(Senate - May 05, 2014)

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[Pages S2625-S2628]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I move to proceed to Calendar No. 368, S. 
2262, the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency legislation.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will report the motion.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       Motion to proceed to Calendar No. 368, S. 2262, a bill to 
     promote energy savings in residential buildings and industry, 
     and for other purposes.


  Mr. REID. Following my remarks and those of the Republican leader, 
the Senate will be in morning business until 5:30 p.m. this evening. At 
that time there will be up to two rollcall votes, the first on 
confirmation of the Moritz nomination to be United States Circuit Judge 
for the Tenth Circuit, and the next on confirmation of the nomination 
of Peter A. Selfridge to be Chief of Protocol with the Department of 

                     Election of Andrew B. Willison

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I now send a resolution to the desk and ask 
unanimous consent that it be considered.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will report the resolution by 
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A resolution (S. Res. 434) electing Andrew B. Willison as 
     the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the 
  Mr. REID. This resolution, sponsored by Senators Reid of Nevada and 
McConnell, is important.
  I ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, and the 
motion to reconsider be laid upon the table, with no intervening action 
or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. King). Without objection, it is so 
  The resolution (S. Res. 434) was agreed to.
  (The resolution is printed in today's Record under ``Submitted 

              Notifying the President of the United States

                 Notifying the House of Representatives

  Mr. REID. I send two resolutions to the desk and ask unanimous 
consent for their immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolutions by 
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A resolution (S. Res. 435) notifying the President of the 
     United States of the election of a Sergeant at Arms and 
     Doorkeeper of the Senate.
       A resolution (S. Res. 436) notifying the House of 
     Representatives of the election of a Sergeant at Arms and 
     Doorkeeper of the Senate.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the 
resolutions, en bloc.
  Mr. REID. I ask unanimous consent that the resolutions be agreed to 
en bloc, and the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table en bloc, 
with no intervening action or debate.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The resolutions (S. Res. 435 and S. Res. 436) were agreed to.

[[Page S2626]]

  (The resolutions are printed in today's Record under ``Submitted 
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, just moments ago we passed a resolution 
appointing Drew Willison as the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate. The 
importance of this appointment cannot be overstated. While Senators and 
their staffs come and go, the office of the Sergeant at Arms provides 
much needed stability to support this great institution.
  To put things in perspective, Drew Willison is only the 39th Sergeant 
at Arms in the entire history of the Senate. That is 230 plus years. By 
contrast, there have been 1,950 Senators who have served in this body 
since its inception.
  As the Senate Sergeant at Arms, Drew's duties include the security 
and safety of the 6,500 Senate employees, as well as the millions of 
visitors who come to the Capitol each year. Drew's predecessor, Terry 
Gainer, did a phenomenal job as Sergeant at Arms, and Drew is left with 
his big shoes to fill. Terry Gainer was not a partisan, nor is Drew 
Willison. That is how this office should function. I know he is up to 
the task.
  As Booker T. Washington said, ``Nothing ever comes to one, that is 
worth having, except as a result of hard work.''
  Even though Drew did not seek this position, it has come to him 
because of his hard work. He will thrive in the Sergeant at Arms office 
because of his work ethic. I know because I have witnessed his work 
over the years. He first came to my office a long time ago, in 1997. He 
was a fellow for the Environmental Protection Agency. His talents were 
seen very quickly by me and my staff. So then, rather than going back 
to the EPA, he became a member of my personal staff. Again, his talents 
were recognized immediately. I decided it would be important that he 
move to the Appropriations Committee. He became the chief clerk on our 
Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and did a remarkably good 
  I mention his nonpartisan approach to what he did. During those years 
of his working for me--I can't speak for when he was there after I 
became inactive on that Appropriations Committee--but while I was there 
those many years--I was either the chairman or the ranking member of 
that committee for years. The person opposite me was Pete Domenici from 
New Mexico. It didn't matter who the chairman was, quite frankly. We 
worked so well together in those days when we worked together. We would 
finish the energy and water bill on the floor in one day. We would 
bring it out of committee and finish it in one day. We worked together. 
Drew Willison was the chief clerk, and when he wasn't the chief clerk, 
he was the second in command--whatever that is. We just breezed through 
that subcommittee--billions and billions of dollars, the safety and 
security of the nuclear arsenal we have, and so many different issues 
in that subcommittee that were important to the country, as they are 
today. But now we can't even--we have such difficulty at getting a bill 
passed. We did it then in one day--in just a few hours many times.
  So Drew is really a talented man. He is a very quick learner. 
Everyone who has worked with him over the years came to the realization 
very quickly: Tell him what you want him to do; he did it with a smile, 
he did it well, and he did it right.
  During my tenure with this good man, now the Sergeant at Arms, his 
talents were invaluable to the success of my office. For 5 years he has 
been the Deputy Sergeant at Arms. He has been Chief Gainer's right-hand 
man, and that is an understatement. He has done such a remarkably good 
job because of his hard work and his diligence. In the process, he has 
helped make this Capitol a better and safer place to work and to visit.
  Now, as the mantel of leading the Sergeant at Arms office falls to 
him, I have no doubt that he will, once again, prove himself.
  The Senate and the many people who visit and work in the Capitol are 
in good hands with Drew Willison at the helm. I wish him the very best. 
All I say to Drew Willison is to continue to be the person he has been 
and he will be a success as the Sergeant at Arms.

