[Congressional Record Volume 159, Number 11 (Monday, January 28, 2013)]
[Pages S311-S323]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                                30, 2013

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
proceed to the consideration of H.R. 152, which the clerk will report 
by title.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (H.R. 152) making supplemental appropriations for 
     the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, to improve and 
     streamline disaster assistance.

[[Page S312]]

  Ms. MIKULSKI. Madam President, I rise to urge my colleagues to 
immediately pass this urgent supplemental bill without further delay. I 
remind my colleagues and those who are watching us on global C-SPAN, 
this is the bill that will pay for disaster relief to help our 
citizens, both as individuals, businesses, and communities, rebuild 
their lives after the devastating, horrific impact of Hurricane Sandy. 
Particularly, it will impact the residents of New York and New Jersey.
  My own State was affected also. In my own State, we had two things 
happen: a hurricane in the old-fashioned definition of that word, where 
it hit the Eastern Shore; and up in western Maryland, right up in our 
Appalachian part; we had a blizzard, and it took the National Guard to 
be able to go into the streets. We had people being rescued on Swift 
Boats and on snowmobiles. It was something.
  At the same time, I think all America watched what was going on up 
the coast but particularly in New Jersey and New York.
  Many other States were also impacted by this storm. Homes and 
businesses were damaged and destroyed, and they have been waiting for 
90 days for help from their government to help them rebuild their lives 
and rebuild their livelihoods.
  I, therefore, tonight ask immediate, urgent action to move this bill. 
It is not perfect, but it is a very sound bill. The bill that was 
passed by the Senate in December was a superior bill. The House bill, 
which is before us, eliminates many important provisions that the 
Senate passed.
  I will go into that, but I urge my colleagues, let's not make the 
perfect the enemy of the good. We have to get started. We have to help 
our communities. They have been waiting, waiting, waiting. Governor 
Cuomo, Governor Christie, Governor O'Malley have all said move it. We 
need help to move it. We need to.
  I say there are things that came back from the House on the Senate-
passed bill that I am not too excited about. They reduced the cost-
share requirements for Army Corps projects. In other words, the 
government, the local government, will have to pay more. They reduced 
funding for fisheries, for flexibility to help our State Department. In 
a perfect world, I would seek to amend this bill and ask for a 
conference with the House so we could work out these differences. But 
even though this House bill is not perfect, it does give critical 
relief to the people who need it; therefore, passing this bill is my 
top priority.

  This bill totals $50.5 billion for Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. 
When combined with the $9.7 billion of flood insurance we passed 
earlier this month, along with assistance for Hurricane Sandy related 
to recovery, this bill meets the current needs of the recovery efforts 
and should be approved without delay.
  Let me take a few minutes to discuss some of the important issues. 
There is $16 billion in there for community development block grant 
funding to restore infrastructure and housing to help people rebuild 
their lives. There is $11.5 billion in the FEMA disaster fund for 
ongoing disaster response. There is $10 billion for public 
transportation--particularly crucial in the New York and New Jersey 
area--and $5.3 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers to help protect 
communities along our shorelines, as well as $500 million for the 
social services block grants to help meet compelling human needs such 
as childcare, mental health services, and also for programs that will 
help with very damaged facilities that meet a compelling need.
  As I said, Governors Cuomo and Christie have identified needs 
totaling billions of dollars more than this legislation provides, and 
that doesn't even include other States such as my own State of 
Maryland. The funding in this bill is urgently needed. Every dollar has 
been examined.
  Hurricane Sandy was one of the most destructive storms to have hit 
the United States. Hundreds of thousands of families have seen their 
lives turned upside down. They have waited far too long for this 
legislation to reach the President. I strongly urge the support of this 
  This is the very first bill that, as the full chair of the 
Appropriations Committee, I am moving. I would like to acknowledge the 
role of the subcommittee chairmen because in that committee, the 
subcommittees really carry the bulk of the work. Senator Landrieu of 
the Subcommittee on Homeland Security has FEMA in her jurisdiction, and 
she has done an outstanding job of making sure we meet compelling human 
need at the same time we get value for our dollar. Senator Patty Murray 
chairs the subcommittee that funds housing and transportation, again 
making sure we are rebuilding homes and livelihoods. Senator Feinstein, 
whose subcommittee oversees the Army Corps of Engineers, which has been 
doing a heroic job keeping the Mississippi River open, wants to make 
sure the shorelines of New York and New Jersey and Maryland are open 
for business as well. I could name all of them, but those three have 
done an outstanding job.
  I particularly wish to acknowledge the help of my colleagues from New 
York and New Jersey. Senator Schumer led the way, particularly when 
there was this difficult time with Senator Inouye's illness, to move 
this bill, but Senators Gillibrand, Menendez, and Lautenberg have 
really been outstanding.
  This is about colleagues, and I thank my colleagues on the other side 
of the aisle who helped us.
  I would now like to yield the floor to Senator Landrieu, who has done 
such a great job through her subcommittee, and ask her to elaborate 
particularly on the aspects of the disaster response and recovery.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. I thank my colleague for her extraordinary, robust, and 
enthusiastic leadership on this important piece of legislation that 
will send hope and help to the Northeast, to the dozens of counties 
throughout New York, New Jersey, and even the State of Maryland and 
other States that are waiting on pins and needles for our action.
  It has been too long. We have sent too many different signals out 
from this Capitol. The people following this debate--the mayors, the 
county commissioners, the school board members, the citizens, the 
pastors of churches, the principals of schools--need to hear today a 
big yes from Congress and a yes from the President that help is on the 
  Believe me, as a Senator from Louisiana, I have unfortunately become 
an expert on disasters and disaster recovery, and I can tell you from 
personal experience and testimony the importance of every action we 
take regarding this recovery so that the private sector--and I want my 
colleagues on the other side of the aisle to hear this--not taxpayer 
money but the private sector will have the confidence that the 
government will be there, and they themselves will begin to invest.
  This is a big effort, and we have already delayed this far longer 
than it should have been because we have been arguing over offsets.
  I want to put in the Record this statement:
  When our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan needed ammunition, equipment, 
and better protection against roadside bombs, we sent them what they 
needed as quickly as we could get it there. We didn't make them wait, 
sitting around bandaging their wounds, while we debated about offsets 
and how we were going to deal with those explosives. We should respond 
with the same sense of urgency to our fellow citizens and address 
emergency needs on U.S. soil.
  It has already been 3 months since Hurricane Sandy. If this Lee 
amendment is adopted, it will be delayed further. I strongly oppose the 
Lee amendment, and I wish to talk a minute more about why, and then I 
will turn it over to Senator Schumer and others on the floor.
  We should not use disasters as an excuse to push ideology, and that 
is, I am afraid, what the other side is doing. They want to look for 
any excuse to cut the budget. I want to say again that we have already 
cut this budget by $1.5 trillion. And I want to say for the 11th, 12th, 
13th time that we are never going to cut our way to a balanced budget. 
I want my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to hear it. We are 
not going to cut our way to a balanced budget. It is going to be a 
combination of revenue increases and cuts, which I am all for. And the 
last negotiation we did was exactly that. Vice President Biden and 

[[Page S313]]

