SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2019; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 15
(Senate - January 24, 2019)

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[Pages S557-S583]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


                             Cloture Motion

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Pursuant to rule XXII, the Chair lays before 
the Senate the pending cloture motion, which the clerk will state.
  The senior assistant bill clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on Senate amendment 
     No. 5 to H.R. 268, a bill making supplemental appropriations 
     for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019, and for other 
         Mitch McConnell, Josh Hawley, John Thune, Shelley Moore 
           Capito, Johnny Isakson, Mike Crapo, Richard Burr, James 
           Lankford, Tom Cotton, Roy Blunt, David Perdue, Mike 
           Rounds, Bill Cassidy, John Cornyn, Rob Portman, Steve 
           Daines, John Kennedy.

                            Amendment No. 5

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call has been waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on 
amendment No. 5, offered by the Senator from Kentucky [Mr. McConnell] 
to H.R. 268, a bill making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal 
year ending September 30, 2019, and for other purposes, shall be 
brought to a close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. THUNE. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Kentucky (Mr. Paul) and the Senator from Idaho (Mr. Risch).
  Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Idaho (Mr. Risch) 
would have voted ``yea''.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Nevada (Ms. Rosen) is 
necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Braun). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 50, nays 47, as follows:

                       [Rollcall Vote No. 9 Leg.]


     Scott (FL)
     Scott (SC)


     Cortez Masto
     Van Hollen

                             NOT VOTING--3

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 50, the nays are 

 =========================== NOTE =========================== 

  On page S557, January 24, 2019, bottom of third column, the 
following appears: The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas 
are 51, the nays are 47.
  The online Record has been corrected to read: The PRESIDING 
OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 50, the nays are 47.

 ========================= END NOTE ========================= 

[[Page S558]]

  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.

                             Cloture Motion

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motion having been presented under 
rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to read the motion.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on Senate amendment 
     No. 6 to H.R. 268, a bill making supplemental appropriations 
     for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019, and for other 
         Chuck Schumer, Patrick Leahy, Ben Cardin, Tim Kaine, 
           Brian Schatz, Chris Van Hollen, Chris Coons, Sheldon 
           Whitehouse, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jeanne Shaheen, Gary 
           Peters, Bob Casey, Jr., Tom Udall, Angus King, Debbie 
           Stabenow, Maria Cantwell, Martin Heinrich.

                            Amendment No. 6

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call has been waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on 
amendment No. 6, offered by the Senator from New York [Mr. Schumer] to 
H.R. 268, a bill making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year 
ending September 30, 2019, and for other purposes, shall be brought to 
a close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. THUNE. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator 
from North Carolina (Mr. Burr), the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. Paul), 
and the Senator from Idaho (Mr. Risch).
  Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Idaho (Mr. Risch) 
would have voted ``nay''.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Nevada (Ms. Rosen) is 
necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 52, nays 44, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 10 Leg.]


     Cortez Masto
     Van Hollen


     Scott (FL)
     Scott (SC)

                             NOT VOTING--4

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 52, the nays are 
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.
  The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that following my 
remarks, the Senator from Wisconsin, Mr. Johnson, be recognized for 5 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, reserving the right to object because we 
had floor time immediately after my friend from Texas, could you give 
us an idea of how much time you will be using on the floor before we 
have the time--we were supposed to come immediately after you. That is 
my reason for raising that issue.
  Mr. CORNYN. I promise my friend from Maryland that I will be less 
than an hour. I am kidding. I am kidding. I will try to wrap it up in 
10 or 15 minutes, max.
  Mr. CARDIN. There are about 15 Senators who are waiting for the time. 
We were originally supposed to start at 3:30. Now we are starting 
later. I know Senators are going to be inconvenienced. Some have 
  I will remove my objection. I really want it understood that we 
thought we would be starting our time before that.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, responding to our friend from Maryland, I 
understand the situation. We will try to figure out how to accommodate 
all Senators so that they get a chance to speak.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, since the shutdown began, we have heard 
voices on both sides of the aisle, mine included, calling for a 
bipartisan solution to fund the government and end this stalemate. With 
Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer refusing to come to the 
negotiating table, they made finding common ground much harder than it 
needs to be.
  This weekend, President Trump made a serious proposal that would 
deliver on priorities that are important to both parties--Republicans 
and Democrats--in bringing this partial government shutdown to an end.
  The bill we voted on today contains key provisions to border security 
and to make improvements to our immigration system as a whole. As we 
have heard from the Border Patrol experts time and again, we need 
sensible solutions, which, along the border, consist of three 
components: its physical barriers in some locations, its technology in 
others, and personnel in others--or some combination of those three.
  President Trump himself has said he understands there doesn't need to 
be a wall from sea to shining sea, and he has acknowledged the role of 
technology and personnel and border security. We need to prevent the 
illegal movement of goods and people without inhibiting legitimate 
trade and travel.
  I wish to show colleagues one example of a physical barrier in Texas 
that was voted on in a bond election in Hidalgo County, TX. These are 
folks who live on the border. They voted to pay for this levee wall. 
The reason? Because they knew the levee system had to be improved in 
order to get insurance companies to write insurance so that they could 
build and develop the property in Hidalgo County, TX.
  They also talked to the Border Patrol about what the Border Patrol 
needed to control the movement of illegal immigration across the 
border, and they came up with a win-win proposition--a levee wall, 
which is appropriate at this particular location. This was voted on as 
a bond election by the voters in Hidalgo County, TX, and did not 
involve spending any Federal money.
  My simple point is, there are solutions that can be worked out if we 
consult the experts--the Border Patrol--to find out what exactly they 
need for border security that will meet with public approval along the 
border and represent a win-win.
  Recently, when the President was in McAllen, TX, Senator Cruz--my 
colleague from Texas--and I had a meeting with mayors and county judges 
after the President's entourage left to come back to Washington, DC. I 
remember specifically my friend, Judge Eddie Trevino, the county judge 
of Cameron County, TX--that is where Brownsville, TX, is--who said: If 
it is the Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection telling us 
what we need in order to secure the border, we are all in. But if it is 
people in Washington, DC, making political judgments, politicians 
trying to micromanage how the border can be secured, we remain deeply 
  I think those wise words ought to guide us in our discussions going 
forward. Not only did the legislation that embodied the President's 
proposal invest in critical components along the border, it included 
more than $1 billion for improvements and personnel at our ports of 
  If you talk to anybody who knows anything about the movement of 
illegal drugs--heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl--across the border, 
most of it comes through the port of entry, embedded in trucks and 
trailers and personal vehicles. We need more technology in order to 
scan those vehicles

[[Page S559]]

in secondary review. In order to detect them, deter them, interdict 
them, we need the personnel to be able to do that without impeding 
legitimate trade and travel.
  These are priorities I have long advocated for, based on feedback 
from the experts--the law enforcement officers, community leaders, and 
folks who live and work along the Texas-Mexico border every day.
  As we all know, the challenges that exist within our immigration 
system don't end at our borders. With a court backlog of roughly 
800,000 cases deep, nearly 1 million people living in the United States 
with temporary legal status, and the loopholes that make enforcing some 
of our immigration laws nearly impossible, there is much more that 
needs to be done. That is why this legislation includes provisions to 
build the foundation of real immigration reform--something heralded by 
both parties.
  This bill generously granted provisional status to current DACA and 
temporary protected status recipients, who live each day not knowing if 
or when they would be forced to leave the United States. It does not 
offer a path to citizenship or a long-term solution. I wish we could do 
that, but we don't have a long-term solution. It does provide stability 
for 3 years while Congress works on a legislative fix.
  This is far from a solution to the pervasive problems in our 
immigration system, but it is a start. A journey of 1,000 miles begins 
with a single step. This represents a first step. Most importantly, 
though, this legislation funds the Departments and Agencies that have 
been shuttered since December 22. This shutdown may have begun as a 
battle for border security, but it affects men and women in all 50 
States whose jobs have nothing to do with border security at all, 
people at the Department of Agriculture, the Justice Department, the 
Interior Department, Housing and Urban Development, Treasury, the 
National Space and Aeronautics Agency, the Environmental Protection 
Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Peace Corps. All of 
the people working for each of these government Agencies are working 
without pay or have been furloughed. Not only is the partial shutdown 
impacting the critical work being done by these Departments and 
Agencies, it is harming the dedicated men and women who work at them, 
those tasked with executing and enforcing laws written by this very 

  Since this shutdown began 34 days ago, nearly 800,000 Federal workers 
have lost the security of knowing when their next paycheck will come. 
Tomorrow is the second paycheck they will miss, meaning they have now 
gone more than a month without income.
  Yesterday, when I was in Austin and then in Dallas, I was told that 
people who routinely volunteer their time at the food banks in those 
locations now find themselves going to the food banks and seeking food 
so they can feed their families because they are missing a government 
paycheck and can't provide for them without the generosity of those 
food banks.
  I also went to events in Austin and Dallas and met with U.S. 
attorneys in both locations to talk about our efforts to counter human 
trafficking and child exploitation. What I learned is that the 
frontline prosecutors who prosecute these kinds of cases aren't being 
paid, but maybe more troublesome is the fact that neither are the FBI 
agents who conduct the investigations or the administrative personnel 
who support the U.S. attorneys offices. So this is harming our ability 
to investigate and prosecute human trafficking and child exploitation 
cases too. People are being forced to work without pay, and it is 
harming not only them but also the victims of these horrific crimes.
  More than 110,000 of these unpaid Federal workers earn less than 
$50,000 a year, and they rely on their paycheck to make ends meet. They 
are not millionaires. While we did pass legislation to guarantee that 
these public servants will eventually get their pay, that does nothing 
to help them in the interim.
  Federal workers are being forced to make decisions that no family 
should have to consider. For a single mom who is a Federal correctional 
officer in Arizona, that means turning off her heat, never letting the 
temperature get higher than 60 or 65 degrees in order to cut costs. For 
a mom in Wisconsin who works at the Department of the Interior, that 
means rationing her insulin because she can't afford the $300 copay.
  This shutdown is deeply impacting thousands of Federal workers and 
their families all across the country, including Texas. One Texan who 
works at the Internal Revenue Service says he has been sleeping in so 
he only has to worry about eating two meals a day, not three. One woman 
whose husband is in the Coast Guard drove from Galveston to Ellington 
Field in Houston--about 40 miles each way--to pick up free diapers for 
their kids.
  On a recent trip home, I heard specific examples of the impact this 
shutdown has had on the Department of Justice, which I mentioned just a 
moment ago, and the heartbreaking challenges they are facing every day. 
These dedicated men and women have chosen their careers in public 
service. They want to go to work. They want to be able to pay their 
bills. It is time for us to do our job so they can do theirs with the 
dignity and the pay they earn.
  I want to remind all our colleagues that our constituents did not 
send us to Washington so we could simply vote no on a less than perfect 
piece of legislation. If that were the case, we would never get 
anything done here. We were elected to work with our colleagues to 
create legislation so we can get to yes, to build consensus, and to 
solve problems, not to score political points.
  Are there certain pieces of legislation that I don't agree with? Of 
course--parts of this legislation we just voted on. But it does fund 
priorities critical to our southern border and to the people of Texas. 
Right now, this is the only bill I have seen that includes priorities 
of both parties and that carries the President's support.
  I voted for this legislation to support the men and women who have 
been treated as collateral damage throughout this unnecessary 
government shutdown, those who are forced to apply for food stamps or 
unemployment who would rather be working, who can't pay their medical 
bills or for childcare, who not only want this shutdown to end but need 
for this shutdown to end.
  We aren't here to hold show votes on legislation the President won't 
sign. Just ask the elementary school civics students, and they can tell 
you that is not how a bill becomes a law.
  This was a serious offer by the President to end this shutdown and 
build the trust and good will necessary to have real reform, and I am 
disappointed that our colleagues voted against this bill. That was a 
vote not on the merits of the President's proposal; that was a vote to 
get on the bill so it could be amended. In other words, our colleagues 
who voted against the bill aren't even interested in having a 
conversation about how we solve this problem and how we find our way 
out of this boxed canyon. Unfortunately, there are those who, for 
political reasons, continue to lack any interest in negotiating a 
compromise bill that could earn bipartisan support.
  We solve difficult problems every day in the U.S. Congress on a 
bipartisan basis--every single day--but somehow we have decided we 
can't solve this problem. And I fear that is not because of the 
difficulty of the problem presented; it is because of the politics that 
have paralyzed us and made it impossible for us to bridge our 
  I thank the President for this comprehensive offer and the majority 
leader for bringing it to the floor so we could vote on it. I would 
urge all of our colleagues, now that we have had these two failed 
votes--we know we are right where we started when we got here today--to 
work together to try to bridge our differences, to build consensus, and 
end this shutdown.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. JOHNSON. Is the minority leader on the floor?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair does not see him.

                 Unanimous Consent Request--H.J. Res. 1

  Mr. JOHNSON. Yesterday, Chaplain Black opened the Senate by quoting 
the Gospel according to Luke. He said: ``Those who work deserve their 
pay.'' I could not agree more.
  First of all, I want to thank the finest among us--the members of the 
Coast Guard, TSA, Customs and Border Protection, ICE, all the men and 
women whom, because of Federal law, we require to work who are caught 

[[Page S560]]

in the shutdown politics, which I don't agree with, and they are not 
getting paid. It is a basic principle that we should pay these 
  Earlier today, my colleague, the Senator from Alaska, with other 
Republican colleagues, came to the floor asking a simple question--
proposing a bill to pay the men and women of the Coast Guard, and for 
some reason, the minority leader and Democrats objected to this very 
fair proposal.
  Today, I come to the floor to offer an amendment to the bill I 
introduced 10 days ago. It has been talked about in the press. We have 
24 Republican cosponsors of the Shutdown Fairness Act, which does a 
pretty simple thing: It simply pays those individuals who are doing the 
work trying to keep this Nation safe.
  Mr. President, I see the minority leader here.
  I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate 
consideration of Calendar No. 6, H.J. Res. 1. I ask unanimous consent 
that the Johnson amendment at the desk be agreed to; that the bill, as 
amended, be considered read a third time and passed; and that the 
motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there an objection?
  Mr. SCHUMER. Reserving the right to object, I heard my good friend 
from Wisconsin say, give him one good reason to object to the Coast 
Guard. No, there is not one; there are 760,000, if that is the right 
number--the number of non-Coast Guard workers who are not getting paid.
  Similarly here, it will be easy for any Member to get up and pick and 
choose and say: Pay these. Pay those. Don't pay these. Don't pay those.
  Our position on this side is simple: They should not be held hostage. 
They should not say: We are not going to pay you unless we get our way 
on the wall--which is exactly what President Trump is doing and exactly 
what my colleagues, with some exceptions, have decided to do on that 
side of the aisle, including my good friend from Wisconsin. That is not 
fair. Everyone deserves to be paid. These are all hard-working people. 
They have done nothing wrong. They all get up on Monday morning, even 
if they have a fever or something, to go to work because they believe 
in what they are doing. They are government workers. To pick and choose 
some and not others is the wrong way to go and would lead to a 
cacophony. Every one of us could get up and say: Maybe we should, say, 
just pay the workers in Brooklyn, NY. It doesn't make any sense at all.
  So I would modify my friend's request and expand it to all of our 
Federal workers, which is only fair.
  Reserving the right to object, would the Senator modify his request 
to ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate 
consideration of H.J. Res. 28, which has been received from the House, 
making further additional continuing appropriations through February 
28; that the joint resolution be considered read a third time and 
passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon 
the table with no intervening action or debate?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the Senator from Wisconsin so modify his 
  Mr. JOHNSON. I do object because we basically just voted on that in 
the Senate, and it was voted down. The President would not sign that. 
That would not become law. And the minority leader is holding 400-some 
thousand individuals who are actually working who should get paid--he 
is the one holding them hostage.
  I would yield to the Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I object to that. I am in the middle of an objection.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The objection to the modification is heard.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Leader McConnell has requested I go to his office. I 
think that is more important than some of these activities. I am going 
to object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic leader does not have the floor.
  Does the Democratic leader object to the original request?
  Mr. SCHUMER. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. President, I would like to turn it over to the 
Senator from Tennessee for 2 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Could the Presiding Officer let me know when 60 
seconds is up so the Senator from Alaska can have 60 seconds? And then 
we can go on with the colloquy people have been waiting for.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, this is what we just heard. The Senator 
from Wisconsin asked unanimous consent that the Senate approve pay for 
400,000 workers who are being forced to work without pay. No Republican 
objects to the Senator from Wisconsin's idea, but the Democratic leader 
does. That means the Democratic leader is saying to 53,000 TSA 
employees who make about $40,000 a year that he objects on behalf of 
the Democratic side to paying them while they are forced to work. He is 
saying to 54,000 Customs and Border Protection agents that he objects 
to paying them while they are forced to work.
  Senator Johnson says that on the Republican side, we want to pay 
42,000 Coast Guard employees who are forced to work and aren't getting 
paid. The Democratic leader says he objects to that and to 14,000 air 
traffic controllers, 16,000 Bureau of Prisons corrections officers, and 
35,000 IRS employees. They are being forced to work. The Republicans 
are saying pay them; the Democratic leader objects.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I had previously noted on the floor the 
group of Senators who want to join together to send a clear message 
that we are committed to working together to end this shutdown and 
responsibly deal with border security in a truly bipartisan manner. 
This is a group of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans. 
Senator Murkowski is leading this on the Republican side of the floor 
  I ask unanimous consent that for the next hour, the two of us control 
30 minutes of time; that I control 30 minutes and Senator Murkowski 
will control the other 30 minutes of time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, during this floor time, I think you are 
going to see clear messages coming from Democratic Senators and 
Republican Senators that this shutdown needs to end, that we need to 
pass a short-term, 3-week clean CR so we can have time to consider the 
President's request and work together on a bipartisan border security 
  I want my colleagues to know we have been meeting regularly in an 
effort to try to see where we can find common ground. We feel pretty 
confident that we can find common ground if we can get government open 
and get to work in a responsible manner to deal with border security in 
the best interest of the people of this Nation.
  Mr. President, I will first yield to my friend from Virginia, Senator 
Warner, then I will yield time and give up the floor to Senator 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I appreciate my friend, the Senator from 
Maryland, yielding time. I appreciate the fact that this may be the 
first time, at least in the last few weeks, where a group of Senators 
from both sides of the aisle are actually coming together to find 
agreement--not to score ``gotcha'' points but to find agreement. I 
promised the Senator I would be very brief.
  It is clear this government shutdown needs to come to an end. My hope 
would be that as we move toward that conclusion, we will also look at 
the issues revolving around, particularly, low-paid Federal contractors 
who will get no relief when the government reopens. I also hope we can 
work together.
  I have legislation called the Stop STUPIDITY Act. It is a good name. 
It may need further amendments that would try to prohibit future 
shutdowns being used by either party on a going-forward basis.
  What I think we need to do, and I think other colleagues will 
acknowledge this, is let's take a 3-week, short-