                    National Travel and Tourism Week

  Mr. President, this week is National Travel and Tourism Week. As a 
Senator from Nevada, I know how important the travel and tourism 
industry is to this Nation. Las Vegas alone attracts more than 40 
million visitors each year, and 8 million come from across the globe. 
All told, travel and tourism generates $45 billion in revenue for the 
Las Vegas economy while employing 400,000 Nevadans.
  This industry's impact is not unique in Nevada. People go to the 
Presiding Officer's State of Maine year-round. It slows down a little 
in the wintertime, but people go there year-round because of the beauty 
of the State of Maine. I have only been to Maine on one occasion, but I 
went as a tourist. I wanted to see that beautiful State, and I was able 
to do that. It is the same in virtually every State in America. Tourism 
is the No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 driving economic influence of every State.
  So recognizing Travel and Tourism Week is more than just simple talk; 
it is important to do that. Annually, travel and tourism contribute 
more than $2 trillion to the national economy. It supplies 15 million 
jobs to Americans, and these are jobs that don't ship overseas. In 
fact, tourism is the Nation's No. 1 export.
  While it is important to recognize National Travel and Tourism Week, 
just mentioning the industry's strength is not enough. As with any 
profitable business, investment helps. It will do the same in tourism, 
and we have proven that over the last few years.
  A small investment in travel and business does great things for 
America. As I recall, there were about five filibusters we had to 
overcome on this legislation, but we did overcome them, and we finally 
passed it in 2010. President Obama signed this into law. It is called 
the Travel Promotion Act.
  After we passed the law, this entity was led by a man named Stephen 
Cloobeck. Stephen Cloobeck is a businessman, and he has been a 
successful businessman. He is now extremely successful in the time-
sharing business and in other areas. But he was really a good leader of 
that entity when it was first created, and that wasn't easy. There were 
a lot of bumps in the road. But being the exceptionally good 
businessman that he was and is, it worked out well. His leadership was 
  In countries all over the world, Brand USA--that is what it is 
called, Brand USA--advertisements come at no cost to the American 
taxpayers, and these entice foreign travelers to visit America.
  By any measure, the Travel Promotion Act has been an incredible 
success. But don't take my word for it. An independent analysis found 
that Brand USA helped to generate more than 1 million new visitors to 
the United States, and it is only going to get better. Those 
international visitors spent $3.4 billion last year. Increasing 
international tourism and visitation to the United States creates jobs. 
On average, our international visitors stay longer in our Nation's 
hotels and they spend more money in our stores and restaurants than 
domestic travelers. One out of every four visitors who come to Las 
Vegas comes from outside the United States. Nearly 20 percent of all 
visitors, which is obvious from those numbers I just gave, come to Las 
Vegas from abroad.
  So it is clear that Brand USA is helping our Nation's tourism 
industry, and it is helping our Nation capitalize on this growing 
market of tourism. That is why the Senate passed an immigration bill 
that is currently stuck in the House of Representatives. This 
legislation includes a permanent reauthorization for the Travel 
Promotion Act and Brand USA.
  Unfortunately, the House of Representatives has so far refused to 
take up an immigration reform bill. We did our work, and it was led by 
four Democrats and four Republicans. The four Democrats: Senators 
Schumer, Durbin, Menendez, and Bennet; the four Republicans: Senators 
Rubio, Flake, McCain, and Graham. They did good work. It could not have 
been done without them.
  Our Nation's travel industry, though, needs us to do more. 
Recognizing the importance of tourism, it is so important we proceed 
and help the tourism industry by passing the immigration reform bill.
  I mentioned the good work done by these eight Senators. The current

