[Congressional Record Volume 159, Number 21 (Monday, February 11, 2013)]
[Pages S571-S586]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of S. 47, which the clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 47) to reauthorize the Violence Against Women 
     Act of 1994.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the time until 5:30 
p.m. will be equally divided between the two leaders or their 
  The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

[[Page S572]]

  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, am I correct that we are on the Violence 
Against Women Act?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. That is correct.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I hope all Senators will join in adopting 
the trafficking victims protection amendment that is before us today. 
This is crucial to reauthorizing the Trafficking Victims Protection 
Act. We can make real progress in helping victims of human trafficking 
by adopting the amendment today and then proceeding to pass both the 
Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and the Trafficking Victims 
Protection Reauthorization Act without delay.

  One hundred and fifty years after President Lincoln issued the 
Emancipation Proclamation and long since ratification of the 13th 
amendment to our Constitution, slavery is illegal. What we are fighting 
now is human trafficking, which can amount to modern day slavery. This 
still occurs throughout the world--including in the United States of 
America. The Polaris Project estimates that there are more than 27 
million victims of human trafficking worldwide today. To put that in 
perspective, that is more people than the population of Texas.
  The amendment before the Senate today is drawn from our Trafficking 
Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, a bipartisan bill that was 
written with the input of victims and service providers to make 
critical improvements to existing law. I have worked hard to try to 
address concerns expressed by Republican Senators and to ensure 
bipartisan support for this legislation, which Congress has 
reauthorized three times before. The result is that last year this 
legislation had 57 cosponsors, including 15 Republicans.
  It is a parallel effort to our reauthorization of the Violence 
Against Women Act. I was preparing to move it separately but other 
Senators offered trafficking-related amendments to the VAWA bill. That 
is what led to this amendment being offered at this time. This is now 
our opportunity to pass the Trafficking Victims Protection 
Reauthorization Act and take a giant stride forward to help trafficking 
  Our effort is to stop human trafficking at its roots by supporting 
both domestic and international efforts to fight against trafficking 
and to punish its perpetrators. We provide critical resources to help 
support victims as they rebuild their lives.
  This amendment includes new measures to ensure better partnership and 
coordination among Federal agencies, between law enforcement and victim 
service providers, and with foreign countries to better address every 
facet of this complicated problem.
  It also strengthens criminal anti trafficking statutes to ensure that 
law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to effectively combat 
all forms of trafficking. It includes measures to encourage victims to 
cooperate with law enforcement, which leads to more prosecutions, and 
to identify victims and alert law enforcement.
  We have included accountability measures to ensure that Federal funds 
are used for their intended purposes, and we have streamlined programs 
to focus scarce resources on the approaches that have been the most 
  Last year, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported the measure and it 
was cleared for passage by every Democratic Senator. We worked closely 
with Chairman Kerry, now Secretary of State Kerry, and the members of 
the Foreign Affairs Committee. We have updated it with modifications 
cleared with the State Department and the new Foreign Affairs chairman, 
Senator Menendez, to the first title. I want to acknowledge Senator 
Rubio's efforts last year trying to help us clear this bill for Senate 
passage. Regrettably, this important legislation, like so many others, 
was held up last year by the objection of one anonymous Republican 
Senator. This is now our opportunity to pass it. Let us join together 
today to take this important step to help trafficking victims and 
prevent human trafficking.
  The United States remains a beacon of hope for so many who face human 
rights abuses. We know that young women and girls, often just 11, 12, 
or 13 years old, are being bought and sold. We know that workers are 
being held and forced into labor against their will.
  I urge all Senators to join in passing the Trafficking Victims 
Protection Reauthorization Act. People in this country and millions 
around the world are counting on us.
  Mr. President, I ask that the time be equally divided, and I suggest 
the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                   Recognition of the Minority Leader

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Republican leader is recognized.

                           Fiscal Challenges

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, over the past few weeks I have come to 
the floor to urge the President and Senate Democrats to act on the huge 
fiscal challenges facing our Nation, starting with the Obama sequester. 
Unless Senate Democrats allow a reasonable spending cut alternative to 
pass this Chamber before March 1, the President's plan will go into 
effect. The House passed legislation to avert the Obama sequester 
months ago, but Senate Democrats have yet to pass an alternative bill 
that could actually go to conference. In fact, it took until this week 
for them to even say they would do an alternative, and the alternative 
they have come up with is clearly--clearly--designed to fail. Look, 
they knew this was coming more than a year ago. Yet they still haven't 
put forward a serious proposal of replacement spending cuts. What a 
colossal waste of time.
  At the beginning of the year Democrats promised that things would be 
different. They promised to get their work done ahead of time instead 
of 5 minutes before the deadline, that legislation would get committee 
consideration and that we were going to go through the regular order.
  Instead, we find ourselves in sad and familiar territory. It goes 
something like this: Republicans identify a challenge and propose a 
solution well in advance. Democrats sit on their hands until the last 
minute, and then they offer some gimmicky bill designed to fail. Then 
comes the final act: President Obama rides in to blame everyone else. 
Obviously, tomorrow's State of the Union Address will provide a perfect 
forum for that, so we will see if history repeats itself. But, frankly, 
this whole routine is getting quite old. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe the 
President and his Democratic friends are willing to break the cycle 
this time. If so, my party has said from the beginning that we would 
much prefer to replace the Obama sequester with smarter spending cuts 
and reforms.
  Even though Republicans already passed legislation to solve the 
problem a long time ago, if the President wants a different solution he 
can call his own, that is fine. We are happy to give him the credit. 
But however we get it done, the time has come to finally take on 
Washington's spending problem in a bipartisan way, and that means the 
President will actually have to move beyond the gimmicks and the taxes 
and propose real spending reductions because I assure you that my 
constituents in Kentucky will not accept a tax hike in place of 
spending cuts already agreed to by both parties.
  Remember, we agreed to reduce this amount of spending in October 2011 
without raising taxes. We have already made this agreement. The 
question is, What are we going to do about it? I think Democrats' 
continued avoidance of their responsibility to deal with the huge 
threats to our economy and our future lies ahead.
  As I said, I strongly suspect that instead of bipartisan action, the 
White House will subject us to yet another campaign blitz. Frankly, I 
could write the scripts myself. We will all be told that the 
President's hands are tied by the very sequester he himself proposed, 
signed, and now refuses to get rid of. We will be told he has no choice 
but to furlough civilians throughout the Defense Department, to cut off 
training for forces next to deploy, and to order a battle carrier to 
stay at home, which would diminish our presence in the

[[Page S573]]

Persian Gulf, when the reality is that he has responsibilities as 
Commander in Chief.
  Let's be clear about something: If the President does choose to 
strike fear into the hearts of folks whom he should be reassuring, then 
that decision will be his alone. And that is why the next time the 
President delivers some over-the-top speech, flanked by some pollster-
approved voter group, I hope someone on the stage taps him on the 
shoulder and asks, Mr. President, if you are truly worried about this 
issue, why aren't you working with the Congress we elected to prevent 
  It is a good question, and it is one only he can answer. We will 
welcome him to Capitol Hill tomorrow, and I hope he will provide an 
answer. Will the President lay out a serious plan to avert the Obama 
sequester or will he simply use this as another excuse to fire up the 
campaign machine? If it is the latter, he will have to live with the 
consequences of his choice.
  Another issue we have been reading a lot about lately relates to the 
consequences of ObamaCare. I could stand here and tell you that 
Republicans warned about most of these things until we were hoarse, 
that we saw it all coming and said so--the higher costs, the higher 
premiums, the tax hikes, the lost jobs, and the potential for millions 
to lose their plans. The President dismissed all of that, and he got 
his legislative win. The question is, What is he going to do to help 
folks now that our predictions are all coming true? Will he be open and 
honest with the American people about the consequences of ObamaCare? 
Will he use tomorrow's speech as an opportunity to prepare them or will 
he simply ignore it and hope people simply don't notice?
  These are just a couple of the issues Americans are worried about 
right now. I hope the President addresses both of them tomorrow. There 
is pretty broad agreement that the President spent most of his first 
term avoiding the issues Americans cared about most. What I am 
suggesting is that he not do the same thing this time around.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I wish to spend some time outlining some 
amendments I have to the Violence Against Women Act, but I also ask 
unanimous consent to use oversized charts, and even with the size I 
have, on the one chart, you can barely see it, in terms of the grant 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. COBURN. I would also like to comment on the Trafficking 
Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2012, which is the Leahy amendment. 
When we first started working on this issue, it was 2001 and $31.8 
million, with one or two Federal agencies involved. With this bill, we 
are going to create eight different agencies with responsibility for 
this. That is absolutely crazy, and it duplicates exactly what we have 
done in every other area of the Federal Government, which I will show 
here in a moment. It shows what we have done in the Justice Department 
in terms of grants.
  Now, we spend $3.9 billion a year out of the Justice Department on 
259 different grant programs, many of which--as a matter of fact, the 
majority of which overlap one another. We have found--and this is not 
my data, this is GAO data--that we have multiple entities making a 
claim for a grant in one area, and then they go over and make a claim 
for the same thing in another area. Guess what. The Justice Department 
doesn't know that. They have no idea what is going on with their grant 
programs. They do not do any followup, they do not put in any metrics, 
and so therefore the $3.9 billion or the $40 billion we have spent on 
these programs in the last 10 years has been highly ineffective.
  These grants are well intended. I don't doubt that. The amendment of 
the Senator from Vermont, Mr. Leahy, on the Trafficking Victims 
Protection Act is very well intended. I am not disputing that. But we 
find that the vast majority of money in that amendment goes overseas 
for trafficking prevention and protection, not here in our country 
where it is coming across Interstate 35 and Interstate 40 through my 
State, coming from the west coast to east and from south to north.
  When we find that the vast majority of money will be spent outside 
the country, especially in light of our present budgetary situation, we 
ought to reconsider this amendment. We ought to refine it down to one 
or two agencies, not eight. We ought to put line responsibility and 
transparency in it, and we ought to put in metrics to make sure the 
money we are spending is actually going to be measured so we will know 
whether we have been effective in spending the American taxpayers' 
  So I am opposed to the Leahy amendment because although well 
intended, it is a very wasteful throwing of the mud up against the 
board and hoping to hit something. It is not organized, it is not well 
thought out, and it is certainly not efficient in terms of the way the 
money will be expended.
  Let me spend a moment on these three charts. I am going to have two 
more when GAO issues its release on April 1 of all the duplication in 
the Federal Government, but I want you to notice something here: the 
Department of Justice grants, 253 different programs not just run by 
the Department of Justice but 9 other agencies besides them, spending 
$3.9 billion a year. Now, one might say: Well, that is OK.
  But let's look at the organization because we have this chart, which 
the Department of Justice doesn't have. So here they are, layer upon 
layer of administrative costs for all these programs--very well 
intended, all of them, but highly inefficient.
  Now, what are we doing with this bill? We are going to add more to 
it. We are not going to add a lot of metrics to see if what we are 
doing actually works.
  The other thing we are doing with this bill is we have an 
authorization that is far greater than the amount of money we are ever 
going to spend on it. Now, why would we do that? Is it political? Could 
it possibly be political, that we are going to authorize way above what 
we know is ever going to be spent? Yes, it is. We know we are not going 
to spend what is authorized in this bill.
  Authorizations ought to be what we intend to be spent, not how we 
intend to soothe someone with what we say we are going to spend, yet 
knowing full well we will never spend the money. It is a very shameful 
sleight of hand because these are important issues. As a practicing 
physician, having delivered over 4,000 babies, I have seen violence 
against women in lots of ways. I have done a lot of counseling, spent a 
lot of time there. And any dollar we take from the American taxpayer, 
we ought to make sure it actually does something very positive.
  I have several amendments to this bill. I didn't get all the 
amendments I wanted. One was denied, and I will explain to the American 
public what it was. It was to eliminate $200 million in expenditures 
for campaign conventions for the Democrats and Republicans. It passed 
here with 94 votes, but they wouldn't allow it to be voted on here. It 
passed the House. So here is a way to take $200 million and let the 
parties run their own conventions rather than the American taxpayers 
paying for the parties. But that wasn't allowed.
  So we haven't moved forward yet in the Senate, where people can 
actually offer what they think will be good-government amendments that 
will save this government money and do what the vast majority of the 
American people want us to do.
  Just look at this chart. And I want to add one other thing. There is 
only one agency of the Federal Government that, at the end of the year, 
if it doesn't spend its money, doesn't get to keep it. Guess what 
department that is. It is the Department of Justice.
  We have set them aside. So even though we don't have good controls on 
the grants, we don't have oversight. We haven't eliminated the 
duplication which the GAO says is tremendous in terms of its goals. We 
had an opportunity to do that on this bill. We didn't do it. At the end 
of the year, whatever they don't spend they get to spend where they 
want to spend outside of the appropriations process of Congress. It is 
time we change that. It is time we know where every dollar is going.
  Now, I admit this is a dizzying poster, but it equates well the lack 
of certainty, intelligence, and planning of Congress. Congress created 
  Think about that: 250-plus different grant programs, most of them 
overlapping and doing the same thing, with

