Friday, April 07, 2006

Senate Summary - April 6, 2006

A quick post to kick off the day - just to have the morning action in context. Frist had filed a pair of cloture motions, which are noted in the April 5 summary.

I slightly mischaracterized the pair, there, and Frists description here set the record straight.

Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, following the 1 hour tomorrow for closing remarks, the Democratic leader and I will make statements prior to the cloture vote on the motion to commit. The vote will therefore occur at approximately 9:45 in the morning. If cloture is not invoked, we will proceed to a cloture vote on the underlying bill. We also have two remaining cloture votes scheduled on nominations, although we are hopeful we can work out an agreement for a vote on one of those nominations. Senators can expect a busy and full day.

The first cloture motion was rejected, 38 - 60. The Senate is now voting on a cloture motion (to limit debate) on Frist's S.2454 bill, the borders and interior enforcement bill, without guest worker and other elements thatPresident Bush indicates are a necessary part of immigration reform. And with that introduction, here are the details I culled from yesterday's proceedings ...

Senate Summary - April 6, 2006

A bill (S. 2454) to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for comprehensive reform and for other purposes.

Pending:

Specter/Leahy amendment No. 3192, in the nature of a substitute.

Kyl/Cornyn amendment No. 3206 (to amendment No. 3192), to make certain aliens ineligible for conditional nonimmigrant work authorization and status.

Cornyn amendment No. 3207 (to amendment No. 3206), to establish an enactment date.

Isakson amendment No. 3215 (to amendment No. 3192), to demonstrate respect for legal immigration by prohibiting the implementation of a new alien guest worker program until the Secretary of Homeland Security certifies to the President and the Congress that the borders of the United States are reasonably sealed and secured.

Dorgan amendment No. 3223 (to amendment No. 3192), to allow United States citizens under 18 years of age to travel to Canada without a passport, to develop a system to enable United States citizens to take 24-hour excursions to Canada without a passport, and to limit the cost of passport cards or similar alternatives to passports to $20.

Mikulski/Warner amendment No. 3217 (to amendment No. 3192), to extend the termination date for the exemption of returning workers from the numerical limitations for temporary workers.

Santorum/Mikulski amendment No. 3214 (to amendment No. 3192), to designate Poland as a program country under the visa waiver program established under section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Nelson (FL) amendment No. 3220 (to amendment No. 3192), to use surveillance technology to protect the borders of the United States.

Sessions amendment No. 3420 (to the language proposed to be stricken by amendment No. 3192), of a perfecting nature.

Nelson (NE) amendment No. 3421 (to amendment No. 3420), of a perfecting nature.


Roll Call Vote 00088 : 39 - 60 Reject Cloture on S.Amdt.3192 (Specter)
DEMs voting NAY: Byrd, Conrad, Dorgan, Nelson (FL), Nelson (NE)
Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, following the 1 hour tomorrow for closing remarks, the Democratic leader and I will make statements prior to the cloture vote on the motion to commit. The vote will therefore occur at approximately 9:45 in the morning. If cloture is not invoked, we will proceed to a cloture vote on the underlying bill. We also have two remaining cloture votes scheduled on nominations, although we are hopeful we can work out an agreement for a vote on one of those nominations. Senators can expect a busy and full day.
Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I don't believe that cloture will be invoked today on the chairman's substitute. Therefore, we have two additional cloture motions pending to the border security bill. There is a cloture motion to the Hagel-Martinez language that was offered yesterday and a cloture motion to the underlying border security bill. We will announce the exact timing of those votes a little later as we go through the morning and see how we progress. It is unfortunate that we had to set up these procedural challenges, but given the lack of progress and cooperation on getting amendments up and voted on, it was the only way to move ahead.

We have very important Department of Defense nominations that have been pending on the calendar since last year. I have consulted with the Democratic leader, and I have scheduled cloture votes on those nominations this week to allow the Senate to vote on these important Department of Defense nominees.


Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I asked Senator Leahy to take my place in the chair because I want to show that a Republican agrees with him, in part. I do support the statements made by the Senator from Vermont concerning the derogatory statements that may have been made concerning any racial connections with this bill.