[[Page S2627]]

president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and former 
chairman of the U.S. Association--his name is Rossi Ralenkotter--has 
stressed the need for investment in our Nation's infrastructure.
  As we invest in airports, rail, and roads--we certainly do not do 
enough, but when we do, we are effectively opening this Nation's doors 
to our visitors. By providing safe, efficient travel for tourists, we 
can also ensure that the American travel industry has a reliable flow 
of business.
  Our commitment to bolstering tourism must amount to more than just 
concrete and metal. We must ensure that not only do we invite people 
here--and they come from across the world--but that we are also 
facilitating their arrival and their departure.
  In the Senate immigration bill we make it easier for tourists to come 
to America by increasing the number of Customs and Border Patrol agents 
who process international visitors. We hope as tourists from foreign 
nations become more comfortable with traveling to the United States 
they will do so more frequently.
  We are fast approaching the anniversary of the immigration bill's 
passage in the Senate. Yet this bipartisan bill sits idling in the 
Republican-controlled House of Representatives, and the Republicans 
seem to be content to continue to ``idle,'' a code word for doing 
  There are many urgent reasons we must pass the immigration bill and 
travel promotion is one of them. We cannot be content to do nothing in 
promoting the United States to the world because ultimately travel 
promotion is job promotion. It is about creating jobs. It is about 
growing our economy. It is about keeping the United States competitive 
in the world travel business.
  So this week as we consider the incredible impact of travel and 
tourism on our Nation's economy, I invite my colleagues in Congress to 
continue to invest in this vital industry. If we are successful, we 
will make sure America remains the ultimate tourist destination for 
decades to come.
  I see on the floor the distinguished senior Senator from Minnesota. 
Her work on getting this Travel Promotion Act passed was superb. Her 
efforts continue to make sure it is working well in the immigration 
bill. No one has helped more than the senior Senator from Minnesota. 
She is a good legislator, and she has proven that to me many times. Her 
work on this legislation reminds me how tenacious she is.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota.
  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, I would like to thank the leader for 
his superb leadership on tourism. Anyone who represents the State of 
Nevada understands how important tourism is to our States and to our 
country. The leader knows it is not just about Las Vegas, it is also 
about places such as the Mall of America in Minnesota or all of those 
great bed and breakfast and fishing operations in the States of Maine 
or Arkansas or Missouri.
  Senator Blunt is the lead Republican head of this bill, along with 
myself, and we now have 26 authors on the reauthorization of the Travel 
Promotion Act, Brand USA; in addition, of course, to the immigration 
bill, which would allow us to not just reauthorize the Travel Promotion 
Act but also the JOLT Act, which creates all kinds of new ways to add 
more jobs to America by speeding up the visa process, by creating some 
more visa waiver countries and other things.
  We will be talking more about that later.