Obama negotiated a combination of revenues and reductions.
  All the Lee amendment does is reduce again. He does not offer one new 
penny to pay for this. He wants to cut it from veterans, he wants to 
cut it from firefighters, he wants to cut it from police officers. I am 
not going to join him. It is a wrongheaded approach. If we want to find 
a way to pay for disasters, I will show up and negotiate with anybody, 
but it is not going to be just by cutting the defense budget or 
discretionary budgets. If it is going to be about raising additional 
revenues and cutting, you will have me. Until then, put me down as a 
  I suggest to all my colleagues today that they vote no on the Lee 
amendment, if we get to these votes, and yes on the underlying bill.
  One more word about the underlying bill because the Senators from the 
region know it much better than I do. I agree with our chairman, the 
Senator from Maryland. The Senate bill was far better in some ways. Not 
only did it have a little more money in it, but it had some important 
tools for reform. Unfortunately, the House stripped some of those out, 
and some of them will affect the gulf coast in a negative way.
  There were commonsense things, such as a loan modification provision 
that would have forced FEMA to actually calculate the repayment in a 
rational way instead of an irrational way, which would have helped some 
of the parishes in Louisiana. Senator Vitter and I fought very hard for 
that. We think it is fiscally responsible. We think it is the right 
thing to do. But the House stripped it. We are still going to vote--I 
hope he will, and I know I will--for this bill because, again, we can't 
make perfect the enemy of the good. This is a good bill which the 
people need. We are not going to get every reform we had sought, but we 
are going to get the bulk of them.
  I thank Republicans and Democrats on the House side--Peter King, Nita 
Lowey--who came together to preserve some of the reforms because it 
would have been like sending money with dull tools. That is a waste of 
taxpayer money. We want to send the money and the toolbox with sharp 
tools that people can use, and that is what we put in this bill. So I 
am proud to have worked on that part.
  There are many other parts. No leader was better than Senator 
Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Senator Menendez, and Senator Lautenberg, 
but I am proud of the part we worked on, preserving the reforms we 
learned we needed. Now I am happy to be able to give some of that help 
to the people of the Northeast even though some of our provisions were 
stripped out.
  So again, Madam President, I oppose the Lee amendment that is made in 
order in the consent agreement. I want to re-state my position that we 
should not insist on budget offsets as a pre-requisite for helping 
disaster victims in this country.
  Since 2011, Congress has already approved $1.5 trillion of spending 
cuts on discretionary programs over 10 years. We approved cuts in the 
fiscal year 2011 Continuing Resolution and in the fiscal year 2012 
Omnibus spending bill. We established long-term caps on discretionary 
spending in the Budget Control Act of 2011 and we further reduced those 
caps in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
  For fiscal year 2013 alone, we have cut discretionary spending by 
over $109 billion, or over 9 percent.
  The Lee amendment would lay on another $6.3 billion cut in fiscal 
year 2013, including cuts in defense, veterans programs, homeland 
security programs, critical infrastructure programs that will generate 
job growth, cuts in small business programs, and even $250 million of 
cuts in the Hurricane Sandy response and rebuilding funding that is now 
before us. On top of those cuts, the Lee amendment would require 
cutting another $44.9 billion by fiscal year 2021.
  I urge a ``no'' vote on the Lee amendment.
  I support H.R. 152 and urge Members to oppose the Lee amendment. The 
bill includes $50.5 billion of critical and timely assistance following 
Hurricane Sandy. If approved, Congress will have provided $60.2 billion 
to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy rebuild their homes and 
businesses and to make their communities more resilient from future 
  This is no status quo bill. The victims of Hurricane Katrina and Rita 
learned the hard way that some of our Nation's disaster rebuilding laws 
are needlessly bureaucratic. Having learned these lessons, the Stafford 
Act reforms contained in this bill will help ensure that the victims of 
Hurricane Sandy will not have to repeat this history. The key reforms 
included in the bill will dramatically improve our Nation's ability to 
cope with catastrophic events like Hurricane Sandy. In addition to 
these reforms, this bill contains significant funding to mitigate 
future losses of life and property.
  It has now been more than 3 months since Hurricane Sandy claimed the 
lives of more than 130 Americans, severely impacting over 340,000 homes 
and 200,000 businesses, and leaving more than 8.5 million families 
without power, heat, or running water. The scale of this disaster has 
created significant housing and transportation challenges, and 
successful recovery will require a sustained effort at the Federal, 
State, and local level, from government, private businesses, and 
voluntary organizations.
  By and large, the Federal Government's response to Hurricane Sandy 
has been robust. Over 525,000 people have registered for temporary 
housing and other individual assistance, FEMA has provided 14 million 
meals, over 16 million liters of water, over 1.6 million blankets, and 
over 100,000 tarps. DOD delivered over 9.3 million gallons of gasoline 
to 300 gas stations. Over 470 million gallons of salt water were pumped 
out of transit and highway tunnels and other structures. At the peak of 
the response, 17,000 Federal personnel and over 11,000 National 
Guardsmen were involved: I commend the thousands of first responders, 
volunteers, and neighbors who have worked tirelessly to help those in 
  Twelve States and the District of Columbia have been declared major 
disaster areas as a result of Hurricane Sandy, and their citizens will 
require significant resources to recover.
  While FEMA has sufficient funds in the Disaster Relief Fund to make 
it to March--the current balance is $3.4 billion--the victims of 
Hurricane Sandy should not have to wait any longer to know that 
Congress is committed to rebuilding their communities and helping small 
businesses come back to life. FEMA has already spent over $3.3 billion 
responding to Hurricane Sandy and as we move from the response and 
recovery phases to the rebuilding phase, there will be significant 
costs for housing, highways, transit, hospitals, beach restoration and 
other public infrastructure, and for mitigation efforts to reduce loss 
of life and damage to property from future disasters, by backing up 
power supplies, strengthening flood protection infrastructure, 
retrofitting facilities, and other measures. The bill that is before us 
contains $11.5 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund to continue these 
  SBA has approved more than $1.2 billion in loans to more than 16,000 
homeowners and small businesses. Funding provided in the supplemental 
will enable SBA to continue processing and approving loan applications 
at the pace of over 1,000 new loan closings per week. H.R. 152 contains 
over $800 million to continue this assistance.
  The Federal funding contained in this bill is necessary, appropriate, 
and important to helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy recover. But 
money isn't the only thing our government must provide. Effective tools 
and smartly designed programs will be equally vital to the northeast 
region's recovery.
  I co-authored these reforms to facilitate a faster, smarter, more 
strategic, and more cost-effective recovery process. FEMA has estimated 
they will save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and reduce 
construction delays, protracted funding disputes, and bureaucratic 
  They are the product of dozens of hearings I held over the course of 
6 years as chair of the Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and the 
Subcommittee on Homeland Security Appropriations, as well as extensive 
consultation with State and local officials across the country, private 
and nonprofit organizations, engaged in disaster relief, numerous 
Federal agencies

[[Page S314]]

including FEMA and HUD, and stakeholders throughout the emergency 
management community.
  Many were drawn from legislation I introduced in 2011 with my friend 
and colleague from the State of Mississippi, Senator Cochran, who has 
endured the same disasters as my own State of Louisiana, and whose 
contributions to the gulf coast's recovery and the development of this 
legislation have been tremendous. I am grateful for his partnership in 
this endeavor.
  I would also like to note the considerable contributions of the House 
of Representatives, which passed FEMA reform legislation last year that 
included several of these provisions. Following Senate passage of these 
reforms on December 28 by a vote of 62-32, the House adopted the 
package by a vote of 403-0 and agreed to include it in the 
comprehensive Supplemental legislation that is now before us.
  I am particularly grateful to Senator Cochran, Senator Lieberman, 
Senator Collins, and Congressmen Shuster, Rahall, Denham, Congresswoman 
Holmes Norton, Congressman Mica, Congresswomen Slaughter, Lowey, and 
Congressmen Alexander, and Richmond for their considerable efforts to 
advance these critical reforms.
  The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act 
authorizes the majority of FEMA's disaster assistance programs. It was 
enacted in 1988, amended in 2000 to incorporate several mitigation 
programs, and revised again in 2006 to address response failures after 
Hurricane Katrina.
  These were important changes, but the law has never been re-visited 
to address recovery, and our emergency management system remains 
woefully inadequate in that respect.
  Senator Cochran and I succeeded in enacting several key reforms in 
the months and years that followed Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to 
facilitate a smarter approach to recovery, but those reforms only 
applied to the 2005 hurricanes.
  The State I represent has been battered by disasters during my time 
in the Senate. We endured Hurricane Katrina and Rita in 2005, Hurricane 
Gustav and Ike in 2008, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010, 
historic Mississippi River flooding and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011, and 
Hurricane Isaac last August. Through the course of these harrowing 
events, I have witnessed numerous systemic failures, misguided 
policies, bottlenecks, management gaps, and squandered opportunities in 
the way we go about facilitating community recovery after a disaster.
  As a result of those experiences, I have dedicated a significant 
amount of my time and energy in the Senate to fixing these problems so 
the people of the gulf coast and Americans everywhere can rely on 
Federal programs that are sensibly designed and effectively managed to 
help families and communities in their time of need.
  That time has come for millions in the northeastern United States 
still reeling from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Sandy. For 
their sake, we cannot afford to wait any longer for these critical 
  Let me highlight these reforms:
  Reauthorization of two expired pilot programs from the Post-Katrina 
Emergency Management Reform Act that allow FEMA to repair rental units 
as a cost-effective temporary housing alternative to trailers and 
mobile homes and to utilize expedited debris removal procedures. Both 
programs were determined by FEMA to speed recovery and save taxpayers 
millions of dollars; allowing a State to draw down a portion of its 
hazard mitigation funding from FEMA, in order to leverage mitigation 
opportunities earlier in the reconstruction process. Under the current 
program, it typically takes 18 to 36 months for funding to become 
available. By then, most reconstruction is already complete or 
underway, and numerous mitigation opportunities have been lost; 
providing grants on the basis of reliable fixed estimates for expedited 
removal of storm-related debris and reconstruction of damaged 
facilities and infrastructure. This approach will be faster, cheaper, 
and more effective for everyone involved. The Public Assistance program 
as currently designed may be the most dysfunctional program in the 
entire Federal Government, and it simply will not work for this 
disaster. Under the current approach, initial damage estimates are 
often incomplete, projects must be re-versioned multiple times, 
decisions are often not made in writing, frequent staff turnover leads 
to decision reversals, hundreds of meetings result in incalculable 
administrative waste, and it takes years for a project to be completed. 
Individual paper tickets are filled out for each tree limb collected 
off a roadway, which are measured and photographed by debris 
contractors, who are in turn followed around by monitoring contractors. 
A $1.2 million Youth Study Center in New Orleans that was damaged by 
Katrina has been the subject of 182 meetings over the course of 8 
years. The process is severely broken. FEMA and communities across the 
gulf coast, who have suffered through this bureaucratic quagmire, are 
in agreement that there is a better way to clean-up and rebuild. It's 
up to the Congress to provide that smarter approach; codifying 
temporary legislative measures that were enacted to facilitate a 
smarter recovery after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, including third-
party arbitration of disputes over project eligibility and cost, 
eliminating the penalty on alternate projects that stifles smarter 
rebuilding, and authority to consolidate facilities into a single 
project so school districts, police, fire, and public works departments 
can strategically plan reconstruction without having to rebuild 
everything exactly as it was before. After Rita for example, these 
reforms allowed the Iberia Parish School Board in Louisiana to relocate 
Peebles Elementary School to a new location outside the floodplain 
without paying a Federal penalty for rebuilding safer and smarter. It 
also allowed the Orleans Parish School Board to reduce the number of 
schools in New Orleans by one-third after determining through its 
Master Plan that dozens were no longer needed; allowing families to use 
FEMA Individual Assistance funds for disaster-related child care 
expenses so parents can get back to work and rebuilt their home or 
business sooner;  reducing bureaucratic waste by eliminating 
duplicative agency reviews for the same project and the same set of 
laws governing environmental, historic preservation, and benefit-cost 
requirements; helping the environment by incentivizing recycling of 
debris and allowing locals to keep the proceeds; eliminating a perverse 
incentive in the law to use high-priced contract labor for emergency 
work instead of local government employees, such as firefighters and 
police officers, which will save the Federal Government millions of 
dollars; correcting a gap in current law that prohibits tribal 
governments from requesting Federal assistance after a disaster in the 
same way that States are authorized to do.