[[Page S561]]

term CR. Let's consider the President's proposal. Let me be clear. The 
President is watching. This Senator will commit to good-faith 
negotiations. This Senator will commit to supporting increased border 
security beyond what we just voted on in the so-called Democratic 
proposal. I hope the President will take that kind of commitment for 
increased border security as a good-faith effort and will be responsive 
so we can get this government reopened on a short-term basis and that 
the kind of horror stories we all can recount about our workers, 
contractors, and oftentimes private businesses that surround those 
Federal installations--that will see no relief--can actually get their 
operations back open.
  I thank my friend, the Senator from Maryland, for granting me this 
time. I thank the Senator from Alaska for leadership on her time. Let's 
see if this eight can go forth and multiply so, before this weekend is 
over, we can get our workforce back to work doing the people's 
  I yield back to the Senator from Maryland.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I appreciate my colleagues being down 
here again on a bipartisan basis to talk about where we are at this 
  We just had two messaging votes. Both of those votes failed. I voted 
for both of them because my message was I want to get this government 
open. I want to do it quickly and with the sense of urgency that 
responds to the men and women who have been so significantly impacted 
by this partial government shutdown for the past 34 days. I also want 
to be fair to the President's priorities that he has articulated in the 
proposal that he has provided to us as recently as Saturday. I think we 
can do this together.
  My message to folks back home--my message to people is don't give up 
hope because now is the time that we all must come together to address 
these issues, but you can't do it when the government is shut down.
  I have indicated I am supportive of a measure the Senator from 
Maryland, Mr. Cardin, has introduced that will allow for a short-term 
CR, 3 weeks, allow us then to go through--whether it is the 
appropriations process, the Judiciary Committee process--but allow us 
to have this debate on these important priorities; allow us to do the 
business of the Senate, to do the business of legislating, but let's 
also allow the business of the government to proceed by opening up the 
government right now.
  We will have an opportunity to go back and forth amongst colleagues. 
I will remind folks, we have very limited periods of time.
  I am going to yield to my colleagues on the other side. It is so 
important that we are coming together now to offer some glimmer of 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. I couldn't agree more with my friend from Alaska and the 
way she worded it. We are going to work together to open the government 
as quickly as possible.
  I yield to my friend from Delaware, Senator Coons.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Delaware.
  Mr. COONS. Thank you, Mr. President. I thank my colleagues from 
Alaska, Maryland, and other States for their willingness to spend so 
much time talking, listening, and trying, together, to craft a path 
  The role the Senate has historically played in our constitutional 
order is one where we are the body that others look to when there is 
either an inflexibility or an unreliability in negotiating a path 
forward. We have lots of folks across this country suffering from this 
government shutdown. It is having an impact that all of us could 
  I have to ask, what is it going to take for us to reopen this 
government? Is it going to take a breakdown in food security or airline 
security? Is it going to take an increase in crime or terrorism, an 
accident, or thousands more Americans struggling to feed their 
families, losing housing or electricity? I will not go on with the 
list. We all know the human cost of this shutdown.
  I am here to join my friends, my colleagues from both parties, in 
saying that we are intent on making a good-faith effort to reopen the 
government for 3 weeks, to promptly support good-faith negotiations, to 
address the President's priorities, to discuss what effective, modern 
investment in border security and changes in immigration policy would 
look like, and then reach a resolution in 3 weeks or less. We have to 
be able to do this. We have to show our country and the world that 
democracy can work.
  I am optimistic that with the passion and the commitment I have heard 
from my bipartisan colleagues who stand on the floor with me tonight, 
that it is possible to get this done and that whatever gets taken up 
and considered in regular order by this body could then be passed by 
the House and signed into law by the President.
  Let us take a first bold step together today and sign on to an 
amendment that my colleague from Maryland has, committing us to a 
clean, 3-week continuing resolution, reopening the government, and 
promptly negotiating in good faith to increase investment in border 
  I yield the floor.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. I would ask that the Senator from Maine be recognized 
at this time.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, this shutdown, the longest in our 
history, must come to an end. It has already caused far too much harm 
for 800,000 dedicated Federal employees and their families who are 
struggling to pay bills without paychecks and are on the verge of 
missing yet another paycheck. It has hurt the American people who need 
to interact with Federal Agencies, including seniors, low-income 
families, people with disabilities who worry about their housing 
assistance. It is damaging our economy, causing a drop in consumer 
confidence and consumer spending.
  Ironically, shutdowns always end up costing the government more money 
than if we had operated as we should.
  I see a glimmer of hope here. We at least have had two votes today on 
two different plans. Like the Senator from Alaska and others, I 
supported both plans because my priority is to reopen government, but 
where I am really optimistic is the fact that 16 Senators are on the 
floor, equally divided between the two parties, and willing to 
compromise. Compromise is not a dirty word. It is not a sign of 
weakness. It is a sign of strength.
  Let us compromise to reopen government, address border security, and 
get on with the business of this country.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. At this time, I yield to my colleague from Arizona, 
Senator Sinema.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Ms. SINEMA. Mr. President, I want to thank my colleagues from 
Maryland and Alaska for bringing us together today but also for the 
work our group has been putting in for the last several weeks to find a 
solution to end this harmful and hurtful shutdown.
  The voters of Arizona want a government that is lean, that allows 
them to pursue their individual interests, and that, above all, does 
not detract from their everyday life.
  Unfortunately, when the Federal Government is shut down, as it is 
today, it detracts and takes away from the quality of life for folks in 
  Recently, the President asked the Congress to consider appropriations 
for border security. I stand in support of working together across the 
aisle with my colleagues in the Senate to answer that request. Arizona 
needs enhanced funding for border security, and I feel confident that 
if given 3 weeks, the Republicans and Democrats together in this body 
could find a reasonable compromise that both continues to keep our 
government operating in a lean and efficient way, while also providing 
for efficient and effective border security.
  In Arizona, we bear the brunt of a government that has failed its 
duty to secure our border and protect our communities; in Arizona, we 
bear the brunt of our country's failure to solve the immigration crisis 
we live in today; in Arizona, we have been waiting for over three 
decades for the Congress to solve this problem so that we in Arizona 
can live our lives free from unnecessary government interference and 
with the full freedom our country has promised us.

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  I believe that if we work together over the next 3 weeks, we can find 
a compromise, we can find a solution to this challenge, and we can work 
with our colleagues in the House and send a piece of legislation to the 
President that will meet the security needs of our country and ensure 
that we keep government operating efficiently and effectively for the 
people of my State and for this country. I look forward to working over 
the next several weeks to solve this challenge.
  I request of the President, allow us those 3 weeks to find this 
bipartisan solution together.
  I yield back.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. I ask that the Senator from South Carolina be 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina.
  Mr. GRAHAM. I just got off the phone with the President. I told him 
we were talking about a 3-week CR. All of us believe that if we had 3 
weeks with the government open and all the discord coming from a 
shutdown, that we could find a way forward to produce a bill that he 
would sign that would be good for everybody in the country, but we need 
that opportunity.
  He gave me some indications of things he would want for a 3-week CR 
that would be a good-faith downpayment on moving forward that I thought 
were imminently reasonable. Rather than me telling you about what he 
said, I think Senator Schumer and Senator McConnell will be talking 
about this.
  The 3-week CR concept is a good idea, and what the President wants to 
add to it made sense to me, and it gets us back in the ball game. Here 
is what is going to happen. The TPS language that was sent over by the 
President is a move forward but unacceptable to my Democratic 
colleagues. It needs to be like what Tim Kaine did. The DACA provision 
sent over by the President is moving forward, but it needs to be what 
Senator Durbin did because they are both, I think, reasonable proposals 
that the President should be able to accept.
  To my Democratic friends, money for a barrier is required to get this 
deal done. It will not be a concrete wall, and the money will be a 
program to a DHS plan that all of you know about and have been briefed 
on and should approve.
  You are not giving President Trump a bunch of money to do anything he 
wants to do. He has to spend it on a plan that the professionals have 
come up with. If you want $800 million for refugee assistance, you will 
get it. We all need more judges, and 250 more Border Patrol agents on 
the border would be good for us all.
  I want to let the public know I have never been more optimistic than 
I am now if we can find a way to open up the government for 3 weeks. If 
we fail, everybody can say we did our best. This is one last chance to 
get this right. I am just hoping and praying that what the President is 
asking for, in addition to Senator Cardin's 3-week CR, he will 
entertain. Let's get to work. If we can get in a room, we will fix 
this, and it won't take 3 weeks.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I am now pleased to yield to my colleague 
from Maryland, Senator Van Hollen, who has been a real partner during 
his stay here in the Senate. We have traveled the State of Maryland 
together, and we know firsthand the hardships of this shutdown. We have 
seen the faces, and we have seen the consequences.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. President, I thank my friend and partner from 
Maryland for all of his work in ending the shutdown.
  I thank him, as well as our friend from Alaska, Senator Murkowski, 
for bringing us together in a bipartisan way to find a solution to end 
this shutdown as soon as possible. That is why I support the bipartisan 
amendment that will be filed this afternoon to open the government for 
3 weeks.
  I should stress that this is not my preferred solution. I would like 
to take up the bill that is at the desk that would open eight of the 
nine Federal Departments right away and give us time to deal with the 
Department of Homeland Security. Yet the proposal before us is our best 
option at this point in time for resolving this shutdown.
  What will 3 weeks accomplish? It is a fair question.
  First of all, it will allow Federal Government employees--all of 
them--to get back to work for the American people and help resume vital 
  No. 2, it will make sure that all of them get paid--those who are 
working without pay and those who have been locked out. That is 
important because all of us know that tomorrow marks the second full 
pay period of when they will get big fat zeros on their paychecks even 
as their bills keep coming through the door.
  It will do something else that is very important. It will give the 
Senate and the House a little breathing room to work together on a 
bipartisan basis to address a number of priorities--priorities to make 
sure we provide adequate border security, which can include additional 
resources. We can spend some time addressing immigration issues, 
including those that were just mentioned by the Senator from South 
  I believe this time and space is absolutely needed to allow us to 
work together in a bipartisan way. While 3 weeks may not sound like a 
lot of time, in part, it will help focus our attention on getting the 
job done, and we will all be held accountable in the House, in the 
Senate, and in the White House for getting our work done in that 
  I thank our colleagues for showing this good faith in trying to find 
a solution to doing it. Take 3 weeks. Open the government. Let's have 
those very important discussions. Let's do it in a sober and serious 
way. If we do so, I am confident that we can find a permanent result 
that will help us get out of this crisis.
  I thank the Senator.
  I yield back my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I yield to the Senator from Georgia.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia.
  Mr. ISAKSON. Mr. President, all Democrats and Republicans, pay close 
  I have been here for 20 years, and I have seen a lot of shutdowns--
about five of them. I want to talk about what they have produced.
  The first one with Bill Clinton produced Monica Lewinsky. That is how 
they got into all the trouble--because she was an intern at the White 
House. Idle hands are never good.
  For us, Newt Gingrich lost his job in the same shutdown. He lost his 
job because he lost six votes in the House and couldn't get reelected 
as Speaker. I had to replace him. I am kind of glad that happened, but 
it is still not a good reason to have a shutdown.
  A few years later, great Senators--John McCain being one of them and 
Ted Kennedy being another--worked their fingers to the bone and came up 
with a great immigration bill that I was a part of in my first term in 
the Senate. We got castigated and ruined because, all of a sudden, 
``amnesty'' became a four-letter word, and political consultants found 
it to be kind of an easy way to run against people in the party.
  For 15 years, we have been beating each other over something that 
ought to be easy to do, which is to change for the better. A lot of 
people think Congress's job is for us to come to Washington and change 
things for the better. When it comes to immigration, all we ever change 
is the subject. We never end the debate, and we never pass a result. 
Oftentimes, we call each other names for the wrong reason.
  I am here for one reason--to thank my colleagues who are on the 
floor. To all of the others who are ready to do some business, I am 
ready to do some business. It is time we put the workers in our 
government back to work. It is time we did what we promised the people 
in the United States of America we would do. And it is time we went to 
work because when everybody is out of work, it is our fault. They are 
the people who carry the mail, who empty the garbage, who cook in the 
cafeteria, who clean up the parks, and they do everything without 
complaining whatsoever. They are out there--many of them--not even 
being paid right now while we are sitting here, debating a subject that 
we can't reach a solution on--period.
  We need to take our armor off, leave our weapons at the door, walk in 
the room, and shake hands.

[[Page S563]]

  We need to grab Ben Cardin's hand and say: Ben, thank you for making 
an effort as a Democrat.
  Lisa, thank you, as a Republican, for supporting it.
  Let's sit down, and let's pass a bill we can all agree on that gets 
Americans back to work and restores the spirit of Ellis Island and the 
pride of the United States of America.
  I yield back.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I have joined Senator Isakson on many 
bills since I have been in the Senate, and I look forward to working 
with him to find the solution with regard to border security issues. I 
thank him for his comments.
  I yield to my colleague from Maine, Senator King, who has been so 
instrumental in trying to come up with concrete ways to end this 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine.
  Mr. KING. Mr. President, it strikes me that there are really two 
problems before us--one we can resolve this evening or tomorrow morning 
or in the next 24 hours, and that is the shutdown. At least we could 
resolve it for a limited period of time and then start talking about 
the second problem, which is border security.
  I think one of the unfortunate realities of what has happened in the 
last month is the assumption on the part of some that there was no good 
faith on border security and no interest in dealing with border 
security from this side of the aisle. That is a misunderstanding. I 
voted in 2013 for the largest border security provision that I think 
has ever come before the U.S. Senate. So did virtually every Member of 
this caucus and a third or more of the other caucus. Two-thirds of the 
Senate voted for that bill with a very important border security 
  I want to be very clear. I am very supportive of border security and 
of increasing border security. There also may be cases in which there 
may be parts of the border at which some kind of barrier makes sense 
and is cost-effective; whereas, there are other areas of the border at 
which it doesn't make sense. What I am interested in is a thorough 
discussion with the experts about what the most cost-effective way is 
to protect our citizens and secure the border. I believe this proposal 
today gives us the breathing space to have that discussion.
  I remind my colleagues that this administration submitted a border 
security proposal to the Congress last February with its budget of $1.6 
billion. Lo and behold, it was approved by the Appropriations Committee 
and by this body. That is an indication to me that there is good faith.
  I think the important thing to communicate now is to not complicate 
this with conditions. Let's take the awful hammer away--and I don't 
have to reiterate all that has been said today about the devastating 
effect of this shutdown on people in all of our States and on people 
who are working for no pay, which is fundamentally wrong--and then 
spend the next 3 weeks finding a solution, which I believe we can do. I 
have had enough discussions with my colleagues on both sides of the 
aisle. I think there is a solution to be had that will satisfy the 
President, the two bodies of Congress, and, most importantly, the 
American people in terms of the protection we can provide.
  I am happy to join my colleague today in supporting this message and, 
importantly, to join my colleagues across the aisle. Give us breathing 
space. Take the problem of the shutdown away. Then we can have a 
discussion and a debate and find a solution through a process, which is 
the way it ought to be, not with a shutdown hanging over everyone. That 
is not the way we should be governing.
  I look forward to working with my colleagues on finding a creative, 
cost-effective, and safe solution to this issue of border security to 
protect this country.
  I thank the Presiding Officer.
  I yield the floor.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, how much time remains on the Republican 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Republicans have 21 minutes remaining.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. I thank the Presiding Officer.
  I now yield to the Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from Alaska for her 
leadership today; my colleague from Maine, who just spoke; my colleague 
from Maryland; and all of my colleagues on the floor.
  By the way, there are several Republicans who came up to me over the 
last hour and asked: May I speak in this colloquy? We didn't have time 
for all of them, but that is a good sign. It shows that there are a lot 
of Members--16 here on the floor and many others--who believe it is 
time for us to figure this out.
  No one likes a government shutdown. I have put out a bill five times 
now to the Congress to end government shutdowns. By the way, it is 
getting a few more cosponsors now, and it should because this situation 
doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense for the families who are 
affected, including those who are going to work without pay and are 
living paycheck to paycheck. This is true hardship. It doesn't make 
sense for the taxpayers, who never end up winning in these government 
shutdowns but whom we end up paying after the fact--often, for 
government services that were never provided--because that is how 
shutdowns work. Finally, it is bad for the economy. If we go another 
few weeks, there will be one point off our GDP, which will be a huge 
deal for wages and jobs and economic growth. So let's get this thing 
behind us.
  There is a serious issue here, which is, How do we secure the border? 
Our southern border is a mess. I call it a ``crisis'' while others call 
it something else, but we have to address this. The President is right 
about that.
  I am hopeful today, and I am hopeful for three reasons.
  One is that we just went through a process whereby there was failure 
on both sides. As was expected, we had two proposals out there, but 
nobody expected they would pass. It was an opportunity, I guess, for 
voices to be heard, but no one expected them to pass. After this, the 
pieces are starting to be put back together by this group and others.
  I just listened to my colleagues on the other side. I listened to 
what Senator King said. They want border security. They want to enhance 
what is going on at the border now. Senator King just talked about the 
need for more barriers. I mean, look, if you are serious about this, 
you have to acknowledge that twice as many people crossed in the last 2 
months, which we have records for, than a year ago. There has been 
about a 50-percent increase in families crossing and about a 25-percent 
increase in kids crossing. There has been a 3,000-percent increase in 
the last 5 years in people coming forward and claiming asylum. This is 
a problem we have to address.
  There is a huge problem with regard to drugs. I come from Ohio, where 
we are getting hit hard by the heroin and crystal meth that are coming 
across the border from Mexico. We are not stopping it--we are stopping 
very little of it--which is why Democrats and Republicans alike have 
said there should be more screening at our ports of entry. I agree.
  So I appreciate what my colleagues on the other side of the aisle 
have said. I will let them speak for themselves in our going forward, 
but they want border security too. I am encouraged by the fact that 
they were talking about it today in terms of coming up with a solution 
here to enhance security.
  Secondly, I like the fact that the President put out a proposal. I 
think he should have put out a proposal that was a compromise, and he 
did. He said: OK, we are not just going to have more border security; 
we are going to deal with about a million people who are in temporary 
protected status who have come from these 10 countries. We don't want 
to send them back because there is a war or there is strife or there is 
a natural disaster. There are about 400,000 people.
  We are also going to take care of the people who have come here as 
children, through no fault of their own, who now find themselves in 
this uncertain status. These are the so-called DACA recipients. I think 
it is time for Congress to act on this.
  Again, the President put forward a plan that said: OK, you guys help 
me on border security. I am also going to deal with these other issues 
that many Democrats have talked about for years.
  That makes me hopeful in that finally we are talking about these 

[[Page S564]]

I agree with what Lindsey Graham said in that we can do more on these 
two and that we can do more on some issues that the Democrats care 
about. I believe the administration is willing to do that, but, gosh, 
at least we are finally talking.
  Finally, I am encouraged by the fact that we are not that far apart. 
Let me be specific. I think the administration and the Democrats have 
mischaracterized the President's plan as it relates to barriers on the 
southern border. It may surprise you to learn that in the President's 
proposal he has just given us, it is not 2,000 miles of the border. He 
is talking about his interest in 234 more miles. There will be no wall 
in the sense of a cement wall, a concrete wall. He has said there will 
be fences; there will be vehicle barriers, low barriers; and there will 
be pedestrian wire fences. Yet it won't be done by what the White House 
says is the right thing to do; it will be done by experts. The experts 
are in the ``Border Security Improvement Plan'' that we embraced in 
this Congress in the last appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018--
that we are working on now, which is what the CR is--and in the new one 
that was passed last summer. We said this plan is the right plan 
because it says what kinds of barriers are going to be where.
  People ask, how did the President come up with $5.7 billion? Do you 
know how he came up with it? It was from wanting to fund the top 10 
priorities of the ``Border Security Improvement Plan'' that was put out 
by the experts. That is what that is. We can disagree on whether that 
is too much money, too little money, or whatever, but it is only 234 
miles out of 2,000 miles. Almost all of it is in Texas, in places where 
there are no fencing, as opposed to California or Arizona, where there 
is a lot of fencing, or even New Mexico. We can say: Well, maybe that 
is too much. Maybe we will go a little more slowly. But this is a plan 
about which we had all--Republicans and Democrats--with a huge vote out 
of the Appropriations Committee, said: This is a plan that we ought to 

  I don't think we are that far apart. Frankly, I think both sides need 
to start characterizing the plan accurately and stop talking past each 
other. I think if we do that, with reasonable numbers on both sides of 
the aisle here, we can do something that makes sense, yes, to help 
secure our southern border, which everybody wants to do, and to do it 
in a smart way and not waste money.
  Walls are not the only answer. Fences are not the only answer. You 
have to have more sensors and more cameras. You have to have more 
immigration judges, which Democrats want and so does the President in 
his proposal. You have to have more screening for these drugs coming 
in. You have to help in terms of the human trafficking. These are 
things that both parties want to do.
  So I am optimistic, although frustrated--really frustrated--by this 
shutdown, but I am more optimistic today because I hear on the other 
side of the aisle a willingness to come forward. I sense with the new 
proposal that there is a willingness to reach out, and, folks, it is 
  Let's stop this shutdown. Shutdowns are stupid. Let's protect that 
southern border, and let's move forward on other priorities we have in 
this Congress.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I certainly appreciate the words from 
Senator Portman. The two of us have been working together since we were 
in the House of Representatives, and we are proud that we have a record 
of concrete accomplishments, working together across party lines. 
Sometimes we had to take on the leadership of both of our parties, but 
we got things done. So I am encouraged by his comments, and I really do 
believe we can work together to resolve this issue.
  With that, I would like to yield to my colleague from West Virginia, 
Senator Manchin, who has been a real leader on the practical impact 
that this shutdown has. The story about what is happening in the 
prisons located in West Virginia I think really frighten all of us.
  Mr. MANCHIN. Mr. President, I want to thank Senator Cardin, Senator 
Murkowski, Senator Collins, and all of my colleagues here.
  This is a good step. We are all here for the first time after 30 
days. But guess what. You have been back home talking to the people who 
are hurting. They have no idea why we are doing what we are doing, 
allowing them to be harmed the way they are.
  I voted for both proposals today. I will vote for whatever it takes 
to get us back in the room to make something happen--to open up the 
  I understand that the CR works this way. If we have a CR, then, 
proportionately, there is going to be 3 weeks of money still being used 
for DHS and for border security. I understand that is how it works. It 
is based on $1.3 billion of last year's approps. A CR continues the 
spending from last year. So there will be money there to continue on in 
good faith.
  I don't think any of us would want to come back 3 weeks from now and 
say: It is your fault for shutting it down.
  No, it is the President's fault.
  No, it is our fault.
  No one wants to go through that. I don't know why the 3 weeks is 
unreasonable for anybody if it is presented properly to the President 
that you are going to have continuation of money, proportionately, for 
the 3 weeks that we are going to be in that CR.
  The thing that I can't understand is that I am hearing that the 
President wants $5.7 billion. Senator Portman just told us where that 
came from--from the people who are experts and should know, the Customs 
and Border Patrol people. I am understanding also--and I heard this 
morning--that some of the leadership from the Democrats on the House 
side are saying that they would consider $5.7 billion for anything but 
a wall. That means they know we need border security, but they have a 
different idea of how to secure the border.
  Well, guess what. If you want to spend $5.7 billion for border 
security and the President wants to spend $5.7 billion for border 
security, then, surely, we can sit down in that 3-week period and, 
talking to the professionals, figure out what needs to be done and 
where our greatest risks are. How do we stop the opioids and all of the 
drugs that are coming in? It has ravaged my State. It is horrible what 
my State is going through.
  On top of that, I have about 12,000 people who are working for the 
Federal Government. I have never seen more people impacted. All they 
are saying is this: You people really don't care because none of you 
are hurting. You talk a good game. You throw a lot of words back and 
forth, but no one is hurting. We are the ones who are hurting.
  Then, I have essentials working in prisons. Basically, most of our 
prisons are in very rural areas. The average drive time to our prison 
is 1 hour. The prison I am talking about is Hazelton. It is a 1-hour 
drive time. People are making decisions. They are not not going to work 
because they are upset and mad. They know their responsibility, but 
here is the other responsibility: They have to make a decision because 
they have no cash. They say: Of what little bit of money I have in 
resources, do I put gas in the tank or do I put food on the table for 
the kids? It is one of the two because we don't know how long this is 
going to take. Now we are trying to decide whether we are basically 
going to carpool or take what public transportation we can get.