However, I cannot support cloture on the bill because it still contains the provisions with regard to felons. The amendment we tried to vote on the other day, I am informed, is probably not possible to consider if we vote cloture on this bill at this time. So I regret that I cannot support cloture. I stated that I would vote for cloture on the bill as it came from the Judiciary Committee. Under the circumstances, once it was discovered, with the provisions with regard to prior convictions for felonies, I supported that amendment the other day by voting not to table it. I believe that amendment should be considered before we vote cloture on this bill.


Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, I respond to the distinguished Senator from Idaho in the affirmative. It is intact. The reduction in green cards and visas from 400,000 to 325,000 may impact on that to some extent. But the amendment which was offered by Senator Feinstein, who is on the committee and on which you were a collaborator--and I again congratulate you on that, as I did in committee when we accepted the amendment--is intact. It is a very important amendment, worked out very carefully. You have been working on this for years--you can say how many years--but it has been a very long haul. Mr. CRAIG. I thank the chairman for that response. Every employment sector is unique, and what we have found, and I think what the committee has found, is that agriculture, because of the type of labor involved, is kind of the entry door many of our migrant laborers come through, legal and illegal, and from that, if you will, learn and move to other segments of the economy.
Mr. FRIST. ... I am optimistic that after today's vote, after we do that, if we stay focused, if we come together, if everyone takes a very careful look at the Hagel-Martinez proposal, we will finish with a bill which will make America safer, protect the rule of law, and recognize our interest in legal immigration.

As I have said all along, I believe we cannot support amnesty. Amnesty, as I said before, is to give people who have broken the law a specialized, unique track to citizenship. But we do have 12 million people here today. We have to be practical. With the Hagel-Martinez approach, we will recognize and discuss the fact that these 12 million people are not a monolithic group. It is a group that can be addressed in different ways depending on where one falls within that group.

I support a strong temporary worker program that allows people to fill what employment needs we have, to come here and to learn a skill, send money back home, and then return to their hometowns to build and contribute to their local community.

I believe we need this three-pronged approach because only a comprehensive approach is going to fix this badly broken system we have today. For all we do on the border, at the worksites, we need to fix the immigration system and also to give us the real border security that so many know we need.

Over the course of the day, people can study the approach which was put on the table by Senators HAGEL and MARTINEZ. It deserves discussion and focus. I believe it will be the turning point in the debate because it is time for us to act and not talk. It is time for us to no longer delay, no longer postpone. It is time for us to give our colleagues the opportunity to offer their amendments.


Mr. CRAIG. ... The average immigrant pays nearly $1,800 more in taxes than he or she costs--

The economy. Undocumented immigrants are believed to contribute billions of dollars to our Social Security system, billions of dollars they will not benefit from.

According to the President's report, the administration's earnings suspense file--that is a file within Social Security made up of taxes paid by workers with invalid or mismatched Social Security numbers--totaled $463 billion in 2002.

[I think "average immigrant" is not a good measure for the net cost to "the system," and I doubt that Senator Craig has captured all of "the costs." Later in April 6th's Congressional REcord, Senator Sessions notes thatteh Congressional Budget Office says the language in the proposed Hagel/Martinez bill will add cost to the tune of 2 billion in the first 2 years, and 12 billion from 2007 to 2016, for Medicaid and food stamp]


DOHA ROUND

Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, I chair a committee that has jurisdiction over international trade. We find ourselves being both a participant and an observer of Doha Round negotiations under the World Trade Organization. Those negotiations are in a very determinative state; success will be made, I believe, during the month of April or the Doha Round, for all practical purposes, would end--not in the minds of the WTO or in the minds of the 148 nations other than the United States but as a practical matter. If things are not done by the end of 2006 and the President's authority for trade promotion running out in July of 2007, there will not be time for us to get something done before trade promotion authority runs out.

I would like to have trade promotion authority for the President continued beyond July 2007. I would try to promote that, but we saw very close votes on CAFTA and other trade agreements; there is a protectionist trend in the Congress--maybe not in the Nation as a whole but at least in Congress--that might keep us from getting trade promotion authority reauthorized.

