as 
someone who is a supporter, who continues to pin its hopes on yet more 
talking. This despite the fact that years of meetings and discussions 
with this administration and the previous administration have 
repeatedly failed to produce any lasting, meaningful results.
  It has been 3 months since China announced it would allow its 
currency to appreciate for the first time since the middle of 2008. The 
RMB has risen less than 2 percent against the dollar, most of that 
appreciation taking place in the last 2 weeks.
  President Obama met with Chinese Premier Wen last week to urge 
quicker

[[Page S7602]]

evaluation of his country's currency. He got nothing, nothing--a big 
goose egg--for his efforts. It is not his fault; it is the fault of the 
Chinese. But when are we going to change things?
  According to news reports, Premier Wen gave a standard response about 
gradual reform. The upcoming G20 summit in Seoul looks similarly devoid 
of possible progress on this issue. News reports suggest that none of 
the other countries are willing to push China on this issue.
  Each time I have pushed the administration to take a tougher stance 
against China's manipulation of currency; each time they have vowed to 
do so. It is plain and simple: It is not working. China is merely 
pretending to take significant steps on its currency. This sucker's 
game is never going to stop unless we finally call their bluff.
  China's mercantilist policies continue to undermine the health of 
many U.S. industries that inject billions of dollars into the U.S. 
economy and employ hundreds of thousands, millions of American workers. 
We have to do something about it--something real.
  Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee voted out a bill that 
clarifies countervailing duties can be imposed to offset the effect of 
undervalued currency. I applaud Chairman Levin for taking a concrete 
step toward addressing the persistent imbalance created by China's 
undervalued currency. Effective enforcement of our trade laws is one 
tool the administration can and should use to counter China's 
mercantilist currency policies.
  But the administration could use more than one ace up its sleeve. And 
that is what my bill, introduced with Senators Stabenow, Graham, Brown, 
Brownback, Webb, Snowe, and others--bipartisan, across the political 
spectrum--would provide.
  The bill gives the administration additional tools to use if 
countries fail to adopt appropriate policies to eliminate currency 
misalignment and includes tools, including the use of the 
countervailing duty law, to address the impact of currency misalignment 
on U.S. industries.
  I call on the administration to support our legislation to address 
China's mercantilistic exchange rate policies. We must stand up for 
American manufacturers, American workers, and American jobs. We have to 
prevent the flow of billions of dollars out of our country--wealth we 
will never recover--every quarter as long as the Chinese continue this 
policy.
  Critics of our bill say it would start a trade war with China, but 
that is not right because American companies are already fighting a war 
for survival in China--battling market access limitations, intellectual 
property theft, indigenous innovation policies, and unfair competition 
from heavily subsidized domestic State-owned enterprises. When are we 
going to learn?