  This legislation does not eliminate State or local cost-share 
requirements, establish new grant programs, or provide Stafford Act 
assistance to private sector entities. Instead, it sharpens the tools 
in the Federal Government's toolbox so that disaster-affected 
communities can recover more quickly.
  The legislation's potential to reduce future property damage, 
strengthen local capacity, expedite rebuilding, and eliminate 
duplication and administrative waste, will save taxpayers a tremendous 
amount of money on Hurricane Sandy as well as future disasters. It will 
also save communities in the northeast a tremendous amount of time, 
paperwork, and unnecessary agony.
  I urge my colleagues to support these important reforms and the 
supplemental appropriations measure now before the Senate.
  While I commend the House of Representatives for providing robust 
funding for Sandy recovery efforts and including important reforms to 
the Stafford Act, I am disappointed that the House leadership decided 
to strip out provisions to help disaster-affected communities in other 
parts of the country.
  Some people have referred to those provisions as ``pork.'' I think we 
should be careful what we refer to as ``pork'' around here. The 
Senate's provisions were all disaster-related, and this was a disaster 
assistance bill. For communities around the country that have been 
failed by Federal programs that ignore legitimate disaster-related 
needs, and failed also by a Congress that continues to underfund or 
zero out Federal disaster accounts, they expect

[[Page S315]]

their representatives in Congress to stand up and fight for them to 
deliver relief.
  The House of Representatives blocked that relief when it stripped out 
97 percent of the fisheries assistance money, struck language 
authorizing the Corps of Engineers to address critical needs along the 
Mississippi River, and eliminated a provision to correct FEMA's deeply 
flawed Federal formula for local governments' disaster-related debt 
relief. It was wrong of the House leadership to turn their backs on the 
rest of the country by terminating these provisions, and the record 
should reflect that fact very clearly.
  Finally, Madam President, I thank Senator Mikulski for her support of 
this critical legislation and urge a ``yea'' vote on the bill. I yield 
the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana.
  Mr. COATS. Madam President, I know there is a lot of passion here on 
the floor regarding this particular legislation. There is probably not 
a Member on this floor who has not had some semblance of a disaster in 
the State and for the people they represent. Sandy clearly rises to one 
of the top categories of something truly catastrophic, but many of us 
have experienced tornadoes and destruction and floods and a number of 
other disasters.
  One of the essential functions of government is to address those in 
immediate need and meet some of those emergency needs. With the 
cooperation of local and State and Federal authorities stepping up, we 
have been able to assure the American people that help is on the way, 
and hopefully help is on the way in an expeditious manner so that it 
gets to those who need that emergency help quickly.
  It is regrettable it has taken this long for some of this money to be 
appropriated. I personally think we could have expedited this had we 
gained support for an amendment I offered in December which would have 
immediately met those emergency needs, yet given the Congress time to 
work through the process of examining other aspects of the bill that, 
No. 1, were not related to Sandy and, No. 2, that fell on various 
Members' wish lists of things they wanted done for their States. Of 
course, that is their responsibility to do so, but we all know that 
when we see a train moving out of the station--a bill that is going to 
be passed and going to become law, there has been a temptation through 
the years to add unrelated matters in these types of bills knowing it 
is a train leaving the station and ultimately will be supported. We saw 
what happened during the fiscal cliff debate. At the last minute, all 
of these egregious examples of spending that had nothing to do with the 
issue itself were tacked on to the final bill.
  So really what we were trying to talk about here is a process that I 
believe and I think a number of Members believe is necessary to vet 
every spending appropriation that comes before this body to ensure that 
it meets the essential function of government, to ensure that it is not 
loaded with extraneous matters, and to ensure that we are careful with 
taxpayer dollars.
  This is not about ideology. This is about some very basic math that 
shows us that we have a decreasing capacity to address these types of 
emergencies and other necessary items like education, medical research, 
transportation to pave roads and rebuild bridges, and any number of 
discretionary items whose value we can debate. That is shrinking 
dramatically. So if we don't apply at least some discipline to how we 
evaluate and examine our spending, we will continue to plunge into debt 
and to borrow money, which is ultimately unsustainable. If we continue 
this type of spending without proper oversight, I think we are shirking 
our duty to the public.
  I am not down here to talk against funding for this disaster. I am 
down here to discuss how we, together, Republicans and Democrats, need 
to apply some discipline to how we make decisions. It has been a time-
honored practice here to load up necessary bills with extraneous 
matters, and it has been a time-honored practice not to provide the 
oversight necessary to go back and look at how effectively we have 
spent the taxpayers' dollars in the past and what kinds of things we 
can do to ensure we don't make those mistakes in the future.
  I think it is also worthwhile to at least examine the possibility of 
paying for expenditures, particularly when we are borrowing 40 cents of 
every dollar, when we are careening deeper into debt that the younger 
generations are not going to be able to pay off without serious adverse 
consequences. There is a moral issue here about what kind of country we 
are leaving for the future and what we are turning over to our 
  I think it is worthwhile to at least acknowledge that those of us who 
raise these kinds of questions should not be labeled or targeted as 
trying to throw people on the street or not respond to legitimate needs 
but are simply trying to say that we need some standards here to apply 
to a situation where our spending is out of control. Every business in 
America has to do this and has had to do this these past 4 or 5 years 
in order to survive.
  Families have had to do this in order to make sure they could make 
their mortgage payments, or Dad has lost his job. There has been 
enforced discipline on the basis of an economy that has been stagnant 
for about 4 years. In the meantime, the Federal Government keeps 
plunging into debt.
  So if someone brings forward an alternative to at least give us the 
opportunity to provide effective oversight and to make sure this money 
does go to emergency needs and doesn't just fulfill a wish list for 
what some cities would like to do in the future to prevent against 
future storms--not that we shouldn't be debating that, but it doesn't 
qualify as the emergency need of getting money to the people who need 
it now. These are future decisions, and we haven't had time to assess 
those. We haven't had time to examine those in detail, and we haven't 
used a process that is in place in the Senate to go through committees 
and let the committees work through, Is this essential to meeting the 
emergency needs or can we set this aside and spend a little more time 
examining it and looking at it to make sure this is how we want to go 
  We have a habit here of throwing money at things under an emergency 
category, and then later finding out that, one, it wasn't an emergency 
where the money went; and, two, it was misspent and not effective. We 
just simply can't afford to keep doing this.
  Once again, I want to state we are not here trying to undermine 
funding that is needed for Sandy. So I think some of the things the 
House did are legitimate in terms of saying let's set aside unrelated 
matters. It doesn't mean we cast them into the dust bin never to be 
seen again. It simply means let's let those that are not emergency 
situations be more carefully examined in terms of whether we need that. 
If someone does come to the floor--as I understand Senator Lee is going 
to do--and offers a potential offset, let's at least look at that 
  The debt clock is ticking, and ticking ever faster, and it is 
destroying the hopes and dreams of future generations. I think we have 
a moral responsibility to at least be as conscious and effective with 
dealing with the taxpayers' dollars in terms of how they are spent, 
whether it is an emergency supplemental related to a disaster or 
whether it is just a normal appropriation that comes along every year 
through our appropriations process.
  We haven't exercised that kind of discipline, and our country is 
going to pay a very serious series of consequences as a result of that. 
Most importantly, we are denying young people in this country a future 
that we have enjoyed but we are not going to be able to pass on to 
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I yield 5 minutes to Senator Schumer.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Blumenthal). The Senator from New York.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I thank the chair of the Appropriations 
Committee for the wonderful job she has done. We have worked together 
as a team, and she has been great. This is her first major bill as 
chair of the Appropriations Committee, and I think it bodes well for 
the future, if you will, of the strengthening of that committee on into 
the year as we do appropriations bills.
  I thank my colleague from Alabama, my gym mate, Senator Shelby, for 
his help and support. I think he and Senator Mikulski will make a great 