I comment in these few minutes on where we are on the Doha Round and what I expect to happen and leave the message, if it does not happen very soon, this round could be dead.


Mr. ALLARD. When my colleague from Massachusetts calls the strategy of today counterproductive and says we ought to pull out our forces immediately from Iraq, that is a catastrophic suggestion. It is not anything that we should consider very seriously. It wasn't that long ago when my colleague from Massachusetts was saying that it would be a disaster and a disgraceful betrayal of principle to speed up the process and simply lay the groundwork for expedient withdrawal of American troops, which would risk the hijacking of Iraq by former terrorist groups and former Baathists. This quote was in the runup to the 2004 election.

So we see some being spun in the political winds, while the President remains strong, forceful. The President truly is a leader in a very difficult situation in Iraq. That is why I feel so very committed to supporting the President. You cannot deny the fact that this President truly wants to see democracy survive in Iraq, and he truly believes in the Iraqi people. ...

Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, a little while ago--I was not here, I was at a hearing of the Finance Committee--I am informed that the Senator from Colorado, Mr. Allard, came to the floor to attack my position on Iraq, which is fine by me, but also I think somewhat questionable with respect to the rules and the ethics of the Senate to attack me personally about my motives with respect to a position I have taken. The Senator from Colorado suggested that ``we see an individual who is being spun in the political winds.''

Let me make it clear to the Senator from Colorado, and anybody else who wants to debate Iraq, that when it comes to issues of war and peace and of young Americans dying, nobody spins me, period.

I am not going to listen to the Senator from Colorado or anyone else question my motives when young Americans are dying on a daily basis or losing their limbs because Iraqi politicians won't form a government from an election that they held in December. That is inexcusable.


SCOOTER LIBBY

Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, the last item I would like to speak to is one that is now in the news for the last several hours. It has been noted that in the court papers filed by Lewis Scooter Libby before the Federal court that he has made some amazing disclosures. You will remember that Mr. Libby was Vice President Cheney's chief of staff who was indicted recently over the Valeri Plame incident. The Valeri Plame incident involved a situation where someone told Robert Novak, a columnist, about the identity of a woman who was working undercover to protect the United States. That disclosure was made through White House sources which Mr. Novak attributed them to and has been investigated since by Patrick Fitzgerald, who is a special prosecutor on this case and the U.S. attorney for the northern district of Illinois.

As a result of his investigation to date, Mr. Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, has been indicted. Now today there are disclosures that in his court papers he has made some statements which are troubling. Before his indictment, according to CNN.com, Lewis Libby testified to the grand jury investigating the CIA leak that Vice President Cheney told him to pass on the information and that it was President Bush who authorized the disclosure.

According to the documents, the authorization led to a July 8, 2003, conversation between Mr. Libby and New York Times reporter Judith Miller. There was no indication in this court filing that either President Bush or Vice President Cheney authorized Mr. Libby to disclose Valeri Plame's CIA identity, but the disclosure in documents filed Wednesday means that the President of the United States and the Vice President put Lewis Libby in play as a secret provider of information to reporters about prewar intelligence on Iraq.

The authorization came as the Bush administration faced mounting criticism about its failure to find weapons of mass destruction, the main reason the President gave for the invasion of Iraq.

Mr. Libby's participation in a critical conversation with New York Times reporter Judith Miller on July 8, 2003, occurred only after the Vice President advised the defendant, Mr. Libby, that the President of the United States specifically had authorized Mr. Libby to disclose certain information in the National Intelligence Estimate. That is what is in the court records. That is what was disclosed today. ...

Now we learn that according to Mr. Libby, now under indictment, he was authorized by not only Vice President Cheney but President Bush to disclose information in the National Intelligence Estimate to the press. The allegations that are contained here suggest that information was being disclosed in order to overcome criticism that the American people had been misled about weapons of mass destruction. ...

Mr. President, as I read the allegations in the newspapers from Mr. Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Cheney, they were disclosing secret, classified information from a national intelligence estimate to the press in the hopes of bolstering the President's popularity. It is a grave disappointment. We can do nothing less than to investigate this. We need to find out if this did occur. If it did occur, the President and Vice President must be held accountable--accountable for misleading the American people and for disclosure of classified information for political purposes. That is as serious as it gets in this democracy.