  Critics of our bill say it will not solve the trade deficit with 
China. We have never claimed it will totally solve the deficit, that is 
for sure. The bill is about fair trade. The bill is about a ceramics 
manufacturer in upstate New York that has developed a great new product 
that can clean the air as it goes through our new generator turbines. 
But China is stealing the product and is now going to sell it back to 
the United States at a 30-percent advantage. You can't even measure the 
loss we face because of China's unfair policies on currency.
  Yes, critics of our bill have said it will not solve the trade 
deficit, but as I said, this has never been the claim. It will reduce 
the trade deficit, without doubt. It will keep wealth in the United 
States, it will keep American jobs, and it will restore some 
equilibrium to the American economy and the world economy.
  Other critics have said China could retaliate by selling some of the 
trillions of dollars of Treasurys they currently hold, but we know this 
will not happen. China is not going to cut off its nose to spite its 
face. Its major wealth asset they are going to devalue? Hello, as my 
kids might have said when they were younger.
  We must take a decisive step against China's currency manipulation 
and other economically injurious behavior. We have no choice but to 
defend and protect U.S. jobs and the U.S. economy unless and until 
China starts behaving like the international, law-abiding, global, 
emerging power it seems to be recognized as. Once and for all I say to 
those in the ivory towers who love to look down upon us but who don't 
look at the facts, the issue is not U.S. protectionism; the issue is 
China's flouting the rules of free trade in almost every sphere and 
never budging unless they are pushed to.
  This is one reason why when the Senate reconvenes later this year, my 
colleagues and I intend to move forward with the legislation to provide 
specific consequences for countries that fail to adopt appropriate 
policies to eliminate currency misalignment and give the administration 
the additional tools it needs to address the impact of currency 
misalignment on U.S. industries.
  I say to those at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, as well as in 
Beijing, this issue cannot wait for another year. It cannot wait for 
another new Congress. I am confident this bill will pass the Senate 
with overwhelming support.
  Let me conclude by noting that over the past 6 years, my colleagues 
and I have been sending a message to the Chinese Government about their 
exchange rate policies and other WTO-inconsistent behavior, but 
apparently they refuse to listen. Ultimately, if you refuse to play by 
the same rules as everyone else, we will hold you accountable. Chinese 
currency manipulation would be unacceptable even in good economic 
times, but at almost 10 percent unemployment, we can't stand for it. 
There is no bigger step we can take than to confront China's currency 
manipulation.
  Praise God, this is not a Democratic or Republican issue. We have 
broad bipartisan cosponsorship of our legislation. No one is seeking to 
gain political advantage. We are simply seeking to restore economic 
fairness. Every single one of us has manufacturers that are struggling 
to compete at home and abroad with Chinese exports with a built-in 20- 
to 40-percent price advantage. This is not about bashing China; it is 
about defending the United States before it is too late--before the 
loss of jobs and wealth that flows out of this country is almost 
irreparable. I call on my colleagues to join in the defense.
  I yield the floor, and 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. INHOFE. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. INHOFE. I ask unanimous consent I be recognized as in morning 
business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                      Environmental Overregulation

  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I released today a minority staff report 
of the Senate committee on Environment and Public Works. When 
Republicans were in the majority I chaired the committee and now I am 
the ranking member, minority member. We have been concerned for quite 
some time now that the heavyhanded overregulation we are getting from 
the Environment and Public Works Committee is taking its toll on 
American jobs. So we released this and documented a report that 
examines the impact on jobs and the economy from all these EPA rules 
and EPA regulations.
  We are covering four areas. The focus is on the boiler MACT 
regulations, the revised National Ambient Air Quality Standards for 
ozone--we are all concerned about that--I notice the new cement MACT 
regulations, and the endangerment findings. These are just four rules 
that are costing us a lot of jobs.
  There are many others we could be talking about, in fact we are going 
to be talking about in the near future: standards for cooling water 
intake structures at powerplants, National Ambient Air Quality 
Standards for dust and particulate matter--actually, they are talking 
about doing one now for farm dust. I am from Oklahoma. A lot of people 
back here don't understand when you grow something you have to grow it 
in dirt. When the wind blows that is dust, but you can't regulate it. 
But they think they can--the new source performance standards for coal-
fired powerplants and refineries, and the rules governing disposal of 
coal combustion waste.

[[Page S7603]]

  What does it all mean? The American Forest and Paper Association 
estimates, and I am quoting them:

       . . . about two dozen new regulations being considered by 
     the Administration under the Clean Air Act, if all are 
     promulgated, potentially could impose on the order of $17 
     billion in new capital costs on papermakers and wood products 
     manufacturers in the next five to eight years alone.