[[Page S574]]

multiple grantees hitting multiple grants. Since we don't oversight 
them, and the agency doesn't oversight them, and they don't know 
whether the money has been spent on what it was supposed to be spent, 
we have no idea if we are accomplishing something good other than 
appropriating money to go to grants that go to the cities.
  The other problem I have with this bill is that there is a federalism 
concern. One of the reasons we have been running trillion-dollar 
deficits, one of the reasons we are close to $17 trillion in debt, one 
of the reasons we have $86 trillion in unfunded liability--and if we 
used generally accepted accounting principles and measured our debt 
like every other country, we would be at about 120 percent of our GDP, 
and we would be in excess of $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities. And 
one of the reasons is because we step all over the enumerated powers of 
the Constitution.
  If we were to take this act and look at it, 98 percent of it is for 
State violations of laws. Nobody will dispute that. Where in the 
Constitution does it give us the right to go down to the State level 
and direct and mandate how States are going to respond to their own 
tort and civil laws? Whether it is the Presiding Officer's Commonwealth 
of Virginia or the State of Oklahoma, what gives us that right?
  I am for fixing these problems, but there is a bigger problem about 
to swallow our country, and we continue to blindly follow our hearts 
rather than putting a measure of common sense with our desire to do 
well. So I have a couple of amendments.

                            Amendment No. 15

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to call up 
amendment No. 15.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report the amendment.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oklahoma [Mr. Coburn] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 15.

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

(Purpose: To more quickly resolve rape cases and reduce the deficit by 
consolidating unnecessary duplication within the Department of Justice)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:

                   DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.

       (a) Requirement to Identify and Describe Programs.--Each 
     fiscal year, for purposes of the report required by 
     subsection (c), the Attorney General shall--
       (1) identify and describe every program administered by the 
     Department of Justice;
       (2) for each such program--
       (A) determine the total administrative expenses of the 
       (B) determine the expenditures for services for the 
       (C) estimate the number of clients served by the program 
     and beneficiaries who received assistance under the program 
     (if applicable); and
       (D) estimate--
       (i) the number of full-time employees who administer the 
     program; and
       (ii) the number of full-time equivalents (whose salary is 
     paid in part or full by the Federal Government through a 
     grant or contract, a subaward of a grant or contract, a 
     cooperative agreement, or another form of financial award or 
     assistance) who assist in administering the program; and
       (3) identify programs within the Federal Government 
     (whether inside or outside the agency) with duplicative or 
     overlapping missions, services, and allowable uses of funds.
       (b) Relationship to Catalog of Domestic Assistance.--With 
     respect to the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2)(B) of 
     subsection (a), the Attorney General may use the same 
     information provided in the catalog of domestic and 
     international assistance programs in the case of any program 
     that is a domestic or international assistance program.
       (c) Report.--Not later than February 1 of each fiscal year, 
     the Attorney General shall publish on the official public 
     Internet website of the agency a report containing the 
       (1) The information required under subsection (a) with 
     respect to the preceding fiscal year.
       (2) The latest performance reviews (including the program 
     performance reports required under section 1116 of title 31, 
     United States Code) of each program of the agency identified 
     under subsection (a)(1), including performance indicators, 
     performance goals, output measures, and other specific 
     metrics used to review the program and how the program 
     performed on each.
       (3) For each program that makes payments, the latest 
     improper payment rate of the program and the total estimated 
     amount of improper payments, including fraudulent payments 
     and overpayments.
       (4) The total amount of unspent and unobligated program 
     funds held by the Department and grant recipients (not 
     including individuals) stated as an amount--
       (A) held as of the beginning of the fiscal year in which 
     the report is submitted; and
       (B) held for 5 fiscal years or more.
       (5) Such recommendations as the Attorney General considers 
       (A) to consolidate programs that are duplicative or 
       (B) to eliminate waste and inefficiency; and
       (C) to terminate lower priority, outdated, and unnecessary 
     programs and initiatives.
       (d) Consolidating Unnecessary Duplication Within the 
     Department of Justice.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
     of law and not later than 150 days after the date of 
     enactment of this section, the Attorney General shall--
       (1) use available administrative authority to eliminate, 
     consolidate, or streamline Government programs and agencies 
     with duplicative and overlapping missions identified in--
       (A) the March 2011 Government Accountability Office report 
     to Congress entitled ``Opportunities to Reduce Government 
     Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and 
     Enhance Revenue'' (GAO 11 318SP);
       (B) the February 2012 Government Accountability Office 
     report to Congress entitled ``2012 Annual Report: 
     Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government 
     Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue'' (GAO 12 
       (C) the July 2012 Government Accountability Office report 
     to Congress entitled ``Justice Grant Programs'' (GAO 12 517); 
       (D) subsection (a);
       (2) identify and report to Congress any legislative changes 
     required to further eliminate, consolidate, or streamline 
     Government programs and agencies with duplicative and 
     overlapping missions identified in--
       (A) the March 2011 Government Accountability Office report 
     to Congress entitled ``Opportunities to Reduce Government 
     Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and 
     Enhance Revenue'' (GAO 11 318SP);
       (B) the February 2012 Government Accountability Office 
     report to Congress entitled ``2012 Annual Report: 
     Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government 
     Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue'' (GAO 12 
       (C) the July 2012 Government Accountability Office report 
     to Congress entitled ``Justice Grant Programs'' (GAO 12 517); 
       (D) subsection (c); and
       (3) develop a plan that would result in financial cost 
     savings of no less than 20 percent of the nearly 
     $3,900,000,000 in duplicative grant programs identified by 
     the Government Accountability Office as a result of the 
     actions required by paragraph (1).
       (e) Eliminating the Backlog of Unanalyzed Dna From Sexual 
     Assault, Rape, Kidnapping, and Other Criminal Cases.--
     Notwithstanding any other provision of law and not later than 
     1 year after the enactment of this section, the Director of 
     the Office of Management and Budget in consultation with 
     Attorney General shall--
       (1) rescind from the appropriate accounts the total amount 
     of cost savings from the plan required in subsection (d)(3);
       (2) apply as much as 75 percent of the savings towards 
     alleviating any backlogs of analysis and placement of DNA 
     samples from rape, sexual assault, homicide, kidnapping and 
     other criminal cases, including casework sample and convicted 
     offender backlogs, into the Combined DNA Index System; and
       (3) return the remainder of the savings to the Treasury for 
     the purpose of deficit reduction.
       (f) Reporting the Savings Resulting From Consolidating 
     Unnecessary Duplication.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
     of law, the Attorney General shall post a report on the 
     public Internet website of the Department of Justice 
       (1) the programs consolidated as a result of this section, 
     including any programs eliminated;
       (2) the total amount saved from reducing such duplication;
       (3) the total amount of such savings directed towards the 
     analysis and placement of DNA samples into the Combined DNA 
     Index System;
       (4) the total amount of such savings returned to the 
     Treasury for the purpose of deficit reduction; and
       (5) additional recommendations for consolidating 
     duplicative programs, offices, and initiatives within the 
     Department of Justice.
       (g) Definitions.--In this section:
       (1) Administrative expenses.--The term ``administrative 
     expenses'' has the meaning as determined by the Director of 
     the Office of Management and Budget under section 504(b)(2) 
     of Public Law 111-85 (31 U.S.C. 1105 note), except the term 
     shall also include, for purposes of that section and this 
       (A) costs incurred by the Department as well as costs 
     incurred by grantees, subgrantees, and other recipients of 
     funds from a grant program or other program administered by 
     the Department; and
       (B) expenses related to personnel salaries and benefits, 
     property management, travel,

[[Page S575]]

     program management, promotion, reviews and audits, case 
     management, and communication about, promotion of, and 
     outreach for programs and program activities administered by 
     the Department.
       (2) Performance indicator; performance goal; output 
     measure; program activity.--The terms ``performance 
     indicator'', ``performance goal'', ``output measure'', and 
     ``program activity'' have the meanings provided by section 
     1115 of title 31, United States Code.
       (3) Program.--The term ``program'' has the meaning provided 
     by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget in 
     consultation with the Attorney General and shall include any 
     organized set of activities directed toward a common purpose 
     or goal undertaken by the Department that includes services, 
     projects, processes, or financial or other forms of 
     assistance, including grants, contracts, cooperative 
     agreements, compacts, loans, leases, technical support, 
     consultation, or other guidance.
       (4) Services.--The term ``services'' has the meaning 
     provided by the Attorney General and shall be limited to only 
     activities, assistance, and aid that provide a direct benefit 
     to a recipient, such as the provision of medical care, 
     assistance for housing or tuition, or financial support 
     (including grants and loans

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, one of the things the VAWA legislation 
fails to do is to address the duplication and overlap within the very 
grant programs and nongrant programs of VAWA operated by the Department 
of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services. It doesn't 
address those.
  At the beginning of every Congress, I send to each and every Senator 
information outlining the criteria that I would use--seven others 
joined me last year--in terms of determining legislation. Last Congress 
we sent this out, and what I will tell you is that this legislation 
significantly violates one of the principles that we have to do for us 
to get out of the hole; that is, to eliminate duplication and 
consolidate what is in front of us.
  So this legislation does do some small consolidation. I will readily 
and freely admit it hasn't come close to eliminating all the 
duplication. There are several VAWA grant programs that are so broad 
that they duplicate one another, providing multiple opportunities, as I 
said before, to double-dip into Federal programs. They also duplicate 
significant programs with Health and Human Services. So you can get a 
grant at Health and Human Services and you can get a grant at the 
Justice Department. So the whole proposal of this amendment is to force 
the Department of Justice to make recommendations on what is 
duplicated, what is effective, and capture those savings to more 
quickly address the deficits we have in terms of DNA collection and 
  We have hundreds of thousands of pieces of evidence that could 
significantly change both the cost and the time period in which we 
address both violent crime and nonviolent crime. According to the GAO, 
we wasted billions of dollars over the last 10 years in these grant 
programs. So what this amendment says is we are going to put it to the 
Justice Department--they know where they are--to come forward, save 
this money, and let's direct this money to clean up the CODIS system, 
the DNA backlog, and bring it forward and infuse that money into both 
technology and catch-up so we are timely.
  Why is this important? It is important for a lot of reasons. Sitting 
in those hundreds of thousands of cases is the very clue to solving 
hundreds of thousands of cases and others that we don't even know may 
be connected.
  The second reason it is important is there are people sitting in 
prison today who are innocent, and that data collection and DNA input 
could clear them of a wrongful conviction.
  So what this is asking the Justice Department to do is to identify 
every program. By the way--and most people don't know--there is only 
one Federal agency that actually knows every program they have. That is 
the Department of Education. Go call anybody at the Justice Department 
and nobody over there can tell you. We know, because we have studied 
it, but they don't know. They can't even publish all their programs. 
They don't put it out.
  Consolidate unnecessary duplication and apply the savings toward 
resolving rape cases and DNA data cases and with the remainder that is 
left over to go to reducing the debt. It is simple. Nobody in America 
except the Federal Government would run programs like this. Nobody 
would blindly create more programs rather than make the ones they have 
work now, except that is what we are doing.
  So this is simple, straightforward math. I don't expect it to pass. 
We have only had one amendment pass in the Senate in the last 2 years 
trying to eliminate duplication, and therein lies the problem. We are 
afraid to do what is best because we would rather protect a 
constituency of one of these small grant programs than fix them all and 
still solve the general intent of why we put the money out there in the 
first place. We are conflicted.
  So when GAO, at the end of March this year finishes the review of the 
Federal Government--which we had to mandate by an amendment that I put 
into law--we are going to see in excess of $200 billion a year in 
duplicative costs that shouldn't be there.
  I want you to think for a minute. If you look at every one of these 
grant programs, every one has an administrator. Every one has a staff. 
Every one has grant approval people. Most of them have grant 
investigators--most don't. Some have fund managers--most don't. So each 
one of these has a bureaucracy. And when the vast majority is 
duplicating one another, we are saying we are well intended, but we are 
spending money on the process, not on the problem. The intent of this 
amendment is to strike that balance between truly getting to the 
solution to a problem and at the same time solving another problem, 
which is the CODIS and the rape backlog.
  In the bill--and I am thankful that the Cornyn amendment is there. 
The grant system previous to the Cornyn amendment said the vast 
majority of the money had to be spent on why you can't get the DNA data 
up rather than working on the backlog. What this will do is force us to 
get caught up. This creates $600 million of savings over a period of 
time that will then be applied to solving this problem once and for 
all. But there is great savings to come from that because what it means 
is we are not going to double-pay for things that we intended to solve.
  I get dizzy looking at these charts. I have one for every branch of 
the Federal Government now. We actually know what is going on. 
Actually, we know what is not going on because we know what Congress 
intended, and we also know what isn't happening with the dollars that 
are coming from that.