IMMIGRATION

Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, as we all know, there has been an announcement of a resolution or a settlement among a group of Senators relating to the border security and immigration reform bill that is pending before the Senate, although I would note that the entire Senate has yet to sign off on that agreement. I, for one, want to talk for a few minutes about my concerns regarding the proposal.

Last night we were told at approximately 10 o'clock that this agreement was struck with a group of Senators. It consists of 525 pages and I dare say not many people have read it yet. But my review of the agreement causes me some serious concerns about whether it represents something that reflects good policy or something that would warrant my support.


Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I thank Senator Leahy, ranking member on the Judiciary Committee.

I have received just this afternoon in my office some disturbing news in the form of correspondence from the Congressional Budget Office. It suggests a number of areas where the amendment we are talking about here today, No. 3424, the immigration so-called compromise, violates our budget and the rules of the Senate. ...

CBO has estimated the cost of some--but not all--of the provisions of the proposed Hagel-Martinez amendment to the immigration bill. The version we are working with is labeled O:/MDM/MDM06671 and was provided to us this morning. ...

Let me continue now with what we received from the Congressional Budget Office:

The figures in this e-mail do NOT include costs associated with the conditional nonimmigrant provisions, which we are still working on. They also do NOT include revenue losses and outlays for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which we will be getting from the Joint Tax Committee and which results largely from the conditional non-immigrant provisions. Those revenue losses and Earned Income Tax Credit outlays may be significant. ...

With those important caveats, estimated outlays are about $2 billion for the first 5 years--2007-2011--and $12 billion for the first 10 years--2007-2016. The final figures will be bigger than those. Most of those costs are for Medicaid and Food Stamp programs.

They say those are not the final figures. The final figures will be bigger. It didn't include the earned income tax credit.

They go on to say this:

Outlays in the succeeding 10 years will be greater. The bill would impose mandates on State and local governments with costs that would exceed the threshold established in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act in at least 1 of the first 5 years after they would take effect. ...


JOINT INQUIRY

Mr. WYDEN. ... Mr. President, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress convened a bipartisan, bicameral joint inquiry into the activities of the intelligence community before and after the attacks. ... n December of 2002, a report was issued in which we stated that the inspector general of the CIA should ``conduct investigations and reviews as necessary to determine whether and to what extent personnel at all levels should be held accountable for any omission, commission, or failure to meet professional standards in regards to the identification, prevention, or disruption of terrorist attacks.''

The report went on to state that the Director of the CIA should take appropriate action in response to the inspector general's review.

The CIA Inspector General completed his report in June 2005. I was surprised that the report took so long to complete, but I am impressed with its quality. After the report of the 9/11 Commission and the joint inquiry itself, it is one of the most thorough examinations of the intelligence community activity before September 11. It provides a unique perspective and makes a number of findings that in my view should be available to the American people as part of the historical record. It also makes a number of recommendations that should be carefully considered. ...

Two months ago I wrote to the Director of the CIA, Mr. Goss, asking this report be declassified and released as soon as possible. I notified Director Goss if I did not see any progress within 60 days I would take action to release this report to the public. It has been over 60 days and still the CIA has not responded.

In the interest of making this report public and available to the American people, I ask now unanimous consent the Senate direct the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to make this report available to the American people as soon as possible.

Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, I agree with the Senator from Oregon that this is a very important report. We were, as everyone knows, viciously attacked on September 11 and in the aftermath of those attacks we wanted answers. Many of those answers have been found during the last 4 years and some of those answers are contained in the report. But the families of the victims of September 11 have a right to these answers and the American people have a right to these answers.

At the same time, I tell my colleague, we need to be sensitive to the fact that there is properly classified national security information that is included in this report, and this information needs to be protected.

While the Senator is correct that the CIA has not been adequately responsible to him or to me, I suggest that rather than release the report immediately in unredacted form, we instead sit down with the inspector general and work to redact any information that needs to remain classified in the interest of national security.