[[Page S316]]

as chair and ranking member on the Appropriations Committee.
  I thank Mary Landrieu and the other subcommittee chairs. They did an 
amazing job for us, and I thank them. Mary's assistance and advice, 
given what she went through several years ago in Louisiana with 
Katrina, was invaluable to those of us in New York and New Jersey.
  Finally, I see Senator Gillibrand is here; Senator Blumenthal is in 
the chair; in addition, Senator Murphy, Senator Menendez, Senator 
Lautenberg--we have all worked as a team, and I thank them for their 
  It has been 91 days since Sandy struck. It has taken far too long, 
but we are finally one vote away from getting the much needed aid we so 
desperately depend on in New York and New Jersey. It was 3 months ago 
that Superstorm Sandy tore up the east coast, obliterating hundreds of 
thousands of homes in New York. It was 91 days ago that this hurricane, 
coupled with a cold front, uprooted small businesses that are the 
lifeblood of middle-class communities on Long Island, Staten Island, 
Queens, Brooklyn, and Lower Manhattan.
  As you may recall, Sandy's wrath was wide, and it was deep. Nearly 
300,000 families had their homes damaged or destroyed by Sandy; 131 
people were killed, 60 in New York; 2 million individuals lost power; 
and our Nation's public transportation system witnessed catastrophic 
flooding. Despite overwhelming damage from wind and water, snow, and in 
some neighborhoods even fire, New Yorkers are ready to move forward.
  Not one day has passed since Sandy made landfall that I haven't heard 
from my constituents wondering when Washington will remember them. I 
heard the words of my good friend from Indiana. I know he is a caring 
person. But for decades, taxpayers from New York have sent their money 
when disasters occurred, such as fires on the west coast or floods in 
the Missouri and Mississippi Valleys, hurricanes in Louisiana or 
Florida, and other disasters. We have sent our tax dollars--billions of 
them--and now, all of a sudden, some are suggesting we should change 
the rules when we are hit by the first major disaster to hit the New 
York City region in a very long time? That is not fair. That is not 
right. We have argued against it, and I hope my colleagues will defeat 
the Lee amendment.
  I also say to my colleagues that this is not just about dollars and 
cents. This is about people who care and are waiting--homeowners who 
are waiting to rebuild their homes so they can move back into them. 
This is about small business owners who are hanging on by a thread 
after building a business for 25 years. We know when the hand of God 
strikes, it is overwhelming.
  Take Rita from Emerald Magic Lawn Care. Her company helps local 
families, schools, and businesses with lawn care in the spring and 
summer, and around the holidays they help with decorations and 
lights. But Emerald Magic's business was interrupted for many weeks, 
and the client base dried up. Rita's business will be in huge trouble. 
It may not survive if she doesn't get a lifeline--and get one now. So 
this is very important.

  Week after week, month after month, New Yorkers have been told this 
is ``a waiting game.'' That is not an answer we can live with, and 
neither can they. We can't wait any longer because nothing about this 
disaster was a game for the family in Breezy Point or in Rockaway or in 
Long Island or in Queens or Staten Island. It wasn't a game for them or 
for the more than 265,000 small businesses whose doors are currently 
shuttered or the hundreds of thousands of homeowners who have severe 
damage to their homes. Many don't have their homes anymore. They can't 
wait either.
  And they are not the only ones. Our schools and hospitals are still 
combating Sandy-related repairs. The damage to our roads and transit 
systems hasn't gone away in 3 months. Our coastline must be rebuilt so 
we are not naked if, God forbid, another Sandy occurs. New York has 
waited, but we can't wait any longer.
  We know too well that when a major disaster strikes, it is too much 
for any one State or any one region to tackle. But that is what we have 
been left to do so far in New York, and I know the same goes for my 
colleagues in New Jersey. So Senators Lautenberg, Menendez, Gillibrand, 
and I are making a plea to our colleagues: Please, we have waited 91 
long days. We can't wait any longer. Simply put, we must pass this bill 
today. Ninety-one days ago, Sandy struck a body blow against New York. 
Today, finally, we can strike back and give our people the help they 
need to get back on their feet and rebuild our communities.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, I rise to continue this discussion about 
Superstorm Sandy.
  I start by saying there isn't any doubt whatsoever about the severity 
of this tragedy or about the human suffering. It is absolutely the case 
that the needed emergency money should have been there already. There 
is a real, genuine need, and that need needs to be met. That is part of 
the reason I voted in favor of spending $24 billion, which could 
legitimately prescribe the kind of emergency funding that suffering 
people needed.
  But I am concerned about two things: One is the fact that some people 
have used the occasion of the misery these people are suffering through 
to add on all kinds of spending that has absolutely nothing to do with 
Superstorm Sandy, and none of it is offset. So we have a $1.1 trillion 
budget deficit, and we are just adding another $60 billion right on top 
of that.
  These are the items I would suggest that certainly don't have much to 
do with Superstorm Sandy: $15 million for NASA repairs at the Kennedy 
Space Center in Florida; $274 million for the Coast Guard acquisitions 
in the Bahamas and Great Lakes; $2 million for Smithsonian repairs. 
Then there is another whole category of items, which is tens of 
billions of dollars, which is long-term construction projects for the 
mitigation against future storms and disasters.
  Is that an important expenditure by the Federal Government? It 
probably is. It probably should be a high priority. But is it an 
emergency? Of course not. It is infrastructure. It is going to be spent 
over years, maybe decades, as we build seawalls to protect beaches off 
the coast from future storms which are years away.
  Is that an important consideration? I think it is. But when we are 
running trillion-dollar deficits, I think it has to compete with the 
other legitimate demands for long-term spending and infrastructure 
spending and the ways that we are going to protect our country as well. 
But we have no such process here. And that is part of what is wrong. 
That is part of what is wrong with this town and why we are in such a 
mess. It is because this body--and Congress generally--just refuses to 
make choices.
  So I can understand completely all of this money being spent, if that 
is the determination that every one of these projects that have nothing 
to do with Sandy still nevertheless need to be funded. But couldn't we 
offset that by trimming spending elsewhere so that we don't further 
accelerate this decline? We are heading toward a fiscal crisis. 
Unfortunately, I guess not--unless we adopt the Lee amendment.
  The Lee amendment says let's trim all discretionary spending by one-
half of 1 percent over the next 9 years. So can we find half a penny of 
every dollar that we would otherwise spend so that we would fully fund 
everything in this bill. Not a dime would get cut from this bill, but 
we wouldn't add to our deficit and further accelerate this path we are 
on to a fiscal crisis.
  We don't have to wait any longer. We can do this right now. We don't 
have to cut a dime from this bill; we can fully fund this bill. But at 
some point we need to start making choices around here. At some point 
we can't just have everything. That is how you get trillion-dollar 
deficits. That is how you end up like Greece.
  So I would just suggest, let's pass this bill. Let's spend all the 
money in the Sandy supplemental. But let's offset it with a cut of one-
half of 1 percent in discretionary spending over the next 9 years. That 
is what the Lee amendment does, and I urge my colleagues to support it.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.

[[Page S317]]

  Mrs. GILLIBRAND. Mr. President, I thank Senator Mikulski for her 
leadership, not only leading the charge for aid that our families in 
New York so desperately need but, as chair of the Appropriations 
Committee, making sure this bill is as strong as it possibly can be. I 
agree with her remarks that the bill would have been better if they 
left in place what the Senate had written, but I thank the chairwoman 
for her dedication to helping our families and businesses recover. It 
has made such a difference.
  I also thank Senator Landrieu for her experience and expertise in 
meeting the needs of States devastated by natural disasters. She has 
had to live through these tragedies before. She knows what it is like 
to talk to constituents whose loved ones have been lost, whose families 
and businesses have been destroyed and torn apart, and whose lives are 
just in the beginning of being rebuilt. I thank her for what she has 
  I thank Senator Menendez, who will be following me with remarks, and 
Senator Lautenberg, and Senator Chuck Schumer for the work he has done 
on behalf of New Yorkers, being a clarion call for common sense and 
immediate action and for bringing our colleagues together to meet the 
needs of so many families who are so much in need.
  I rise today to urge my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to 
support our efforts to finally come to the relief of millions of 
Americans who are suffering in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. New 
Yorkers in my home State have had to wait far too long for Congress to 
  Superstorm Sandy was a weather event unlike anything we in New York 
have ever seen before. It claimed the lives of 60 New Yorkers, left 
hundreds of thousands with significant damage to their homes and their 
businesses, their neighborhoods and their families. This body came 
together just before the New Year to provide the desperately needed aid 
families require to rebuild their homes, their businesses, and their 
lives; the aid our small businesses so desperately need to get their 
businesses up and running, the lifeblood of our communities flowing 
again, and getting our families back on their feet.
  This bill should be neither controversial nor partisan. We have 
already debated and passed an almost identical package that was passed 
by the Republican-led House of Representatives. Once again, the 
American people are watching us to see if we can come together and 
stand by families in need, just as we have done for every natural 
disaster in our Nation's history. They are watching once again to see 
if this body will do the right thing or turn its back on them and not 
give them the support they need to rebuild.
  This was always an emergency spending bill. It is an emergency, it is 
urgent, and it needs our action now. We have to seize the opportunity 
without causing any further delay and we have to show the American 
people that we can rise on an occasion such as this, when duty calls, 
to do the right thing. I assure you, there is no one who wants to spend 
a single cent more than is actually necessary, which is why we took 
such pains and effort to make sure this bill was transparent, had 
accountability and the right kind of oversight. We are urging that we 
fully fund this proposal that was so carefully put together.
  Since 1989, Congress has passed 36 emergency appropriations bills for 
disaster relief without specifically designating any offsets. There is 
no reason why we should treat this disaster, this emergency, this 
horror, any differently than we have past disasters.
  When disasters do strike, we have always found the good will and the 
care for one another to do what is right. Protecting people, looking 
after them, making sure they are safe, allowing businesses to grow is 
what we should be doing. Our Federal Government's role is to protect 
the people first. It is our duty as public servants.
  I urge my colleagues once again, find that good will, help others, do 
the right thing.