                            Amendment No. 13

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to set the pending 
amendment aside and call up amendment No. 13.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report the amendment.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oklahoma [Mr. Coburn] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 13.

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

(Purpose: To reaffirm the inalienable rights of every American citizen 
          guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States)

       Beginning on page 177, strike line 1 and all that follows 
     through page 187, line 3.
       Beginning on page 191, strike line 12 and all that follows 
     through page 192, line 22, and insert the following:
     Except as provided in section 4, the amendments made by this 
     title shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act.
       Beginning on page 193, strike line 21 and all that follows 
     through page 194, line 3, and insert the following:
     Nothing in this Act or any amendment made by this Act limits, 
     alters, expands, or diminishes the civil or criminal 
     jurisdiction of the State of Alaska, any subdivision of the 
     State of Alaska, or any Indian tribe in the State of Alaska.

  Mr. COBURN. This is an amendment that is critical to my home State of 
Oklahoma and every State that has Native American tribes.
  Oklahoma now has the largest number of Native Americans of any State. 
I believe we are at 36 recognized Federal tribes in Oklahoma. Inside 
this bill is a direct violation of the Bill of Rights of American 
citizens who are not tribal members because what we have allowed is for 
tribal courts to try U.S. citizens in their courts--for very good 
reasons--in terms of sexual assault, assault, abuse, and other items. 
The reason we are doing that is because either U.S. attorneys or the 
U.S. Justice Department has not effectively carried out their charge to 

[[Page S576]]

the Native American people in terms of prosecuting people who might 
have performed those acts.
  What we have done with this solution is to trample on the Bill of 
Rights of every American who is not a Native American. I have no 
doubt--I am 100 percent certain--that this portion of the bill is going 
to be thrown out by the first Federal judge that hears it.
  You cannot take away the rights of U.S. citizens under the Bill of 
Rights at any time, any place, any way domestically. What this bill 
does is totally eliminate the Bill of Rights for U.S. citizens in 
tribal courts. Most would not understand that most tribal courts don't 
recognize our Bill of Rights. Some do but the vast majority do not.
  So are you guaranteed rights as a U.S. citizen? Are those rights 
enshrined in the Constitution and the statutes of this government and 
this Republic? Can we, as a Senate, forget about that and pass a law 
that says all of a sudden we are going to violate those rights because 
we are going to put people under the jurisdiction of a sovereign nation 
that does not recognize those rights?
  This is simply an amendment to strike that section of the bill. I 
don't expect it to pass--which, again, tells us part of the disease 
that is in Washington: We pay lipservice to the Constitution rather 
than to believe its truths and rely on its guarantees of individual 
liberty and justice.

                            Amendment No. 16

  Mr. President, I have an amendment at the desk. I believe it is 
amendment No. 16.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the clerk will report the 
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) proposes an 
     amendment numbered 16.

  Mr. COBURN. 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 amend the requirements for speedy notice to victims and to 
                     require a report to Congress)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:


       (a) In General.--Section 2101 of the Omnibus Crime Control 
     and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796hh) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (b)--
       (A) in paragraph (13), by striking ``human immunodeficiency 
     virus (HIV)'' and inserting ``sexually transmitted disease''; 
       (B) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(14) To pay for treatment for victims of sexual assault 
     who are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease as a 
     result of a test described in subsection (d)(1).'';
       (2) in subsection (d)--
       (A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking ``5 
     percent'' and inserting ``20 percent''; and
       (B) in paragraph (1)--
       (i) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``the immunodeficiency 
     virus (HIV)'' and inserting ``any sexually transmitted 
     disease for which a diagnostic exists that the victim 
       (ii) in subparagraph (B), by inserting ``, including the 
     relevant information about any sexually transmitted diseases 
     identified in such results'' after ``testing results''; and
       (iii) in subparagraph (C), by striking ``HIV'' and 
     inserting ``any sexually transmitted disease for which a 
     diagnostic exists that the victim requests'';
       (3) by redesignating subsection (e) as subsection (f); and
       (4) by adding before subsection (f), as redesignated, the 
       ``(e) Requirement to Use Funds to Treat Victims.--A State 
     or unit of local government shall use funds allocated under 
     this part to pay for treatment for a victim of sexual assault 
     who is diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease as a 
     result of a test described in subsection (d)(1).''.
       (b) Report.--Not later than 30 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Attorney 
     General shall submit a report to Congress regarding the level 
     of compliance by States and units of local government with--
       (1) the speedy notice requirements of section 2101(d) of 
     the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 
     U.S.C. 3796hh(d)), as amended by this Act; and
       (2) the requirement to use funds to treat victims under 
     section 2101(e) of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets 
     Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796hh(e)), as amended by this Act, 
     including the number of victims who were exposed to human 
     immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or any other sexually 
     transmitted disease and received assistance under such 

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, this amendment is a perfecting amendment 
from the last Violence Against Women Act, which I coauthored with 
Senator Biden--then-Senator Biden--and Senator Specter.
  When a woman is raped, right now in our country she gets raped two, 
three, four times through our justice system. Let me explain that to 
you. We have deadly diseases that are sexually transmitted--HIV, 
sometimes chlamydia. Now we have untreatable strains of gonorrhea. So a 
woman is raped and, under most State laws, she doesn't have any right, 
once an indictment has been placed against a defendant, to have them 
tested. By not having them tested what we do is we make the woman go 
through testing again and again and again, especially in light of HIV. 
So they are the ones who have to be tested because they cannot know 
that the accused perpetrator of their rape is not carrying HIV, is not 
carrying gonorrhea, is not carrying syphilis, is not carrying 
chlamydia, because they cannot be tested. What we do is we put them 
through that trauma once a month for months because the perpetrator, or 
at least the accused perpetrator, has the right not to be tested in 
this country.
  We put a provision in the last bill that says you will lose 5 percent 
of your grant money if you do not institute these changes at a State 
level so that the woman who has been raped has at least an equal 
footing to know whether her health, other than her psychological, 
emotional, physical health, because of what occurred during the act, 
will continue to be deteriorating. Guess what. The vast majority of the 
States said we will do what we want and we will not take that 
additional 5 percent.
  All this amendment does is it puts some real teeth in it. If you are 
going to say that somebody who has been indicted for rape has more of a 
right to not be tested than the woman who was raped, and she has to 
continually be tested to know whether she might have an outcome that is 
adverse for her long-term health, what this amendment says is it is 
going to be 20 percent.
  I do not expect this amendment to pass either, because if we are 
really against violence against women, what we will do is start putting 
some of the consequences of that on the men who actually caused the 
violence. Being tested for HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis is 
not a hard test. It is what a prudent man would do.
  Some people say don't worry about it, just treat them. They obviously 
are not aware of the side effects of all these medicines that we would 
use to blast this, the treatment for all these diseases. Not knowing 
and then sometimes covering up, what most people do not realize is that 
two or three of these diseases actually will affect the long-term 
fertility of the woman. But we have decided, at least the States have 
that are taking this grant money, that the rights of the indicted 
perpetrator are greater than those of the victim who has been raped.
  It should not be. I have cared for those women. I have walked with 
them emotionally for years afterwards, wondering if the HIV infection 
was going to show up, never knowing for sure.
  Here is the other thing that happens. We get all these plea deals of 
rapists and here is the plea that they cop: If you give me X lower 
sentence, I will submit to testing. So all of a sudden the person who 
perpetrated this ghastly, cowardly crime negotiates a much lighter 
sentence so that the woman can have some peace of mind and not have a 
question mark for the next 4 or 5 years. We need to fix that, and 5 
percent obviously did not do it. Twenty percent will.
  I got up very early this morning to get here today to be able to 
offer these amendments. I hope my colleagues are able to get in. I know 
the airplanes are backed up coming into Washington. But thinking about 
the real purpose, to stop violence against women--if you want to stop 
it, you have to make it effective. You have to spend every dollar as 
though it is the last dollar, and you have to measure every dollar. You 
have to quit having the waste in the Justice Department and the grants 
that are associated with them. You have to have every grantee know that 
if they get a grant from the Federal Government under one of these 
programs, they are going to be checked, they are going to be measured 
against performance, and if they do not perform they are going to send 
the money back.

[[Page S577]]

  We can do a lot better than we are doing with this bill. These are 
improving amendments. My hope is, my prayer is, that some of them will 
pass because they really will have a positive impact on both women and 
our freedom.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The remarks of Mr. Whitehouse and Mr. Levin are located in today's 
Record under ``Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions.'')
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana.

                       State of the Union Address

  Mr. COATS. Mr. President, article II, section 3 of the U.S. 
Constitution says that the President of the United States ``shall from 
time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and 
recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge 
necessary and expedient.''
  Every President, dating all the way back from George Washington to 
our current President, has provided this to Congress on a yearly basis. 
So the State of the Union Address, which will be presented tomorrow by 
the President, is the continuation of a great tradition in our American 
government. But the State of the Union is more than just about the 
current state of our Union. It is about the future. It is about 
presenting to the American people a vision of what our country should 
look like and how we can get there. So before the President makes his 
case and sets out his priorities for the Nation, let's recognize where 
we are today.
  What is the state of our great Nation today?
  Today, America is nearly $16.5 trillion in debt--an increase of $6 
trillion since the President took office in 2009.
  Today, we are borrowing $40,000 per second. Just in the time I took 
to say that, we borrowed about $40,000. And every 10 seconds that goes 
by is another $400,000 that is being borrowed and, therefore, has to be 
repaid with interest.
  Today, more than 12 million American people are looking for work, and 
that does not include the countless number of people who have given up 
  And today, critical benefits and programs that our seniors and 
retirees need are on track to become unavailable.
  Hovering around 8 percent unemployment for 49 months is a crisis that 
cannot be ignored. Sadly, it has, and it has become the new norm. We 
cannot allow that to happen.
  Spending $1 trillion beyond our means each year is outrageous and 
unsustainable. And failing to address our massive national debt by 
careening from crisis to crisis in this body called Congress over now 
the last more than 2 years is a terrible way to run a country, to run a 
business, to run a family, to run anything.
  So tomorrow night the President will tell the American people how he 
plans to lead, how he plans to turn this ship around and guide us to 
safer seas. We will not have the blame game and finger pointing. That 
does nothing to help us find solutions.
  While jobs and economic recovery received barely a passing mention in 
the President's second inaugural address, I hope the President tomorrow 
evening will focus on the specific ways he will work with Congress to 
fix our Nation's fiscal house so we can strengthen our economy and help 
get Americans back to work.
  There are four major topics I hope to hear from the President when he 
speaks to the American people tomorrow evening.
  First, leadership. Time and time again, the President has refused to 
engage on meaningful action that would help us reduce the debt and spur 
economic growth. He continues to blame Congress for inaction but yet 
does not offer his own plans. Tomorrow night, the President needs to 
show the American people he is ready and fully willing to engage in the 
effort to lead us out of this malaise of economic uncertainty.
  Second, recognition that spending is a problem. I hope the President 
will be honest with the American people about the extent of our 
spending problem and offer specific solutions. It is impossible to say 
with any credibility whatsoever that this gigantic bureaucracy cannot 
find waste, mismanagement, misuse of funds, duplication, egregious 
excess spending, and each agency of this government not commit to doing 
what is essential by trimming out the unessential.
  This is a bureaucracy beyond description, and there is waste and 
plenty of money, as Senator Coburn and many others, including myself, 
have been down here talking about--clearly, spending on things the 
American people do not fully support, and if they knew the full extent 
of what the duplication was, they would demand changes. There is a real 
pot of funds to reach into in that regard, in order to deal with our 
crisis, in order to reduce and make our government more effective and 
more efficient.
  The President keeps promising the American people that he will reduce 
the debt through a balanced approach. However, whenever he is asked for 
a plan, all we hear back is a call for more taxes. The President got 
what he wanted in the fiscal cliff--well over $600 billion of new 
taxes. And those will be added to taxes that will hit Americans as a 
result of the health care law. Included in ObamaCare is $1 trillion of 
new taxes--that has not been mentioned here, nor does the President 
mention it--$500 billion of which will directly affect the middle 
  So now it is time to look at the so-called other side of that 
balance. We need President Obama to offer a plan for serious spending 
reform. People whom I represent in Indiana and the American people will 
not support another tax increase. Spending, Mr. President--out-of-
control wasteful spending by the Federal Government--is what must come 
  Third, reforming Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security. I was 
pleased to hear the Senator from Michigan state that for 2 years he has 
been saying and committing to work to reform these programs. None of us 
here wants to see benefits that the American people, under Medicare and 
Medicaid and Social Security, are entitled to--none of us wants to take 
those away. We want to try to save those programs. But we all 
understand those programs are careening toward insolvency, and without 
reforms those who rely on those benefits will not receive those full 
benefits; and those who have to pay into them to keep those programs 
solvent will see dramatic increases in their taxes.