So I object to the Senator's request and suggest instead that we work with the inspector general to review this report and determine what can be appropriately released to the public.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.


MORE IMMIGRATION

Mr. SESSIONS. ... Somebody said let's not call it guest workers anymore, let's call it temporary workers. But they are not temporary workers either. They get a green card. They come in under this new H-2C program, and they are able then, on the petition of an employer, to get a green card within 1 year. If they don't have an employer petition for them, they can self-petition, which is not the rule now. Now these are supposed to be based on employment that is needed.

President Bush says a company that needs workers certifies they need you. Now you can self-certify and within 5 years you can be placed on an automatic path to citizenship. They never have to return home. That is all I am saying. Anybody who says this is a temporary worker program or guest worker program is not correct the way this language is in the bill.

These numbers do not include all that is in the bill. The AgJOBS bill came up on the floor a little over a year ago and was debated and blocked. Senator SAXBY CHAMBLISS, who chairs the Agriculture Committee, and a number of us raised objections to that bill. We blocked it. It did not go forward. It did not pass.

They blithely added the whole AgJOBS bill to the committee bill and it has now been made part of this compromise. There are 1.5 million who can come in under the AgJOBS bill.

People say we need the talented people. We still have limits on talented people who come into the country with high education levels, but there is virtually no limit on the number of unskilled workers who come into our country. That is not good public policy, I submit. That is probably not what you said when you have been out campaigning and talking to your constituents around the country. ...

But under the bill language, you can qualify for the new H-2C worker program, even if you are unlawfully present in the United States.

My legal counsel is a smart reader of the law.

This is the way the bill explains it. It doesn't say that plainly. It says:

In determining the alien's admissibility as an H-2C nonimmigrant. ..... paragraphs (5), (6)(A), (7), (9)(B) and (9)(C) of section 212(a) may be waived for conduct that occurred before the effective date.

What does all that mean?

If you do not have time to put aside the statute, the compromise bill, and go back and read the underlying statute, you don't know what it means, but if you do that, as my counsel did, you will see that is a pretty sneaky maneuver. As I noted, under the new H-2C program, 400,000 per year can get green cards as workers, and these people will qualify for that because those code sections refer to aliens who came here illegally and those who have been ordered removed but have come illegally will go back into the United States. ...

By the way, in reading the bill carefully, my fine staff discovered--it is kind of hard to do all this when you get a bill last night at 10 p.m. which is 325 pages--that those here illegally, whom I just mentioned, in the last 2 years or have been removed and come back illegally, they do not even count against the cap. Why would we want to do that? ...

Let us take loophole No. 1: Absconders and some individuals with felonies or 3 misdemeanors are not barred from getting amnesty. ...

Loophole No. 2: Aliens specifically barred from receiving immigration benefits for life because they filed a frivolous asylum application will also be able to receive amnesty. Under INA, section 208(d)(6), if the Attorney General determines that an alien knowingly filed a frivolous asylum application, the alien will be permanently ineligible for any benefits under the INA. This bill changes that. ...

Loophole No. 3: All aliens who are subject to a final order of removal--for some reason you are brought up and the court has ordered you removed from the country--who failed to leave pursuant to a voluntary departure agreement, they entered into those agreements and oftentimes people promise to leave and never leave--or who are subject to the reinstatement of a final order of removal because they illegally reentered after being ordered removed from the United States are also eligible for amnesty. ...

Loophole No. 4: Aliens who illegally entered the country multiple times are also eligible for amnesty. ...

Loophole No. 5: This bill allows aliens who have persecuted anyone on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion get amnesty. It fails to make persecutors ineligible for amnesty.

I would have thought that was an oversight until I noticed on page 363, line 22, that the bill makes those heinous acts bar aliens here between 2 and 5 years from amnesty but not those who have been here longer. The same bar left out for the 8.8 million who have been here for more than 5 years. This will be interpreted as an intentional decision of Congress when we pass this bill.

That is not inadvertent. I don't know why they did that.

Loophole No. 6: There is no continuous presence or continuous work requirement for amnesty. ...