                            Working Together

  Mr. President, I wish to engage in a colloquy with the Senator from 
Maryland, the chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, as well as 
the Senator from New Jersey, Senator Menendez.
  I thank the chairwoman for her leadership in bringing the disaster 
supplemental appropriations bill to the Senate floor to address the 
urgent recovery needs of New York, New Jersey, and the rest of the 
Northeast that was affected by Superstorm Sandy. It is my hope we will 
pass this bill quickly so that our communities can begin to rebuild.
  It is also important that as we rebuild, agencies of the Federal 
Government work in a collaborative way, across agencies and in concert 
with our State and local governments. We should not have multiple 
agencies studying the same problem separately, but rather the Federal 
Government should be working together to develop the best models for 
rebuilding our battered coasts as well as planning for the long-term 
sustainability and resilience of these vulnerable areas.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, I agree completely with Senator 
Gillibrand's sense of urgency regarding this vitally needed plan. I 
also know that my good friend from New York and I agree on the need to 
recognize and, to the greatest extent possible, to enhance the value of 
our coastal natural resources to the recovery of our storm-ravaged 
  It is our understanding--and we request the Chair's clarification--
that the language we have before us directs the Army Corps of Engineers 
to take the integrated, collaborative approach discussed by the Senator 
from New York. It is our hope and expectation that the Corps will go 
well beyond the usual level of coordination in order to take maximum 
advantage of the expertise and commitment its Federal and non-Federal 
partners bring to this legislation's explicit goals of flood risk 
reduction and ecological sustainability.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. I appreciate the Senators from New York and New Jersey 
raising this issue. The language in the bill we currently have before 
us directs the Army Corps to conduct their study in coordination with 
other Federal agencies, and State, local and Tribal officials. It is 
the intent of Congress for the Army Corps of Engineers to adopt a 
multiagency approach and work in close collaboration with other 
relevant agencies in studying and planning for the reconstruction of 
the coastal areas destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. In making its 
supplemental funding request to Congress, the Administration 
specifically requested funding for an ``inter-agency planning process 
in conjunction with State, local, and Tribal officials, and to develop 
plans to address long-standing challenges and ensure the health and 
prosperity of the areas affected by Sandy . . . for innovative 
approaches to reduce the future flood risk, in ways that will promote 
the long-term sustainability of the coastal ecosystem and 
communities.'' It is our expectation that the administration would 
adopt that approach with the funding provided in this legislation.
  Mrs. GILLIBRAND. I thank the chairwoman for making this 
clarification. It is my hope that as the Army Corps and other agencies 
work to assess the region's needs post-Sandy, they will work 
collaboratively to develop the best techniques to rebuild our coasts to 
reduce flood risks and provide for long-term sustainability of the 
coastal ecosystem.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Again, I agree with my friend from New York. I would 
also note that this collaborative study should take into account the 
particular needs of disadvantaged communities within our States, many 
of which face unique challenges as they seek to reverse the damages of 
this storm and to prevent future catastrophes. These communities were 
among the most damaged by this storm and the Army Corps, the Department 
of Housing and Urban Development, and other Federal agencies would be 
remiss not to carefully consider, and balance, the needs of these 
underserved residents with the need to rebuild commercial areas and 
critical infrastructure, including industrial facilities, along our 
coastline. I would urge all agencies funded in this bill to provide for 
the special needs of these neighborhoods and the shorelines which they 
depend on.

                         Great Lakes Navigation

  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, Hurricane Sandy was one of the costliest 
storms in our Nation's history, resulting in at least 125 deaths, the 
destruction of tens

[[Page S318]]

of thousands of homes and businesses, electricity losses for millions 
of people, disruption of fuel supplies, and devastating damage to 
public infrastructure. When Hurricane Sandy struck land on October 29, 
hurricane-force winds covered 900 miles, wreaking havoc across a broad 
stretch of the Eastern seaboard. While the impact of Hurricane Sandy 
was most severe in New Jersey and New York, the storm impacted 24 
States, including Michigan. Across the Great Lakes, gale force winds 
caused damage to breakwaters and silted in harbors and channels. On 
Lake Huron, wave heights reached 23 feet, in Lake Michigan the waves 
peaked at 22 feet, and the storm caused waves of 14 feet in Lake Erie.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. The storm was one of the most devastating in our 
Nation's history, and the assistance that is so needed to address the 
widespread damage is long past due.
  Mr. LEVIN. The supplemental appropriations bill before us today 
includes $821 million for necessary expenses related to Hurricane Sandy 
to dredge Federal navigation channels and repair damage to Corps 
projects. Great Lakes channels, harbors, breakwaters, and piers were 
damaged by gale-force winds caused by Hurricane Sandy. The Army Corps 
of Engineers estimates damage to the Great Lakes System of $17 million, 
including in my State of Michigan. This system transports over 160 
million tons of commodities and hundreds of thousands of jobs are tied 
to the system. It is vital that repairs be made promptly. Madam 
Chairwoman, will these Great Lakes navigational projects damaged by 
Hurricane Sandy be eligible for some of the $821 million in funding?
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Yes. The funding is for necessary expenses related to 
the consequences of Hurricane Sandy, and since Great Lakes Federal 
navigation projects were damaged as a result of that storm, they would 
indeed be eligible.
  Mr. LEVIN. I thank the Senator for her assurances.
  Mr. President, I will vote in support of the disaster assistance bill 
to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy, who number in the millions. 
Hurricane Sandy covered over 900 miles, took over 125 lives, destroyed 
homes and businesses, demolished breakwaters, piers, boardwalks, and 
other infrastructure, and left millions without transportation. This 
superstorm occurred nearly 3 months ago, and assistance is long past 
due for the victims who remain homeless and communities trying to 
  Hurricane Sandy left such far-reaching devastation that its 
destruction reached into the Great Lakes. Gale force winds across the 
Great Lakes caused damage to breakwaters and silted in harbors and 
channels. The bill before us provides $821 million to dredge Federal 
navigation channels and repair damage to Corps projects impacted by 
Hurricane Sandy. I entered into a colloquy with Chairwoman Mikulski to 
ensure that the damage incurred to Great Lakes harbors as a result of 
Hurricane Sandy would be eligible for that funding. I thank Senator 
Mikulski for clarifying that funding could go to the Great Lakes, and I 
hope the Corps will prioritize funding for those Great Lakes projects, 
which are estimated to require about $17 million in repairs.
  We have a responsibility to help our fellow Americans who have lost 
homes and businesses through no fault of their own, and I hope we will 
pass this bill and immediately send it to the President for his 
signature. Hurricane Sandy is estimated to be the second or third most 
costly disaster in U.S. history. We need to provide the assistance 
promptly to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I rise in support of efforts to restore 
to the supplemental appropriations bill $150 million in disaster 
funding for officially declared fisheries disasters. The bill that the 
Senate passed in December, with overwhelming bipartisan support, 
included this $150 million in necessary disaster funding to address 
federally declared fisheries disasters. Unfortunately, the bill before 
us, passed by the House, did not include this critical funding.
  It is important to note that this funding would be used to respond to 
fishery disasters declared by the Acting Commerce Secretary in 2012 
under the authority provided by the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries 
Conservation and Management Act and the Interjurisdictional Fisheries 
Act. This is authorized funding in response to declared disasters.
  The funding for declared fisheries disasters is necessary to address 
the devastating economic consequences of significant projected 
reductions in the total allowable catch for critical groundfish stocks. 
In September of last year, the Acting Secretary of Commerce, 
recognizing the economic difficulty that fishing communities have and 
will continue to face, declared a Federal fisheries disaster for Maine, 
Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Connecticut 
for the 2013 fishing year.
  Fishing is more than just a profession in New England. Fishing is a 
way of life and a significant part of Maine's heritage. There are 45 
vessels based in Maine that are actively fishing with Federal 
groundfish permits. Last year, more than 5 million pounds of 
groundfish, with a dockside value approaching $5.8 million, were landed 
in Maine. The projected reductions, which may be as high as 73 percent, 
could devastate these fishing communities and come despite strict 
adherence to rigorous management practices by fishermen.
  The requested funding would be used to provide economic relief to the 
region's struggling groundfish industry and to make targeted 
investments that will allow the fleet to survive and become more 
sustainable in the years ahead. These funds could also be productively 
used to fully cover the costs of at-sea monitoring and to address long-
term overcapacity in the fishing industry. This is critical to 
rebuilding fish stocks and preserving a thriving fishing industry well 
into the future.
  Slow recovery and declining fish stocks continue to have a negative 
impact on commercial fishing, harming local communities and economies. 
This Federal disaster assistance is vital to the long-term success and 
short-term survival of fishing communities throughout the region.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, after so much time has passed due to the 
delay in consideration by the other body, it is critical that we move 
ahead to provide needed assistance to communities in the Northeast that 
were affected by Superstorm Sandy.
  I want to commend Chairwoman Mikulski, as well as our late colleague, 
Chairman Inouye, for their leadership in developing a bipartisan bill 
that would have provided critical assistance to respond to the 
hurricane and its aftermath, as well as other disasters. Indeed, the 
bill that passed the Senate last year was a superior product. It is 
regrettable that bill is not before us again today.
  The Senate bill would have delivered a significant amount of relief 
to communities in New York and New Jersey, while recognizing the 
substantial challenges faced by the other ten States that received 
major disaster declarations due to the storm. For example, the Senate 
bill included $810 million in water infrastructure grants to address 
the $2.8 billion in Sandy-related water infrastructure needs identified 
by the Environmental Protection Agency, allocating a minimum of 2 
percent to each affected State.
  In addition, the Senate bill would have required the Department of 
Housing and Urban Development--HUD--to establish minimum allocations of 
Community Development Block Grant--CDBG--funds so that every State that 
was hit by Sandy would receive funding to address its impacts. Finally, 
the bill included $150 million to address a series of fisheries 
disasters that were declared in 2012.
  Regrettably, the House, after failing to bring a bill to the floor 
before the end of the 112th Congress, went in a different direction on 
these matters. The House bill cuts funding for water infrastructure by 
$210 million and limits funding to only two States, setting a dangerous 
precedent that Congress will provide assistance to some States that are 
affected by a disaster but not to others. With respect to CDBG funding, 
the House bill provides no minimum allocation and no assurance that 
States with significant damages from Sandy will receive the assistance 
they need. Paradoxically, the bill threatens to dilute assistance for 
Sandy by making the CDBG funding available for all disasters that 
occurred in 2011, 2012, and