  Reform for mandatory spending, particularly for Medicare, Medicaid, 
and Social Security, is something nobody wants to talk about. It is 
supposed to be the third rail of politics--touch it and you are gone. 
But this is the reality we face that we must address and have the will 
to take care of. And we need to address it now.
  So I am hoping tomorrow evening the President will say he wants to 
lead a responsible bipartisan effort in terms of preserving these 
programs for not only those who are currently beneficiaries but for 
those future generations who will need funding to support their needs 
as they retire and grow older.
  Fourth, progrowth policies. I hope the President will present 
specific ways to grow this economy and create jobs. We just heard some 
discussions here by the Senator from Rhode Island and the Senator from 
Michigan about closing loopholes and Tax Code reform. Once again, here 
is something on a bipartisan basis many of us have been talking about.
  A Democrat from Oregon, Ron Wyden, and a conservative Republican from 
Indiana, Dan Coats, have joined together in putting forward a 
progrowth, competitive, comprehensive tax reform program. We agree 
closing egregious loopholes is very much a key to begin to present a 
more simple, a more fair, a more balanced Tax Code for our corporations 
and for the American taxpayer. What our plan does is not, though, 
taking the money gained from closing those loopholes and simply giving 
it to the government and saying spend more. We take it and use it to 
make that Tax Code more fair, to reduce rates so we can be more 
competitive, so we can spur economic growth and put people back to 

[[Page S578]]

  American corporations pay the highest tax rate of any of the 36 
countries in the world that are our direct competitors in terms of 
selling overseas. We have just moved into the last, the worst spot 
here, as one country reduced their tax rates significantly below what 
our corporate entities pay. So we want to lower those to make our 
companies more competitive, and that simply means that Americans have 
more jobs because we are exporting more goods to the rest of the world. 
By removing unnecessary regulatory burdens, we can also make it fair 
and more competitive, and we can usher in a new period of economic 
growth and bring new opportunity to many unemployed Americans.
  I am looking for those four points. There may be more, but I think 
those are the four major issues that need to be addressed. I trust the 
President will come to this same conclusion. This is not an easy time 
for our country. We face many difficult challenges that demand bold 
solutions and demand real leadership. But, as I have said many times 
before on this Senate floor, these challenges, although great, are not 
  Republicans stand ready to work with our Democratic colleagues to 
address these critical and pressing issues. But, in reality, we cannot 
achieve the necessary solutions if the President continues to lead from 
behind and if he continues to say all that is needed is more tax 
  Now is the time to act on a long-term plan to address our dangerous 
debt and record high unemployment. Now is the time to rise above petty 
politics. Now is the time for gamesmanship to be taken off the floor. 
Now is the time to just get it done.
  We owe it to every American still looking for work. We owe it to 
every college student hoping to use his or her skills in the workplace. 
We owe it to every child born today who will be saddled with $50,000 of 
national debt. And we owe it to previous generations who have 
sacrificed so much to provide us with the opportunities our generation 
has enjoyed.
  I hope the President will show us tomorrow that he is ready to lead. 
After all, he is the leader elected by the American people.
  We cannot solve our problems and enact a path to growth and 
prosperity without his engagement. This is the hope and change the 
American people are looking for tomorrow evening.
  I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum 
call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, this Chamber has the rare opportunity to 
pass legislation that would improve public safety, help secure justice 
for rape victims, and help get dangerous criminals off the street. We 
could very easily pass this legislation with an overwhelming bipartisan 
majority, just as we have on two prior occasions. Unfortunately, some 
of my colleagues have decided to turn the Violence Against Women Act 
reauthorization into a partisan football, and I will explain that in a 
minute. As a result, not only are they dividing us when we ought to be 
united in the cause against violence against women, they are ultimately 
jeopardizing support for women's shelters, counseling programs, and 
legal services. They are also making it harder to do something I have 
committed to do for the last couple of years, and that is to reduce the 
rape kit backlog, which is a national scandal of the highest order.
  Ever since it became law in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has 
benefited from strong bipartisan support. As I have said, it has twice 
been reauthorized by a unanimous Senate vote. I never thought the day 
would come when this issue would become politicized, but I am afraid it 
  I believe it is very important, and all of us who care deeply about 
this issue and this legislation must understand that this should remain 
a bipartisan cause. Just ask Carol Bart, Lavinia Masters, Lennah Frost, 
or Mica Mosbacher, all of whom have courageously shared with me and all 
of us their personal stories in the hopes of helping other victims 
against sexual assault. It has been my tremendous honor to get to know 
these women, and I admire their courage and willingness to share what 
is a profoundly personal trauma in their effort to help other would-be 
victims. I am proud to say each of them has endorsed and supported the 
SAFER Act, which is the rape kit backlog element in the underlying bill 
we are considering. The SAFER Act would make it much easier for State 
and local law enforcement officials to reduce the rape kit backlog, 
which may be as large as 400,000 untested rape kits. These rape kits 
are composed of DNA evidence collected at a crime scene, which then can 
be compared against an FBI database to get a hit or identification of a 
sample from an unknown assailant against a known criminal whose name is 
on the FBI database. When you get a hit, that provides conclusive proof 
of identity of the assailant where they may not otherwise be known or 
  This reform is not controversial. In a much less polarized 
environment, reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act would be a 
slam dunk. In today's polarized Washington, it seems that no issue is 
immune from political gamesmanship.
  The problem with the underlying bill is simple: It denies 
constitutional rights to certain American citizens. I am stunned that 
some of my colleagues are okay with this. I am stunned that some self-
proclaimed civil liberties organizations apparently have no objection 
to a flagrant violation of the U.S. Constitution. They believe somehow 
that Congress could legislate away constitutional rights. It cannot. 
The Constitution is the fundamental law of the land and no act of 
Congress can violate the Constitution and stand. Constitutional rights 
should not and are not negotiable. They are not bargaining chips in a 
Washington parlor game. They are permanent, and they are sacrosanct. 
Here is the good news. There is an obvious compromise that would 
resolve this dispute and guarantee bipartisan support for reauthorizing 
the Violence Against Women Act.
  Senator Leahy's bill, the underlying bill, would let certain U.S. 
citizens be prosecuted for domestic violence in Native American tribal 
courts without their full constitutional rights and without an ability 
to pursue an appeal in the Federal court system. Once again, we all 
understand this. Congress cannot legislate away constitutional rights. 
This bill, if passed in its current form, would purport to do that.
  The solution is easy. I have cosponsored an amendment with Senator 
Crapo, who was the original cosponsor of the underlying bill, and 
Senator Alexander, that would let Native American tribal courts 
prosecute non-Indians for domestic violence, provided that all non-
Indians were given their full constitutional protection, as provided by 
the Bill of Rights, and would be allowed appeals from a verdict in the 
Federal court system.
  In other words, if you compare our amendment with the language in 
Senator Leahy's underlying bill, we would both give Native American 
officials the exact same authority to prosecute people who commit 
domestic violence on Indian reservations. The difference between our 
proposal and the underlying bill is ours would not violate the 
Constitution. It would not deny American citizens the protection of the 
Bill of Rights, but the underlying bill does that. It denies American 
citizens accused of crimes of domestic violence in tribal courts their 
constitutional rights.
  Surely we all share the same goal of protecting victims of domestic 
violence, no matter who they are, but in this case they are people who 
are victims of domestic violence committed on tribal lands. We all want 
to do everything we can to protect Native American women from violent 
crime. We can do exactly what Indian leaders are asking us to do 
without violating the Constitution. It is just that simple. In the end, 
the choice is pretty basic: Either we will uphold the Constitution or 
we won't.
  I urge my colleagues to extend bipartisan support for this bill and 
the message it sends to America and particularly to the victims of 
sexual assault. I would ask them to put that unified message ahead of 
their desire to divide us by denying, in the underlying bill,

[[Page S579]]

the constitutional rights to those accused of domestic violence on 
tribal lands who are not themselves members of the tribe.
  I would remind all of us of the oath we have taken as U.S. Senators 
to uphold and defend the Constitution. I would urge them to remember 
everything they have said, we have all said, in the past about the 
importance of upholding civil liberties.
  Finally, I wish to say a few words to you, victims advocacy groups 
that have worked so long and hard to pass the VAWA in 1994, and have 
worked so hard to see it reauthorized. My message to you is this: I am 
grateful for your efforts, and I share your desire to make this law 
even better and even stronger than it is today. Make no mistake, the 
Violence Against Women Act is being held hostage by constitutional 
language in the underlying bill, but we can fix it. All it takes is the 
will and desire of Senators in this Chamber to work together to fix it 
so that it becomes constitutional, so that it becomes effective.
  I have done everything in my power to promote a reasonable 
constitutional compromise. Unfortunately, there are those who have 
chosen to put politics ahead of their desire to actually come to a 
solution on this issue. That is unfortunate, that is regrettable, but 
that is the state of play.
  I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Hirono). Without objection, it is so 
  Ms. CANTWELL. Madam President, I come to the floor this afternoon to 
speak against the amendment being offered by my colleague, Senator 
Coburn. I know he was on the Senate floor earlier today explaining his 
amendment, and I also know my colleague from Texas was just out here 
making general remarks about the Violence Against Women Act and its 
reauthorization. I am here to continue the debate and to make sure it 
is clear to my colleagues that, make no mistake, a vote for the Coburn 
amendment is a vote against Native American women. That is because the 
amendment would strip the bill of provisions that are intended to bring 
about better justice for women who have been the victims of domestic 
violence crimes on Indian reservations.
  Many people who have been out here on the floor have been talking 
about the breakdown in our political system and that somehow this is 
about partisan politics. Well, I can assure my colleagues this is an 
issue where many women in the Senate have been scratching their heads 
and asking themselves: Why is it the Violence Against Women Act and the 
Trafficking Prevention Reauthorization Act have both been stymied by 
various Members in both the House and Senate? These are crimes that are 
mostly perpetrated against women. Why aren't these bills resolved and 
passed so we can give clarity to local officials and partners so they 
can provide a better justice system and help so many women in the 
United States of America?
  Native American women are raped and assaulted at 2\1/2\ times the 
national average. That means more than 1 in 3 Native American women 
will be raped in their lifetime and 3 in 5 will suffer from domestic 
assault. Murder is the third leading cause of death among Native 
American women. However, less than 50 percent of the domestic violence 
cases in Indian Country are prosecuted because of a gap in our legal 
  So this isn't about politics. This isn't a debate on what is a good 
way to win votes somewhere in America. This is about the life and death 
of women who need a better system to prosecute those who are committing 
serious crimes against them.
  My colleagues can certainly take exception to the solution that has 
been provided here, but as many of my colleagues have said in the past, 
they can't own the facts. They can have their opinions, but I am here 
to say the underlying bill does protect the constitutional rights of 
non-Native Americans who commit these crimes on tribal reservations.
  We are consulting with the Department of Justice, which did an 
elaborate study and analysis of exactly how to make sure the gap in the 
Federal system, which currently doesn't provide a prosecutor, doesn't 
provide a judge, which doesn't provide a court on every section of land 
in the United States of America, will be represented with a judicial 
partner that does guarantee the civil liberties of U.S. citizens, and 
guarantee that they are protected in both a fair trial and the ability 
to have habeas corpus review by a Federal court.
  What we have here are two or three Republican administrations whose 
Solicitor Generals have basically said these rights remain with Native 
Americans and the Federal Government. The last Solicitor General said:

       The policy of leaving Indians free from State jurisdiction 
     and control is deeply rooted in our Nation's history.