  That is just for one industry. You have all the other industries that 
will be affected.
  Before I begin, let me say the Clean Air Act was a success. I have 
always been a supporter of the results of the Clean Air Act. We now 
have cleaner air from cars, from factories, and powerplants. It has 
been very successful. In fact, when we were a majority and I chaired 
that committee, we had the 3P regulations, we had the Clear Skies 
regulations we tried to promulgate--we have been attempting to do this 
for a long period of time. However, if we are going to be competing 
with other countries, this overregulation is going to do nothing but 
send our jobs to places such as China and India and Mexico.
  Of the four areas I mentioned, the first is the boiler MACT. The MACT 
means maximum achievable control technologies. Forget about that, just 
call that regulation.
  The first one, the regulations, would be the boiler MACT. It would 
impose stringent emission limits on monitoring requirements for 11 
subcategories of boilers and process heaters.
  The proposed rule covers industrial boilers used in manufacturing, 
processing, mining, refining, as well as commercial boilers used in 
malls, laundries, apartments, restaurants and hotels.
  The Industrial Energy Consumers of America, which represents 
companies with 750,000 employees, said they are ``enormously concerned 
that the high cost'' of the boiler regulations will leave companies no 
recourse but to shut down the entire facility, not just the boilers.
  This is what the econometrics firm IHS-Global Insight found in its 
analysis of the EPA's proposal, just the one proposal. They concluded 
that the proposal could put up to 798,000 jobs at risk. Moreover, they 
said every $1 billion spent on upgrade and compliance costs will put 
some 16,000 jobs at risk and reduce the U.S. GDP by as much as $1.2 
billion.
  The EPA's pending boiler regulations also threaten my home State of 
Oklahoma. We have one group, a company called Covanta Energy, which in 
2008 reopened the Walter B. Hall Resource Recovery Facility, a waste-
to-energy plant.
  This happened, actually, when I was mayor of Tulsa many years ago. We 
had two great needs: one to dispose of waste and the other to create 
energy. So we did one of the first waste-to-energy plants in America. 
It was done back in the early 1980s when I was mayor of Tulsa. This is 
something that has been working out and working successfully. But they 
are saying it could threaten the viability of this operation, and it is 
not just in my State of Oklahoma but all over the country.
  These concerns are shared by 40 of my colleagues, including 18 
Democrats, who wrote Lisa Jackson--she is the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency--a letter. Keep in mind, half of these 
are Democrats.

       As our Nation struggles to recover from the current 
     recession, we are deeply concerned that the pending Clean Air 
     Act boiler MACT regulations could impose onerous burdens on 
     U.S. manufacturers, leading to the loss of potentially 
     thousands of high-paying jobs this sector provides. As the 
     national unemployment rate hovers around 10 percent, and 
     federal, state and municipal finances continue to be in dire 
     straits, our country should not be jeopardizing thousands of 
     manufacturing jobs.

  That is a quote from a letter, half Democrats, half Senators, 40 of 
us, to Lisa Jackson of the Environmental Protection Agency.
  Just in the area of boiler regulation, one of the four I am going to 
talk about, potentially 1 million jobs could be lost. This is the 
problem we are having with the overregulation in this country. We have 
two major problems: overregulation and the fact we are not developing 
any power anymore, we made it so difficult. We have not had a new coal-
fired powerplant in this country for quite some time. Yet China is 
cranking out two of them every week. This is our competition over 
there.
  The second area is ozone. On January 6 of this year, for the second 
time in less than 2 years, the EPA proposed tightening the NAAQ 
standards for ground level ozone. Specifically, the EPA is proposing to 
strengthen the 8-hour ``primary'' ozone standard. The EPA estimates 
that setting the primary standard within its proposed range will cost 
between $19 and $90 billion. That is the EPA's estimate. This proposal 
comes at the heels of the 2008 ozone standard, which created a serious 
problem. The CAA, Clean Air Act, only requires revision at least 5 
years. That was just 2 years ago. Now they are talking about doing it 
again. So the EPA is not required to revise the status quo.
  Meanwhile, States are in the midst of trying to meet the 2008 
requirements while some communities are not in compliance with the 1997 
standards, the time they did it before.
  EPA announced it is delaying the new standards until late October. 
Guess what. We are there. My guess is they will be delaying it until 
after the election because they don't want to know what hardship they 
are imposing upon the American people before the election. It is not 
hard to see why. Whatever level EPA ultimately picks, it will 
dramatically increase the number of so-called nonattainment areas 
nationwide.
  Based on the 2008 air quality data, we could see as many as 608 new 
nonattainment areas, with many of them highly concentrated in 
manufacturing regions, in States relying on coal for electricity.
  What does the nonattainment mean? For local communities, such as my 
communities in Oklahoma, it can mean loss of industry and economic 
development, including plant closures; loss of Federal highway and 
transit funding; increased EPA regulation and control over permitting 
decisions; increased costs for industrial facilities to implement more 
stringent controls; and increased fuel and energy costs.
  In my State of Oklahoma, at least 15 counties would face new 
restrictions right now, under the 2008, and there are two counties that 
would be out of attainment. All these things would happen. You can't go 
out and recruit industry, they close down a lot of industries there 
now. I have listed in these remarks that will be part of the Record 15 
counties in my State of Oklahoma that could be facing these new 
restrictions.
  We all support cleaner air, but here is where the Obama EPA and I 
disagree. It should not come at the expense of people's jobs or the 
economy. Apparently, I am not the only one thinking this way.
  On August 6, 2010, a bipartisan letter--this is the third one I am 
mentioning now--was sent to the EPA Administrator on the Agency's ozone 
reconsideration. It was signed by Senators Voinovich, Bayh, Lugar, 
Landrieu, Vitter, McCaskill, and Bond. That is an equal number of 
Democrats and Republicans. They said:

       While we believe we can and should continue to improve our 
     environment, we have become increasingly concerned that the 
     Agency's environmental policies are being advanced to the 
     detriment of the people they are intended to protect. That 
     is, these policies are impacting our standard of living by 
     drastically increasing energy costs and decreasing the 
     ability of our states to create jobs, foster 
     entrepreneurship, and give manufacturers the ability to 
     compete in the global marketplace.

  Again, that was just one of these four areas.
  The third one would be the Portland cement regulations. This third 
rule is another regulation having to do with cement. According to the 
EPA, ``a projected 181 Portland cement kilns will be operating at 
approximately 100 facilities in the United States by the year 2013.'' 
EPA's new emission standards under section 112 of the Clean Air Act 
will apply to 158 of that 181. About 7 kilns will be subject to the 
EPA's new source performance standards under section 111 of the Clean 
Air Act.
  The cement industry is essential to America's economy. According to a 
study by the Maguire Energy Institute at SMU, the cement manufacturing 
industry in 2008 produced $27.5 billion in GDP, $931 million in 
indirect tax revenues for State and local governments, and sustained 
15,000 high-paying jobs.
  In addition to those 15,000 direct jobs, the industry has an 
``induced employment'' effect, which helps create and

[[Page S7604]]

sustain an additional 153,000 jobs. ``Importantly,'' the Maguire Energy 
Institute noted ``these are primarily high-wage jobs generating about 
$7.5 billion annually in wages and benefits.''
  According to the Portland Cement Association, EPA's regulation puts 
up to 18 cement plants at risk of shutting down, threatening nearly 
1,800 direct jobs and 9,000 indirect jobs, accordingly. I might add, 
one of these would be in my State of Oklahoma. These jobs in cement 
production would go to China. That is what a professor from King's 
College in London said about the EPA's rule--coming from London:

       So rather than importing 20 million tons of cement per 
     year, the proposed [rule] will lead to cement imports of more 
     than 48 million tons per year. In other words, by tightening 
     the regulations on U.S. cement kilns, there will be a risk 
     transfer of some 28 million tons of cement offshore, mostly 
     to China.

  Senators Voinovich and Lincoln wrote a bipartisan letter to 
Administrator Jackson, sharing these concerns back in February, saying:

       In a very real sense, if a reasonable standard is not 
     adopted in this matter, we anticipate that substantial cement 
     capacity may move overseas to the detriment of industrial 
     employment. . . .