                     Nigerian Schoolgirls Abduction

  Today I am here on a very important matter. I rise to discuss the 
outrageous abduction of 276 schoolgirls by the terrorist group Boko 
Haram in northeastern Nigeria. Now we have reports that these 
schoolgirls, some as young as 15 years old, are being sold into forced 
marriages with militants.
  I know this sounds like something that might be in some kind of a 
late-night movie or in a strange book, but in fact this happened. This 
happened this last month, that these 276 schoolgirls were abducted from 
their school by a terrorist group in Nigeria.
  With Boko Haram's leader now appearing on video vowing to ``sell them 
in the market,'' let's call this what it is: one of the most brazen and 
shocking single incidents of human trafficking we have seen in recent 
memory. As Secretary of State John Kerry said this weekend, it is ``not 
just an act of terrorism. It's a massive human trafficking moment and 
[it is] grotesque.''
  This heinous crime demands that we take action immediately to help 
bring these girls home to their families and bring their kidnappers to 
justice. This is a test of our own country's commitment to fight human 
trafficking and modern-day slavery, and we must step up and help 
Nigeria with this challenge.
  On the night of April 14, a gang of heavily armed militants attacked 
the dormitory of the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, a 
town in Nigeria's Borno state. They shot the guards, loaded 276 girls 
into trucks, and drove them away into the forest.
  That was 3 weeks ago today, and since then there has been 
disturbingly little action to find these girls and to get their 
captors. Local police say around 53 of the girls have escaped, but that 
still leaves at least 223 held hostage in the hands of Boko Haram. That 
is almost as many people as were aboard Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. 
That was 239 passengers and crew, which we all know about and is a 
horrible tragedy and the subject of intense media coverage and a 
massive international search, costing tens of millions of dollars. But 
I have a feeling many people who are watching this right now or who are 
in this Chamber probably have not even heard about these girls in 
  In Nigeria no one seems to know where these girls are, and until this 
past weekend no one seemed inclined to do much about it. The most 
determined pursuit of the kidnappers had come not from the Nigerian 
military but from the families of the abducted girls. Some of the 
family members, armed only with bows and arrows to fight terrorists 
armed with assault rifles, rode into the forest on motorcycles to try 
to find their girls. That is the best the world could do so far and 
that is shameful.
  Now the situation is more desperate than ever. The girls are 
reportedly being married off or even sold for as little as $12 to be 
wives to Boko Haram militants. Just this morning a video surfaced 
featuring a man claiming to be a Boko Haram leader, taunting Nigeria 
and the world with this shameful statement claiming responsibility for 
the attack. He said this:

       I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by 
     Allah. There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I 
     should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I 
     sell women.

  That Boko Haram would target these girls is actually not a surprise. 
The group's very name means ``Western education is sinful,'' and it 
systematically targets schools and kidnaps and kills children, 
especially girls, who are guilty of nothing more than seeking a better 
life for themselves through schooling.
  The Nigerian Government estimates the group has destroyed over 200 
schools. In February, 59 students were shot and hacked to death at the 
Federal Government College in the nearby town of Buni Yadi. The 
government had actually closed the schools in the region in the face of 
these ruthless attacks.
  But these girls wanted to go to school. They wanted to get an 
education. Their school, which had been closed for 1 month, was 
reopened so they could just take their final exams--something my 
daughter is doing right now at college, something high school kids the 
age of these girls are doing all over the United States right now. They 
were just trying to take their exams.
  These are girls who should be the next generation of leaders in their 
community and their nation--not sold off to a band of thugs.
  Fortunately, after this weekend the world is finally paying 
attention, and I hope this Chamber pays attention. With the families 
reaching out through social media, using the Twitter hashtag 
#BringBackOurGirls, protests have spread across the world, calling for 
the Nigerian Government to take stronger action and for the 
international community to help.
  The United States should help lead that international effort. I was 
encouraged that Secretary Kerry said this weekend that ``we will do 