  Guess what. Public transportation is starting to shut down too. The 
buses are starting to shut down. It is the way they can get to work in 
  Colleagues, let me tell you that I have been in public service, like 
all of you, and I think we are all in it for the right reason. We 
wanted to truly serve the public, but we are not serving the public. We 
are all guilty, every one of us. I don't care how you vote on bills. I 
don't care what we talk about. We are all getting painted with the same 
brush right now. No one is going to escape this. It is absolutely 
horrific what is being done.
  I have always said this: Government should be your partner and your 
ally, not your adversary. Right now, the government is the enemy of the 
people who basically are providing the services that people depend on 
and who are protecting us. This is why this has to stop.
  I am saying to the President: Mr. President, please, give us the 3 

[[Page S565]]

We understand we need border security.
  Basically, our colleagues on the other side understand there should 
be compassion. When you have a child who was brought here at 2 days 
old, 2 weeks old, or 2 months and now is an adult and has no idea how 
they got here but they would like to enjoy the fruits and be able to 
give something back to this country, there ought to be a pathway 
forward. These are the things that we all seem to agree on at certain 
  Along with many of the Senators who were here in 2013, I voted for 
one of the biggest packages we have ever had--$44 billion in security; 
basically, border security--and not one person could get a pathway to 
citizenship or become a citizen of this great country if they were not 
here for the right reason. They might have gotten here the wrong way, 
but they came for the right reason. Should they not have an 
opportunity? They could not become a citizen after 10 or 13 years until 
we secured the border. That is what this was all about.
  Now we are fighting over whatever. I don't know. I can't even explain 
it when I go back home. So I tell them: Listen, I am for border 
security. I will vote for border security. I will vote compassionately 
to try to help people to find a pathway to be an American citizen also, 
especially children.
  The other thing is that I think we can find a pathway forward if the 
President will give us the 3 weeks. I guarantee you that I don't think 
any of us will vote for another shutdown or let this happen.
  We can't let this go another day longer. We cannot leave here until 
we fix this. The people back home say: I will tell you the only way you 
are going to fix it is when you are hurting as bad as I am hurting. Why 
don't you all stop your pay? Why are you still getting a paycheck? Oh, 
yes, you fixed that because that is a constitutional amendment. You are 
taken care of, and it is out of your hands. You can't deny your pay. It 
is going to come.
  They say: I will tell you that this will never happen again if, 
basically, the day that the shutdown begins, for every Congressperson--
every Senator and every Representative, all 535--and the President and 
everybody who works in that White House over there who is making 
policy--the pay stops. I guarantee you one thing: You will work around 
the clock. You will work around the clock to prevent another shutdown.
  I cannot disagree with them. So I am saying: I am all in. I am all 
in. I will do whatever it takes. I will stay here 24/7. I will do 
whatever it takes to bring people back together, but, most importantly, 
to get people back to work. We can do that and still have border 
security and have some compassion for the people who are hurting the 
  Thank you.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, that is exactly why we are here--to get 
this government open, to get people paid, and to get people back to 
  Let me turn to the Senator from Louisiana.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.
  Mr. CASSIDY. Mr. President, If I were sitting at home or in the 
Gallery right now, I would be incredibly frustrated. I am frustrated, 
but if I were home, I would be particularly frustrated. Why?
  Think about what we have agreed upon in this colloquy from both the 
Democratic and Republican side of the aisle. We agree that border 
security is important. We agree that it is one of the primary functions 
of the Federal Government. We agree that there needs to be more money, 
and although in legislation we have not agreed, we certainly have 
statements from Democrats and, of course, as well as Republicans, that 
barriers are also important.
  Collin Peterson, a Democrat on the House side, put it well. On 
January 22, 2019, he said:

       Give Trump the money. I'd give him the whole thing . . . 
     and put strings on it so you make sure he puts the wall where 
     it needs to be. Why are we fighting over this? We're going to 
     build that wall anyway, at some time.

  My Democratic Senate colleagues have said something along the same 
line, maybe not as point-blank but they certainly have said it. We 
agree there. We agree that the American worker who continues to show up 
but is not getting paid needs to get paid.
  As for those TSA agents and those air traffic controllers whom we use 
as we go back and forth to our districts, God bless them. More than 
51,000 TSA agents are working without pay. There are 10,000 air traffic 
controller support staff who remain furloughed.
  By the way, I and others have introduced legislation to pay those 
while they are working. I think it is something we, the Senate, should 
take up. We need a solution that fulfills our national security 
responsibilities, ends the shutdown, and so that these workers can get 
  I say it is time to move forward, negotiate, and come to the table, 
but you may ask: If Democratic and Republican Senators all agree to 
this, then, why is it not happening?
  In fairness to President Trump, whose rhetoric sometimes inflames and 
sometimes pushes off and, as my colleague from Ohio said, who sometimes 
describes things in a way that misrepresents his actual intent, it is 
not a wall from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. It is a wall 
in certain places that are high flow with pedestrian traffic. But, 
nonetheless, clearly, we have come to a point where a personality 
conflict between the President and the Speaker has put them at 
loggerheads and, apparently, they are unable to negotiate.
  It is clear from our colloquy that Senators on both sides of the 
aisle would like to come to a solution that secures the southern 
border, opens the government, and pays the workers.
  In fairness to the President, he has put forward an opening offer. He 
has said he wants that money for the barrier, but he has put other 
issues on the table that are near and dear to Democrats' hearts that, 
hopefully, would open the way to a compromise.
  The way I can imagine it would work is that the Speaker would put 
forward a counterproposal. I think that is where we need to be, to rise 
above any personal dislike or any entrenched positions that people have 
come to but, rather, to come to a point where we recognize that the 
American people are better served if the folks serving them are getting 
paid, that it is important to secure our southern border, and that some 
sort of barrier will be part of that, as Members of both parties have 
agreed to.
  So it is time to move forward. It is time to negotiate. It is time 
for the two principals to come to some sort of compromise. Clearly, we 
in the Senate are willing to move forward.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I am pleased to yield to my colleague from 
New Hampshire, Ms. Hassan.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Ms. HASSAN. Mr. President, I join with my colleagues here in saying 
how disappointed I was that today's vote to reopen the government 
immediately while we keep negotiating to address border security was 
defeated, but I am encouraged by the bipartisan group on the Senate 
floor with me this afternoon to send one clear message: Let's pass a 
clean, 3-week continuing resolution to reopen the government 
immediately, and each of us is committed to work to pass a strong, 
bipartisan border security bill during that 3-week period.
  Like many of my colleagues, I have gone down to the border. I have 
talked to our frontline personnel on the border. There is a lot of 
common ground about what we need to strengthen our border security. I 
join my colleagues here and thank Senators Cardin and Murkowski for 
organizing us in saying that we can get to a solution on border 
security, but we need to open the government right away.
  There is no reason to keep the government closed while negotiations 
on strengthening border security continue. In fact, there is concern 
that negotiations forced by shutdowns set a dangerous precedent.
  So I strongly urge my colleagues from both parties to support this 
bipartisan approach. I also thank Senators Graham and Cardin for their 
leadership in this effort, and I am committed to working with them and 
the rest of this bipartisan group to find a way forward.

[[Page S566]]

  Every day that this senseless shutdown continues, it is hurting 
people in New Hampshire and across the country. We have all been 
sharing stories. We have heard these stories. We have talked to the 
hard-working men and women who serve the people of this country and who 
are doing their work without pay or who are furloughed and who really 
don't know how they are going to make their next mortgage payment and 
their next utility payment or put food on the table and get their 
medication--all of the things they need a good day's wages to do. So we 
need to end this now.
  I join with my colleagues in being here this afternoon to simply say 
that we need to open the government and that I am committed, as all of 
us are, to negotiate in good faith going forward to find a solution on 
border security.
  Thank you.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I turn to my colleague from Iowa.
  Ms. ERNST. I thank Senator Murkowski and Senator Cardin for their 
leadership today in organizing this floor colloquy, and I thank the 
Presiding Officer.
  I want to join my colleagues in expressing how urgent it is that we 
not only secure our borders but that we open our government. We really 
do have to come together. We have two sides of the aisle here, our 
Democrat and Republican friends. Certainly we can come to a solution. 
We have to figure out a path forward, folks, and I am glad we are here 
to do that.
  We have a duty to provide for our Nation's security, and it is also 
our job to fund the government. We just voted on a sensible and smart 
proposal offered by the President that every Democrat and Republican 
should have supported, but, unfortunately, it was rejected today.
  Back home, hard-working Iowans and, of course, Americans all across 
the country are tired of government shutdowns, and they are 
disappointed in the dysfunction of Washington, DC. The impacts of this 
government shutdown are tangible for families. They feel it. People are 
hurting all across this Nation.
  Most families don't have a rainy day fund. Money lasts only so long 
when you have zero income. Prolonged periods without a paycheck are 
  I have a friend who works for Federal law enforcement. Fortunately, 
he is up in seniority, but he told me the other day: Joni, our young 
Federal workers--they just can't make ends meet.
  Children don't stop growing; people don't stop getting sick; and the 
obligations of caring for families don't stop just because we have. 
Washington has stopped working, folks. We have to get it together.
  I have heard from businesses on the brink of collapse. I have heard 
from first-time home buyers who are trapped in limbo right now, and 
there are serious consequences that I have heard about from our farmers 
who work every day with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the USDA. 
Our food banks, churches, and other charities, which spend their time 
and resources helping families and communities through these tough 
times, helping furloughed workers and those who are in need, are 
running out of resources. They are running out of time. It can last 
only so long.
  We need our DOJ working to stop crime and violence. We need our vital 
government Agencies back up and running. We can do that. I support a 
stronger border, and I support the President's sensible proposal, which 
does include a barrier, manpower, ports of entry, technology, and 
infrastructure. I think it is necessary that these investments be part 
of an overall deal. Our lack of border security has resulted in a 
humanitarian crisis at the border. We have tens of thousands of illegal 
and inadmissible immigrants on our southern border every month.
  I agree with President Trump and many of my colleagues that securing 
our southern border is a must-do to discourage illegal immigration, 
curb human trafficking, stop drugs, stop gun trafficking, in addition 
to stopping the ability of gangs and terrorists to exploit the holes in 
our system.
  The American people expect us to do better. We have an opportunity to 
step up and do the right thing, and that is to find a solution. We have 
to do it by working together.
  I again thank all of my colleagues for coming together today on the 
floor. Senator Cardin, Senator Murkowski, thank you for organizing the 
effort. Hopefully, we will come to a solution.
  Folks, the Nation is watching us. We can do better.
  I yield the floor.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. I thank the Senator from Iowa.
  I have a question for the Presiding Officer in terms of how much time 
remains on the Republican side.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Six minutes.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Perfect. We are down to the remaining two speakers, 3 
minutes each. I ask that Senator Gardner be recognized at this time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Colorado.
  Mr. GARDNER. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Alaska for this 
opportunity to come to the floor to talk about what this Chamber needs 
to do, along with the House and the President, to get this government 
reopened and to fund border security, something that all Americans 
agree on--that we can walk and chew gum at the same time; that we can 
multitask; that we can find a way to fund priority spending on the 
border; and that we can find a way to fund 800,000 government 
employees, including 53,000 Federal employees in my home State of 
  In 2014, I was elected to the Senate. In November of 2014, we were 
dealing with a question of whether the government would shut down. In 
fact, the first issue we were asked in the new Congress as we headed 
back into session was this: Would there be a looming shutdown over 
immigration? That was not in 2018 or 2019. That was actually in 2014. 
Here is what I said then:

       There's no time, place, or purpose of a government shutdown 
     or default. That's simply ridiculous and something that a 
     mature governing body doesn't even contemplate. We ought to 
     make it very clear that that's simply not acceptable.

  I said that in 2014; I echoed it in December 2018; and I stand on the 
floor today sharing the same belief, sentiment, and value.
  We need border security in this country. We need to have barriers and 
structures on the border where it makes sense, as the President has 
said. He has made a reasonable request to put in place border security.
  We also have a responsibility to the people of this country to govern 
responsibly. That means not jeopardizing our economy, not jeopardizing 
the firefighters in Colorado who can't go to training right now because 
the government is shut down.
  My home State lost hundreds of homes last year due to wildfires. 
Think about the catastrophes in California and across the West last 
year. Firefighters from around the country were called to do heroic 
things and save entire towns, yet those training services, classes, and 
tools they need for a fire season that could start at any time are 
being denied--training and classes that they need to save their own 
lives, to save other lives, and to protect our land.
  We have farmers who are trying to get production loans right now. 
They can't get their production loans through certain offices because 
of the shutdown. Farming is not good right now, and prices are so low 
right now that people are struggling. I talked to a farmer in Colorado 
yesterday. He doesn't know what the bank is going to say to him on 
Friday, tomorrow, when he goes in, and he can't get ahold of anybody at 
the USDA because of the shutdown.
  We need border security. That is why I voted for both measures 
today--the $5.7 billion for border security and the continuing 
resolution proposal that contains the President's 2018 border security 
proposal. Both measures included border security.
  We can do this. It is not that difficult. It shouldn't be a challenge 
to govern responsibly. Shutdowns aren't the solution. Walking and 
chewing gum at the same time shouldn't be so difficult, and I hope this 
Chamber will come to its senses, along with our House colleagues and 
the White House, to move forward.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I now ask that the Senator from Arizona 
be recognized.

[[Page S567]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Ms. McSALLY. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Alaska for 
organizing this--both sides of the aisle--so we can begin to have our 
voices heard for those we represent here on the Senate floor.
  I came yesterday from Yuma, AZ, and the day before I was in Nogales, 
AZ. I visited Nogales's port of entry and the CBP officers coming to 
work every single day now without pay. On Monday, they processed 2,000 
trucks through the port of entry there. That cross-border commerce is 
so important for an economy like Arizona's and for jobs.
  They also seized 18 kilograms of methamphetamine, heroin, and 
fentanyl, which are contributing to the opioid crisis and the drug 
crisis in our country.
  Morale is still pretty good because they still know how important it 
is for them to be there on the watch and do their job. However, it is 
unacceptable that they are being asked to come to work and not being 
paid. As was said by other colleagues, some of the lower level 
officers--the younger individuals early on the job--have no reserves. I 
talked to several of them. They are very concerned about what is going 
to happen when they miss a second paycheck here in the next day.
  When I went to Yuma and talked to the Border Patrol, it was the same 
thing. They need to be on the job. They want to be on the job. They 
know how important it is for our country and for border security.
  I visited the place where, just last week, 376 people were able to 
tunnel under where we have a barrier they can't see through. They 
weren't able to see it until they had actually breached it, and they 
caught a couple of MS-13 gang members yesterday.
  Again, they are asking: Please, let's secure our border. Let's 
provide the resources for the agents and for the officers and for what 
they need to do every single day, and let's open up the government.
  We can do these things. This is why America is so frustrated with 
Washington, DC, and why many of us ran to come here in the first place: 
What is the matter with you guys? Just get it together; get something 
through the House and the Senate that can be signed by the President to 
open up the government and secure our border.
  Let's roll up our sleeves, let's stay here all night around the 
clock, and let's get this mission done.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, over the last hour, many of our colleagues 
have come to the floor--Democrats and Republicans--with different views 
about how we should deal with border security issues and how we should 
deal with the problems at hand but with a common willingness and 
commitment to reach a bipartisan agreement.
  In order for that to be accomplished, we need time. Therefore, we are 
filing this afternoon a bipartisan amendment to the underlying bill 
that would provide 3 weeks for a continuing resolution for government 
to be opened so that we can work together to deal with the border 
security issues.
  I agree with Senator King in his optimism that we will be able to 
reach an agreement. It is interesting that Senator King is an 
Independent. This should not be a partisan problem on border security. 
We should be able to resolve the issues.
  I thank Senator Murkowski for her help in organizing this event. We 
tried to work in a truly bipartisan manner in order to give optimism, 
and I think, rightfully so, that we can solve this issue if we have the 
time to do it.
  I urge all of our colleagues to join us in this effort. Let's open 
government, let's have 3 weeks, and let's all be committed to deal with 
border security in the manner in which this institution in the past has 
been able to deal with tough issues.
  I again thank my colleague from Alaska, and I yield back the balance 
of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from Maryland and 
all Senators--on the Republican side and the Democratic side--who came 
to the floor after these two votes to express this air of optimism that 
we can figure this out.
  One of the things I have heard very clearly from both sides is enough 
already--enough already. That is what the American people are saying 
about this shutdown: Enough already--figure it out.
  Well, we got the message. We know what the mission is, and I think 
what you have seen expressed here on the floor is the good will and the 
good faith that will be extended in these hours and days going forward, 
knowing that there is an urgency to get the government open and to 
address the legitimate priorities that the President has outlined.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                         Russian Hybrid Warfare

  Mr. REED. Mr. President, today I rise to continue my series of 
speeches on Russian hybrid warfare.
  I have done a series of speeches on the Russian hybrid warfare 
threat. It poses a great challenge to our national security. Russian 
hybrid warfare occurs below the level of direct military conflict, yet 
it is no less a threat to the national security and integrity of our 
democracy and society.
  One tactic that Russia deploys as part of their hybrid warfare 
arsenal, and the one I would like to focus on today, is information 
  Russian information warfare includes the deployment of false or 
misleading narratives against the targeted civilian population or 
government, often through deceptive means, in order to intensify social 
tensions, undermine trust in government institutions, and sow fear and 
confusion, which advances their strategic objectives.
  The Defense Intelligence Agency highlights in their Russia military 
power report in 2017: ``The weaponization of information is a key 
aspect of Russia's strategy . . . Moscow views information and 
psychological warfare as a measure to neutralize adversary actions in 
peace and to prevent escalation to crisis or war.''
  Russia developed its playbook over time, enhancing both the technical 
and psychological aspects of these information operations in 
capability, sophistication, and boldness. Lessons learned from previous 
information warfare campaigns culminated in the attacks the Kremlin 
unleashed against the United States during the 2016 Presidential 
  The 2016 information warfare campaign, according to our intelligence 
community, ``demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level 
of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations.''
  Let's be clear. Russian interference in the 2016 election was an 
attack on the Nation. It was just not a type of attack that has been 
commonly recognized as warfare. As former Director of National 
Intelligence Jim Clapper stated recently, ``[I]t's hard to convey to 
people how massive an assault this was.''
  While Russian hybrid attacks were detected by our intelligence 
community and our National Security Agencies in a runup to the 2016 
election, the seriousness of the threat was not absorbed across the 
government, including Congress. There are a variety of reasons for 
this, including political paralysis and a collective unwillingness to 
believe that these attacks could compromise our political and social 
  Two years on, we still have only scratched the surface in our 
understanding of about the nature of Russian information warfare 
attacks. Gaps in our knowledge include the extent to which these 
attacks have been perpetrated at Putin's direction, by Russian military 
intelligence units, known as the GRU, and through Kremlin-linked troll 
organizations. Yet we have no time to waste. Information warfare 
attacks continue against us, our allies, and our partners to this day, 
and they continue to pose a threat to our national security.
  Former CIA Acting Director and Deputy Director Mike Morell 
characterized the attacks of the Russians against our elections as 
``the political equivalent of 9-11.''