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2013 even though funding had been provided for some of these disasters 
in earlier appropriations laws. Finally, as fishermen from New York to 
Maine face dramatic catch reductions, the House bill strips the $150 
million in fisheries disaster funding from the bill.
  While it is unfortunate that the House bill makes these changes, the 
people of the Northeast should not be forced to wait any longer for the 
help this bill does provide. This includes much needed funds for 
highway, port and harbor repairs, as well as repairs to national parks 
and wildlife refuges. Equally important is funding to begin the long-
term analysis and work to help prevent this kind of damage from 
occurring again. Even as I continue to believe we should be able to do 
more, I urge my colleagues to support this bill.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, when we debated the Hurricane Sandy 
Supplemental bill in the Senate prior to Christmas, I was unable to 
support the spending bill because much of the taxpayer funding in the 
bill had little or nothing to do with meeting the immediate needs of 
individuals misplaced by Hurricane Sandy. Unfortunately, not much has 
changed with the House bill that we will soon vote on. At a time when 
we face ongoing trillion-dollar deficits and a $16.4 trillion debt, we 
cannot justify this type of spending.
  While some of the projects included in this bill may hold merit on 
their own, many of the projects included should go through the normal 
budget and appropriations process, where Congress has time to vet the 
need for such spending requests. To drive home this point, the 
Congressional Budget Office--CBO--analysis of the bill tells us that 
only 7 percent of the funding in this bill will be spent this year--FY 
2013--and roughly 70 percent of the funding will not be spent until FY 
2015 and beyond.
  After examining this bill, I have found numerous examples of 
questionable spending:
  Millions to replace automobiles owned by the Federal Government, 
  $1 million for DEA to replace 15 vehicles;
   $230,000 for ATF to replace three vehicles;
  $300,000 for the Secret Service vehicles; and
  $855,000 for ICE vehicles.
  The Federal Government currently owns or leases over 660,000 
vehicles--surely we can find replacements within our current inventory. 
Shouldn't we focus on providing relief directly to those still trying 
to rebuild their lives before replacing a bureaucrat's car?
  There is $16 billion for Community Development Block Grant funds for 
47 States and Puerto Rico that can be used for events in 2011, 2012 and 
  There is $2 million to repair damage to the roofs of museums in 
Washington, D.C., while many in Hurricane Sandy's path still have no 
permanent roof over their own heads.
  The bill includes $50 million for National Park Service Historic 
Preservation grants, which was not included in the President's request; 
$180 million for the Department of Agriculture's Emergency Watershed 
Protection program, which helps restore watersheds damaged by wildfires 
and droughts for areas including Colorado; highway funding for the 
Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the 
Northern Mariana Islands; $15 million for NASA facilities, though NASA 
itself has called its damage from the hurricane ``minimal.'' On the day 
after the storm hit, NASA's Wallops Island put out a statement stating 
that ``an initial assessment team surveyed roads and facilities at 
NASA's Wallops Flight Facility today reporting a number of downed trees 
but otherwise minimal impact in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.''
  The bill includes $111 million for a weather satellite data 
mitigation gap reserve fund, a controversial program created by 
President Obama by executive order for ocean zoning planning; $8.5 
million for weather forecasting equipment; $23 million for the USDA 
``Forest Restoration Program'' for planting trees on private property. 
This program is actually a Farm Bill subsidy program that's run by a 
relatively unknown agency called the ``Farm Service Administration'' 
which is primarily responsible for managing crop insurance. Under this 
program, private landowners with about 50 acres of land can apply for 
up to $500,000 in free grants for tree planting activities.
  The bill also includes $118 million for taxpayer-supported AMTRAK, 
$86 million more than the President's request. While some of the 
funding will go for repairs, money will also go to increasing passenger 
capacity to New York and future mitigation efforts. In a 2-page letter 
from AMTRAK that gives a broad description of how the money will be 
spent, almost all of it falls under funding for future capital 
projects. This includes funding for the ``Gateway Program.''
  According to AMTRAK, the Gateway Program, which was started in 2011 
and is projected to cost over $13 billion, is ``a comprehensive program 
of infrastructure improvements to increase track, tunnel, bridge, and 
station capacity serving New York City that will improve current assets 
and allow the eventual doubling of passenger trains into Manhattan.'' I 
am not here to debate the merits or the need for new tunnels, but this 
is clearly a capital improvement project--unrelated to Hurricane Sandy.
  AMTRAK is up and running so it is not apparent why this funding is 
deemed ``emergency'' spending and included in this spending package. 
Keep in mind, AMTRAK receives roughly $1 billion in annual funding. 
Future mitigation projects should be debated in next year's budget 
  The bill includes $100 million for Head Start; $1 million for Legal 
Services Corporation; $3.5 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers--
with little clarity on how the money will be spent. More projects are 
not something the Army Corps can handle. They are currently 
experiencing a backlog of construction and maintenance projects of 
approximately $70 billion. Furthermore, a 2010 report released by the 
Government Accountability Office noted that carryover funds have 
increased ``due to the large amount of supplemental funding the Corps 
has received in recent years.'' Clearly, supplemental spending on the 
Army Corps has not paid off.
  As a nation, we are $16.4 trillion in debt and dealing with trillion-
dollar deficits. We do need to come to the aid of those who lost 
everything in Hurricane Sandy and are struggling to get their lives 
back together. Congress, however, cannot continue down this road of 
irresponsible spending. We must pass a true disaster spending bill that 
only spends money on disaster recovery and response, not pet projects.
  Mr. PRYOR. Mr. President, Hurricane Sandy was the most devastating 
storm to hit the northeast United States in recorded history. 
Rebuilding after the storm will be a formidable challenge and this aid 
bill will go a long way towards meeting that challenge.
  When Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast, it flooded electrical 
substations and knocked down trees onto power lines, shutting off power 
for 8.2 million customers, and causing billions of dollars in damage. 
Over 300,000 homes in New York City and 72,000 homes and businesses in 
New Jersey were damaged or destroyed. Four New York City hospitals had 
to shut their doors.
  The storm sent floodwater gushing into New York's five boroughs, 
flooding tunnels and the subway system and making the equipment 
inoperable. In many hard-hit areas wireless networks suffered 
widespread outages primarily due to lack of power.
  When smart technologies are in place, power outages can be avoided 
and lives, homes and businesses are protected. As the massive 
rebuilding effort gets under way, decision makers should rebuild the 
smart way by ensuring that reconstruction funds maximize the deployment 
of technologies to improve the resilience of the electric grid, 
mitigate future power outages and ensure continued operation of 
facilities critical to public health, safety and welfare. Resilient and 
reliable power is critical for first responders, communications, health 
care, transportation, financial systems, homeland security, water and 
waste-water treatment, emergency food and shelter, and other vital 
  Examples of relevant technologies include smart grid technologies to 
isolate problems and repair them remotely, such as smart meters, high-
tech sensors, grid monitoring and control systems, and remote 
reconfiguration and redundancy systems;

[[Page S320]]