[[Page S2628]]

possible to support the Nigerian government to return these young women 
to their homes and hold the perpetrators to justice.'' But we need 
actions to back up those words, and I would like to suggest three 
actions we should take to help marshal a global response to this 
heinous crime.
  First, the United States should seek a resolution from the U.N. 
Security Council condemning this attack and calling for member 
countries to extend all appropriate assistance to Nigeria and 
neighboring countries to help locate the victims of Boko Haram's 
abductions and bring them home.
  Second, we should move as quickly as we can to provide intelligence, 
surveillance, and reconnaissance assets to contribute to the search for 
the missing girls. The countries of the region have limited resources, 
and American support with aerial and satellite surveillance, similar to 
what we have provided to the hunt for Joseph Kony and his so-called 
Lord's Resistance Army in Central Africa, could make a significant 
difference in their ability to liberate Boko Haram's hostages.
  Finally, we should work to strengthen the capabilities of local 
authorities in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and other countries in the 
region to counter Boko Haram, protect children, particularly girls, in 
their education systems, and combat human trafficking.
  I led a delegation last month to Mexico focused on fighting human 
trafficking, and one of the lessons I took away from that was the 
critical importance of training local law enforcement, prosecutors, and 
judges to recognize trafficking when they see it. A sharp-eyed police 
officer in one of these countries can make all the difference in 
finding these girls.
  Make no mistake. How we respond to the abduction of the schoolgirls 
of Nigeria will send a message about our Nation's commitment to human 
rights and the fight against modern-day slavery.
  Human trafficking is a stain on the conscience of the world. It is 
one of the reasons I became involved in this issue, having been a 
prosecutor and seeing the devastation that prostitution and trafficking 
and sex trafficking wreaks on these girls.
  In the United States we have our own problems; 83 percent of our 
victims in the United States are from the United States. We have had 
several prosecutions in my own State. We have had prosecutions in North 
Dakota. It is one of the reasons I introduced a bill with Senator 
Cornyn. We have multiple authors who go after this crime to look at a 
smarter way to handle these cases, which is modeled after the safe 
harbor law, which Minnesota uses, as well as 12 other States.
  The idea is to treat these girls as victims. Their average age is 13 
years old--not old enough to drive, not old enough to go to their high 
school prom. It takes that concept, puts it into a comprehensive sex-
trafficking strategy, and goes after this in our own country.
  It is now the world's third largest criminal enterprise--human 
trafficking--right behind drugs and guns. So do not think this is just 
something that people are talking about. It is not. It is happening 
right now.
  Nicholas Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn wrote a book called 
``Half the Sky,'' named for the Chinese proverb ``women hold up half 
the sky.'' It is about human trafficking. It uses examples from all 
over the world. In it they argue that ``it is not hyperbole to say that 
millions of women and girls are actually enslaved today.'' They 
estimate that 2 million disappear each year. In fact, this book was 
written long before this happened in Nigeria, and one of the examples 
they use is a girl being abducted in Nigeria. One of the examples they 
use is girls being abducted in Moldova, one of the poorest countries in 
that region. Senator McCain just went to Moldova and came back. When he 
was there he asked: Where are all the young girls and women? The 
officials there told him: Many of them have been trafficked to other 
countries--trafficked to Russia.
  This is happening right now, and these girls in Nigeria need our 
help. The girls abducted and apparently sold into forced marriages in 
Nigeria are as young as 15 years old. They are being forced to endure 
what no one, let alone a young girl, should ever have to experience.
  Simply put, this is a barbaric practice that must be extinguished 
from the world. In the book Kristof and his wife wrote they liken the 
imperative of abolishing human trafficking today to what the British 
bravely did in the early 1800s when Britain abolished slavery.
  They note that what mattered most in turning the tide against slavery 
was the British public. It was not the abolitionists' passion and moral 
conviction, as important as that was, but instead what turned the tide 
was what they called the ``meticulously amassed evidence of 
barbarity''--the human beings packed into the hold of slave ships, the 
stink, the diseases, the corpses, the bloody manacles.
  We cannot close our eyes to the clear ``evidence of barbarity'' 
unfolding before us in Nigeria. This is one of those times when our 
action or inaction will be felt not just by those schoolgirls being 
held captive and their families waiting in agony, but by victims and 
perpetrators of trafficking around the world. Now is the time to act.
  I yield the floor.