  But this is about a Federal partnership and making sure a Federal law 
is upheld. So if my colleagues on the other side of the aisle want to 
say we are going to provide a Federal prosecutor and a Federal Court 
system on every reservation or close to every reservation across 
America, OK, great. My point is if you think you are rooting out crime 
in America, while letting a sieve happen in Indian Country, you are not 
rooting out crime. You are sending a signal to people that this is an 
easy place to go. If you want to conduct sex trafficking of women, go 
to tribal reservations. If you want to escape the law and not worry 
about violent behavior, then go to tribal reservations. That is what 
you are saying to people. You are saying this is the place where you 
can escape the law.
  We are trying to close that gap. So this is not something that has 
been done with sleight of hand. This is something where a great deal of 
thought has gone into it by the Department of Justice.
  I will remind my colleagues it was one of our former colleagues, the 
Indian Civil Rights Act was crafted by Senator Sam Ervin of North 
Carolina, to grant American Indians the same Bill of Rights in tribal 
courts as are afforded defendants in any other courts. Those rights 
included the Miranda right, a trial by jury, the right to counsel, the 
right to confront their accuser, and a right to habeas corpus. So all 
of these things are actually in the tribal system today. They are a 
part of what is called the Indian Civil Rights Act, and they affect 
Native Americans.
  My colleague, Senator Cornyn, said these civil liberties provided to 
U.S. citizens are not included in this legislation. They are included. 
They are included in section 904 on page 182. Those same civil 
liberties are called out in this bill, S. 47, the reauthorization of 
the VAWA Act. They are called out specifically for nontribal U.S. 
citizens. So in that court system both tribal members and nontribal 
members are protected by the same civil liberties and are protected in 
their ability to have federal habeas corpus review in Federal Court.
  I am not sure to what my colleagues are referring. If I am missing 
some point, I would love to hear about it. But these safeguards were 
built into this system because this is such an egregious problem that 
we have to fix. So we are asking Indian Country and tribal courts to 
meet these same criteria. If a tribal court can't provide legal counsel 
to a defendant, if they can't follow these same things, then no one is 
going to be tried under a tribal court system.
  We are trying to address cases like the one mentioned in the New York 
Times today of a woman who was battered and beaten by a partner so many 
times, yet he was never arrested and tried because it happened on a 
tribal reservation. Only when he showed up at her worksite with a gun 
to kill her--and only because an employee pushed her out of the way is 
she here today--could something be done. We are trying to close that 
gap and protect everyone's civil liberties.
  I want to be clear. The civil liberties that are protected under this 
Senate bill--the civil liberties protections of due process, for no 
unreasonable search or seizure, no double jeopardy, a right to counsel, 
not being compelled to testify against yourself, the ability to get a 
speedy trial, the right to trial by

[[Page S580]]

jury, the right to confront witnesses, the right of habeas corpus 
review in federal court--are all in S. 47 as it relates to non-Native 
Americans. Those are the rights that are going to be protected. That is 
what we are passing in this legislation.
  So we shouldn't strip out this provision. We should move forward with 
what has been a discussion about how to partner and uphold Federal law 
in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible, and in 
conjunction with what has been Federal law and determination about 
tribal sovereignty and issues by many Solicitor Generals, by many 
Supreme Courts, by many individuals who have looked at this situation.
  Members can decide they don't trust Indian Country. They can say: I 
don't trust this tribe, or I don't trust that one. If that is the case, 
they should come to the Senate floor and say that. Say they don't 
believe they can bring about justice in their courts, if that is what 
they mean. But under this statute they will absolutely have to, and 
they absolutely have to today for every tribal member who comes before 
that court, and they will be required to uphold those same issues for 
non-Native Americans as well.
  I would say to my colleagues that this is an epidemic. Believe me, I 
want to get the Violence Against Women Act passed. I want to get this 
human sex trafficking act out of the hands of the House of 
Representatives and passed. I know some of my colleagues are trying to 
attach some of that here, but I would say we should pass both of these. 
This is about an epidemic in America, and we are trying to put together 
some creative solutions. If I am wrong about the facts and the details 
about civil liberties, I would love to hear about it. Otherwise, I 
would like my colleagues to vote against the Coburn amendment, which 
strikes these provisions, and pass this legislation so we can move on 
and get a final bill that protects women all across America whether 
they are tribal members or not.
  Clearly, we should not ignore the statistics and the gap that shows 
us that we need to do something very important to make sure all women, 
including Native American women, no longer suffer from these statistics 
that are just unbearable in the United States of America.
  So, Madam President, I hope our colleagues will turn down the Coburn 
amendment and vote for final passage on this legislation.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Madam President, I want to acknowledge the comments of 
my colleague from Washington. As the incoming chairman on the Indian 
Affairs Committee, she is obviously well aware of the challenges--
oftentimes the horrific challenges--so many American Indians, Alaska 
Natives, and our indigenous people face when it comes to domestic 
violence and the inability to access the law.
  I have been a member of the Indian Affairs Committee now since I came 
to the Senate some 10 years ago, and every year, without fail, we have 
some aspect of a hearing that focuses on domestic violence. We look to 
the statistics, and they are staggering. They are staggering and they 
are overwhelming when you put them into perspective in terms of how our 
Native women--particularly our Native women on reservations--deal with 
an epidemic when it comes to domestic violence issues that they face 
within their homes and so often have no place to turn. As to the law 
enforcement you and I would hope to be able to rely on in the event of 
a true tragedy, far too often women on our reservations are not able to 
avail themselves of those protections. It is something our committee 
has struggled with for far too long.
  When we talk about VAWA and the importance of the Violence Against 
Women Act, I think we all recognize the universe we are speaking to is 
all women, but I think it is important to recognize that within this 
particular demographic, the statistics of those Native women, for 
whatever terrible, tragic reason, are even that much worse.
  That is why I am a proud cosponsor of this bill. I think it will make 
real improvements in the services that are offered to victims of 
domestic violence. Even given the very difficult budget environment 
that we face, we look to those areas where we can make a difference. I 
think this legislation will make a difference.
  As I start off my comments, I am talking about indigenous women 
everywhere and the violence and the statistics they face. In Alaska, 
unfortunately, our statistics stand out. They stand out in a way that 
makes none of us proud. They stand out in a way that requires us to 
turn inward and say, What are we doing wrong? What is happening that we 
are not able to make a difference in the lives of women and other 
victims of domestic violence?
  According to the Alaska Victimization Survey, conducted back in 2010, 
59 percent of Alaskan women have experienced intimate partner or sexual 
  In the 10 years between 2001 and 2011, our Alaska State troopers 
responded to almost 50,000 domestic violence offenses, almost 5,500 
sexual abuse of a minor offenses, and almost 4,500 sexual assault 
offenses. Seventy-four percent of the victims of sex crimes in Alaska 
were less than 18 years old. Think about what that does to you. You are 
a young child, a young woman, a victim at such an early age. You carry 
that with you throughout your life.
  The average rate of reported forcible rape in Alaska was 2\1/2\ times 
higher in Alaska than across the rest of the country. So as a woman in 
Alaska, you have a 2\1/2\ times higher likelihood of being the victim 
of a forcible rape. This is a very personal issue for my State.
  I have heard from people all over the State urging us here in the 
Senate, urging us here in the Congress: Pass this VAWA bill. You had a 
chance last Congress to pass it. You didn't make it happen. You have an 
opportunity now. Make it happen.
  A mother in Anchorage wrote me:

       This is of utmost importance to me. As one who has 
     represented victims of domestic violence in Alaska under 
     VAWA, I know how very important this legislation is to 
     protect my daughter and all other women in Alaska and 
     throughout our country.

  A woman from Dutch Harbor wrote:

       As a rural Alaskan who is also a board member of my local 
     domestic violence shelter, I can tell you from experience 
     that VAWA saves lives! As you know, Alaska has one of the 
     nation's highest rates of domestic violence, sexual assault, 
     child abuse, child sexual abuse, and elder abuse. The 
     economic downturn makes it even more crucial for us to 
     provide immediate safe shelter to survivors in times of 
     crisis to help them escape further violence.

  Think about it. This woman is writing from Dutch Harbor, AK, out at 
the end of the Aleutian channel, about 1,000 miles away from Anchorage, 
and an $800 airplane ticket. If you need to get away from your violent 
situation and you don't have $1,000, where do you go? How do we provide 
that help?
  I received another letter from a woman in Fairbanks, who said:

       Tragically, there is not a single Alaska Native woman or 
     girl in Alaska whose life has not been affected by violence 
     against women at some level. Personally, it has affected my 
     life and those that I love for generations. As Alaska 
     Natives, we know that you value and advocate for the rights 
     and welfare of the many people of Alaska. Please continue to 
     be a voice for those who cannot be heard and work to 
     reauthorize VAWA and SAVE Native Women.

  These are the types of requests that I get from men and women all 
over my State.
  Our Governor, Governor Parnell, has made a very personal effort in 
his 4 years as Governor to focus on domestic violence and child sexual 
assault. He has launched a campaign that he has dubbed Choose Respect; 
and every year across the State Alaskans gather in a very high-profile 
way to march. We have banners and there are young children and women 
and men and anybody you might imagine, all over the State.
  This year, March 28, the Governor will again be encouraging us to 
choose respect. We want to make sure it is more than just overt 
demonstrations. We need to make this translate into real words that 
change these statistics, that change the dynamic, because Alaskans are 
right: Our statistics of domestic violence and sexual assault are 
absolutely staggering--2\1/2\ times, again, more than the national 
average. We need to do everything we can to get a handle on these 
tragic statistics, because they are not statistics, they are lives, 
they are families, they are people and friends we know.
  VAWA provides the tools to do so, including in the villages of rural 
Alaska, where victims of sexual assault and domestic violence face some 

[[Page S581]]

unique challenges. Many of these villages have no full-time law 
enforcement presence. They may have only a single community health aide 
who has to tend to every medical crisis in the community. Just being 
able to provide rape kits is a challenge.
  I mentioned being in a small remote community where everybody knows 
everybody, and you are the victim of domestic violence and there may be 
no place to turn. There may be no way to get out of your village. 
Eighty percent of our communities are not attached by roads. It is not 
as though you can just hop in your car and get away. You have to be 
able to fly out. If you don't have the money, you can't get out. If the 
weather closes in, there are no planes even if you did have the cash 
for an airplane ticket. So how we can be there to be that support is 
  VAWA is a ray of hope to victims of domestic violence and sexual 
assault in our Alaska Native villages, whether you are in Ketchikan or 
whether you are in Kenai, from Anchorage to Dillingham. And this bill 
will help that States such as Alaska, with smaller populations and 
truly great need, are given the same access to grants for victims while 
providing services and support to all victims of domestic and sexual 
violence. I am pleased to be able to lend my support.