Loophole No. 7: The bill tells the Department of Homeland Security to accept ``just and reasonable inferences'' from day labor centers as evidence of an alien meeting the bill's work requirements. ...

Loophole 8: The bill benefits only those who broke the law, not those who followed it and got work visas to come to the United States. That is a plain fact. If you were here legally on or before April 5, 2001, you will not get the benefit of this amnesty. This amnesty benefits you only if you came here illegally.

Loophole 9: The essential worker permanent immigration program for nonagriculture low-skilled workers leaves no illegal alien out. It is not limited to people outside the United States who want to come here to work in the future but includes illegal aliens currently present in the United States who do not qualify for the amnesty program in title VI, including aliens here for less than 2 years. Under the bill language, you can qualify for this new program to work as a low-skilled permanent immigrant even if you are unlawfully present in the United States. ...

Loophole No. 10: The annual numerical cap on this program is a completely artificial cap. If the 400,000 cap per year is reached, what happens then? The cap immediately adjusts itself to make more room under the cap. I kid you not. If the cap is reached, an additional 80,000 visas can be given out that year and the cap will go up automatically the next year as much as 20 percent. ...

Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I agree with much of what Senator Craig said--particularly about the ineffectiveness at the border. Let's be real frank and honest about the bill we have today. The reason we are in trouble today, the reason we are not going to be able to pass this legislation is that the bill is a failure. It is a colossal failure. It is a dead horse. It has been lying out in the sun, and people have been having to look at it, and they are now able to smell it. A few amendments and a compromise is not going to revive this. It doesn't do what we want it to do. It has a huge surge in immigration. ...

I ask my colleagues this: Should you not know how much the bill costs? Is anybody here prepared to stand up and say what this bill would cost, the compromise bill, if we pass it? How much will it cost? Does anybody know?

I made inquiry today and got back a letter from CBO that said it is clearly in violation of the Budget Act. Now, they said that was just a part of the cost; it was much more than that. They were still trying to run the numbers.

So within minutes, I got this e-mail from the Congressional Budget Office. It has a score on it. It says that CBO and Joint Tax estimate that direct spending outlays under this bill would total about $8 billion for the first 5 years. That is clearly in violation of the Budget Act.

What about revenues? Joint Tax and CBO--our two agencies we depend on to tell us what the cost and impact of the legislation will be--estimate that the legislation would result in an on-budget revenue loss of $5 billion from 2007 to 2011 and $2 billion over the 2007-to-2016 period, largely because of lower tax payments by businesses.

Here is discretionary spending. Assuming the appropriation of a necessary sum, CBO estimates that outlays for those purposes would total at least $16 billion from 2007 to 2011 and more than $30 billion over 2007 to 2016. And they are in a governmental mandate. The bill would impose mandates on State and local governments with costs that would exceed the threshold established by the Unfunded Mandates Act and at least 1 of the first 5 years after they take effect, totaling $29 billion over 5 years.

Well, why am I saying that? First of all, that is a lot of money. We have Social Security in trouble, Medicaid in trouble, and we are going to add $29 billion more to our costs?

What is really troubling is that it is symptomatic of the lack of thought and serious evaluation that went into writing this bill to begin with. It is not a good piece of legislation. It has good intentions. It desires to do the right thing. Unfortunately, as I have studied it, having been on the Judiciary Committee, I have come to believe it cannot be amended. And we are going to have three amendments that are going to somehow fix this bill? It fundamentally needs to be reviewed. I really think so. ...

4 . SECURING AMERICA'S BORDERS ACT -- (Senate - April 06, 2006)


Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, we are about to close in a few moments. We have some business to do. But I want to comment briefly on the events of today with respect to what I think is tragic in the sense that we are, in all likelihood, not going to be able to address a problem that directly affects the American people. ...

Mr. REID. Mr. President, I will say a few words. I wasn't planning on saying anything, but I think I must say something.

Mr. President, no matter how many times I call this lectern a car, it does not matter, this is not a car. This is a lectern, used here in the Senate for us to put our papers on and deliver a speech. This is not a car. If I come to the Senate floor and, day after day, hour after hour, call this a car, it is not a car. It is a lectern.