microgrids, energy storage, distributed and backup generation to power 
critical facilities and operations; wiring, cabling, submersible and 
other distribution components and enclosures to prevent outages; and 
electronic controlled re-closers and similar technologies for power 
  The funding provided by the Hurricane Sandy disaster relief 
appropriations bill should enable these States to wisely make cost-
effective investments in these technologies for their long-term 
infrastructure resiliency. Rebuilding these essential infrastructure 
systems with technology that is equipped to deal with extreme weather 
should make recovery from any future storm faster, cheaper, and better.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, several weeks ago, before the end of the 
112th Congress, the Senate voted to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy 
with a supplemental appropriations bill. The $60.4 billion supplemental 
emergency bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 62-32. Unfortunately, 
the House did not pass the bill before the end of the 112th Congress, 
and we must pass this bill again.
  This aid is desperately needed. Hurricane Sandy ranks second only to 
Hurricane Katrina in terms of damage. Insurers estimate that the damage 
will make the storm the sixth costliest in the world for their 
  In New York and New Jersey, more than 651,000 homes were damaged or 
destroyed, 463,000 businesses were hurt and need assistance. Hundreds 
of miles of roads and rail were damaged and will need to be repaired. 
We have a responsibility to help our fellow Americans recover from this 
disaster. Congress has always stepped up and helped States and 
communities deal with natural disasters.
  Hurricane Sandy is also a time for us to be honest, face facts, and 
state the obvious: the climate is changing. The weather is getting 
worse extreme weather events are happening with increased frequency and 
intensity. It's time for Congress to get serious about addressing the 
causes and effects of climate change we can no longer afford to ignore 
this issue.
  The vast majority of Americans view the recent extreme weather events 
as evidence that the problem of global warming is no longer some vague 
or distant threat. In a recent poll, nearly 4 out of 5 Americans stated 
that they now think temperatures are rising and that global warming 
will be a serious problem if nothing is done about it. The existence of 
manmade climate change is not a debatable issue for the overwhelming 
majority of scientists more than 98 percent of all working climate 
scientists believe that human activities have led to climate change.
  Over the previous decades, scientists have measured a consistent 
increase in global temperatures, which has led to rising sea levels, 
warmer air and, as a result, more extreme weather. The National 
Climatic Data Center just announced 2012 was the hottest year on record 
in the continental United States. Our changing climate means that the 
storms and heat waves we are seeing will become stronger and more 
extreme in the future causing greater amounts of damage.
  The insurance and defense sectors have looked at this scientific data 
and are making some changes. They are adjusting their operations to 
prepare for worse weather and bigger losses. Nationwide, the financial 
consequences of weather-related disasters and climate change hit a 
historic new high last year U.S. disasters caused over $55 billion in 
  The federal government needs to re-think how we protect federal 
assets and provide disaster assistance to communities on a more regular 
basis. And right now, passing this bill for supplemental appropriations 
for Sandy victims is a great first step. Because in addition to 
providing aid to help re-build houses, schools, and business, the bill 
also includes billions for mitigation programs. Mitigation programs 
help us rebuild in a way that's smarter than the first time, adding 
defenses against storms and protecting property by moving it out of 
flood zones or rebuilding with flood protection features.
  These policies make sense. They better prepare us for the next big 
storm, and they will save a lot of taxpayer money by reducing the 
damage of the next disaster.
  After that, we in the Senate need to face the reality of greenhouse 
gas emissions and create energy and environmental policies that reduce 
their destructive impact, including investments in renewable energy and 
pollution control technologies.
  The President challenged all of us in his inaugural address to 
respond to the threat of climate change, ``knowing that the failure to 
do so would betray our children and future generations.'' We need to 
answer the President's challenge by passing this bill now and passing 
climate change legislation soon that will help us leave a sustainable 
planet to our children and grandchildren.

                            Amendment No. 4

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I have an amendment at the desk. I ask for 
its immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the amendment.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Utah (Mr. Lee) proposes an amendment 
     numbered 4.

  Mr. LEE. I ask unanimous consent the reading of the amendment be 
dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

     (Purpose: To offset the cost of the bill with rescissions and 
                     discretionary cap reductions)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:
       Sec. ____. (a)(1) There is hereby rescinded an amount equal 
     to .49 percent of--
       (A) the budget authority provided (or obligation limitation 
     imposed) for fiscal year 2013 for any discretionary account 
     in any fiscal year 2013 appropriation Act;
       (B) the budget authority provided in any advance 
     appropriation for fiscal year 2013 for any discretionary 
     account in any prior fiscal year appropriation Act; and
       (C) the contract authority provided in fiscal year 2013 for 
     any program that is subject to a limitation contained in any 
     fiscal year 2013 appropriation Act for any discretionary 
       (2) Any rescission made by paragraph (1) shall be applied 
       (A) to each discretionary account and each item of budget 
     authority described in such paragraph; and
       (B) within each such account and item, to each program, 
     project, and activity (with programs, projects, and 
     activities as delineated in the appropriation Act or 
     accompanying reports for the relevant fiscal year covering 
     such account or item, or for accounts and items not included 
     in appropriation Acts, as delineated in the most recently 
     submitted President's budget).
       (3) In the case of any fiscal year 2013 appropriation Act 
     enacted after the date of enactment of this section, any 
     rescission required by paragraph (1) shall take effect 
     immediately after the enactment of such Act.
       (4) Within 30 days after the date of enactment of this 
     subsection (or, if later, 30 days after the enactment of any 
     fiscal year 2013 appropriation Act), the Director of the 
     Office of Management and Budget shall submit to the 
     Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives 
     and the Senate a report specifying the account and amount of 
     each rescission made pursuant to paragraph (1).
       (b) The discretionary caps provided in section 251(c) of 
     the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 
     1985, as modified by section 251A of such Act, are reduced as 
     follows for the respective fiscal year and the respective 
       (1) for fiscal year 2014--
       (A) $2,704,800,000 in security; and
       (B) $2,497,400,000 in non-security;
       (2) for fiscal year 2015--
       (A) $2,773,400,000 in security; and
       (B) $2,548,000,000 in non-security;
       (3) for fiscal year 2016--
       (A) $2,827,300,000 in security; and
       (B) $2,597,000,000 in non-security;
       (4) fiscal year 2017--
       (A) $2,891,000,000 in security; and
       (B) $2,650,900,000 in non-security;
       (5) for fiscal year 2018--
       (A) $2,954,700,000 in security; and
       (B) $2,709,700,000 in non-security;
       (6) for fiscal year 2019--
       (A) $3,018,400,000 in security; and
       (B) $2,773,400,000 in non-security;
       (7) for fiscal year 2020--
       (A) $3,087,000,000 in security; and
       (B) $2,832,200,000 in non-security; and
       (8) for fiscal year 2021--
       (A) $3,155,600,000 in security; and
       (B) $2,891,000,000 in non-security;

  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I stand today and urge my colleagues' support 
for my amendment to this bill. I appreciate the eloquent arguments made 
by my friend and colleague, the Senator from New York, a moment ago. 
She is correct to point out that people have suffered as a result of 
this storm. My heart goes out to them. Anytime my fellow Americans find 
themselves in a position of need, we want to address that situation 
very carefully and make sure we do the right thing, make sure people 
are not overlooked.

[[Page S321]]

  As we do that, and especially as we do something such as that in the 
way we are being asked to do it here, we must also consider how our 
actions here might have other implications down the road. We have to 
stop and consider that we are more than $16 trillion in debt and we are 
adding to that debt at a rate of more than $1 trillion every single 
year. The amount of money we spend in interest on our national debt now 
stands at a little over $200 billion a year and is expected to grow 
significantly in the next few years, such that by the end of this 
decade--perhaps much sooner--we are likely to be paying close to $1 
trillion a year just to pay the interest on our national debt.
  It is because of considerations such as these that we put in place 
certain spending caps, in connection with the Budget Control Act, in 
the summer of 2011. It is for this same reason I am asking that we 
consider capping this, subjecting this same amount, this money we are 
being asked to spend here, to the same caps. In other words, what I am 
suggesting is that we find a way to offset our spending for this bill 
by stretching it out over the next 9 years, capping what we spend. All 
we have to do to offset what we are being asked to spend here is to cut 
our discretionary spending by one-half of 1 percent over the next 9 
  As we look at our economic realities, as we look at the fact it is 
going to be very difficult in coming years to fund everything we need 
to do through the Federal Government, this is the approach we have to 
take with regard to new spending. If we are being asked to spend money, 
no matter how important the cause, to the tune of more than $50 billion 
in one fell swoop, I think we owe it to the good people of the United 
States of America, the good people who depend on so many things the 
Federal Government does--things as wide ranging as defense at one end 
of the spectrum and entitlements at the other end of the spectrum and 
everything in between--we owe it to them to consider how our actions 
today might forestall, might complicate, might impair our ability to 
fund those programs down the road. It is for this reason I think we 
need to offset this spending. We can do it by cutting only one-half of 
1 percent of our discretionary spending over the next 9 years. For that 
reason I urge each of my colleagues to support this amendment.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, first of all, I thank the distinguished 
chair of the Appropriations Committee for all of her incredible work 
and help here, as well as that of the staff, in bringing us to this 
moment. We would not be here without her tremendous work, especially in 
light of Chairman Inouye's passing. I appreciate the ranking member, 
someone who understands the challenges, having come from a Gulf State 
that saw the consequences of disasters.
  There are a couple of important dates here. The first one is 91 days, 
91 days since Superstorm Sandy hit the Northeast; 91 days we have been 
languishing, waiting for our Government to respond to the critical 
issues, life-and-death situations, of fellow Americans. It is 91 days 
in which people who largely lost their home, or at least the ability to 
be back in their home, have been waiting for their government to say: 
Here is how we are going to help you. It is 91 days in which we now 
have the biting cold of the winter and the defenselessness of a 
coastline that cannot be subject to a northeaster that will ultimately 
have real-life consequences to people's lives, to people's properties, 
to repetitive loss.
  It is 91 days compared to what happened during Hurricane Katrina, 
where $60 billion was moved in 11; 91 days in which people have not 
been able to get their lives back on track, looking to their 
government--people who are good citizens, pay their taxes, obey the 
rules, follow the law, and ultimately say: We have been left behind. It 
is enough.
  Another 118 days. That is all we have left to Memorial Day and the 
beginning of a critically important season for New Jersey's economy, a 
$37 billion tourism industry that cannot get back on its feet unless 
the Federal Government says here is how we are going to help businesses 
reopen, here is how we are going to help people get back into their 
homes, here is how we are going to help you rebuild the infrastructure 
that is not only important to the economy of the State but to the 
national economy, for which New Jersey and of course New York are such 
big drivers--well over 10 to 11 percent. We only have 118 days and we 
have been languishing.
  I personally am tired of listening to the voices for patience and 
delay, suggesting that somehow we as citizens of the United States are 
second-class citizens waiting for this government to respond to the 
needs of fellow Americans. That is not what I envision when I think 
about the United States of America.
  Another number: 36 times; 36 times in which we in fact have looked at 
an emergency in this Nation squarely in the face and said it is an 
emergency. An emergency is an emergency is an emergency. For over two 
decades the Congress has looked at this set of disasters and said it is 
an emergency. But when it comes to the Northeast, somehow it is not an 
emergency, 91 days later.
  Offsets? We didn't have offsets for those over two decades. And when 
we talk about these offsets we use the words discretionary spending. I 
think America should know what it means. It means education, it means 
health care, it means the National Institutes of Health, it means law 
enforcement, it means a whole host of things we care about in our lives 
every day, across-the-board cuts, indiscriminate, without anything 
about what the consequences are--only when it comes to the Northeast.
  I want my colleagues to understand that personally this Senator will 
judge the future by how we are ultimately responded to. We already feel 
chagrined but it is what it is. We need to act today. Adoption of this 
amendment would not only create an across-the-board cut that has 
consequences to critical things Americans broadly depend on and does it 
indiscriminately, but also sets us farther back because we would have 
to go back to the House again, delays and more delays. I cannot look in 
the face of any American, whether in my State or any State in the 
country, and say, no, your government has abandoned you, you will have 
to wait. I cannot look at business owners who are making a life 
decision about whether what little they have they can reinvest and 
whether they will get any help from the government to open, hire 
people, and contribute to our economy. I cannot look in the face of a 
fellow New Jerseyan and say I still can't tell you what the Government 
will do to get you back in your home. I suggest to any of my colleagues 
that you would not want to look in the face of your citizens and have 
to be in the same position.
  The time has come to pass this bill without amendment in an up-or-
down vote in what I hope will be the same bipartisan vote that we had 
when we originally passed the Senate bill.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, we are just moments from voting on both 
the Lee amendment and on final passage. I rise to oppose the Lee 
amendment, the amendment of the junior Senator from Utah. His amendment 
would cut $6.3 billion from fiscal year 2013. That is $6 billion that 
is in addition to the $3.4 billion we already have as an offset in the 
bill that is charged against the Corps of Engineers, plus he wants to 
reduce spending by another $44 billion over an 8-year period by 
lowering the discretionary budget caps that were agreed to in the to 
2011 Budget Control Act.
  Overall, he pays for $50.5 billion in emergency aid with $51.2 
billion in cuts. That is $700 million more in cuts than the disaster 
rate in this bill. I think that is going too far. I think when we cut 
more than we are going to spend, that is going too far. The $6.3 
billion is an unspecified cut in discretionary programs in the middle 
of fiscal year 2013. It will cut national defense, it will cut law 
enforcement, housing assistance, agricultural assistance, and, guess 
what. The way it is written, it will even cut veterans' benefits, which 
are ordinarily viewed as mandatory spending.
  This $44.9 billion is a reduction to the caps set by the Budget 
Control Act of 2011. For my colleagues who don't seem