[[Page S568]]

  In the aftermath of the tragic September 11 attacks of 2001, we 
established a nonpartisan commission to understand what happened and 
why. One of the 9/11 Commission's conclusions was that the U.S. 
Government showed a failure of imagination by not anticipating and 
preventing the 2001 attacks by the terrorists.
  We have had no similar wholesale reckoning in the aftermath of the 
attacks from 2016. Some elements of our government and society have 
taken steps to focus attention on this pressing problem. However, these 
efforts have not been sufficiently comprehensive, and the nature of the 
threats has not been fully communicated to the American public.
  As senior vice president for the Center of European Analysis, Edward 
Lucas assessed in a recent New York Times documentary on Russian 
disinformation, we ``are still playing catch up from a long way behind. 
We are looking in the rear view mirror, getting less bad at working out 
what Russia just did to us. We are still not looking through the 
windshield to find out what's happening now and what's going to be 
happening next.''
  We must recover from our collective failure of imagination. We must 
rethink and refocus our strategy for countering these threats and 
implement necessary institutional policy and societal changes to 
support that strategy. Importantly, we must develop a playbook of our 
own to fight back.
  While the West has been slow to recognize the extent of the threat, 
these types of attacks are not new. Historically, informational warfare 
has long been a part of the Soviet and Russian arsenal.
  As security scholar Keir Giles noted in ``The Handbook of Russian 
Information Warfare,'' ``For all their innovative use of social media 
and the internet, current Russian methods have deep roots in long-
standing Soviet practice.''
  During Soviet times, information warfare tactics were part of a 
broader collection of operations that were referred to as active 
  The State Department described active measures in a 1981 report as 
including ``control of the press in foreign countries; outright and 
partial forgery of documents; use of rumors, insinuation, altered facts 
and lies; use of international and local front organizations; 
clandestine operation of radio stations; and exploitation of a nation's 
academic, political, and media figures as collaborators to influence 
policies of the nation.''
  Active measures were run by the KGB, which at its height employed 
approximately 15,000 officers devoted to these tactics. The same State 
Department report described the strategic rationale for such 
operations, stating: ``Moscow seeks to disrupt relations between 
states, discredit opponents of the USSR, and undermine foreign leaders, 
institutions and values.''
  The tactics of contemporary Russian information warfare mirrors 
Soviet-era active measures but have gained vastly greater potency in 
the digital age.
  The irony is, these are the tactics the Soviets employed, but they 
have been supercharged because in a digital age, you can reach more 
people, you can be more effective. Under Putin, Russia has 
institutionalized informational warfare with a 21st century twist that 
capitalizes on the interconnectedness of our global society in the 
speed and reach of today's informational age through cyber space.

  This has important advantages for Moscow. For example, the Soviet-era 
KGB agents worked for years to get an information warfare campaign to 
``go viral'' and be picked up in multiple news outlets. Today, GRU- and 
Kremlin-linked troll organizations spread propaganda and disinformation 
campaigns across social media platforms with ease--virtually 
  These information warfare operations are not simply opportunistic 
meddling by Russia. Russia's purpose is to further its strategic 
interests. Putin seeks to advance several strategic objectives, 
including preserving his grip on power and enhancing his ability to 
operate unconstrained domestically or in Russia's perceived sphere of 
influence near and abroad.
  Putin further seeks for Russia to be seen as an equal to the United 
States on the world stage and regain the great power status it lost at 
the end of the Cold War. Putin knows that for now, Russia cannot 
effectively compete with the United States in conventionally military 
ways and win. Instead, Putin seeks to use tools from his hybrid warfare 
arsenal, including information warfare to divide the United States from 
our allies and partners in the West and weaken our institutions and 
open society from within. By weakening our democracy, Putin can make 
Russia look more powerful in comparison.
  It is not surprising that Putin, who spent most of his Soviet career 
in the KGB and its successor, the FSB, has deployed these techniques 
during his rule. Putin mourned the downfall of the Soviet Union, 
lamenting in 2005 that the breakup of the Soviet Union was, in his 
words, ``the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century.''
  When he assumed power, Putin revitalized a number of methods of 
hybrid warfare from the Soviet system, including information warfare. 
Over time, Putin came to see Russia's nearly continuous campaign of 
information confrontation with the West as both a justified and 
defensive response to perceived U.S.-led international activism, 
regardless of our intentions. Keir Giles confirms this idea, assessing 
that Russia interpreted the color revolutions in former Soviet states 
and the Arab Spring as resulting from information operations by the 
United States and the West. Those operations were seen as posing a 
serious and growing threat to Putin's rule.
  The Kremlin's development of its information warfare capabilities 
reflects those perceptions and Putin's concern with preservation of his 
regime. Putin moved from earlier ad hoc information warfare campaigns, 
such as the operations against Estonia in 2007 and in Georgia in 2008, 
to the systematic application of these tools.
  Most experts point to the Russian's public reaction to Putin's return 
to the Presidency for a third term in 2012 as the turning point that 
led to development of Russian information warfare as we experience it 
  It began with the announcement in September 2011 that Putin--then 
acting as Prime Minister--and Medvedev--then serving as President--
would switch roles. This revelation, coupled with the rigged 
parliamentary elections in late 2011, created an unexpected backlash 
from the Russian people. Massive demonstrations ensued, with thousands 
of people taking to the streets. To Putin, the grievances of the 
protests appeared personal as they chanted ``Putin is a thief'' and 
``Russia without Putin.''
  The year of 2011 is particularly relevant for revolutions and the 
overthrow of dictatorships. The year 2011 gave rise to the Arab Spring, 
in which dissidents relied heavily on Facebook and Twitter--American 
inventions--to organize their protests and cast-off authoritarian 
governance in places across the Middle East. Again, Putin conceived 
U.S. actions in places such as Egypt and Libya as proof that the United 
States actively cultivated regime change. Protests in Russia began to 
resemble the protests of the Arab Spring, including the similar use of 
Facebook and Twitter. Putin viewed these activities as a threat to his 
hold on power.
  Around that time, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised 
concerns about the Kremlin's electoral conduct. She urged that the 
``Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have 
their voices heard and their votes counted.'' In response, Putin 
accused the United States of interfering in the Russian elections and 
blamed Secretary Clinton for the massive protests taking place in 
Russia, alleging that Secretary Clinton gave the, in his words, 
``signal to some actors in our country to rise up.'' He further 
bemoaned what he called ``foreign money'' being used to influence 
Russian politics and warned: ``We need to safeguard ourselves from this 
influence in our internal affairs.''
  After his inauguration for a third term, Putin promoted a close ally 
and tasked him with getting control over the Russian's people use of 
the internet. Putin and his cronies also put political pressure on the 
creators of prominent websites. Those who were not willing to 
cooperate, such as the owner of the Russian version of Facebook, were 
pushed out so that the chosen oligarchs could become majority 
shareholders and then begin to control content.

[[Page S569]]

  About the same time, the Russian Parliament passed legislation 
helping the Kremlin monitor and criminalize unfavorable cyber 
activities. In concert with the new online restrictions, the Kremlin 
began paying bloggers to slip in pro-Russian material amongst other 
benign posts, which was the beginning of government-directed troll 
  In late 2013, a leading Russian newspaper reported that the tools put 
in place to co-opt new forms of media were ``recognized as so effective 
that [the Kremlin] insiders send these weapons outside--to the 
Americans and European audiences.'' This may mark the beginning of 
Putin's move to institutionalize a more sustained and permanent state 
of information confrontation with the West.
  Russia also used these external operations to further develop its 
toolkit for information warfare. Central to these efforts included what 
many experts agreed was the development of a hybrid warfare doctrine, 
as articulated by the chief of the general staff of a Russian Armed 
Forces general, Valery Gerasimov, in 2013.
  Gerasimov argued that asymmetric approaches to dealing with conflict, 
including the use of ``political, economic informational, humanitarian, 
and other nonmilitary measures,'' have grown and in many instances have 
``exceeded the power of force and weapons in their effectiveness.'' He 
further discussed how hybrid warfare tactics, including what he termed 
``informational actions,'' can nullify the enemy's advantage and reduce 
its fighting potential. One of his conclusions was ``that it is 
necessary to perfect activities in the information space,'' including 
the defense of our own objectives.
  About the same time, in August 2013, RT, which is a Russian 
television station, reported on Russian plans to create a new branch of 
the military that would ``include monitoring and processing external 
information as well as fighting cyber threats.''
  In the article, Putin acknowledged that information attacks are 
already being applied to solve problems of a military and political 
nature and that their striking force may be higher than those of 
conventional weapons.
  Based on RT's reporting and observations of the GRU's activities, it 
is clear that Russia has created ``information warfare troops'' with no 
parallel in the United States. These GRU units combine the arts of 
technical cyber operations with psychological manipulation. Malcolm 
Nance, a former U.S. naval intelligence officer, characterized the GRU 
as ``the armed forces of Russia and the intelligence apparatus that 
does reconnaissance, surveillance, and . . . strategic cyber 
  Russian security services expert Mark Galeotti explained:

       [H]istorically, the GRU has been Russia's main agency for 
     operating in uncontrolled spaces, which mean civil wars and 
     the like. In some ways, the internet is today's uncontrolled 

  In hindsight, we can trace Russia's development and conduct of its 
information warfare campaign against perceived foreign threats from its 
neighbors and the West. These campaigns generally progressed along 
three major lines of effort, all of which benefited from advances in 
technology from the Soviet days.
  First, the campaigns involved overt propaganda and disinformation, 
much of it carried out on Russian state-owned media, such as RT and 
  The second line of effort involved covert cyber attacks, including 
hacking and weaponizing stolen information.
  The third line of effort in the Russian information campaigns 
involved weaponizing the internet, particularly social media networks, 
to amplify messages to a vastly greater audience and promote themes 
that advanced Russia's strategic interests.
  While Russia's technical and psychological capabilities grew over 
time, the outlines of the Russian information warfare playbook were 
evident during Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2014 and during the 
United Kingdom's Brexit debate the following year, but we largely did 
not understand the extent of these operations and the threat to our 
national security and that of our allies and partners. Our collective 
failure to understand the pattern of Russian information warfare 
emboldened Putin. The Kremlin's tactics and techniques were further 
refined and deployed in the Russian information campaign against the 
U.S. Presidential election in 2016.
  Starting in 2014 and 2015, Putin turned his information arsenal first 
on the near abroad, deploying information warfare operations against 
Ukraine during the conflict over Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Russia 
used Ukraine as a testing laboratory for experimenting with new tactics 
of information warfare through cyber space and social media.
  The impetus for Russian intervention in the Ukraine arose in response 
to domestic unrest which caused the Russian-backed Ukrainian President 
to flee the country. Events tipped off when Ukrainian President Viktor 
Yanukovych signaled he was no longer willing to continue efforts to 
integrate Ukraine with the West, which had broad public support. 
Instead, he accepted a Kremlin offer of a $15 billion bailout for 
Ukraine and a deal on gas imports.
  Protests broke out, which grew into what was known as the Maidan 
revolution. The numbers and strength of the protests alarmed the 
Kremlin. Putin wanted to ensure Ukraine stayed in Russia's sphere of 
influence. He deployed hybrid warfare, including a full-scale 
information warfare campaign, to force the Ukrainian people back in 
line. The goal of the information warfare campaign was to convince the 
people of Ukraine that they were in imminent danger from fascists and 
Nazis who were taking over the country and committing atrocities on 
their fellow citizens.
  The Kremlin deployed all three lines of effort that I laid out for 
their information warfare campaign against Ukraine--a barrage of overt 
propaganda and disinformation; cyber attacks, including weaponizing 
stolen information; and the manipulation of the internet and social 
media platforms. These efforts sowed fear and magnified mistrust toward 
the Ukrainian Government, which the Kremlin was able to exploit for the 
seizure of Crimea and to achieve other Russian strategic interests.
  The Russian campaign deployed a significant volume of propaganda and 
disinformation against Ukraine to magnify a climate of fear and 
distrust amongst the Ukrainian people. Examples include photos doctored 
to look like scenes of carnage from Ukraine, fake stories of dead 
children caught in the crossfire, supposed attacks on Jewish Ukrainians 
who were forced to flee the country, and, allegedly, a 3-year-old who 
was crucified by Ukrainian soldiers. The messages also portrayed the 
Russians as the Ukrainian people's saviors and that Russia had to 
intervene to help restore order.
  The second line of effort--covert military operations in cyber 
space--was also deployed as a Russian campaign against Ukraine. At the 
time, attacks against Ukraine were described as coming from 
CyberBerkut, which the U.K. Government's National Cyber Security Centre 
has recently announced ``is almost certainly'' the same branch of the 
GRU that infiltrated the Democratic National Committee. The GRU forces 
responsible for these ``hack-and-weaponize'' information operations 
were later named by their unit numbers in Special Counsel Mueller's 
July 2018 indictment and have been given many names, including 
CyberBerkut, Fancy Bear, and Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) 28.
  In the spring of 2014, as Ukraine held its Presidential election, 
CyberBerkut penetrated Ukraine's Central Election Commission, directly 
altering the nationwide Presidential vote tallies in favor of Russia's 
preferred candidate. The Ukrainian officials caught the change before 
the results were announced, although it was broadcast on Russian news 
that the Russian-backed candidate had won, sowing doubt on the validity 
of the election and magnifying distrust in the Ukrainian Government.
  Seeing as how they couldn't change voting tallies and fully get away 
with it, Russia's tactics evolved to try to change people's minds about 
whom to vote for or make the public so distrustful of the system that 
they wouldn't vote at all. These same units began to steal private 
information through cyber intrusions on Ukrainian Government and 
political officials and weaponize it by posting it on the internet. As 
the Defense Intelligence Agency noted in the ``Russia Military

[[Page S570]]

Power'' report from 2017, the intent of publicizing the stolen 
information was ``to demoralize, embarrass and create distrust of 
elected officials.''
  A third line of effort by the Russian campaign focused on leveraging 
cyber space to reinforce and amplify their messaging, which was carried 
out by the GRU and Kremlin-linked troll organizations. While these 
efforts were often unsophisticated, this may have been the first time 
that organizations embarked on wide-scale social media campaigns to 
amplify information warfare beyond Russia's borders.
  The Washington Post reported, based on internal Russian military 
documents, that the GRU fabricated numerous accounts on social media 
after Ukrainian President Yanukovych fled in 2014. These accounts on 
Facebook and the Russian version of Facebook, known as VK, posed as 
ordinary Ukrainians who were against the Kiev protests. They preyed on 
people's emotions, magnifying fear and distrust.
  One example of a message posted by the GRU from a fraudulent social 
media account was ``brigades of Westerners are now on their way to rob 
and kill us. . . . Morals have been replaced by thirst for blood and 
hatred toward anything Russian.'' The same GRU unit was also 
responsible for the creation of the fictitious persona ``Ivan 
Galitsin,'' who placed pro-Kremlin comments on English language 
  The intercepted Russian military documents also detailed how the GRU 
created four fraudulent groups on Facebook and its Russian equivalent 
to support its campaign in Crimea and used paid Facebook ads to 
increase traffic to their fraudulent sites.
  Subsequent reporting by the Washington Post uncovered the specific 
GRU unit--54777. The GRU unit responsible for this operation bragged to 
their superiors that these 4 groups alone received at least 200,000 
  All of these tactics would appear in later information warfare 
  This information warfare campaign against Ukraine also appears to be 
one of the first uses of a complementary social media effort--deploying 
Kremlin-linked trolls--against the population of a foreign country to 
enhance and amplify the GRU operation.
  A close Putin crony, Yevgeny Prigozhin, founded and funded the 
operation--known as the Internet Research Agency and its related 
companies--to amplify the Kremlin's messages across social media 
platforms. According to a Russian press report in 2014, during the 
Ukraine operations, the Internet Research Agency was employing about 
250 people to engage in online discussions ``with a goal to undermine 
the authority of Ukrainian politicians and post hate speech and fake 
stories, thus shifting attention from the real events.'' Copying the 
model that the Kremlin developed to manipulate its own citizens, these 
fake Ukrainian personas would pretend to be regular, local Ukrainian 
people and slip in politically charged messages.
  BuzzFeed detailed one such campaign entitled ``Polite People'' which 
``promoted the invasion of Crimea with pictures of Russian troops 
posing alongside girls, the elderly, and cats.'' The trolls used 
innocuous pictures to gain a group of followers; then they were easily 
able to pump out pro-Kremlin messages to readymade audiences.
  Although the tactics were relatively simplistic--both for whom they 
were trying to reach and the technical aspects of their campaign--the 
Kremlin information warfare campaign appeared largely successful 
against Ukraine and contributed to the Kremlin's seizure of Crimea. 
Indeed, Gen. Philip Breedlove, then head of the U.S. European Command 
and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, warned at the time that 
Russia was ``waging the most amazing information warfare blitzkrieg in 
the history of information warfare.''
  Even as these information operations overwhelmed Ukraine, the 
potential threat they posed to Western societies was largely 
unrecognized, and calls for help in combatting these types of 
campaigns--including manipulation of social media--went unanswered.
  The Washington Post reported last October that high-level Ukrainian 
officials, including President Poroschenko, personally appealed to 
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg in the spring of 2015. One of his deputies 
stated that they told Facebook: ``I was explicitly saying that there 
were troll factories, that their posts and reposts promoted posts and 
news that are fake. . . . Have a look.'' Facebook officials failed to 
take these pleas seriously and in 2015 declined President Poroschenko's 
request to open a Facebook office in Kiev to address the problem. In a 
foreshadowing of events in the United States, Facebook failed to 
imagine the significant impact these campaigns could have on Ukrainian 
politics and security. Our government, too, failed to realize the full 
extent of the threat.
  While we have been able to uncover a lot about Russian attacks on 
Ukraine, we have not been able to piece together the full picture of 
what Russia perpetrated against the United Kingdom in connection with 
the spring 2016 referendum on whether the United Kingdom should leave 
the EU, commonly known as Brexit.
  UK members of Parliament and others investigating these attacks have 
been able to piece together evidence that the Kremlin mounted an 
information warfare campaign to encourage and amplify anti-EU sentiment 
in the run up to voting day. However, because these investigations are 
limited to their committees of jurisdiction and there is no equivalent 
to the U.S. special counsel's investigation pulling the disparate 
pieces of information together, we have yet to understand the full 
picture of what the Russians perpetrated against the British people.
  What we have learned so far indicates that the Kremlin appeared to 
run a more sophisticated campaign against the British people than the 
attacks it perpetrated against Ukraine. In this operation, the Kremlin 
was pushing one side of the argument, as they were in Ukraine, but they 
showcased increased psychological complexities in their attacks. This 
campaign focused on targeting segments of the British population that 
would likely be frightened by threats of increased immigration, 
particularly from Muslim-majority countries. The Kremlin and Kremlin-
linked actors also pushed messages that the EU was corrupt and had 
little accountability to the people of the United Kingdom, which 
magnified feelings of mistrust of the EU.
  The first line of effort for this Kremlin information warfare 
campaign and the one that the West was able to track and analyze was 
propaganda and disinformation. The Kremlin unleashed a slew of overt 
Russian propaganda in English, advanced on TV and the internet by 
Kremlin-controlled media outlets. A United Kingdom parliamentary 
inquiry on disinformation cites 261 articles on RT and Sputnik with a 
heavy anti-EU bias in the 6 months prior to the referendum. These 
outlets advanced a steady drumbeat of stories stressing the continued 
dangers as long as the United Kingdom remained part of the EU's so-
called ``open borders.'' This included disinformation intended to 
magnify fear by alleging that British women would be subject to 
increased attacks from dangerous Muslim immigrants.
  It has yet to be determined whether the second line of effort--covert 
GRU operations in cyber space--was deployed as part of the Russian 
campaign promoting Brexit. It does not appear that hacking and 
weaponizing stolen data was deployed in connection with Brexit. 
However, as detailed in a separate parliamentary inquiry, on the night 
of the Brexit referendum, there was a suspicious crash of the voter 
registration website likely attributed to denial-of-service attacks.
  The timing of this attack appears consistent with other GRU covert 
cyber attacks, which aim to take key infrastructure or information 
offline at crucial times to advance Kremlin objectives. This crude 
information warfare tactic has been tied to GRU in previous operations, 
particularly Eastern Europe. Further, the UK Government has been able 
to tie the GRU to other cyber attacks, including attacks on a United 
Kingdom television station and the United Kingdom foreign office. If 
these Russian actors were culpable in this denial-of-service attack, 
then it would fit with the Russian playbook.
  The third line of effort, the use of cyber space to amplify and 
reinforce messaging, featured prominently in the information warfare 
campaign relating to Brexit. While we don't know what role, if any, the 
GRU played in this line of effort, we have been able to identify