  And the detriment of hundreds of thousands of people in the United 
States.
  The fourth is my favorite. To give just a little bit of background, 
way back when we had the Kyoto treaty in the 1990s, there was an effort 
at that time to say we have catastrophic things happening, global 
warming and all that, as a result of primarily man-made gases. They 
tried through the years to pass legislation. We had the 2003 and 2005 
McCain-Lieberman bills. Then we had the Markey bills and the others. I 
think one was a Boxer-Sanders bill. All of them were essentially doing 
the same thing; it was called cap and trade. It was something I 
characterized as the largest tax increase in the history of this 
country.
  As a matter of fact, during the consideration of all of these bills, 
they estimated--and this was several--MIT, CRA, and several other 
institutions said that the cost to America would be somewhere between 
$300 and $400 billion a year.
  The rule discussed is the endangerment finding. As I have documented 
on the Senate floor before, the EPA promulgated its endangerment 
finding on greenhouse gases in December of 2009, which I said could 
lead to the greatest bureaucratic intrusion into the lives of the 
American people. It would trigger costly, time-consuming permitting 
requirements for new and modified stationary sources for greenhouse 
gases such as powerplants, factories, and refineries.
  So the problem with this is that when the Obama administration saw 
that Congress was not going to pass these very punitive tax increases 
called cap and trade, they decided they were going to try to do it 
through regulation. That is what this is all about. This is just one-
fourth of the minority report we have out there that we introduced 
today.
  The rule, in order to do this--and I will never forget because right 
before I went over to Copenhagen in December, we had a hearing in the 
Environment and Public Works Committee, and we had Lisa Jackson--I have 
a great deal of respect for her--before the hearing.
  I said: Madam Administrator, I suspect that when I leave for 
Copenhagen tomorrow, you are going to have an endangerment finding.
  An endangerment finding is a finding that will allow them to 
promulgate rules to do what they failed to be able to do in 
legislation.
  I said: And to do that, it is going to have to be based on some 
science. What science would that be based on?
  She said: Primarily, the science that came from the United Nations.
  And the IPCC--since that time, there has been Climategate--told the 
truth about how they have been trying to cook the science over that 
period of time. So this is one that is really very serious.
  But the U.S. Chamber found that if they are able to go ahead and use 
the emissions, it would affect 260,000 office buildings, 150,000 
warehouses, 92,000 health care facilities, 71,000 hotels and motels, 
51,000 food service facilities, 37,000 churches and other places of 
worship, and 17,000 farms. That is because they would be falling under 
the category--the 250 tons of emissions of CO2 per year.
  The greenhouse gas regulations will mean higher energy costs for 
consumers, especially for minorities and the poor.
  I had the Catholic Charities in my office today. We had, actually, 
the man, who I learned just died this last week, with the Ohio Catholic 
Charities down for hearings when we were talking about all the things 
they were trying to do through the various bills on cap and trade. His 
testimony was--and these individuals were in my office today--that it 
disproportionately hurts poor people. For example, if someone is in 
poverty, there are just some things that person has to have--heating 
the home in the winter, transportation costs, costs that are necessary. 
If you are a wealthy person, that might constitute maybe 5 percent of 
your expendable income, but it could be 100 percent of the income of 
someone who is poor. So it disproportionately hurts the poor people.
  This is why, on February 19, recognizing that he was going to lose a 
lot of jobs, Senator Rockefeller, joined by seven of his Democratic 
colleagues, wrote--again, this is the fourth letter--to Administrator 
Jackson on their concern with the endangerment finding.

       We write with serious economic and energy security concerns 
     relating to the potential regulation of greenhouse gases from 
     stationary sources under the Clean Air Act. We remain 
     concerned about the possible impacts on American workers and 
     businesses and a number of industrial sectors, along with the 
     farmers, miners and small business owners who could be 
     affected as your energy agency moves toward the regulations 
     for vehicle greenhouse gas emissions.