[[Page S322]]

to remember, we actually did pass a Budget Control Act. It says we in 
the Appropriations Committee will cut $1 trillion over the next 9 
years. So the cap is already on us on what we could spend, and that is 
$100 billion a year. The Lee amendment would add even more to that.
  They cannot tell us to pass a budget the way they did in the House 
bill on the debt limit and then say: Pass the budget. We did pass the 
Budget Control Act, and now the Lee amendment will shred that 
agreement. It will just shred it. Every time something comes up--while 
we are working to pass a budget--are they going to shred it?
  I would like to follow what Senator Coats has talked about: Let's get 
back to regular order. Let's not be kind of doing cuts de jour, cuts on 
the fly, and who can outcut whom. Senator Coats has many good ideas in 
his presentation. As an appropriator and a gentleman on my committee, I 
look forward to working with him.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Will the Senator yield?
  Ms. MIKULSKI. If I could just finish my remarks, and I will turn to 
the gentlelady from Louisiana.
  Also, this amendment is terrible in terms of process. If we pass the 
Lee amendment, not only will it shred the Budget Control Act of 2011--
just shred it--it will then send this bill, which meets compelling 
human need, back to the House. The House has already shrunk this bill. 
It will further embroil this process, and very likely this bill may die 
due to some of the extreme elements in the House.
  To me, the answer is obvious: Let's defeat the Lee amendment and pass 
this bill. There are people who are suffering in New York, New Jersey, 
Maryland, and Connecticut. Let's acknowledge the validity of the 
arguments that have been raised by many Members on the other side about 
how we look at disaster assistance, and I am more than open to it on 
our committee.
  I hope we can defeat the Lee amendment and pass the urgent 
supplemental that is pending before us even though it already has an 
additional $3.4 billion offset, which is essentially a cut of fiscal 
year 2013--cutting the Army Corps of Engineers--which, by the way, has 
only $5 billion. If they are going to cut, learn math and learn how to 
read the bills and the chart. Math is good. I like math. We are going 
to follow math.
  With that, I ask that we pass the bill. Let's not cut more than is in 
the bill. Let's do the math and know we are already cutting. Let's do 
the job the American people want.
  This concludes my remarks. But before I yield the floor to the 
gentlelady from Louisiana, there are two sunshine issues I am going to 
  First, I see the return of Senator Mark Kirk. I cannot share with my 
colleagues the pleasure I have in seeing him. He is a member of the 
Appropriations Committee. We have worked together on many issues. We 
have disagreed, we have duked it out, and we have had some good times. 
It is just a pleasure to see him back on the Senate floor and ready to 
  Also, I note that now joining us as the ranking member of the 
Appropriations Committee is Senator Shelby of Alabama. I have worked 
with the Senator from Alabama over the years. I think we can pledge--
though we will differ on policy or matters--there will be more on which 
we can agree in this Appropriations Committee. There will be an effort 
for bipartisanship, civility, intellectual rigger, robust debate, and 
transparency. We look forward to working together and with our 
  With that, I yield for the gentlelady from Louisiana.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, I thank the chairlady. Is it not the 
opinion of the Senator from Maryland that if the Lee amendment gets on 
this bill, it will, in fact, kill the Sandy supplemental? Isn't that 
the Senator's understanding of what will happen if the Lee amendment is 
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, the Senator from Louisiana was asking me 
a question while I was getting a copy of my speech. What was the 
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Is it not the understanding of the Senator from 
Maryland that if the Lee amendment gets adopted--which I don't believe 
it will--the bill will be either killed or in serious danger of 
  Ms. MIKULSKI. I think it will be in very serious danger of passing 
because the impact of the cuts is significant, severe, even Armageddon, 
and it would send it back to the House for further negotiation. The 
House is out this week, and then they kind of come back. I think this 
bill very likely will die in a conference, and that cannot happen as it 
will affect the economy and lives of the people in our States.
  I know the gentlelady has had a history of looking at how to have a 
more frugal and sensible government. We funded two wars on a credit 
card, and that is part of the reason we are in this mess. We have 
plenty of money to rebuild Iraq, and now we are debating and nickel-
and-diming over rebuilding New York, New Jersey, parts of Connecticut, 
and little, poor rural parts of Maryland.
  So, yes, I think it will have a terrible effect.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, how much time is remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. No time is remaining on the Democratic side. 
The Republicans have 5 minutes remaining.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent for 1 of those 5 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. I thank my colleagues.
  Let me say that it is my clear view and opinion that if the Lee 
amendment is passed, the Sandy supplemental will die. There is strong 
feeling--led by this Senator from Louisiana, to the Senators who are 
arguing for that position--that if we want to debate about how to pay 
for a disaster, I will do that. We will do 50 percent cuts and 50 
percent revenue, but they never will offer one penny of new revenues to 
pay for anything. I am not budging on this point. This amendment, if 
adopted, will kill this bill.
  I will go 50 percent revenue. We will raise $25 billion, and $25 
billion we will cut, but I am not going to keep cutting the 
discretionary budget--which, by the way, is not out of control despite 
what we hear on Fox News. It is mandatory spending that is rising 
rapidly because the ``greatest generation,'' which gave us the greatest 
Nation the world has ever heard of, is aging, and they need hospice 
care, Social Security, and hospitals. If they want to cut them, go 
right ahead. I am going to be a little more gentle.
  No. 2, we can do this together if we want. So just know this argument 
is not a small argument for the chair of the Homeland Security 
Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee nor for our colleagues.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the question is on 
agreeing to the amendment offered by the Senator from Utah, Mr. Lee. 
The yeas and nays have been requested.
  Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Maine (Mr. King), the 
Senator from Washington (Mrs. Murray), and the Senator from Vermont 
(Mr. Sanders) are necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Donnelly). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 35, nays 62, as follows:

                       [Rollcall Vote No. 3 Leg.]


     Johnson (WI)


     Johnson (SD)

[[Page S323]]

     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)

                             NOT VOTING--3

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order requiring 60 votes 
for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is rejected.
  The bill was ordered to a third reading and was read the third time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the bill having been 
read the third time, the question is, Shall the bill pass?
  Ms. MIKULSKI. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Maine (Mr. King) and the 
Senator from Washington (Mrs. Murray) are necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 62, nays 36, as follows:

                       [Rollcall Vote No. 4 Leg.]


     Johnson (SD)
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)


     Johnson (WS)

                             NOT VOTING--2

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The 60-vote threshold having been achieved, 
the bill (H.R. 152) is passed.