[[Page S571]]

a sustained campaign on social media against the British public by 
Kremlin and Kremlin-linked actors. These attacks included the use of 
trolls and automated bots amplifying pro-leave messages ahead of the 
date of referendum. The New York Times reported that tweets from the 
Russian accounts ``sought to inflame fears about Muslims and immigrants 
to help drive the vote.'' Tweets surged in the last days of the 
campaign, spiking from about 1,000 tweets a day to 45,000 tweets in the 
48 hours prior to the polls closing. In the final days before the 
referendum, less than 1 percent of Twitter users accounted for one-
third of all the conversations surrounding the issue, showing that 
these actions were artificially boosting the pro-leave messages to 
increase viewership size.
  Joint analysis from Swansea University and the University of 
California, Berkeley, concluded that the attacks emanated from 150,000 
Russian-based accounts and that their tweets were viewed hundreds of 
millions of times.
  It must be noted that Russian amplification efforts in connection 
with Brexit also received a boost from local surrogates in the UK. One 
pro-leave local surrogate was Nigel Farage, then-leader of the 
rightwing populist UKIP Party. Whether unwittingly or not, Farage 
echoed aspects of Russian propaganda, including lending his voice to 
stories broadcast on Russian propaganda channel RT. Farage was also 
often quoted in Russia media articles, including when he warned that 
British women could be at risk of mass attacks of gangs of migrants due 
to ``big cultural issues'' should Britain choose to remain in the EU, 
again, echoing the message that Russian agents and authorities were 
  Here, too, it seems we have just begun to scratch the surface of our 
understanding about what the Kremlin was doing, including how they had 
insight into whom to target with their information warfare campaign. 
Member of Parliament Damian Collins, who is leading an investigation 
into Russian disinformation connected to Brexit, fears that what we 
know at this point about the extent of the Russian attack against the 
British people ``may well be just the tip of the iceberg.''
  We can't point with all certitude to whether the Kremlin's 
information warfare campaign made a difference in the outcome of the 
vote. However, we know that those who voted to leave the EU won by a 
small margin. It was a stunning upset that no one expected, let alone 
then-Prime Minister Cameron. He cited the outcome as the reason for his 
  The Kremlin has also turned these weapons on the United States. The 
most prominent example was the sustained, multipronged information 
warfare campaign deployed against the American people, as I stated, 
during the 2016 Presidential election. While the Kremlin's information 
warfare campaign against Ukraine and Brexit supported and amplified one 
side of an issue, for this operation Russia showed increased technical 
and psychological advances by targeting multiple aspects of contentious 
issues to advance the Kremlin's objectives. Grievances about race, 
religion, immigration, social justice, and even U.S. institutions writ 
large were woven into anti-Clinton, pro-Trump fabric. These efforts 
were a toxic mix, trying to poison Clinton's candidacy, promote Trump's 
favorability, taint the electoral process, and weaken democratic 
institutions altogether.
  Similar to the information warfare campaign against Brexit, we are 
still trying to get a full picture of how Russia attacked us during the 
2016 election and, particularly, the role that the GRU played. But what 
is now clear is that the Kremlin's information warfare campaign 
regarding the 2016 election was not neutral or even-handed in its 
messaging on Clinton compared to that of President Trump. As affirmed 
in the intelligence community's January 2017 assessment, in their 
words: ``Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. 
presidential election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine 
public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary 
Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.''
  They also assessed, in their words, that ``Putin and the Russian 
Government developed a clear preference'' for President Trump. 
Similarly, Special Counsel Mueller's February indictment against the 
Kremlin-linked troll operation found that the Russians ``engaged in 
operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information 
about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz 
and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and the candidate Donald 
  The clear anti-Clinton and pro-Trump themes in Russia's efforts 
aligned with Russian strategic interests. As mentioned earlier, Putin 
blamed Hillary Clinton for protests in Russia in December 2011. 
Weakening Clinton as a candidate would reduce the perceived threat to 
Putin's grip on power from a Clinton Presidency. President Trump, on 
the other hand, offered Russia a freer hand in conducting its affairs.
  Similar to Brexit, the Russian information warfare campaign against 
the American people in 2016 demonstrated a high degree of 
sophistication in targeting susceptible groups of Americans, 
potentially including the use of data analytics. We are still learning 
details of how the Russians were able to build an audience for its 
information warfare attacks and whether they had any help from any 
Americans. However, Justice Department indictments, including those 
from the special counsel, and two reports commissioned by the Senate 
Intelligence Committee analyzing data provided by social media 
companies are providing a better picture of the information warfare 
campaigns against us.
  One of those reports, a joint study by Oxford University and the 
social media analytics firm Graphika, assessed that the Kremlin-linked 
troll organization was able to segment users into different groups 
based on ``race, ethnicity, and identity.'' Once they categorized 
people in such a manner, they tailored ads to entice users to engage 
with their fraudulent accounts and pages. This process engineered 
messages to manipulate and polarize receptive audiences. The other 
study commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee, a 
collaboration between the social media research firm New Knowledge, 
Columbia University, and Canfield Research, confirms this idea, 
detailing how specific ethnic and Russian groups were targeted. Their 
analysis concluded that these operations were directed overwhelmingly 
at African Americans. As the Washington Post technology reporter Craig 
Timberg explained, social media companies created this technology and, 
in the process, have ``atomized'' us into different categories and put 
us into a ``thousand different buckets.'' The Russians co-opted this 
American technology, just as they have exploited other aspects of our 
open society and democratic system, and weaponized it against us.
  Similar to campaigns in the past, this information warfare operation 
followed the three established lines of effort as detailed in the 
intelligence community's January 2017 assessment. The Kremlin's 
campaign ``followed a longstanding Russian messaging strategy that 
blends covert intelligence operations--such as cyber activity--with 
overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, 
third-party intermediaries and paid social media users or trolls.''
  The first line of effort involved overt propaganda and disinformation 
focusing on a number of themes that advanced Russia's strategic 
interest. Having tested their methodology in previous campaigns, 
including in Ukraine and Brexit, the Russians had an arsenal of tried-
and-tested methods of influence they deployed in the U.S. Presidential 
election to maximize fear and distrust.
  Propaganda and disinformation to stoke these negative emotions were 
pumped out by Kremlin-funded channels RT and Sputnik. They sought to 
flood an unsuspecting American public with stories portraying Secretary 
Clinton as untrustworthy and dangerous, thus amplifying negative 
feelings toward her. Articles painted Clinton as a warmonger who would 
lead the United States into future conflicts or alleged that she was of 
ill health and hiding her condition from the public. Additional reports 
were aimed at bolstering the perceptions that she was not trustworthy 
and accused her of nefarious dealings detailed in the emails she 
deleted as a coverup of her so-called ``crimes.''

[[Page S572]]

  A third group of accounts alleged that Clinton used her high-ranking 
position as Secretary of State to enrich her family foundation with 
foreign donations by engaging in quid quo pro schemes. In contrast, 
Kremlin-funded media pushed positive stories about President Trump, 
promoting him as a pragmatist who understood that the United States 
needed to stop interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.
  An additional widely used theme, which sought to maximize feelings of 
distrust and ran through much of what Kremlin media broadcast, revolved 
around corruption in the United States, American hypocrisy, and that 
our elections were rigged and fraudulent. Painting the American 
political system as unfair, biased, and tainted served Putin's 
strategic interests, allowing the Kremlin to counter pro-democracy 
forces within Russia by asserting a moral equivalence between a 
``flawed'' American democratic system and his autocratic rule of 
  The second line of effort in the Kremlin's information warfare 
playbook, covert Russian operations in cyber space, repeated tactics 
used against Ukraine but this time with greater sophistication. In 
particular, the Kremlin and Kremlin-linked actors engaged in hacking 
and weaponizing the release of stolen data. From what our intelligence 
community, the Department of Justice, and FBI have compiled, it appears 
that the GRU undertook the largest share of this aspect of the 
information warfare campaign, with complementary efforts undertaken by 
the FSB. The special counsel's indictment from July 2018 detailed how 
the GRU ``intentionally conspired . . . to gain unauthorized access 
into the computers of U.S. persons and entities involved in the 2016 
election, steal documents from those computers and stage releases of 
the stolen documents to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential 
  As we now know, two of the main targets of this operation were the 
DNC and Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta. Press reports indicate 
that approximately 50,000 emails and documents were stolen.
  Once in possession of these stolen documents, the GRU repeated its 
playbook from the earlier campaigns. It sought to weaponize the hacked 
information by releasing it in a manner and at key times when it could 
cause the most damage, while concealing Russia's role in the process. 
As the Mueller indictment against the GRU describes, ``They did so 
using fictitious online personas, including `DCLeaks' and `Guccifer 
  The Mueller indictment from last July further detailed the GRU's use 
of fake persona, Guccifer 2.0, which the GRU falsely claimed was a 
Romanian hacker. Guccifer 2.0 released stolen documents and was active 
in promoting so-called ``exclusives'' of stolen information as a way to 
launder it to third parties, including journalists from traditional 
media outlets.
  The GRU's covert efforts also took advantage of a willing amplifier, 
WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks had an established reputation for spilling State 
secrets, including those of the U.S. Government and military. WikiLeaks 
also offered a ready-made audience and had an understanding of how to 
time releases for political impact. Indeed, according to the Mueller 
indictment, the GRU, posing as Guccifer 2.0 ``discussed the release of 
the stolen documents and the timing of those releases'' with WikiLeaks 
``to heighten their impact on the 2016 presidential election.''
  WikiLeaks released the stolen documents during the Democratic 
National Convention to cause conflict between Clinton and Sanders 
supporters at a time when many Americans were very likely to be paying 
attention. WikiLeaks also released documents in the last few weeks of 
the election, again, when the Nation was very likely to be following 
campaigns. The first release of stolen emails from the Clinton campaign 
chairman, John Podesta, coincided with a warning from the Department of 
Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence 
in October 2016 about Russian attacks against our election. It also 
occurred on the same day as the release of the Trump ``Access 
Hollywood'' tape. These efforts, too, suggest a high level of 
sophistication that hadn't been seen in earlier Russian influence 
  The third component of the Russian information warfare campaign, 
message amplification and reinforcement through social media, was 
deployed in parallel with the other lines of effort to achieve an 
unprecedented impact. While we don't know the full extent of the GRU's 
involvement, the Mueller indictment revealed that an entire military 
intelligence unit--74455--was active in this line of effort. In his 
July 2018 indictment, the special counsel explained that unit No. 74455 
assisted in the promotion of the released stolen material ``and the 
publication of anti-Clinton contact on social media accounts operated 
by the GRU.''

  That includes the site DCLeaks, which was, in fact, established by 
the GRU. It went live in early June 2016, posing as a site run by 
American hacktivists, promising to ``expose the truth'' about U.S. 
politicians. The GRU even created a DCLeaks Facebook page, authored by 
the fictitious U.S. woman Alice Donovan, which sought to drive traffic 
to its site. The July indictment further details how the GRU used 
additional fake accounts posing as Americans named Jason Scott and 
Richard Gingrey to promote the DCLeaks site. Before it was shut down in 
March of 2017, the DCLeaks site was viewed over a million times.
  The GRU also used social media to magnify fears about Hillary 
Clinton. The July indictment from the special counsel revealed that the 
GRU was the true operator behind the fraudulent Twitter account 
[Baltimore is War], which encouraged U.S. audiences to ``[j]oin our 
flash mob'' opposing Clinton and to share images with the hashtag 
``Blacks Against Hillary.''
  In addition to the GRU's weaponizing social media against the United 
States, there was a complementary effort from the Kremlin-linked troll 
organization, the Internet Research Agency. By the 2016 U.S. 
Presidential election, the deployment of the troll organization 
appeared to be a standard part of the Kremlin's playbook. The October 
2018 indictment of the Internet Research Agency's accountant in the 
Eastern District of Virginia provides additional confirmation of the 
troll organization's role in the information campaign. The indictment 
confirms the existence of the Agency's operation known as Project 
Lakhta--since at least May of 2014--and notes that this project 
targeted Ukraine, Europe, and the United States with a stated goal in 
the United States to ``spread distrust toward candidates for political 
office and the political system in general.'' Social media researchers, 
including P.W. Singer, have also noted how some of the same trolls were 
repurposed for different operations. The accounts that pretended to be 
Ukrainian then posed as British citizens and then as Americans as the 
focus of attacks shifted over time.
  Against the United States, the troll operation capitalized on issues 
of importance to groups inside American society to magnify fear and 
distrust in ways that aligned with the Kremlin strategic interest of 
hurting Clinton and helping President Trump. As the special counsel's 
February indictment detailed, ``These groups and pages, which addressed 
divisive U.S. political and social issues, falsely claimed to be 
controlled by U.S. activists when, in fact, they were controlled by 
[Kremlin-linked trolls].'' The indictment further asserted this was the 
manner in which the troll organization reached ``significant numbers of 
Americans for the purpose of influencing the Presidential election of 
  The report prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee by New 
Knowledge, Columbia, and Canfield Research that analyzed certain data 
from social media companies identifies a number of tactics employed by 
the Internet Research Agency in its assault on the 2016 election. These 
include building brands across platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, 
YouTube, and Instagram; deploying or repurposing popular memes to 
spread propaganda; reinforcing key themes by resharing the same story 
across multiple accounts; impersonating local media on Twitter and 
Instagram to win the trust of Americans in their local news; and 
amplifying conspiratorial narratives among both left- and right-leaning 

[[Page S573]]

  As I mentioned, the report found that one of the troll organization's 
concerted lines of attack was against African Americans. These efforts, 
however, went beyond just trying to sow discord and reinforce fears 
about Clinton. Campaigns against African-American groups were pushed 
across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube with the goal of 
suppressing voter turnout ``through malicious misdirection, candidate 
support redirection and turnout depression.''
  Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a scholar who studies political campaigns, 
examined polling data throughout the campaign and documented similar 
tactics at disenfranchisement in her recent book, including fake ads 
that encouraged minority viewers to text or tweet their support for 
Clinton rather than to vote at the polls or to rally support for other 
candidates in the race. These efforts may have been particularly 
effective in peeling off voters who would have been likely to vote for 
her candidacy. They also may have influenced undecided voters at a key 
time. Polls in the final month of the campaign showed a marked drop in 
the number of Americans saying they intended to vote for Secretary 
  The reports prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee 
highlighted that Twitter was an important component of the attacks 
Kremlin-linked troll organizations deployed against the American 
people. The nearly 4,000 inauthentic Russian Twitter accounts, like 
their Facebook counterparts, promoted messages related to divisive 
social issues, such as gun control, race relations, and immigration. 
The troll organization also deployed bots, or automated accounts, to 
amplify messages and drive traffic to specific Facebook pages, Kremlin 
propaganda sites, or other targeted websites. The Kremlin-linked troll 
operation went into overdrive on election day with strategic messaging 
that mimicked the spike in activity on Twitter during the Brexit 
referendum. According to the Daily Beast, Kremlin-linked trolls began a 
``final push'' and used ``a combination of high-profile accounts with 
large and influential followings and scores of lurking personas 
established years earlier with stolen photos and fabricated 
backgrounds'' to send ``carefully metered tweets and retweets voicing 
praise for Trump and contempt for his opponent from the early morning 
until the last polls closed in the United States.''
  As the recent studies commissioned by the Senate Intelligence 
Committee illuminate, the information warfare campaign against the 
American people was an extensive, widespread, coordinated effort across 
many social media platforms, both big and small. The increased 
sophistication of the troll organization's techniques on social media 
provided a relatively low-cost but highly effective method of 
influencing the American public. For example, these trolls spent only 
$100,000 on 3,000 ads on Facebook. While this may seem like a small 
amount compared to the millions of dollars spent on the Presidential 
campaign, the impact and reach of these Kremlin ads, once amplified 
through these Russian operations, was extensive.
  While Facebook estimates that approximately 126 million Americans saw 
Kremlin-linked messages, Jonathan Albright, the research director for 
Columbia University's Tow Center for Digital Journalism, extrapolated 
that they could have been shared hundreds of millions and, perhaps, 
many billions of times. Kathleen Hall Jamieson concluded that the 
widespread reach of the troll organization's disinformation ``increases 
the likelihood'' that the Russian activities changed the outcome of the 
election. A study from the Ohio State University on propaganda and 
disinformation affirmed Hall Jamieson's assessment and concluded 
Russian information warfare attacks ``most likely did have substantial 
impact on the voting decisions of a strategically important set of 
voters--those who voted for Barack Obama in 2012. Indeed, given the 
very narrow margins of victory by Donald Trump in key battleground 
states, this impact may have been sufficient to deprive Hillary Clinton 
of a victory in the Electoral College.'' That is their conclusion.

  As with the Brexit campaign, the Russian information warfare campaign 
during the 2016 election was aided by others who, either wittingly or 
unwittingly, helped to advance Russia's strategic objectives. Among 
these were major American news outlets, which covered much of what was 
in the WikiLeaks disclosures. They treated it as legitimate news 
without reminding viewers of how the information was obtained or that 
it was being pushed by a foreign adversary. Thomas Rid, a professor of 
security studies at King's College, testified to the Senate 
Intelligence Committee in March of 2017 that the journalists functioned 
as ``unwitting agents . . . who aggressively covered the political 
leaks while neglecting or ignoring their provenance'' or, as Kathleen 
Hall Jamieson concludes, the American media ``inadvertently helped [the 
Russians] achieve their goals.''
  Further, as in the Brexit campaign, a number of local surrogates 
appeared to echo the Kremlin messages. This included associates of the 
Trump campaign and even the President himself. He boasted of his love 
of WikiLeaks at least 124 times in the last month of the election alone 
and even tweeted a link to access the stolen disclosures from 
WikiLeaks. According to the Washington Post, at least five close Trump 
associates, albeit perhaps unknowingly, retweeted messages from 
Kremlin-linked troll accounts, including the account @Ten--GOP, a 
Russian fake handle that impersonated the Tennessee Republican Party.
  The President and his campaign also used talking points that were 
similar to Russian propaganda and disinformation, including disparaging 
Secretary Clinton's health and accusing her repeatedly of being 
``crooked.'' The President encouraged Russia, in many respects, to 
continue these activities. From what we know from the July indictment 
from the special counsel, the night that Trump called on the Russians 
to hack her emails, the GRU did, in fact, attack the server that housed 
Clinton's personal accounts. As journalist and legal analyst Jeffrey 
Toobin characterized it, ``All of these separate [Russian] efforts are 
completely aligned with Donald Trump's interests, often word for 
  Some have argued that despite this extensive and sophisticated 
Russian influence campaign, there was no effect on the outcome of the 
election because no vote tallies were changed. While we may never know 
definitively what the actual impact of the Kremlin's operation was, it 
is hard to believe that the Kremlin would mount a sustained, multiyear 
information warfare campaign against our democratic institutions if it 
had no reason to expect that it would have an impact. To the contrary, 
based on its experience in Ukraine, Brexit, and elsewhere, the Kremlin 
had every reason to believe that it could successfully influence the 
outcome of the 2016 election with minimal risk of being discovered or 
suffering retaliation.
  As I have laid out, Russia is engaged in a sustained information 
warfare campaign against the United States, our allies, and partners. 
This Russian interference can't be dismissed as a one-off operation. As 
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told the Aspen Forum last July, 
the Russian effort to influence the 2016 Presidential election is 
``just one tree in a growing forest. Russian intelligence officers did 
not stumble onto the idea of hacking American computers and posting 
misleading messages because they had a free afternoon. It is what they 
do every day.'' Our intelligence community assessed in January 2017 
that the campaign against us represented a ``new normal'' in Russian 
influence efforts in which ``Moscow will apply lessons learned from its 
campaign aimed at the U.S. presidential election to future influence 
efforts in the U.S. and worldwide.''
  Russian information warfare operations have a real and ongoing impact 
on our national security. Russia has not paused its information warfare 
operations since the 2016 election, and, in fact, the level of Russian 
operations has increased since then. As John Kelly, the founder of 
Graphika, a social media intelligence firm, who testified to the Senate 
Intelligence Committee in August and who collaborated on one of the 
reports for the Senate Intelligence Committee I discussed earlier, 
stated: ``After election day, the Russian government stepped on the gas 
. . . confirming again that the assault