If I come to this Senate floor day after day and say what the Democrats have done is unusual, unwarranted, unbelievable, it is wrong, it is as wrong as this lecturn being called a car.

Now, we are in a unique situation. The distinguished majority leader and I have really tried to work something out. I indicated that I thought it would be appropriate that we agree on who would be on the conference--the Judiciary Committee. It sounds reasonable.

I also thought we should have--not that I was rushing forward with this, but I would agree, on behalf of my caucus, to a reasonable number of amendments. Mr. President, 20 or so is not a reasonable number of amendments. That is filibuster by amendment. It appears here what they want is to filibuster. They, the Republicans, want to filibuster the Martinez bill. ...

Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I want to, one more time, make it clear that we have tried to move to take up the Kyl amendment tonight, but the other side refused that opportunity, and the Dorgan amendment and the Isakson amendment, to proceed with debate. The Democratic leader and I have had the discussion. I want to make it clear that not supporting cloture tomorrow is the only way we can support our right to be able to offer amendments and to debate them. It is important for everybody to understand that because it comes on the heels of broad support for the underlying amendment. ...

Mr. DURBIN. If we fail to invoke cloture tomorrow, is the majority leader saying we then cannot amend the Martinez substitute that is before us?

Mr. FRIST. I believe that following the cloture, if cloture is not invoked on the Martinez amendment tomorrow, we will follow that immediately with a cloture vote on the bill itself, the border security bill. ...

Mr. REID. Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. President.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator will state it.

Mr. REID. If cloture is invoked tomorrow, there would still be an opportunity to offer amendments postcloture, germane amendments?

The PRESIDING OFFICER. If a slot were available on the amendment tree, they could be offered. Currently, there are no slots. The tree is full.

Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask the distinguished Chair, those slots were not filled by the minority, were they?

I think the point is made.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. On the motion to commit, the amendments were offered by the majority leader.

Mr. REID. I have no further questions.

Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, the leader is aware that one amendment could be pending during that entire 30 hours. The minority could deny Members the right for votes on their germane amendments.

I guess I would ask, would the minority leader agree to allow amendments be given 30 minutes of debate, equally divided, so we can be assured that we can debate and vote on that and other important amendments?

Mr. REID. Is that postcloture?

Mr. FRIST. Yes.

Mr. REID. I would be happy to consider that. I think we would have to see what amendments were offered. But I think something such as that is within reason. I am happy to see what we can do. I cannot say until I know what the amendments are, which ones are germane or not.

My point is that there is a way we can have amendments offered postcloture. All we have to do is have cloture invoked tomorrow.

Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to votes in relation to the following amendments: The Kyl amendment, the Dorgan amendment, and the Isakson amendment.

I further ask that before each vote there be 30 minutes of debate equally divided in the usual form.

Before the Chair rules, I note that two Republican amendments in this agreement have been pending for over a week.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?

Mr. REID. Reserving the right to object, of course, Mr. President, until we have an agreement, as has been indicated, on what is going to happen postcloture, and we have talked about this, and a conference--these things sound very procedural in nature, but they are important to what this body does. So I object.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.

5 . MORNING BUSINESS -- (Senate - April 06, 2006)


The following bill was read the first and second times by unanimous consent, and placed on the calendar:

H.R. 513. An act to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to clarify when organizations described in section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 must register as political committees, and for other purposes.

22 . MEASURES PLACED ON THE CALENDAR


The following communications were laid before the Senate, together with accompanying papers, reports, and documents, and were referred as indicated: ...

EC-6319. A communication from the Secretary of Energy, transmitting, a report of proposed legislation entitled ``Nuclear Fuel Management and Disposal Act''; to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

EC-6320. A communication from the Secretary of Energy, transmitting, pursuant to law, a report relative to the development of fusion energy; to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

23 . EXECUTIVE AND OTHER COMMUNICATIONS


The following bills and joint resolutions were introduced, read the first and second times by unanimous consent, and referred as indicated:

By Mr. KERRY (for himself and Mr. KENNEDY):

S. 2574. A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on certain golf club driver heads
S. 2575. A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on certain golf club fairway heads
S. 2576. A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on certain golf club driver heads of titanium;
S. 2577. A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on certain golf club driver heads with plasma welded face plate;
S. 2578. A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on certain golf club driver heads with rhombus shaped center face;
S. 2579. A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on certain leather basketballs;
S. 2580. A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on certain rubber basketballs;
S. 2581. A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on certain volleyballs;
S. 2582. A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on certain basketballs;
S. 2583. A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on certain synthetic basketballs; to the Committee on Finance.