                            Amendment No. 11

  Madam President, I want to take a moment to explain an amendment that 
is in order this afternoon. This is my amendment No. 11.
  It was mentioned earlier by the Senator from Washington State that 
section 904 and section 905 of the bill would expand the jurisdiction 
of Indian tribes to address issues of domestic violence committed by 
non-Indians against tribal members. So within section 905(b) and 910, 
they provide that, within the State of Alaska, this expanded 
jurisdiction applies only to one Indian reservation in our State, and 
that happens to be the Metlakatla Indian Reservation in the southeast.
  You might say why just Metlakatla. In Alaska, there is only one 
reservation and that is Metlakatla. We have 229 federally recognized 
tribes, but other than Metlakatla, none controls Indian country in the 
State under existing law. The U.S. Supreme Court held in the Venetie 
case that none of the lands conveyed under the Alaska law is Indian 
  So what we have in the amendment before us is nothing more than a 
technical clarification. Both the legislation and my amendment state 
that the tribes, other than Metlakatla, retain all of the authority 
they currently have to issue domestic violence protection orders, 
whether or not that authority is inherent or statutorily created, and 
none of this authority, to the extent it exists, is diminished by the 
legislation or by my amendment. In addition, we go on to clarify that 
none of the authority the State of Alaska has is diminished.
  So the natural question then would be: What is the difference between 
the Alaska provisions that are contained in 905(b) and 910? And why 
then do we even need my amendment?
  The only difference is that we are attempting to spell out in plain 
English, consolidated in one section of the bill, to make it more 
clear. It truly is a technical amendment in every respect. We had some 
who actually questioned whether the bill's language was clear enough, 
so we worked with Senator Leahy's folks, we worked with some of the 
Indian law scholars, to allay the confusion. We very simply state the 
rules for Alaska's unique situation.
  I certainly hope that if we move to vote on this amendment, folks 
would understand that what we are talking about is mere clarification, 
and I would ask for their support.
  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.

                       Thanking First Responders

  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Madam President, I want to first of all begin on this 
day when Connecticut, like other New England States, is digging out 
from an historic, truly an epic, snowstorm, to give my thanks to the 
first responders and to the men and women who have been working behind 
snowplows and payloaders for endless hours, literally almost without 
stop since the beginning of this snowstorm, and have risked their 
lives, given boundlessly of their energy and effort to make sure the 
people of Connecticut and also Massachusetts, our neighbor, and New 
York, have been made safer and more secure during this time of another 
monstrous storm.
  I know much of America in the more temperate zones may not appreciate 
what a monstrous snowstorm, carrying 3 feet of snow to many parts of 
Connecticut, poses in the way of challenges and even threats to human 
life. And I would say without any disrespect--in fact, with great 
admiration to the Presiding Officer, who happens to be from Hawaii--
that it is unlikely in her State that anything approaching this 
magnitude of snow ever will be approaching. But I know that Hawaii, 
like every other State, shares its need to confront weather crises, and 
I believe that as a Nation we have always come together, whether it is 
tornadoes, hurricanes, or floods, to address these common challenges 
and we rally together as a Nation. So I hope we will again.
  The relief is necessary, and the President has issued a declaration 
of emergency for Connecticut. I thank him for that action, and I hope 
it will be followed by tangible aid that will be necessary in the wake 
of this monstrous storm.
  I come to the floor to talk about the action and bill I hope will be 
approved later today or as soon as possible. The Senate is considering 
the Violence Against Women Act. I am a cosponsor and a strong 
supporter. I wish to particularly thank Chairman Leahy, who has 
demonstrated such patience and perseverance. If the definition of 
courage is grace under pressure, he certainly has shown tremendous 
grace under huge pressure. Again, we face the need, a pressing need to 
reauthorize this measure.
  It was first passed 18 years ago and was permitted to expire during 
the last Congress. The Senate passed this measure during the last 
Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan vote. It was stalled and then 
stopped in the House of Representatives. I thank Chairman Leahy for his 
excellent work on this essential legislation. Partly, it was stalled 
over a measure that demands particular focus today. This legislation is 
critical to the 54,000 Connecticut women who became domestic violence 
victims in 2011. But it is particularly so to many of our Native 
Americans and to women who right now are, in effect, caught in a legal 
limbo when they seek prosecutorial action to vindicate their rights and 
to deter this cruel and unspeakable form of violence against them.
  Native Americans' predicament is described very compellingly by a New 
York Times story this morning. The New York Times tells the story of 
Diane Millich, a Native American woman who was abused for years by her 
husband. She is one of 60 percent of Native American women who will 
experience domestic abuse. That number is 60 percent. One-third of 
Native American women are assaulted during their lifetime. Native 
American women are 2\1/2\ times more likely to be raped than non-Native 
American women.
  The provisions of this bill that apply to Native American women are 
meant to address literally an epidemic of domestic violence and sexual 
assault that right now the law fails to deter and prevent. By any 
measure, this epidemic is a tragedy. In human terms, the numbers are 
powerful, but they fail to give a face and a voice to this problem, as 
the Times did this morning with Diane Millich.
  These statistics are the result of Federal law that prevents tribal 
courts from hearing cases against non-Native American abusers of Native 
American women. It is a limbo that is the result of a jurisdictional 
catch-22. If the abuser is a non-Native American, the tribal courts 
have no jurisdiction. But if the crime occurs on sovereign tribal land, 
Federal prosecutors face a variety of obstacles to effective 
enforcement. So this measure would protect Native American women who 
right now are so much the victims of abuse.
  I know Senator Cornyn has just spoken about his amendment that would, 
he has said, protect the potential defendants, protect their 
constitutional rights under the Bill of Rights. His amendment is not 
before us. What is before us is Senator Coburn's amendment which would, 
in effect, eviscerate these protections for women against those 
defendants. I wish to respond, though, to Senator Cornyn, who has

[[Page S582]]

raised, thoughtfully and pertinently, some important questions about 
this legislation.
  Let me answer in two very affirmative and unequivocal ways. First of 
all, this bill would protect all the rights currently guaranteed in the 
Bill of Rights. Second, it would provide a right of appeal, first to 
the tribal courts in whatever process that is provided there but then 
by habeas corpus to Federal courts where actually the Bill of Rights 
would apply with full force, in my view, as I read this bill.
  Senators should be clear when they vote on this measure that the 
Coburn amendment, in my view, would destroy, utterly undermine and 
eviscerate the purpose of this bill and provisions of this bill that 
are designed to protect Native Americans against domestic violence and 
assault, and it would fully guarantee protections under our Bill of 
Rights to defendants who are charged, civilly or criminally, in the 
tribal courts.
  No woman should be left defenseless because of the identity of their 
abuser. Every woman deserves to know she is protected by the law of the 
land. Again, I thank and commend Senator Leahy for addressing this 
important issue in the legislation before us by giving all Native 
American women the protections of these tribal courts. I don't 
understand why this should be controversial. We are still facing 
efforts to strip this provision from the bill. I urge my colleagues to 
approve it.
  I also commend Senator Leahy for offering an amendment that contains 
the bulk of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. I 
am a cosponsor of that measure and proudly of this amendment as well. 
He has been the leader in this body and in the Congress and the Nation 
against human trafficking. He has been a mentor to many of us on this 
issue. I am very proud to cosponsor this very important amendment.
  Human trafficking remains a scourge in our world and in our country. 
It is not some distant abstract problem. It is here and now in the 
United States, the greatest Nation in the history of our world, and we 
have an obligation to counter and combat it as this very important 
amendment would do. It relies on partnerships between the States and 
Federal Government, between the public and private sectors, and between 
the United States and other countries. It allows one piece of the 
legislation to achieve a massive impact and global reach. Twenty-seven 
million human beings are bought and sold as property each year, more 
than at any time in our history. We must have a solution as broad and 
wide-ranging as the problem we face.

  The Leahy amendment allows the Federal Government to leverage a small 
outlay of taxpayer dollars into a giant system of protections and 
services for victims of human trafficking, not to mention law 
enforcement actions to put the perpetrators of trafficking behind bars, 
put them in prison where they belong, and send a message of deterrence 
as well as punishment.
  This landmark proposal also creates new grant programs to help our 
law enforcement agencies and service providers respond to sex 
trafficking of American children--American children who are victims of 
sex traffic. This amendment would help to protect them. These grant 
programs will help to ensure that child victims of sex trafficking have 
access to services they need and justice they deserve. They are 
children, but they are no less deserving of justice. That proposition 
ought to be so obvious as not to need stating in this Chamber. I know, 
for the purposes of this body, it need not be stated. But the Leahy 
amendment recognizes that the traffickers' most effective weapon is 
simply the ability to take the victims' identification documents. This 
measure would make that taking a crime, taking away identification 
  The Leahy amendment also recognizes that the statute of limitations 
designed for other contexts is an unjustified impediment to effective 
private enforcement in the trafficking area. It extends the statute 
from 6 years to 10 years for civil suits involving violations of 
Federal trafficking laws. That statute of limitations may simply be an 
obstacle that cannot be overcome because the witnesses cannot be 
provided and because the children themselves may have to grow, in both 
maturity and physically, before they can effectively help prosecute a 
civil or criminal action.
  I have also cosponsored an amendment with Senator Portman, and I am 
proud to have done so, to ensure that youth grants provided under 
section 302 of VAWA can be made available to child victims of sex 
trafficking. In this country, sex trafficking remains a problem, a 
serious problem. There are an estimated 293,000 children at risk for 
commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking. The U.S. Department of 
Justice reports that between 2008 and 2010, 83 percent of sex 
trafficking victims found in the United States were U.S. citizens and 
40 percent of sex trafficking cases involved sexual exploitation of 
  The fact is a tragic one, an unacceptable and intolerable fact, that 
sex trafficking is a major source of child exploitation, a major source 
of damage to our children, and the voices and faces of those children 
should be before this body when it considers this amendment.
  It is a bipartisan amendment cosponsored by Senators Gillibrand, 
Brown, Collins, Ayotte, Rubio, and Cochran. I thank them for their 
leadership on this issue, most especially Senator Rob Portman, my 
partner in this effort, and I again thank Senator Leahy for his 
leadership, which has inspired us to bring our amendment forward. I 
encourage my colleagues to support the Leahy amendment as well as the 
one Senator Portman and I and others have brought before this body and 
the underlying VAWA legislation. We have an opportunity to make 
history. We have an obligation to pass this measure and make history. I 
hope we will do so by the same overwhelming bipartisan vote that we did 
in the last session of Congress so the House of Representatives hears 
our message, and it is a message from the country: Domestic violence 
will not be tolerated. We will come to the aid of Native American women 
and all women who are victims of this heinous crime.