[[Page S574]]

on our democratic process is much bigger than the attack on a single 
election.'' This idea was confirmed by data in both his report and the 
other report commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee on the 
Kremlin-linked troll organization.
  The report done by New Knowledge, Columbia University, and Canfield 
research noted that the Kremlin-linked troll organization went after 
those who are investigating Russian information warfare and other 
malign influence activities in the United States, including attempts to 
label Russian interference in the election as ``nonsense'' and casting 
former FBI Director James Comey and Special Counsel Mueller as corrupt.
  We don't have to look too far for other examples of Russia's ongoing 
campaign against the American people and our allies and partners. 
Kremlin-linked troll operations flooded Twitter with messages that were 
intended to sow division and disinformation in the wake of numerous 
controversies, including the tragic shootings in Las Vegas and 
Parkland, FL, and during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. Last 
September, we learned from an indictment in the Western District of 
Pennsylvania that GRU officers, including some agents who were 
previously indicted by Special Counsel Mueller, attempted information 
attacks against prominent world organizations, including those who were 
investigating Russian malign influence activities.
  It is now clear that Russian information operations also targeted the 
2018 midterm elections. The October indictment from the Eastern 
District of Virginia details an ongoing and advanced operation to 
influence the American electorate up through 2018. As the indictment 
states, this campaign ``has a strategic goal, which continues to this 
day, to sow division and discord in the U.S. political system.'' The 
indictment also details how Russian troll operations are using U.S.-
based virtual private networks, or VPNs, paid for with Bitcoin through 
multiple bank accounts, to disguise the origin of Russian messaging on 
social media.
  The sophistication of these operations continues to increase. The 
Internet Research Agency has a dedicated ``search engine optimization'' 
department that is devoted to manipulating social media search 
algorithms to advance the goals of Russian troll operations. The troll 
organization spent millions of dollars annually in 2017 and 2018 and is 
still buying ads on Facebook and Instagram. These operations continue 
to cover a broad range of divisive issues, and as the indictment 
details, the organization's employees are instructed on strategies and 
guidance for targeting particular audiences with carefully tailored 
messages. Despite efforts by Facebook and Twitter to eliminate 
inauthentic accounts, there are still thousands of active social media 
and email accounts appearing to be U.S. persons when they are, in fact, 
Kremlin-linked trolls that are acting as part of an information warfare 
  Last February, in testimony before the Armed Services Cyber 
Subcommittee, Russia expert Heather Conley warned that Russian 
information warfare campaigns in 2018 and 2020 will adapt and ``look 
more American, and [it] will look less Russian.'' The New Knowledge, 
Columbia University, and Canfield research study notes that we need to 
be on the lookout for increasingly sophisticated operations, including 
``increased human-exploitation tradecraft and narrative laundering.''
  The technology already exists to create ``deepfakes,'' false videos 
of real people saying or doing things that are damaging. Advances in 
artificial intelligence are enabling rapid, automated responses on 
social media that mimic authentic accounts.
  We are still gathering data about information warfare attacks, 
including the 2018 midterms. Between the indictments I referenced and 
the additional Kremlin-directed troll operations discovered by Facebook 
in conjunction with our Intelligence Committee, the FBI, and DHS, we 
seem to be getting better at responding to the types of attacks 
perpetrated against United States in 2016, but that is no indicator 
that we have become better at anticipating future attacks.
  The Director of the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity 
and Infrastructure Security Agency warned last November that ``the 
[2018] midterm is . . . just the warm-up or the exhibition game. . . . 
The big game . . . for the adversaries is probably 2020.''
  I want to thank my colleague for being generous and patient with my 
presentation, but I do want to make, I think, an important and 
concluding point that ties in directly with what is going on right now.

                           Government Funding

  Mr. President, we have been talking about this shutdown. After I 
described the activities that have transpired over the last 5 to 10 
years, we should be aware that they are continuing, and the 
consequences of this shutdown are more than theoretical.
  We are missing some of our most critical tools for countering Russian 
information warfare for protecting systems that are vital to our 
democracy. As Andrew Grotto, a former cyber security adviser for 
Presidents Trump and Obama stated, ``Defending Federal networks is 
already an act of triage . . . furloughs make a hard job even harder.''
  While I applaud DHS for reorganizing into the new Cybersecurity and 
Infrastructure Security Agency, they have since had to furlough 43 
percent of their employees. That is over 1,500 workers who right now 
are unable to continue key missions and protect us from attack.
  The FBI is also affected by the shutdown in critical functions 
related to countering Russian hybrid and information warfare.
  A recent FBI Agent's Association report highlighted how efforts to 
investigate and prosecute cyber criminals have been impacted. That 
includes a lack of resources to pay for wiretaps and subpoenas. One 
anonymous FBI agent quoted in the report remarked: ``These delays slow 
down our work to combat criminal activity on the [internet] and protect 
the American people.''
  All the while, Russia continues to attack us with information 
warfare. They were not closed for business. With this unnecessary 
government shutdown, we are fighting blindfolded with one hand tied 
behind our backs.
  I am confident in the ability of our government and our society to 
come together. I am confident that with the American vision and 
ingenuity, working across the aisle and across the Atlantic, these are 
challenges that we can meet and conquer, but we must remember that this 
is not a Democratic or Republican problem.
  This is an attack against the Nation by a foreign power. This is a 
problem of our national security. We have no time to waste. If we are 
looking for another reason why we should open this government 
immediately, it is to continue our protection against the attacks by 
foreign entities.
  With that, let me particularly thank the Senator from Florida for his 
patience and thank the Presiding Officer for his patience as well.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida.

                            Amendment No. 48

  Mr. SCOTT of Florida. Mr. President, I rise today as a voice for the 
people of Puerto Rico. I intend to be their voice in the U.S. Senate. 
They are Americans--as American as the people of Florida whom I was 
elected to represent. They are our brothers and sisters, and they 
deserve a voice. Their success is America's success. Their recovery is 
America's recovery.
  In September of 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by a devastating hurricane. 
Maria's landfall changed the landscape of the island forever. As 
Governor of Florida, I worked to be there for the people of Puerto 
Rico. I worked with Congresswoman Jenniffer Gonzalez Colon, Governor 
Rossello, Lieutenant Governor Luis Rivera Marin, Senate President 
Thomas Rivera Schatz, and House Speaker Carlos Johnny Mendez to provide 
whatever support and aid they needed.
  Jennifer has been a tireless advocate for Puerto Rico, and she has 
been fighting so hard for this funding. I am proud to join her in this 
  In Florida, we created welcome centers at the airports in Orlando and 
in Miami to support those coming to Florida from the island. We waived 
housing and education regulations to make sure families coming from 
Puerto Rico could easily settle in Florida,

[[Page S575]]

whether they planned to stay permanently or just for a short period of 
  I have visited Puerto Rico eight times since the deadly storm and 
provided Florida State resources to the citizens of Puerto Rico to aid 
in rebuilding and recovery, but the island still has a long way to go.
  The bill I supported today does many good things. It reopens the 
government after the longest shutdown in U.S. history. It provides 
significant funding to secure our southern border--funding that is long 
overdue and that is needed to keep American families safe. It extends 
protections for children who were brought to this country illegally 
through no fault of their own, and it extends TPS. While I would prefer 
a permanent solution for the DACA kids and TPS, this is a positive 
step. Putting protections for the DACA population into law is also long 
  The bill also provides significant disaster funding for the State of 
Florida following the devastation of Hurricane Michael, which hit 
Florida's Panhandle just a few months ago. The funding includes 
resources specifically for Tyndall Air Force Base. I would like to 
thank Majority Leader McConnell for putting a bill forward to help 
Florida recover from this horrible hurricane.
  On all of these points, I join many of my colleagues in support, but, 
unfortunately, the Senate version of the government funding bill does 
not include $600 million in essential disaster funding for our brothers 
and sisters in Puerto Rico.
  I am offering an amendment today that would add the $600 million 
included in the House bill back to the Senate version.
  Puerto Rico's recovery continues, and the U.S. Congress must do 
everything we can to support that, with responsible safeguards against 
fraud and waste. As long as I am a Member of the U.S. Senate, I will 
fight to make sure the people of Puerto Rico are represented. I am 
proud that the first amendment I filed and my first speech on the 
Senate floor is to fight for Puerto Rico.
  To the people of Puerto Rico, know this: I will be your voice in the 
Senate. I will fight for what is right, and I will never give up.
  I will now address the Senate in Spanish. I provided the translation 
to the Senate for the Record.
  (English translation of the statement made in Spanish is as follows:)

       The people of Puerto Rico deserve real change. We have to 
     strengthen the economy of the island. As a Senator, I will 
     fight for the families of Puerto Rico and work to ensure that 
     Puerto Rico is treated fairly.
       Thank you so much.

  Mr. President, the amendment is at the desk.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Hawaii.

                           Government Funding

  Mr. SCHATZ. Mr. President, it has been 34 days since the President 
fulfilled his promise to shut down the government, and the American 
people are not happy about it.
  Poll after poll shows that people are not OK with the way the 
President of the United States is handling his job, and it is getting 
worse by the day, because to any reasonable person, this shutdown has 
been stupid and useless and cruel.
  There are so many failures to talk about, but I want to talk about 
four specific failures that, if it were any other President, if it were 
any other time in modern history, would bring a President and a 
Congress to its senses and end the shutdown.
  The first failure is this. Federal workers are in food lines. Federal 
workers are in food lines. People with jobs are now in food lines. 
Hundreds of thousands of people who work for the government are either 
furloughed or working without pay, and, tomorrow, these American public 
servants will miss their second paycheck.
  There is a big difference between missing the first paycheck and the 
second paycheck. Some people can absorb missing the first paycheck, but 
this second paycheck is going to be really, really challenging for tens 
of thousands of American public servants because the rent is due, the 
mortgage is due, the car registration is due, the insurance is due, and 
the utilities are due at the beginning of the month.
  This brings the amount of money that American public servants are 
owed by their government for work already performed to $4.7 billion. 
Remember that about a third of all Federal workers are veterans.
  It may be hard for billionaires in the Cabinet to understand, but for 
the middle class, missing two paychecks in a row is a total disaster.
  I have met people working in airport security who can't concentrate. 
They can't sleep because they can't stop worrying about how they are 
going to pay their bills. I have met government workers in the midst of 
applying for food stamps and asking local charities for help. I met a 
single mom who spent her career working hard to build a life for her 
family, and she told me that without these paychecks, it is all going 
  As one Washington Post columnist put it, under the Republican 
leadership, the United States is starting to look like the failed 
Soviet system, with middle-class workers literally waiting in bread 
  I am grateful that for every story I have heard of someone suffering, 
there is also a story of people stepping up to help. In Hawaii, in 
particular, local utility companies, financial institutions, and others 
have decided that they will not penalize Federal workers hurt by the 
shutdown if they miss a payment. I want to thank our local banks for 
allowing unpaid Federal workers to make a late payment on their 
mortgage without a penalty, and I want to thank our credit unions for 
extending very cheap credit. I want to thank people who are organizing 
in local communities, not just in Hawaii but across the country, so 
that middle-class families can make it through this.
  Federal workers want paychecks, not food banks. They want paychecks. 
They don't want charity. They want to be compensated for the work that 
they do. They shouldn't rely on pop-up kitchens for furloughed workers 
or online fundraising campaigns or the kindness of families, friends, 
and strangers--as great as all of that is. They should just get paid, 
and that starts with opening the government.
  Here is the second failure that should end this shutdown right away, 
and that is that economic growth is already slowing. This week, a White 
House adviser said that the Nation's economic growth could be zero if 
the shutdown goes on. Economists and business leaders were already 
worried about the potential for a recession, and this shutdown is 
fanning those unfortunate flames.
  Small businesses can't get loans. Companies can't go public. This 
administration has stopped some of the core functions of our market 
economy, but there is one thing that will not stop, and that is the 
corruption in this administration.
  If you have money, this administration takes care of you, and if you 
don't, then they will not. Federal workers have been called back to the 
office to take care of oil and gas leases--to take care of oil and gas 
leases--and to help financial institutions. They are working unpaid so 
that special interests can keep making money.
  This is the third failure. While people who are fortunate financially 
are protected, this shutdown leaves the people most vulnerable to fend 
for themselves.
  Food pantries and health clinics that rely on Federal funds are out 
of supplies, which means that Americans are going to start to go hungry 
and without medicine for everything from diabetes to addiction.
  Landlords who provide housing for 4 million people--mostly seniors 
and people with disabilities and kids--will soon stop receiving rent 
payments. They will have to decide how long they can hold out before 
being forced to evict these people or lose the properties themselves.
  Housing authorities are delaying the release of section 8 vouchers.
  Domestic violence shelters that rely on Federal funds are furloughing 
their own workers and cutting back services that save lives. So men, 
women, and children who need to get out of a dangerous situation at 
home have fewer options to get to safety.
  That brings me to the fourth failure, which is that public safety is 
gravely at risk. This is a serious matter. This isn't about whether 
Donald Trump can save face or whether the Republicans can vanquish the 
Democrats or Nancy Pelosi makes Mitch McConnell look

[[Page S576]]

bad. It is none of that. Public safety is at risk.
  Air traffic controllers and TSA workers are working without pay. They 
are stressed out, and they are becoming increasingly understaffed and 
undersupported, and there is no ability to train new employees, and 
they are sounding the alarm.
  This isn't my rhetoric. I want you to listen to what the National Air 
Traffic Controllers Association said yesterday:

       We cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at 
     play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will 
     break. It is unprecedented.

  The National Transportation Safety Board is being forced to choose 
which crashes to investigate and which not to, leaving us with 
unanswered questions and risking lives in the future. As of this week, 
the NTSB has been unable to investigate 87 crashes, including some with 
  This is a pattern. It is a pattern of recklessly endangering the 
safety of Americans. We are just 2 months out from a wildfire that 
destroyed 18,000 homes and buildings and killed 86 people. Yet the 
shutdown has stopped us from training firefighters. It has cancelled 
controlled burns. It has led to dead trees piling up in places that we 
know pose a fire risk. This is what happens when you shut down the 
government to try to get your way. You put real people at risk.
  The safety of Americans abroad and at home is threatened by this 
shutdown. The State Department cancelled a border security summit. This 
fight is supposed to be about border security. Yet we are not paying 
TSA, we are not paying FBI agents, we are about to close some of our 
Federal courts, and the State Department itself just cancelled a border 
security summit. FBI agents are working without pay. Field offices are 
operating in fiscal uncertainty. That means investigations into street 
gangs and drug dealers are on hold, training on child abductions and 
counterterrorism has been cancelled, and communications with sources 
about gangs, such as MS-13, have stopped. As one agent put it, ``Our 
enemies know they can run freely.'' Our enemies know they can run 
  I ask all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, why would we 
put public safety at risk? Why can't we reopen the government and 
negotiate our differences?
  The truth is, as it relates to border security--I am in my seventh 
year in the Senate, and every year, we do a bipartisan bill that 
includes border security in the Homeland Security Appropriations 
Subcommittee. We always do this.
  By the way, every Republican and every Democrat will quietly say: We 
are not doing a cement wall from sea to shining sea. That makes no 
sense, and nobody at the Department of Homeland Security thinks that is 
a good idea.
  So we quietly appropriate money--some for personnel, some for beds, 
some for courts so they can adjudicate some of these cases, and some 
for physical barriers where it is appropriate, to put up a wall where 
it makes sense. You don't put up a wall where it doesn't make sense. We 
do this all the time. So the idea that we are going to shut down the 
government and shut down portions of the Department of Homeland 
Security itself in order to get to a place where the President of the 
United States can save face is just absurd.
  We have to be the grownups here, and that is going to require some 
Republicans to craft a border security package with Democrats, as we 
have over the last 6 or 7 years, and we have to do that after we open 
the government. The reason that is so essential is that this 
President--certainly this President especially, but no President, 
Democratic or Republican, now or 30 years from now, should ever inflict 
pain on the American people in order to generate leverage in a policy 
discussion. When somebody does that--and if it is one of my friends in 
the Senate and they do this 10 years from now, I want them to read this 
speech back to me. The answer to the offer, which is, ``I am going to 
hurt Americans unless you do X,'' should be ``You get nothing in 
exchange for not hurting Americans.'' That is not a cookie for us.
  Barack Obama learned that lesson the hard way. Only when he finally 
said ``You guys want to screw with the American economy; you want to 
mess with the debt ceiling; you get nothing'' did they back off, and 
all that brinksmanship stopped.
  Every time we reward hostage taking, we will get more hostage taking. 
As painful as all of this is, we have to stand firm. We are absolutely 
willing to negotiate a package related to border security, which will 
no doubt include some physical barrier, because we do that every year, 
actually, but I am not doing any of that until the government is 
opened. That is not just a political position; that is a matter of 
principle because we can't live like this as a country. We cannot 
function like this. If we do this, if we cut a deal now and we give $2 
billion for the wall, the debt ceiling is coming up in March or April, 
and here we go again. The fiscal year expires in September, and here we 
go again. We will never govern. I know the Presiding Officer was a 
Governor. That is no way to run a country. Let this be the last 
  I know the two leaders of the Senate are in what appear to be 
constructive conversations. I know there are plenty of adults who want 
to get us out of this. For the first time in several weeks, I have 
actually felt somewhat hopeful about the trajectory. I don't think we 
are going to fix this in the next hour or so, but at least we are 
talking, and at least there seems to be a desire to structure an off-
ramp. But we have to do one simple thing first: We have to reopen the 
government. People are about to miss their paychecks for the second 
time tomorrow. It is our obligation to reopen the government.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Scott of Florida). The clerk will call the 
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. RUBIO. 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. RUBIO. Mr. President, I wanted to take a moment to address the 
recent events in the nation of Venezuela, but before I do, I want to 
take the opportunity to congratulate the Presiding Officer, my 
colleague from the great State of Florida, who a few moments ago I 
believe gave his speech on the floor of the Senate--and gave part of it 
in Spanish, and did it very well--and spoke about the important issue 
of Puerto Rico. His leadership here on that is going to be critical. It 
is an issue I know he knows very well from his time as Governor of our 
  I know this is another cause he cares about. He took leadership on it 
as the Governor of the State of Florida. As recently as 2 nights ago, 
he was with me and some others, and together we met with the President 
of the United States to talk about what is happening in Venezuela.
  The most important answer we have to have for the American people is, 
Why should it matter to us? Why should America even be involved in 
this, beyond expressing an opinion or sending a letter or even a vote 
on an international organism? Why should America lead, and why should 
America be so intricately involved in something going on in another 
  That is always a valid question. It is the most important question we 
have to consistently answer and not take for granted. I think we don't 
do that enough anymore in American foreign policy. It has allowed some 
to argue that perhaps the United States gets too engaged around the 
  We are a nation that should always stand for our principles, and we 
should defend them and stand with those around the world who share the 
principles of human liberty and dignity and freedom and respect for 
human rights. When the United States gets deeply involved in something 
in another country, it must also be in our national interests.
  The only reason why being involved in the issues that are going on in 
Venezuela can be justified to the men and women of this Nation, for 
whom we work, is to prove to them and argue to them and convince them 
that what is happening there is not just about Venezuela, but it is in 
the national interests of the United States.
  Before I can do that, I have to lay out the history of what brings us 