  You know, as bad as things are right now, we are supposed to be able 
to knock down and the President said we are going to bring unemployment 
down to somewhere around 6 or 7 percent, and it is still right up there 
at 10 percent. These regulations haven't even gone into effect yet. So 
that is going to cause the unemployment figures to be much higher.
  So I think it is important to recognize right now, before it is too 
late, that something can be done about this overregulation right now, 
and I really believe this is the opportunity that we have.
  This report we just released today is on my Web site, 
inhofe.senate.gov, and we have now been able to get this around the 
country so that people know that as bad as the unemployment and 
overregulation is that is costing American jobs, it could be a lot 
worse if these four regulations get into full effect. I think it is our 
job here in the Chamber to recognize that we have a very serious 
unemployment problem in this country, a very serious overregulation 
problem in this country, and we can now do something about it.
  I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Udall of Colorado.) The clerk will call 
the roll.
  The 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.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, what is the status of the Senate? What are 
we doing? Morning business?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate is under cloture on the motion to 
proceed.
  Mr. REID. Thank you, Mr. President.


                Wildlife Conservation and Animal Welfare

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, one piece of unfinished business we have 
here in the Senate is to move a series of good, commonsense bills that 
would benefit wildlife and domestic animals.
  These wildlife conservation and animal welfare bills have already 
passed the House of Representatives, and for a good reason. They also 
have bipartisan support. Most importantly, all of these measures are 
supported by the American people. These aren't Democratic or Republican 
issues; they are issues of good moral conscience.
  I have worked over the years on many bills connected to animals and 
wildlife. Not long ago, Senator Cantwell and I worked with a number of 
our Republican colleagues to pass a felony level penalty bill for dog 
fighting and cock fighting. This was a bipartisan rejection of animal 
cruelty.

[[Page S7605]]

Today, we have the opportunity to help a great number of species. One 
bill ready for action, the Shark Conservation Act, will improve Federal 
enforcement of an existing prohibition on the killing of sharks just 
for their fins. Because of a loophole in the existing law, animals are 
still caught, their fins are severed, and the dismembered shark is sent 
back into the ocean to die. But they don't just die, they suffer a 
horrible and protracted death--all of that cruelty for a bowl of soup.
  Another important bill is the Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Act, 
which will strengthen programs that provide emergency aid to seals, 
whales, and other marine creatures that get struck by boats or tangled 
in fishing lines. This happens all the time.
  Other bills, such as the Crane Conservation Act, the Great Cats and 
Rare Canids Act, and the Southern Sea Otter Recovery Act, will protect 
some of the most rare and remarkable creatures anyplace on Earth. 
Without our help, many of these creatures could disappear within a 
generation.
  I also wish to draw attention to the efforts of Senators Merkley and 
Kyl today to clear an important bill that will end the appalling 
practice of animal crush videos. It is hard for me to comprehend what 
some people do. They torture animals and take pictures of them and 
sometimes sell those pictures. There are people sick enough to want to 
watch a little animal or a big animal be crushed and killed. They call 
them animal crush videos. The law we passed in 1999 outlawing these 
videos was struck down by the Supreme Court in April of this year. 
Senators Kyl and Merkley have worked to write a more narrowly tailored 
bill that respects the first amendment while still punishing those who 
seek to profit from the torture of puppies, kittens, and other helpless 
animals.
  As I understand it, the Supreme Court said you can't stop people from 
buying these videos to watch. But we can stop people from doing these 
terrible things that people want to watch.
  I hope we can work these out and pass these by unanimous consent. Why 
do we need debate on these issues? These are good bipartisan bills that 
deserve to be passed.
  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. 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.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I have a number of unanimous consent 
requests that I am going to ask. But I have been told the Republicans 
want to look a few of these over, and I have no problem with that. I 
can do it later tonight or tomorrow sometime. These are important 
issues. I have given a brief synopsis of some of the awful things going 
on around the country as they relate to animals. We should do something 
to take care of this. I hope we can get these cleared. These are not 
great legal issues, but they are moral issues. If we can't treat 
animals in a fair way, we can't treat ourselves in a fair way.
  When we come in, in the morning, I will ask for these consents. I 
appreciate my friend from Mississippi for his usual manner of being so 
courteous in allowing me to go forward with my statement.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Mississippi is recognized.
  Mr. WICKER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to be recognized 
as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The remarks of Mr. Wicker are printed in today's Record under 
``Morning Business.'')
  Mr. WICKER. 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. DURBIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

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