                            Amendment no. 13

  Mr. GRASSLEY. Madam President, the Coburn amendment strikes the 
provisions of the underlying bill that expand the authority of Indian 
tribal courts to try nonIndians.
  As I have stated, there are a number of constitutional questions that 
the Congressional Research Service has identified with the language 
that the Coburn amendment would strike. Some arise with respect to the 
expansion of tribal court jurisdiction. Others are associated with the 
constitutional rights that would be provided to nonIndian defendants 
who would face proceedings in Indian tribal courts.
  It is not at all clear under the Constitution that Indian tribes 
possess any inherent authority that the bill purports to recognize. It 
is also not clear that Congress can constitutionally delegate to tribal 
courts the authority to try nonIndians. Additionally, tribal courts may 
not be able to secure basic constitutional rights to criminal 
  The jury pool is racially restricted and does not provide the 
defendant a jury of his peers. Unlike a State, a tribe is not a 
sovereign entity. Therefore, a tribal proceeding can violate double 
jeopardy if the Federal government, which would retain concurrent 
jurisdiction under the bill, also decided to pursue the case.
  We recognize that rates of domestic violence are too high in Indian 
country. The Federal government has a responsibility to address these 
crimes, whether committed by Indians or by others. It does not follow 
that the approach taken in this bill is the right one.
  We should not engage in a political exercise over tribal sovereignty 
that has nothing to do with protecting Indian women. We also should not 
provide an illusion of a remedy that in the end could well be struck 
down by a court on constitutional grounds.
  Instead, we should take clearly constitutional action that will 
enable the Federal government to better fulfill its responsibilities to 
women in Indian country given the practical issues that make that 
difficult currently.
  I will support the Coburn amendment.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Madam President, I come to the floor today in strong 
support of the Violence Against Women Act. The Violence Against Women 

[[Page S583]]

is a strong, inclusive, and bipartisan bill supported by the vast 
majority of our colleagues here.
  This bill has major, necessary improvements to programs that are 
vital to millions of women, children, and men in every State, and 
neighborhood in our country. The communities served by VAWA deserve to 
have these improvements. The issues are too important for partisan 
  I stand here today to call on the entire Senate to enact on these 
critical issues in order to protect our families, protect public 
safety, and protect the communities we serve.
  VAWA is crucial in all of our communities. Every day VAWA is 
providing vital services to families in desperate need. I hear from my 
constituents far too often about the challenges they are facing, often 
involving significant economic struggles only to be complicated by deep 
emotional pain and fear.
  This is not about politics. Here are the statistics: one in four 
women will be victims of domestic violence. Sixteen million children 
are exposed to domestic violence every day. And over 2 million will be 
victims themselves of physical or sexual violence each year. Twenty 
thousand cases are in my own State of Maryland. Since we created the 
legislation in 1994, the national hotline has received millions of 
calls. Millions of women felt in danger and millions had the chance of 
being rescued.
  In my own State of Maryland VAWA is making recovery possible for 
victims finding legal help to separate from their abusers. They are 
also getting vital services at rape crisis centers and navigating our 
immigration system to ensure protection.
  I heard from one of my constituents, Jean, on the Eastern Shore of 
Maryland. Jean had been married to her husband for 10 years and shared 
two children. She benefited from VAWA's Legal Assistance for Victims 
Grant after being abused so brutally one evening. Jean called the 
hotline and got the legal assistance to file for a protective order, 
which she ultimately was awarded and is now living her life safely with 
her children.
  I also heard from Danielle. Danielle was sexually assaulted at the 
age of 19 by an associate that she knew. She was aided by VAWA's Sexual 
Assault Services program when she made the connection with the rape 
crisis center a few days after her attack. Danielle got the support she 
needed at the crisis center. She received personalized safety planning 
and counseling and was provided a lawyer to help her get a peace order.
  I also hear from law enforcement in Maryland who say VAWA is helping 
them make communities safer and how the reauthorization will strengthen 
this. The Lethality Assessment Program, pioneered in Maryland and now a 
model for the Nation, is strengthened in this bill. The program is used 
to identify high-risk situations at the outset and link up local police 
with domestic violence professionals, thereby providing wrap-around 
services and empowerment to get victims out of harm's way and reduce 
homicides. This was made possible because of VAWA which provided the 
Federal funding to make this a reality.
  As chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Justice 
Department, I fund the Violence Against Women Act programs. These 
programs ensure tougher penalties for abusers, coordinated assistance 
with community organizations, and court advocates for abused to boost 
reporting and prosecution.
  In the fiscal year 2013 CJS spending bill, I provide a robust $421 
million for Violence Against Women grants. I am fighting for historic 
funding levels even within the stringent budget reality. I also provide 
strong investments in core VAWA programs including $189 million for 
STOP formula grants, which coordinates community response to domestic 
violence and also trains police, prosecutors and judicial staff; $25 
million for sexual assault services that direct services for victims of 
rape; $25 million for transitional housing grants so victims have safe 
and affordable housing after shelters; and $50 million for Grants to 
Encourage Arrests, which teaches police and prosecutors how to support 
victims and ensure offender accountability.
  We know that VAWA works, so approving it should be a nobrainer. The 
Senate VAWA bill makes these improvements, and not just in the ways 
that get attention, but in ways which will make the difference in a 
victim's life.
  I fund this bill, its improvements are measures that I fully support, 
and I put money in the Federal checkbook each year to make sure VAWA is 
available to those who need it. Maryland has done such a good job, and 
I won't let the United States Congress fail these families in need.
  I yield the floor and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that at 5:30 
p.m., the Senate proceed to a vote in relation to the Coburn amendment 
No. 13; further, that upon disposition of the amendment, the Senate 
proceed to a period of morning business, with Senators permitted to 
speak for up to 10 minutes each; that following leader remarks on 
Tuesday, February 12, the Senate resume consideration of S. 47; that 
the time until 11 a.m. be equally divided between the two leaders or 
their designees prior to votes in relation to the amendments included 
under the previous order and that those votes occur in the order 
listed; that all after the first vote be 10-minute votes; and finally, 
that all other provisions of the previous order remain in effect.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEAHY. I thank the distinguished Presiding Officer.

                            Amendment No. 13

  Madam President, I join Chairwoman Cantwell, the chair of the Senate 
Committee on Indian Affairs, and the senior Senator from Alaska, 
Senator Murkowski, in opposing Senator Coburn's amendment. The 
amendment will remove essential protections for Native women from the 

  Native women in this country experience domestic abuse at a 
shockingly high rate. A recent study found that nearly three in five 
American Indian women have been the victim of a domestic assault. This 
terrible trend has been perpetuated by a jurisdictional gap that allows 
many non-Indian perpetrators on tribal lands to go unpunished.
  This problem is real: nearly half of Indian women are married to non-
Indian men, and thousands more are in relationships with non-Indians. 
Tribal courts have no jurisdiction when these men commit domestic 
violence offenses, and federal and state officials are not in a 
position to prosecute in most cases. They are often hours away and lack 
the resources and local contacts to be able to effectively respond. 
These non-Indian men can essentially abuse Indian women with immunity 
from any consequences. That has to end.
  The Leahy-Crapo bill addresses this glaring need by allowing tribes 
that can provide key rights to defendants to prosecute non-Indians for 
domestic violence offenses under limited circumstances. Our bill also 
clarifies that tribal courts have the authority to issue and enforce 
protection orders against non-Indians. These are essential tools in 
combatting domestic violence. Senator Coburn's amendment would 
eliminate these crucial provisions.
  These provisions in the Leahy-Crapo bill are the product of careful 
deliberation by the Indian Affairs Committee and the Judiciary 
Committee, with input from legal experts. They are identical to the 
corresponding provision in last year's VAWA reauthorization which 
passed the Senate with 68 votes. Just this week I received a letter 
from the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence 
Against Women voicing their strong support for the tribal jurisdiction 
provision that is currently in the Leahy-Crapo bill and today I 
received their letter strongly opposing the changes proposed in Senator 
Coburn's amendment. I also received a letter from the National Congress 
of American Indians expressing their support for the current tribal 
provisions and unequivocal opposition to any efforts to alter them.

[[Page S584]]

  Senator Coburn's amendment would reverse the significant progress we 
made last year when the Senate passed these provisions with strong 
bipartisan support. It sends the message that Native women are not 
deserving of the same protections as other women. I urge my fellow 
Senators to vote against it.
  Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that these letters and other 
letters opposing the amendment be pritned in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

         National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence 
           Against Women,
                                                 February 6, 2013.
     Hon. Patrick Leahy,
     Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee, Dirksen Senate Office 
         Building, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
     Hon. Michael Crapo,
     Dirksen Senate Office Building, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Leahy and Senator Crapo: The National Task 
     Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence--comprised of 
     national, tribal, state, territorial and local organizations, 
     as well as individuals, committed to securing an end to 
     violence against women, including civil rights organizations, 
     labor unions, advocates for children and youth, anti-poverty 
     groups, immigrant and refugee rights organizations, women's 
     rights leaders, and education groups--writes to express its 
     strong and unequivocal support for the tribal provisions 
     included in Title IX of S. 47, the Violence Against Women 
     Reauthorization Act. As you are aware, these provisions are 
     identical to those that were contained in S. 1925, the VAWA 
     bill introduced in the 112th Congress. As such, the 
     provisions were first voted affirmatively out of the Indian 
     Affairs Committee, then added to S. 1925 and passed out of 
     the Judiciary Committee, and finally were contained in the 
     final version of S. 1925 that passed the Senate last year 
     with bipartisan support.
       While we understand that some have expressed constitutional 
     concerns with respect to the criminal jurisdiction provisions 
     contained in section 904, Title IX of S. 47, we wish to 
     respectfully point out that the provisions were drafted and 
     put forward by the U.S. Department of Justice, and were 
     thoroughly vetted before they were submitted to the Senate 
     Indian Affairs and Judiciary Committees. We also wish to 
     remind the members of the Senate of the terrifying rates of 
     victimization that American Indian and Alaska Native women 
     experience: 34% of American Indian and Alaska Native women 
     will be raped in their lifetimes, 39% will be subjected to 
     domestic violence in their lifetimes. Sixty-seven percent of 
     Native women victims of rape and sexual assault report that 
     their assailants are non-Native individuals. On some 
     reservations, Native women are murdered at more than ten 
     times the national average. These startling statistics, 
     coupled with the unfortunately high declination rates (U.S. 
     Attorneys declined to prosecute nearly 52% of violent crimes 
     that occur in Indian country, and 67% of cases declined were 
     sexual abuse related cases), provided ample reason for 
     Congress to act in passing S. 47 with Section 904 intact.
       Additonally, we offer for the consideration of the members 
     of the Senate a letter submitted last year by over 50 U.S. 
     law professors who carefully reviewed the provisions of 
     section 904 and found them to be constitutional. We offer 
     some relevant excerpts below:
       ``It is important to note that Section 904 of S. 1925 does 
     not constitute a full restoration of all tribal criminal 
     jurisdiction--only that which qualifies as ``special domestic 
     violence criminal jurisdiction.'' So there must be an 
     established intimate-partner relationship to trigger the 
     jurisdiction. Moreover, no defendant in tribal court will be 
     denied Constitutional rights that would be afforded in state 
     or federal courts. Section 904 provides ample safeguards to 
     ensure that non-Indian defendants in domestic violence cases 
     receive all rights guaranteed by the United States 
     Constitution. .  .  .
       In other words, a defendant who has no ties to the tribal 
     community would not be subject to criminal prosecution in 
     tribal court. Federal courts have jurisdiction to review such 
     tribal jurisdiction determinations after exhaustion of tribal 
     remedies. Section 904 is specifically tailored to address the 
     victimization of Indian women by persons who have either 
     married a citizen of the tribe or are dating a citizen of the 
       In closing, the National Task Force wishes to thank you for 
     your tireless efforts to reauthorize the Violence Against 
     Women Act, S. 47. We appreciate your leadership and look 
     forward to working with you toward a speedy passage of S. 47, 
     including Title IX as introduced with no weakening 
     The National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.

         NCAI Task Force on Violence Against Women, National 
           Congress of American Indians,
                                 Washington, DC, February 7, 2013.
     Hon. Patrick Leahy,
     Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee, Dirksen Senate Office 
         Building, Washington, DC.
     Hon. Michael Crapo,
     Dirksen Senate Office Building, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
       Dear Senators Leahy and Crapo: The National Congress of 
     American Indians (NCAI), founded in 1944, is the oldest, 
     largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska 
     Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal 
     governments and communities. The NCAI Task Force on Violence 
     Against Women focuses on addressing crimes of violence 
     against Native women. This letter is to express our strong 
     opposition to any amendment offered which would strip or 
     alter the current language in S. 47.
       The Task Force knows that unfortunately Native women are 
     victimized at rates higher than any other population in the 
     United States. It is estimated that 34% of American Indian 
     and Alaska Native women will be raped in their lifetimes; 39% 
     will be subjected to domestic violence in their lifetimes; 
     67% of Native women victims of rape and sexual assault report 
     their assailants as non-Native individuals, and, on some 
     reservations, Native women are murdered at more than ten 
     times the national average.
       These startling statistics, coupled with the unfortunately 
     high declination rates (U.S. Attorneys declined to prosecute 
     nearly 52% of violent crimes that occur in Indian country; 
     and 67% of cases declined were sexual abuse related cases), 
     provide ample reason for Congress to act in passing S. 47 
     with Section 904 intact.
       Section 904 does not take away constitutional rights from 
     offenders, it guarantees swift justice for Native victims. 
     There are safeguards built into the provision which ensure 
     that all rights guaranteed under the Constitution are given 
     to non-Native defendants in tribal court. Further, the 
     special domestic violence jurisdiction is narrowly restricted 
     to apply only to instances of domestic or dating violence 
     where: 1) the victim is an Indian, 2) the conduct occurs on 
     tribal lands; and 3) where the defendant either lives or 
     works on the reservation, i.e., where the defendant has 
     significant ties to the community.
       The NCAI Task Force on Violence Against Women is extremely 
     concerned that misunderstandings of the political status of 
     Indian tribes and the internal workings of the tribal court 
     system are causing confusion on how this provision will work 
     on the ground. Indian tribes are not a racial class, they are 
     a political body--so the question is not whether non-Indians 
     are subject to Indian court--the question is whether tribal 
     governments, political entities, have the necessary 
     jurisdiction to provide their citizens with the public safety 
     protections every government has the inherent duty to 
       Amendments which place more funding in the hands of federal 
     authorities will not address this immediate local need. We 
     believe strongly that local government is the best government 
     for addressing public safety concerns. For example, an 
     amendment is being offered today which would require that 
     tribal governments petition a U.S. District Court for an 
     ``appropriately tailored protection order excluding any 
     persons from areas within the Indian country of the tribe.'' 
     This level of procedure for an intimately local issue is not 
     practical and will do little to improve matters on Indian 
     reservations. Tribal courts are the appropriate venue to 
     issue such protection orders.
       Also, tribal courts and authorities are the appropriate 
     triers of fact for domestic violence matters conducted on 
     Indian reservations. The federal system has proven 
     ineffective in many respects, but none as detrimental to the 
     backbone of a community as the area of domestic violence 
     against Native women. Further many tribal courts operate in 
     much the same manner as state courts, albeit with smaller 
     dockets and lesser degrees of crime as their sister 
     governments: state and federal courts. Also, all tribal 
     courts are bound by the Indian Civil Rights Act, which, as 
     amended, guarantees all of the constitutional rights non-
     Native defendants have in state courts.
       For these reasons, the NCAI Task Force on Violence Against 
     Women strongly opposes any amendments to S. 47 and offers its 
     strong support for the current language in the bipartisan 
     Senate VAWA Reauthorization: S. 47. Thanks for your time and 
     your continuous efforts to provide greater protections for 
     women in Indian Country.