[[Page S577]]

this point. I will not go into great detail because the time does not 
permit it. Venezuela has a Constitution. In fact, it has a Constitution 
that was put in place during the rule of Hugo Chavez--someone whom I 
was certainly not a fan of and who was not a fan of the United States.
  Under that Constitution, there was a parliamentary body of the 
National Assembly, and there was a Presidency and a supreme court. What 
happened a few years ago is that when Chavez died and Nicolas Maduro--
the current dictator of the country--took over, he had to stand for 
election. Before he stood for election, there was an election to the 
National Assembly. The party that was Hugo Chavez's party and now 
Maduro's party was trounced. They lost badly. They didn't just lose the 
National Assembly. They lost Governors' seats across the country.
  Maduro realized that his party, and he himself, could not survive in 
a truly democratic system. What he did is he canceled the National 
Assembly. First, he started ignoring them. He stopped following their 
orders. They would pass a bill, and he wouldn't implement it. He would 
completely ignore it, as if they didn't exist.
  Then, he replaced a supreme court with handpicked people who would do 
what he wanted to do. The equivalent would be if the President of the 
United States decided that no matter what law we passed, even if we 
overrode a veto, he just wouldn't implement it and would refuse to do 
  Then, at some point, he actually tried to create an alternative to 
the National Assembly. He created, out of thin air, this thing called 
the Constituent Assembly, which is an idea he got from the Cubans and 
from Communist countries, and gave them extraordinary powers to do all 
sorts of things.
  One of the things that Constituent Assembly did is they created an 
election late last spring. People would say Maduro stood for election, 
and he won--theoretically. At least that is their argument. You can 
have an election and it not be a real election.
  For example, every one of the media outlets in the country is 
controlled by the government. All of them have to run, by law--they are 
mandated to provide what they call network coverage across the board 
any time he speaks to the nation.
  The opposition party doesn't have that same opportunity. He 
manipulated vote tallies. They were able to go in and make sure votes 
were counted in a certain way. They control votes through the food 
program. Forty-two percent of the people in Venezuela depend on a food 
program run by the government. To have that food program, you have to 
have an identification card. When you go vote, that same identification 
card doesn't just register whether you voted or not, they know whom you 
voted for. They know whom you voted for.
  If you didn't show up to vote and you didn't vote for whom they 
wanted you to vote, meaning Maduro, you got cut off from your food 
program. If you had to choose between voting for someone you didn't 
like or not feeding your family, you were going to vote for someone you 
did not like.
  Despite all that, the turnouts were abysmally low. The images that 
came out--there were two people in line, in some cases. Sometimes they 
caught the same five people making the line over and over again. It 
wasn't a real election.
  By the way, he legally disqualified every credible opponent he could 
have possibly had. Because it was a fake election, the opposition 
boycotted it. So he didn't even have real opposition.
  He won this fake election. Then came January, and he tried to be 
sworn in. He was, through a ceremony, but it was not legitimate. It 
would be the same as if the President of the United States announced 
that he was calling new elections, not in 2020; we are going to have 
them in April of this year. If he wins, he will get to serve 6 years 
instead of 4.
  Everybody here would say that is not the Constitution. It is not a 
constitutional election. That is what they did. It is not a reelection. 
Under the Constitution of Venezuela, because that was not legitimate, 
you have a vacancy in the Office of the Presidency.
  Under the Constitution of Venezuela, similar to ours, when there is a 
vacancy in the Presidency--and by virtue of that the Vice Presidency 
because he was elected alongside--the President of the country becomes 
the equivalent of our Speaker of the House, the same line of succession 
we have here. He becomes the President of the National Assembly.
  The President of the National Assembly assumes that charge as interim 
President and within 45 days has to call valid constitutional 
elections. That is what happened yesterday. The valid President of the 
National Assembly called, assumed the responsibility of interim 
President, and now within the next 45 days he will have to schedule and 
call for elections.
  The United States responded to that by stating the obvious. This is 
not constitutional. It is not legitimate. We don't recognize this fake 
President. We recognize your Constitution and the President whom the 
Constitution says is in place, this interim President.
  This is not a guy who is trying to be President himself for 6 years. 
This is not a fight between two political parties, not some civil war 
like we see in other parts of the world between two competing bands. 
This is basically the person who has been elected, the President of the 
National Assembly assuming an interim position who is now a caretaker 
to guide the country back toward a constitutional democracy. The United 
States recognizes it.
  It is stunning to see some of the reporting on this here and around 
the world; that he basically proclaimed himself the President. No, he 
just assumed his constitutional responsibility. The United States did 
something unusual in recognizing him. No. 1, it is not unusual. It is 
the Constitution of Venezuela; and No. 2, it was not just the United 
  We were immediately joined by 11 countries in the region. That number 
is now up to 16 in the Western Hemisphere--Colombia, Chili, Peru, 
Brazil, Argentina, Honduras, Guatemala--all of them, lined up, and 
more, and reflected the same position the United States has taken on 
this issue. So did France. Apparently, so did the United Kingdom today 
and Albania and Kosovo and a growing number of countries. Even the 
European Union says Maduro is illegitimate. They have not gone as far 
as to recognize the interim President as the interim President, but 
they have said he is illegitimate, and at the National Assembly he is 
  It is not unusual. It happens to be the global norm. Who disagrees 
with us other than Maduro? Cuba, Turkey, Russia, Iran, Egypt, 
apparently. What do they have in common? Think about it. These are not 
democracies. They have their own interests here at heart.
  Some might ask: How does this guy hold on to power if he is so 
terrible? No. 1, he controls access to food. I can tell you, if you 
control access to food and medicine and you threaten people with 
hunger, you will have a lot of control. The other thing he has done is, 
he uses migration as a relief valve. It is a very Cuban regime-type 
  It is estimated that over 2.3 million people--basically 1 out of 12 
Venezuelans--have left the country since 2015. Think about that. One-
twelfth of the population has abandoned the country, leaving behind, in 
many cases, children on their own, leaving behind catastrophe.

  The ability to drive out opponents and people for whom life has 
become too miserable is a relief valve. The other is just sheer 
oppression. They put people in jail. They kill people. People die in 
custody. They shoot them in the streets. That is pretty effective, too, 
  The second thing that keeps them in power is the assistance of the 
Cuban regime. Every time I mention that, people think: You are just 
obsessed with Cuba. You are from Miami, Cuban American.
  The Cubans, when it comes to intelligence and repression, punch way 
above their weight. They are experts at repression. That is what they 
basically assist them with.
  Do you know the Cubans basically run the security apparatus of 
Venezuela? The personal security of Maduro are Cubans, which tells you 
a lot about how much trust he has in his countrymen. The Cubans provide 
them with basically all of their intelligence collection and the 
capacity to collect intelligence. They have trained their National 
Guard on crowd control.

[[Page S578]]

  By the way, none of this is free. These are not free services. This 
is a country that is poor and low on resources. The Cubans are probably 
pulling in $1 billion a year for these services they provide.
  The other thing people keep mentioning that keeps him in power is the 
loyalty of military officers. I know you will see the picture of all 
these guys in a country, by the way, where people are starving, and 
every single one of these military guys is overweight. Somehow, in a 
starving country, these people are gaining weight. They have these 
fancy uniforms on.
  Let me tell you, these folks are not truly loyal to Maduro. I saw 
that picture today. I can tell you for a fact that more than half of 
the people in that picture at some point in time have expressed serious 
doubts about Maduro. They are really limited to what they can do right 
now. Why? First of all, because all of them--every one of them--is 
compromised. Their loyalty is not ideological, and it is not personal. 
It is bought. It is paid for. Every single one of them has access to 
lucrative corruption opportunities. Some of them have been given the 
opportunity to raid Venezuela's national oil company. They have made 
millions--hundreds of millions of dollars--by running that company into 
the ground. Some of them have been given the distribution of consumer 
goods--watches and phones and consumer articles. They give them these 
things and say: You guys go out and sell them in the black market in 
the street and take your cut.
  Others have been allowed to skim off that food program I mentioned 
that feeds 42 percent of the people. The military officers get first 
dibs at some percentage of it, and they get to sell food directly for a 
profit. Some are participating in currency manipulation. It sounds a 
lot like an organized crime ring, like one of these old-style Mafia 
families, where one guy ran the loan-sharking racket and the other guy 
had the gambling and the other guy had the prostitution and the other 
guy did the bank heists.
  That is what this is. These people are loyal because Maduro allows 
them corruption opportunities. They are also loyal, by the way, because 
the Cubans are spying on them. The Cuban intelligence agencies quickly 
pick up on any of these military officers who are being disloyal or 
expressing doubts, and those guys are arrested.
  There has been a massive purge of Venezuelan military officers over 
the last 2 years. I am talking about dozens of high-ranking military 
officials, either removed from their positions or arrested and are in 
jail. It wasn't for corruption, believe me. It was because the Cubans 
caught them and reported them and were wrapped up. Everybody else was 
watching that and saying: It ain't going to happen to me.
  That is not really loyalty. That is fear. You can see it in their 
eyes today. By the way, they resent the Cubans, these military 
officers. Imagine, for a moment, this is your country, and here comes 
the smaller country and their guys run everything and tell you what to 
do and spy on you and pit you against each other. They better be 
careful about expressing that resentment because the Cubans are 
listening, and they will report you.
  Despite all of this, all is not good in the Venezuela regime. It has 
gotten harder and harder every day. What has happened with the 
sanctions that have been imposed on these individuals, they have cut 
off their ability to steal money and enjoy corruption, and it has cut 
off the ability to enjoy the money they have stolen. They can't travel. 
They can't buy certain things. They have to hide their money. Some have 
had assets seized here and abroad. That has created resentment, and 
that has created anger within the inner circle. All these people in the 
inner circle are now upset because they are not making as much money 
off corruption as they used to make. They start saying to themselves, 
maybe we have to get rid of Maduro and get a new godfather Mafia head 
here. Maduro finds out about it, and he eliminates them. So the circle 
gets smaller, which actually works to his benefit because with 
shrinking resources, the less mouths you have to feed with corruption, 
the better.
  There is a real good example of it. There is a guy named Diosdado 
Cabello, who ostensibly is now the president of this fake constituent 
assembly. He happens to be a drug lord deeply involved in 
narcotrafficking. I guess that is his part of the corruption deal. That 
is his take. That is the business line he has been given. But he wants 
to be President. He wants to be President, not Maduro.
  This guy Cabello--when Chavez was removed in a coup that lasted just 
a couple of days, Cabello was sworn in as President of Venezuela 
because there was a vacancy, using the exact same provision of the 
Constitution that they now claim is illegitimate. But here is Cabello, 
who is a drug dealer, a drug lord, a thug, but he wants to be 
President. He will never be elected President of Venezuela in a normal 
election, in a legitimate election, so what is his path to being 
elected and to becoming President?
  First is this constituent assembly he has been put in charge of. This 
new thing they created outside the Constitution is so powerful that it 
has the power to remove Maduro today. They could remove Maduro. And 
this guy hears the whispers. These guys are not blind to what is 
happening. They can see that the country is in disarray, the economy is 
collapsing, and there isn't enough money for them to steal anymore, and 
there are people saying to him: Hey, why don't you move on this guy 
because this guy is never going to fix this place.
  He is thinking about it, and he has thought about it, but he knows 
the only way he will ever be President is if he can preserve the 
outlines of this regime and just get rid of the godfather and declare 
himself the new godfather, the head of this new criminal syndicate, or 
he can wait until 2024 and run a rigged election--again, set up under 
the confines of this regime. Even if he doesn't like Maduro, it is to 
his benefit that he stay there until he is ready to make his move on 
him or until 2024, when he can run under this rigged system.
  Another thing that is wrong with Venezuela is they are deeply in 
debt. They have serious problems. These are the things we think about. 
They owe China about $18 billion, which they don't have the money to 
pay. They owe Russia about $3 or $4 billion. Do you know how they are 
paying that right now? They are paying it with oil. They are sending 
oil to China and to Russia for pennies on the dollar. That is what they 
are making because they don't have cash, so they are bartering instead, 
paying the debts off in oil.
  I know you have seen the public pronouncements. The Chinese just want 
to get paid. They are owed $18 billion, and they want to get paid, and 
they want to make sure that Maduro or whoever is in power is going to 
pay them the $18 billion. But the Russians want to get paid too. 
Neither one of them believes Maduro is a great leader or is happy with 
him; they just don't know what is going to come after him. They are 
afraid that whoever comes after him will state that the debt is not 
legitimate because it wasn't approved by the National Assembly. So they 
would rather have this guy in place unless it is going to be someone 
else just like him. But they are not happy.
  The corruption in the national oil company is so horrifying that even 
the Chinese and Russians don't like it. That is how bad it is. That has 
to be a pretty high standard. Then there is the mismanagement. They 
have destroyed this company. Its production has collapsed. It is not 
run by oil people; it is run by generals who don't know anything about 
the business. They have run it into the ground, and they missed 
payments. Remember, they are supposed to be delivering oil for payment. 
They have missed deliveries to the Chinese and Russians. They are not 
happy about it, but what are they going to do? At least they are 
getting paid something.
  Russia has another interest, by the way, which leads me now to why we 
should care about this.
  First and foremost, I can make a very compelling argument, I believe, 
that what is happening in Venezuela is a national interest threat to 
the United States and even potentially a national security threat.
  Let me start with this: Maduro has repeatedly and openly invited the 
Russians to establish both a naval and an air base in Venezuela. 
Basically he said: Here is the land. We will build it for you. We want 
to have your airplanes and naval ships stationed here.

[[Page S579]]

  Most of us serving here, with a few exceptions, have never served in 
Congress when--and many people around do not remember a time--when a 
foreign military, an adversary, was stationed in our own hemisphere, 
but that is what Maduro is inviting him to do. Why does Maduro want it? 
Because he thinks that acts as insurance against ever having an 
invasion or whatever he thinks is going to happen.
  Why does Russia want it? They want it because it is leverage against 
us. They don't like how close we are to them in Europe with our allies 
in NATO, so this gives them an opportunity to have the equivalence of 
it in our own hemisphere.
  So if you think Putin having his military stationed here is a good 
thing, then I suppose what is happening in Venezuela wouldn't bother 
you. But the enormous majority of Americans don't want Putin's military 
anywhere in our hemisphere, and that is precisely what will happen if 
Maduro remains in power. That alone is a national security threat to 
the United States.
  There is more. In their own national territory, the Maduro regime 
hosts a group called the ELN, which is a terrorist narco organization. 
In fact, last week the ELN detonated a bomb at the police academy in 
Colombia and killed 20 people. Do you know where they are 
headquartered? Inside Venezuelan territory, and it is from there that 
they plot these attacks.
  Do you know what else Venezuela does with the ELN from within 
Venezuelan territory? They help them ship cocaine to the United States 
of America.
  I can state that both of those matters are national security 
interests to the United States. The first is that drugs are a threat to 
this country, and anyone who is helping a drug trafficking organization 
ship it into our country is a threat to us. So if you don't mind or 
don't care about cocaine being shipped to the United States in growing 
quantities, then I guess Maduro and Venezuela is not something that 
will bother you. But if you do not want to see people around who are 
helping drug organizations ship cocaine into the United States under 
the protection of a government, meaning they are giving them controlled 
airspace, and they are protecting the shipments into the United States 
and Europe--if that troubles you, then Maduro is a problem.
  One of our best partners in fighting drugs in the hemisphere is 
Colombia, but right now, Colombia is overwhelmed. They don't have 
enough money to dedicate to the anti-drug cause at a time when cocaine 
production--the growth of coca and the production of cocaine, I should 
say--in Colombia is at historic levels 3 years running. Where is that 
cocaine headed? A lot of it is headed to our streets, and that will be 
on top of fentanyl, heroin, and all the other problems we have. We are 
going to have a cocaine crisis in this country because all that cocaine 
is headed here.
  Colombia is out there trying to fight against it, but their resources 
are being drained because they have at this moment at least 1 million 
or 1.2 million Venezuelan migrants who have had to leave Venezuela and 
are now in their territory. If the United States suddenly absorbed 1 
million migrants over a 12- to 18-month period, we would struggle to 
afford what that would entail. Imagine Colombia, whose economy is a 
fraction of the size of ours--that means that instead of spending money 
to fight drug cartels to prevent them from bringing drugs here, they 
have had to dedicate resources to the humanitarian cost of housing over 
1 million people, and growing.
  It is not just Colombia that is being compromised. Ecuador has about 
170,000 Venezuelan migrants. Peru has about 250,000 Venezuelan 
migrants. These people are not bad. I am not criticizing the migrants. 
But these are not big governments. Some of these governments have 
budgets smaller than most of our States have. They cannot afford this, 
and it is threatening to collapse their public health system, which 
means we may not have a humanitarian catastrophe just in Venezuela; we 
may soon have a growing economic catastrophe in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, 
and Colombia--multiple countries in our hemisphere. And geography 
matters. It would be a terrible thing if it were happening in Africa or 
halfway around the world, but it would directly impact Americans and 
our economy and well-being because of how close it is to our country, 
in multiple ways.
  So if you think that having a humanitarian crisis in multiple 
countries in our hemisphere--including countries aligned with us in the 
war against drugs--is a problem, then you should care about what is 
happening in Venezuela.
  What is the road forward now? I hope people have been compelled to at 
least understand that this is about more than just caring about 
democracy. That is a big part of it. We do care, and we are proud of 
it. But it is a lot more than just that. This is in the national 
interest of the United States. We should be proud, not just of the 
bipartisan support in favor of the interim President and of democracy 
in Venezuela, we should be proud of the job the National Security 
Council, the White House, and the State Department have done. Unlike 25 
or 30 years ago, this wasn't some unilateral American action where we 
went in and told everybody what to do; this is international 
organizations, like the OAS.
  Today, the Secretary of State appeared at the OAS personally to argue 
the American case, and he was joined by 15 other countries that voted 
on a resolution agreeing with our principles on this and their 
principles. The leadership of these countries under the auspices of the 
Lima Group has been extraordinary. The United States is an equal 
partner to them in this endeavor.
  What will probably happen now is that Maduro, instead of being the 
one who arrests the interim President, will turn it over to the courts 
to let them decide. Well, he controls the courts. They are all his 
cronies. They are also corrupt, by the way, sanctioned by the U.S. 
Government. He could very well move to try to arrest the interim 
President, Juan Guaido, tomorrow or the next day, although the eyes of 
the world are upon him, and the consequences for that would be 
extraordinary and severe.
  They are now saying: Let's have negotiations. This is a tactic they 
have used repeatedly, and they use it because they all know we like 
negotiations. Everybody--anytime there is an international crisis, why 
don't we all just sit down and negotiate our way through this? Ideally, 
that would be the outcome. But he doesn't really want negotiations. He 
wants a delay tactic. He has done this multiple times. There were 
negotiations from the Vatican, and they gave up. Then the former Prime 
Minister of Spain was involved in some of these negotiations. Those 
were a total catastrophe. He is just doing this to bide time. Now he is 
talking about Mexico and Uruguay being the host of the negotiations. I 
wouldn't be surprised if he soon says: Let Russia come in and be the 
interlocutory. How about that for a national security threat, a 
national interest threat--having Vladimir Putin brokering political 
agreements in the Western Hemisphere. Putin would love it. He fancies 
himself a great global leader. You are going to see him do something 
like that, all in an effort to bide time. He has no intention of 
negotiating anything.
  It bides him time to do what? It bides him time for his fake 
constituent assembly to change the Constitution towards one-party rule 
or even potentially to call on new flash elections at some point for a 
new national assembly under this fraudulent election system he set up. 
To many people, he will say: We had an election, and the opposition 
lost. But it won't be a real election if the people who could win are 
not allowed to run, are not allowed to advertise, have no access to the 
media. They control the ballot box, and they extort people with access 
to food.
  At some point, I wouldn't be surprised to see him declare a state of 
emergency, maybe go out there and trigger some fake incident, a false 
flag, where agitators go out and commit violence, and he will say: The 
protesters are out of control; declare a state of emergency. Why would 
he do that? So he can paralyze the streets. No one can be out there 
protesting. And if the opposition tries to leave their homes, now they 
have a pretext to arrest them.
  There is really only one way forward, and that is to do everything we 
can to

[[Page S580]]

strengthen the legitimate interim government, and that began today. The 
interim President's first request was for humanitarian aid to help 
bring food, medicine, and medical supplies to the people inside 
  The Secretary of State of the United States immediately announced 
that as an initial step, we will provide, immediately, $20 million. I 
know they are working on how to deliver that into Venezuela and how 
they can position that so the Venezuelan people have access to it. This 
is on top of and apart from the aid we are already providing the 
migrants in Colombia and other places.
  That is a good first step. On day one on the job, the interim 
President, Juan Guaido, made a request of the international community, 
and America immediately stepped forward. And I believe very shortly, in 
a matter of days, there will be significant humanitarian aid--food and 
medicine--awaiting the people of Venezuela, either within their own 
territory and distributed through the Red Cross or some other 
nongovernmental organization or just across the border, where they can 
access it.
  We have to continue to make clear to the elites in that country that 
there is no future for Maduro, that there is no way he can hold on, and 
that they need to begin thinking about who their loyalties should be 
to--the Constitution they swore an allegiance to, the people they live 
among, or some guy whose future is about to come to an end.
  I think it is important that the National Guard know that not only 
should they not repress the people but that they will be held 
accountable if they do. Ultimately, I believe this deeply. I know the 
generals and all the guys at the press conference in the fancy uniforms 
have sworn allegiance--you know how nervous they were--but I can state 
that the rank-and-file fighters did not. Do you know why? Because the 
rank-and-file soldier and the midlevel officer in the military don't 
have corruption deals; they are going just as hungry as everybody else. 
They have massive rates of desertion, people just abandoning posts.
  When you saw the images yesterday of the hundreds of thousands of 
people in the streets, you know that many of those soldiers have 
mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and loved ones, wives, and 
children in that crowd. Do you know who else knows that? The military 
brass. I know for a fact that they have significant doubts. In fact, 
they probably do not even believe that if they ordered the military to 
act against their own people, the military would, because there is no 
way these rank-and-file soldiers are going to shoot on their brothers 
and sisters and mothers and fathers and other loved ones.
  So we need to step forward and continue with the humanitarian aid. We 
need to help use the leadership of the United States to put together 
reconstruction aid.
  We need to help the interim President with whatever he needs to carry 
out a legitimate free and fair and internationally supervised election, 
which he should call for in the next 45 days.
  This is the path forward. It is in our national interest. It is the 
right thing to do. It reflects our values, but it also reflects our 
interests as a nation. That is why this matters. That is why we should 
care. This is not halfway around the world. This is in our own 
hemisphere. It is just a few hours' flight away, and it impacts more 
than just one country. It impacts an entire hemisphere.
  I will close with this. There has been a lot of criticism 
historically over the U.S. role in the Western Hemisphere. During the 
Cold War, the criticism was that we were supporting rightwing 
dictators, fighting off communism, but we were involved in some coups, 
and we had a heavy hand and got in and imposed ourselves. Then we went 
the total opposite way, and for many years--in fact, up until recently, 
no one talked about the Western Hemisphere, and to the extent we did, 
it was about migration and drugs. It was almost, frankly, a complete 
abandonment of the portfolio.
  What you are seeing now is the potential birth of a new Latin 
America--a new Western Hemisphere, one in which the United States is an 
important partner but not a unilateral actor. When you see 16 countries 
in this hemisphere come together in an economic and diplomatic way, 
from Peru to Chile, Colombia, Argentina, and Brazil, when you see the 
OAS come alive after years of--frankly, when is the last time any of us 
here discussed anything of the things happening at the OAS? You start 
to see the beginning of not just a way to confront the crisis in 
Venezuela but of a hemispheric partnership whose impetus may have been 
this crisis but creates a path forward that is in our national 
interest. Imagine if, in fact, democracies and free people of this 
region came together not just to tackle dictatorships but to tackle 
drugs, to tackle the root cause of migration. Imagine a hemispheric 16-
, 18-regional-nation response to what is happening in El Salvador and 
Honduras and Guatemala to cause these people to undertake this 
dangerous journey with their children, in many cases; imagine if it 
wasn't just the United States but us working in partnership with all 
these other countries to tackle these hemispheric challenges. I will 
tell you, that is in our national interest.
  Not only is this an opportunity to do the right thing in Venezuela, 
it is an opportunity to give a start to a new hemispheric reality, a 
new Latin American reality that serves the national interest in this 
country and allows us to live in a hemisphere that is free and 
prosperous, where people do not have to abandon their homelands, where 
people can stay in their countries, if they so choose, and raise their 
families and not have to undertake dangerous journeys to other 
countries for fear of their lives.
  We have to start somewhere. I can think of no better place to start 
than on behalf of the people of Venezuela who have suffered terribly 
for far too long under a dictatorial, corrupt regime that tortured 
their children and murdered their fathers and mothers and denied a 
once-prosperous country the future they deserve.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota.

                           Government Funding

  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, I come to the floor to implore my 
colleagues and the President to end the shutdown and reopen the Federal 
  We are now on day 34 of this shutdown, which is well past being the 
longest in American history. When you think about what our country has 
been through: the Civil War, World War I, World War II; you think about 
the protests we had; what we had with the country in the Depression; 
what we had only a decade ago with the biggest downturn since the 
Depression--through all of that, even through a few shutdowns, we 
somehow, in this Chamber and in the House and in the White House, were 
able to get our act together and were somehow able to keep the 
government open.
  Now is the time to open the government, Mr. President. The 800,000 
Federal employees who are not being paid are keenly aware that this is 
the longest shutdown on record. Another sad milestone is coming if the 
shutdown continues through tomorrow. These workers will miss yet 
another paycheck. These are workers, like a Federal prison worker in 
Rochester, MN, who noted to me that the inmates were getting paid but 
the prison workers are not. She was so excited to get this job a few 
months ago. Her child was in daycare. She is a single mom, and now she 
has to decide between taking some other job and moonlighting. What does 
she do about the daycare if she takes another job and takes her child 
out of daycare and stays home with her child, which would make some 
sense, except she wouldn't have enough money, and then she would lose 
her spot in the daycare. It is very hard to get daycare in Minnesota.
  Instead of working on those kinds of what I would call opportunities, 
at a time when our economy has been stable after we had gotten out of 
the downturn, we have been working out of chaos. Instead of helping her 
to afford childcare and figuring out smart solutions, or doing 
something about pharmaceutical prices, or doing something about college 
costs, or training our workers for the jobs of today and tomorrow, or 
enacting comprehensive immigration reform so our rural areas in my 
State, where we don't have enough workers on our farms and in our 
fields and in our factories--we

[[Page S581]]

should be working on those opportunity issues--instead, we are trying 
to crawl out of chaos.
  We need to reopen the government and get these workers back on the 
jobs providing vital services for the American people. Once it is open, 
as my colleagues have made clear and as leadership has made clear, we 
can continue negotiations with the President about border security. I 
am someone, as is my colleague from Pennsylvania, who voted for a bill 
that had over $40 billion in border security that was part of 
comprehensive immigration reform. We did this, but was it a wall 
through the entire border? No, it was not. It allowed the experts to 
decide where there should be technology, where there should be fencing, 
where there should be barriers, where there should be personnel. That 
is the way to do this.
  There is no reason our Federal workers and the American taxpayers who 
rely on the vital services provided by the Federal workers should be 
held hostage while these policy negotiations take place. The pain that 
this shutdown is causing is real, and it is getting worse.
  The administration has implemented many creative measures to try to 
blunt the public outcry against the shutdown, but these measures are 
being held together by duct tape. We use duct tape a lot in Minnesota. 
We try to put things together, but we shouldn't be using duct tape to 
tape together our entire government.
  Our Agencies are running out of money, and many are reaching the 
breaking point. Earlier today, the five former Secretaries for the 
Department of Homeland Security, including our first DHS Secretary, Tom 
Ridge, and John Kelly, President Trump's former Chief of Staff, wrote a 
letter urging an end to this shutdown and full funding for the 
Department of Homeland Security. In their letter, the former 
Secretaries noted that Congress always prioritizes funding of the 
Defense Department as a matter of national security.

       Congress does so because putting national security at risk 
     is an option we simply can't afford. DHS should be no 

  The administration continues to explore ideas like a national 
emergency declaration to bypass Congress. The irresponsibility of all 
of this is breathtaking. Yesterday, the presidents of the National Air 
Traffic Controllers Association, the Air Line Pilots Association, and 
the Association of Flight Attendants released a terrifying joint 
statement pointing out the risk the shutdown presents to air travel:

       In our risk-averse industry--That is putting it mildly--
       we cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at 
     play, nor predict the point where the entire system will 
     break. It is unprecedented.

  I have talked to the air traffic controllers in my State. I have 
talked to the TSA workers who sit there every day and do their job 
without pay. In this letter, they go on to state that the ``air safety 
environment . . . is deteriorating by the day.''
  Reading this statement does not give me confidence, nor does the fact 
that a full 10 percent of our Transportation Security Administration 
agents are now missing work because of financial limitations--meaning 
they can't cover the daycare and transportation expenses required to 
come to work. Those who can come to work are surely distracted by 
worries about how they will pay their bills.
  As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, I worked with my 
colleagues on both sides of the aisle last year to reauthorize the 
Federal Aviation Administration. We were rightly proud of the law, 
including the third title, simply titled, ``Safety,'' which had 90 
individual provisions designed to maximize the safety of air travel for 
the American people. We required updated safety training procedures for 
airline professionals, sought to improve safety on our Nation's runways 
and in rural areas, and updated the laws regarding engine safety. This 
matters a lot in my State. We are a major hub in the Minneapolis-St. 
Paul area. We are the State that manufactures jets up in Duluth at 
Cirrus. We are the State that has major Minnesota National Guard 
facilities that train flight inspectors and aviators and people all 
over the country. Aviation is incredibly important in my State.
  In our bill, we required updated safety training procedures for 
airline professionals, sought to improve safety in our Nation's runways 
and rural areas. As the Senator from Pennsylvania and Florida know, 
rural air service in our States are key, and we updated those laws.
  We are hearing the entire system of air travel may break, and for 
what? What does air travel have to do with border security? The short 
answer is, air travel has nothing to do with border security, except 
when we are checking our airports and making sure they are safe when 
there are border flights. If we are talking about a wall across the 
southern border, that has nothing to do with our airports in Minnesota 
and in Pennsylvania and in Florida. I have long favored increasing our 
border security through smart technology.
  As I mentioned, our 2013 immigration bill, which passed this Chamber 
with a number of Republican votes--many of whom are still here--
included money for an additional 40,000 Border Patrol agents. As we 
know, most drugs come into this country through our ports of entry. If 
we want to do something about the various problems with the drugs 
coming into our country, things like heroin from Central America and 
from Mexico and things like other opioids, then we should be doing 
something about those ports of entry.
  As has been the case all along, there are proposals on the table that 
will reopen the government and end this senseless shutdown. The House 
has now passed legislation that will fund the government under any 
number of arrangements. It includes bills that fund all remaining 
government Agencies through the end of the fiscal year--bills that fund 
individual Departments and Agencies, most having absolutely nothing to 
do with this debate that is raging in the White House.
  The last bill that was passed through February 8, a short-term basis 
that would have taken us through February 8, would have allowed the 
President and Congress to negotiate a longer term proposal. That was 
the bill we passed in the Senate. This last bill was even coupled with 
additional funding for disaster relief--a priority for both parties 
that wish to help Americans in States that have suffered through 
hurricanes and wildfires.
  Earlier this afternoon, the Senate voted on the short-term funding 
proposal. While the proposal did not gain the required 60 votes to gain 
consideration, I was encouraged by the fact that 5 Republican Senators 
joined Democrats in voting to consider this bill. This is progress, and 
we need to build on that momentum by working together to do the right 
thing for the American people.
  On Monday, we celebrated Martin Luther King's life. One of the things 
Martin Luther King once said was that ``the time is always right to do 
what is right.'' This is the right time. We can't just keep waiting 
while government Agencies remain shuttered. There are 6,100 Federal 
workers in the State of Minnesota who are not receiving their 
paychecks. Farmers, small business owners, and taxpayers are going 
without vital services from their government, major portions of which 
have been closed for 34 days. It is time to reopen the government.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, I rise to talk about the shutdown, as my 
colleague, the senior Senator from Minnesota, just did. I am grateful 
for her comments on what is happening to people in Minnesota, the 
direct adverse impact of this shutdown on their lives. We have all seen 
it. We have all experienced it.
  I will be referring to specific testimony from people who wrote me 
letters, but let me just highlight one experience I had the other day 
at a food bank in Central Pennsylvania, just miles from our State 
capital--a food bank that serves 27 of our 67 counties.
  I was talking about how this shutdown could end. The President wanted 
the shutdown. He got the shutdown, but he could also end it. Prior to 
the discussion we had, behind us, they had an entire table full of food 
items that the food bank and others in that region of Pennsylvania were 
delivering to Federal workers, especially to TSA agents, who cannot 
afford food because they are working but are not being

[[Page S582]]

paid. It is hard to comprehend that. It is hard to comprehend that so 
many veterans around the country are, once again, serving their country 
by serving in the government as they served in combat or in the 
military; yet they are being left out in the cold, so to speak--
sometimes literally--but are, obviously, being left out when they don't 
have paychecks.
  So this is real life. We debate bills and budgets and appropriations 
here in Washington. We have debates on the floor and debates and 
discussions in the hallways, but for these folks, this is real life. I 
will just point to, maybe, five examples in Pennsylvania.
  Adams County, which is in the southernmost part of our State, where 
Gettysburg is--just on the Maryland border--is not a big county by 
population. Here is what one individual who is married to a Federal 
worker wrote. I will just quote her in part.
  She writes:

       We are expecting our first child this summer and, prior to 
     December 22, were excited about the future and potential of 
     2019. Now we are anxious, sad, and angry, not knowing where 
     the money will come from to buy necessities for this child, 
     let alone medical expenses related to birth and daycare.

  She goes on to write later in the letter:

       We are now in real and serious danger of losing our home 
     and our vehicles. We will soon have to choose between buying 
     groceries or paying for the electric bill.

  She goes on from there. She is one Pennsylvanian in Adams County.
  Here is one from Cambria County, which is in the southwestern part of 
our State.
  This individual wrote: ``My husband is a Federal employee who has 
been furloughed.''
  She goes on to write:

       We have a son in elementary school. It is about time for 
     spring sports sign-ups, but we don't know how we are going to 
     pay our bills or buy groceries. It is our son's birthday in 
     less than 2 weeks. We canceled his birthday party to save 
     some money.

  That was from Cambria County, PA.
  The third one I will highlight is from Delaware County, which is one 
of the big, suburban Philadelphia counties. It is a big population 
  Here is, in part, what this individual wrote: ``My in-laws are 
selling their home and cannot go to settlement because the FHA will not 
close a mortgage for the buyer.''
  That was among several things they wrote in the letter. In the 
interest of time, I will not read all of it, but we hear these stories 
all the time of people not being able to complete the work on a 
mortgage because of the impact on the FHA.
  Here is one from Montgomery County, which is also a suburban 
Philadelphia county.
  This individual wrote:

       I am a law enforcement park ranger for the National Park 
     Service. . . . I am the sole provider for a family of four, 
     to include two young children. Not knowing when I will get 
     paid again is putting undue stress on the entire family.

  That word ``stress'' keeps coming up either directly in these letters 
or by implication. Over and over again, we hear of the stress this 
shutdown is putting on families across America.
  The last one I will highlight is from Warren County, which is in the 
northwestern corner of our State. It is a much smaller population 
county than were the two suburban Philadelphia counties I just 
mentioned of Montgomery and Delaware.
  Here is what this individual wrote from Warren County:

       Both my wife and I are federal employees working for the 
     U.S. Forest Service. We are also both veterans. We will be 
     using our savings to live off of and charging food to our 
     credit cards if we must.

  It goes on and on, and I know the Presiding Officer has seen the same 
thing. We have all seen and heard much about this. There is not enough 
time tonight to go through every letter.
  This is what has to be the priority of all of ours. We have to be 
responsive to these cries for help, to be responsive to Americans who 
are just asking us to open the government so they can be paid, so they 
can make ends meet, so they can pay for groceries, so they can pay 
their mortgages--or to even have a mortgage in some cases--so they can 
pay for basic necessities, and so they can sometimes even just pay for 
birthday parties for their sons. Over and over again, we hear these 
  As my colleague from Minnesota made reference to, I was encouraged 
that, today, we had two votes. There was a likely expectation prior to 
the votes that they wouldn't get enough to pass, but at least we were 
voting. At least we were voting on one measure that one side favored 
and were voting on another measure that my side of the aisle favored. I 
was also encouraged that five Republicans voted for the Democratic 
proposal, which is very simple--to fund the government, to open the 
government, and add disaster assistance for emergencies from natural 
disasters. The lives of people are adversely affected by so many 
natural disasters, but this is also, of course, an emergency--funding 
the government so as to make sure that workers have their pay and to 
make sure people are served by important programs like the Supplemental 
Nutrition Assistance Program. Of course, we could make a long list of 
programs that are important to people's lives.
  In the case of the so-called SNAP program--what we used to call food 
stamps--you are talking basically about children, seniors, and people 
with disabilities. These are most of the people who get benefits from 
the SNAP program. They are only guaranteed help from that program 
through February. There is no certainty about March. There is no 
certainty about April or the forthcoming months. It is just one program 
that serves millions of Americans that has already been adversely 
impacted because of the shutdown.
  Whether you are talking about a mom or a dad who is a Federal 
employee or whether you are talking about someone who needs the help of 
the Federal Government--people who we have said over many generations 
deserve that help--in either case, it is unacceptable to them, and it 
should be unacceptable to us to not have the government open. We have 
lots of time to debate many issues after that, but priority No. 1 has 
to be to open the government. Then we will have a lot of time for 
debate on a range of issues.

                       Remembering Harris Wofford

  Mr. President, I conclude tonight with some brief remarks. We are 
going to have several occasions to amplify these remarks in the coming 
days regarding the passing of Senator Harris Wofford, the Senator from 
Pennsylvania from 1991 to the early days of 1995. I just want to offer 
some personal remarks. In a short timeframe, it is very difficult to 
encapsulate the life of any individual, obviously, but in this case, it 
is impossible in a few short minutes to encapsulate the life, the 
contributions, and the achievements of Senator Harris Wofford, so I 
will just highlight a few. If you were to just read his resume, you 
would think you were reading the life story of the achievements of 
several people instead of just one.
  To give you some highlights, he was an early advocate for civil 
rights. He was someone who stuck his neck out to march with Dr. King, 
his good friend, and to advocate on behalf of the Civil Rights Act of 
  He then worked for President Kennedy as a special assistant for civil 
rights and prepared the way for the great breakthroughs of the 
midsixties, of the civil rights legislation of the sixties. He worked 
with Sargent Shriver and others in the Kennedy administration in the 
formation of the Peace Corps, and he served in that capacity overseas.
  As I mentioned, he was a good friend of Dr. Martin Luther King's and 
participated in the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches in 1965 in 
support of voting rights for African Americans.
  He was the President of two different colleges--one in Pennsylvania, 
Bryn Mawr, which is a great college. It is one of the best in the 
  I got to know Harris Wofford before he was Senator Wofford. It was 
when he worked for the new Casey administration, when my father was 
elected Governor of Pennsylvania in 1986. He put together a cabinet in 
the early part of 1987, and he appointed Harris as the Secretary of 
Labor and Industry--one of the big departments in State government.
  It was from that position that he was chosen to be a U.S. Senator. It 
was after the tragic and untimely death of Senator John Heinz, who 
passed away in April of 1991. Harris was named that next month. He was 
elected in 1991 to complete that term and then lost his reelection in 
1994, but Harris was not done with service.

[[Page S583]]

  After serving in the Kennedy administration and in the Senate--after 
doing such great work on education and civil rights in the interest of 
justice--he continued his work. He worked very hard to make sure that 
the Martin Luther King holiday was not just a holiday but a day of 
service. So he and others came together in the midnineties--after 
Harris was out of office and after he had left the Senate--to make sure 
that day would be a day of service. Now, all of these years later--more 
than 20 years later--hundreds of thousands of people across the country 
perform acts of service, engage in service, on that day.
  We will spend more time highlighting his life here on the Senate 
floor and in other places around the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and, 
I am sure, across the country, but let me just conclude with these 
words: Harris Wofford was a champion for justice. In the Scriptures, 
they tell us that those who pursue justice should be blessed. Blessed 
are they who will hunger and thirst for justice for they shall be 
  Harris Wofford was never satisfied when it came to justice. He was 
always trying to march us forward. He was always urging us to do more 
in the interest of justice, in the interest of civil rights, and of 
equal rights. He was a champion for justice. That is probably an 
understatement. He was also a person of uncommon courage to stand up as 
he did on civil rights when it was not easy--when, at times, it was 
literally dangerous.
  In addition to his courage, he was a person of integrity and decency. 
He always wanted to know what others were doing, what other's lives 
were like, what they hoped for our country. He was always curious about 
other people's lives and what he could learn from them.
  To say that he lived a life of service is, again, an understatement. 
I don't know of anyone who served in so many different capacities, 
whether it was in the Army Air Corps in World War II, whether it was in 
leading the way on civil rights for President Kennedy, or whether it 
was here in the Senate in his helping to create opportunities for 
service. He not only lived that life of service, but he challenged all 
of us. Whether we were public officials or citizens, he challenged us 
to serve. He lived the words of Dr. King, the words of service. Dr. 
King said that everyone can be great because everyone can serve. Harris 
Wofford was great for lots of reasons, but he was also great, of 
course, because he served.
  We will have more opportunities to amplify this small measure of 
commendation to Harris Wofford, but on a night like tonight, we are 
thinking of him. We are inspired by him, and we are grateful for his 
service and for that of his family's.
  I had a chance to talk to his son Dan, who has been a friend of mine 
for a long time, just hours before his father passed away. I was 
honored to talk to him in those difficult hours.
  Mr. President, in remembering Harris Wofford, as we will do more 
formally in the next number of days, I want to thank him for his 
service to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and for his service to 
  With that, I yield the floor.
  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. RUBIO. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                      Tribute to the Senate Pages

  Mr. RUBIO. Mr. President, today is the last day for the Senate pages 
who are here with us today. This is a little known fact--I didn't even 
realize this until it was presented to me--but the 115th Congress, 
which we just concluded, had more session days than any Congress since 
1951. That goes to tell you that these pages worked incredibly hard, 
and we are grateful. We hope their experience here was rewarding. They 
should know that there are several Members here serving on this side 
who once sat there.
  I shouldn't be here by the time the pages get here, I hope, but we 
look forward to their service to our country in the years to come in 
whatever they decide to do.
  Thank you for all of your work.
  We truly appreciate the time they have put in.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that their names be printed in 
the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

       Abby Solomon, Eve Downing, Sophia Valcarce, Ellie Ralph, 
     Luke Baldwin, Benjamin Stimpson, Travis Christoff, Elli 
     Ament, Shira Hamer, Holden Clark, Hardy Williams, Luke 
     Schneider, Alex Little, Luke Lilly, Robert Hess, Nicholas 
     Acevedo Foley, Collin Woldt, Sophia Clinton, Amelia Gorman, 
     Myra Bajwa, Renee Clark, Allison Leibly, George ``Win'' 
     Courtemanche, Luke Turner, Lucy Besch, Victoria Roberts.