                                            Juana Majel Dixon,

                             Co-Chair, NCAI Task Force on Violence
                                                    Against Women.

                                                  Terri Henry,

                             Co-Chair, NCAI Task Force on Violence
     Against Women.

                    Vote No on Coburn Amendment #13

   A ``NO'' Vote will Retain Vital VAWA Protections for Native Women

       The National Congress of American Indians and tribal 
     governments nationwide oppose Coburn Amendment No. 13. This 
     harmful amendment would strip the critical tribal 
     jurisdiction provisions in Sections 904 and 905 of S. 47 that 
     are so important to deterring senseless violence against 
     Native women who reside on Indian reservations. Section 904 
     is the same tribal jurisdiction language that passed the 
     Senate last session with strong bi-partisan support. It 
     acknowledges the authority of Indian tribal governments to 
     exercise concurrent jurisdiction over crimes of domestic 
     violence by non-Native suspects. Every suspect will be 
     afforded the full array of constitutional protections.

[[Page S585]]

     This provision is critically important to stopping the 
     epidemic of domestic violence against Native women.
     Section 904 is Narrowly Tailored
       Section 904 does not acknowledge blanket jurisdiction over 
     all crimes committed by non-Indians on tribal lands. The 
     jurisdiction would only apply to domestic or dating violence 
     where the victim is a tribal citizen; the crime occurred on 
     tribal lands; and the defendant must be in an established 
     relationship with the victim. The provision is specifically 
     tailored to address a serious epidemic of violence that 
     Native women face each day.
       The current system of justice on Indian lands is broken. 
     More than 1 in 3 Native women will be raped in their 
     lifetimes, and more than 3 in 5 will suffer domestic abuse. 
     Native women are forced to rely on federal officials to 
     investigate and prosecute domestic violence committed by non-
     Natives. However, U.S. Attorneys declined to prosecute a 
     majority of violent crimes. Between 2006-2009, federal 
     officials declined 52% of violent reservation crimes, 
     including 67% of sexual assaults.
       In most cases, federal resources are stretched too thin, 
     and federal investigators are located too far from many 
     reservations to serve as an effective deterrent to crime on 
     tribal lands. Lower level crimes of domestic violence go 
     completely unprosecuted--and often unreported, because many 
     Native women have lost faith in the justice system. When 
     lower level domestic violence goes unpunished, the violence 
     increases. The result on some reservations is that the 
     homicide rate of Native women in 10 times the national 
     average. These shocking facts provide compelling reasons for 
     Congress to enact S. 47 with Section 904 intact.
     Defendants' Have all Due Process Rights under the Proposed 
         Limited Jurisdiction
       Section 904 ensures that non-Indian defendants in tribal 
     court are afforded due process in a manner consistent with 
     state and federal courts. This includes the right to 
     effective assistance of counsel, the right to a trial by an 
     impartial jury selected impartially, as well as all other 
     constitutional rights guaranteed under the Indian Civil 
     Rights Act. Also, the draft language includes a catch-all 
     provision, which entitles defendants to ``all other rights 
     whose protection is necessary under the Constitution of the 
     United States in order for Congress'' to acknowledge this 
     jurisdiction. This last section ensures that non-Indian 
     defendants will receive a fair trial in tribal courts. The U. 
     S. Department of Justice developed and strongly supports 
     Section 904, as do Bush Administration U.S. Attorneys, and 
     many other experts in the field of criminal justice.
     The Coburn Amendment Also Strikes Section 905 from S. 47
       The Coburn Amendment would strike Section 905 from S. 47. 
     This section also passed this Senate last session with strong 
     bi-partisan support. The civil jurisdiction found in Section 
     905 already exists under the full faith & credit clauses of 
     VAWA 2000. This section simply clarifies the intent of this 
     earlier reauthorization by making clear that tribes have full 
     civil authority to issue and enforce domestic civil 
     protection orders against Indians and non-Indians alike.
       This provision is critical to strengthening tribal 
     regulatory authority over domestic disputes, threats of 
     violence, harassment, or verbal or physical abuse. Women 
     living in Indian country and Alaska Native villages rely on 
     tribal courts each day to obtain civil orders of protection 
     to prevent future abuse in crimes of domestic violence, 
     sexual assault, dating, and stalking. Requiring a woman in 
     need of immediate protection to travel hundreds of miles from 
     her reservation to a state court is not only impractical but 
     also dangerous. We strongly oppose any amendment intended to 
     strike this provision.
     A Vote Against the Coburn Amendment is a Vote for Indian 
       A vote against the Coburn Amendment is a vote for Native 
     women victims of abuse--and for the children who will grow up 
     without such horrific violence. Sections 904 and 905 are 
     sensible, fair and will create a partnership between tribal 
     governments and federal authorities in addressing an epidemic 
     of domestic violence in Indian country. A VAWA 
     Reauthorization without these critical provisions will deny 
     Indian women access to justice and legal protection available 
     to other victims. Native women will be left behind in the 
     national efforts to protect all victims of domestic violence 
     and sexual assault.
       Coburn Amendment No. 13 would ignore the horrific crime 
     that Native women face on a daily basis. If adopted, Congress 
     will be telling tribal communities that the status quo is 
     acceptable. Violence against any person by any person 
     anywhere is unacceptable. For these reasons, I respectfully 
     request you oppose the Coburn Amendment No. 13 and help 
     Indian Country pass a VAWA Reauthorization that protects all 
     Juana Majel Dixon,
       First Vice President, NCAI, Co-Chair, NCAI Task Force on 
     Violence Against Women.
     Terri Henry,
       Council, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Co-Chair, NCAI 
     Task Force on Violence Against Women.

                                                      United South

                                     and Eastern Tribes, Inc.,

                                  Nashville, TN, February 9, 2013.
     Re Stand up for Native Women--Vote No on Coburn Amendment 
         (No. 13) to S. 47.

     U.S. Senate,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator: I write to you in two roles. First, I write 
     on behalf of the United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. 
     (USET), which is an inter-tribal organization representing 26 
     federally recognized Tribes from Texas to Maine. Second, I 
     write as a son, father, relative and tribal leader who has 
     seen all too many times the long-lasting tragic consequences 
     of domestic abuse within our communities. It burns our hearts 
     that many of the perpetrators, despite having close ties to 
     our tribal lands and communities, have no fear of punishment 
     because they are non-Indians and therefore fall outside the 
     jurisdiction of the local government--in this case, the 
     tribal government.
       Please support S. 47 and oppose any efforts, including the 
     Coburn amendment (No. 13), which would deprive tribal 
     governments of critically needed authority to keep 
     reservations safe and protect Native women and other victims 
     of domestic abuse.
       I have been taught that ``no nation is truly defeated until 
     the hearts of its women are on the ground.'' Native women 
     have strong hearts, but that strength is constantly 
     challenged by the high rates of domestic violence on many 
     Indian reservations. Of course, domestic violence is not 
     limited to women and it is not limited to adults. It has an 
     effect that passes down through the generations. We all dream 
     that our children can live and grow up in a safe place, with 
     loving adults. From such a foundation, our children will 
     create safe and healthy families of their own, free from the 
     scourge of domestic violence. It is well known that domestic 
     violence is a behavior that starts at one level and often 
     escalates over time to serious injury or even death. Tribes 
     need the authority to intervene in early incidences of 
     domestic violence, as well as at any other stage. Only by 
     doing this can we break the chain of domestic violence that 
     weighs down our communities.
       The pending Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) 
     reauthorization (S. 47) presents an extraordinary opportunity 
     to address the startling lack of law enforcement response to, 
     and prosecutions for, incidences of domestic violence on 
     Indian reservations. After years of struggling with this 
     issue, those of us who live in Indian country have realized 
     that the answer does not lie with the Federal and state 
     governments, but with ourselves. We need to have in place 
     systems of justice that will put fear in the heart of those 
     who consider evil deeds, while also assure that all members 
     of our communities have their basic rights protected. To do 
     this, our Tribal courts must have authority to exercise 
     limited domestic violence criminal jurisdiction over all 
     individuals with close ties to tribal communities who commit 
     domestic violence offenses on Indian lands. Only at the local 
     level can we create the credible community expectations and 
     standards that will significantly reduce this crisis.
       There have been calls for alternate answers to the issue of 
     domestic violence in Indian Country, but we who live there 
     and know the problem first-hand can see no solution, short of 
     tribal jurisdiction over domestic violence crimes, that will 
     truly deter predators and assure justice for domestic 
     violence victims. Indeed, the solution we seek--acknowledging 
     and strengthening the power of local jurisdictions to respond 
     to local problems--is one that is common throughout the 
     country to address issues of crime and violence and achieve 
     justice in the most effective manner possible.
       From many conversations with both Republican and Democratic 
     Members of the Senate, I know that we all care deeply about 
     our family, friends, and loved ones and that we all want to 
     stop the scourge of domestic violence. In this, we have a 
     common humanity which rises above philosophical and political 
     differences. We appeal to the leadership and membership of 
     the Senate on the grounds of this shared humanity to reach a 
     compassionate solution that extends the most basic of legal 
     protections to all victims of domestic violence, no matter 
     where in the United States they happen to live, and that 
     empowers Tribal communities to enforce these values on their 
       In addition to opposing the Coburn Amendment (No. 13), USET 
     would urge you to support the Murkowski Amendment, which 
     provides important clarifications for Native Alaskans and the 
     Leahy Human Trafficking Amendment.
                                                  Brian Patterson,

  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I suggest the absence of a quorum and ask 
unanimous consent that the time be equally divided.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

[[Page S586]]

  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to yield back all 
time on both sides.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The question is on agreeing to Coburn amendment No. 13.
  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, the yeas and nays have not been 
requested, have they?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. They have not.
  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Alexander), the Senator from Mississippi 
(Mr. Cochran), the Senator from Texas (Mr. Cruz), the Senator from 
Nevada (Mr. Heller), the Senator from Wisconsin (Mr. Johnson), the 
Senator from Kansas (Mr. Moran), the Senator from Kansas (Mr. Roberts), 
the Senator from Alabama (Mr. Shelby), the Senator from Louisiana (Mr. 
Vitter), and the Senator from Mississippi (Mr. Wicker).
  Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. 
Alexander) would have voted ``yea.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Donnelly). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 31, nays 59, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 14 Leg.]




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

                             NOT VOTING--10

     Johnson (WI)
  The amendment (No. 13) was rejected.