By Mrs. BOXER (for herself, Mrs. FEINSTEIN, Mrs. MURRAY, Ms. MIKULSKI, Mr. LAUTENBERG, Ms. STABENOW, and Ms. CANTWELL):

S. 2593. A bill to protect, consistent with Roe v. Wade, a woman's freedom to choose to bear a child or terminate a pregnancy, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the Judiciary.


By Mr. KERRY:

S.J. Res. 33. A joint resolution to provide for a strategy for successfully empowering a new unity government in Iraq; to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

25 . INTRODUCTION OF BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS


S. 2557. A bill to improve competition in the oil and gas industry, to strengthen antitrust enforcement with regard to industry mergers, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, I am sending to the desk today legislation captioned as the ``Oil and Gas Industry Antitrust Act of 2006,'' legislation on behalf of myself and Senator DeWine, Senator Kohl, Senator Leahy, Senator Feinstein and Senator Durbin. The Judiciary Committee has held hearings on the escalating price of gasoline, which has risen some 25 percent in the past year, from $1.85 per gallon nationally in January of 2005 to $2.38 a gallon early this year. ...

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I am proud to join with Senators Specter, Kohl, DeWine and others on a new bill, the Oil and Gas Industry Antitrust Act of 2006, which includes, as its centerpiece, our NOPEC legislation, which many of us have worked together on for years.


By Mr. LEAHY: S. 2559. A bill to make it illegal for anyone to defraud and deprive the American people of the right to the honest services of a Member of Congress and to instill greater public confidence in the United States Congress; to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I am pleased to introduce the ``Honest Services Act of 2006,''--a bill to provide new tools for Federal prosecutors to combat public corruption in our government. The purpose of this bill is to strengthen the tools available to Federal prosecutors to combat public corruption. This bill articulates more clearly for lobbyists, members of Congress, and Congressional staff the line that cannot be crossed regarding links between gifts or special favors and official acts, without incurring criminal liability.

Just recently, the Senate passed the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2006, S. 2349--the first lobbying reform bill in Congress in over a decade. I voted for the lobbying reform bill and I believe that this legislation takes an important step toward restoring the public's confidence in Congress.

I was disappointed, however, that I did not have an opportunity to offer the bill that I now propose as an amendment to the lobbying reform bill because cloture was invoked very early in the floor debate. My amendment would have offered an important and needed new dimension to the lobbying reform bill by strengthening our criminal public corruption laws. ...

This legislation strengthens the tools available to Federal prosecutors to combat public corruption, by removing some of the legal hurdles to public corruption prosecutions. Under current law, Federal prosecutors often have great difficulty bringing public corruption cases because it is difficult to prove a specific quid pro quo under the Federal bribery statute. In addition, the current honest services fraud statute--18 U.S.C. 1346--requires that prosecutors must also show that misconduct occurred via the mail or wire, even when there is clear evidence of an improper link between gifts and an official act. My bill makes it possible for Federal prosecutors to bring public corruption cases without having to first overcome these hurdles.


S. 2566. A bill to provide for coordination of proliferation interdiction activities and conventional arms disarmament, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Mr. LUGAR. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce the Cooperative Proliferation Detection, Interdiction Assistance, and Conventional Threat Reduction Act of 2006. This bill is based upon the legislation that Senator OBAMA and I introduced last year by the same name. Over the last six months we have worked closely with the Administration and the Department of State on legislation to improve U.S. programs focused on conventional weapons dismantlement and counter-proliferation assistance more effective and efficient.

The Lugar-Obama bill launches two major weapons dismantlement and counterproliferation initiatives. Modeled after the Nunn-Lugar program, which dismantles weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union and beyond, our legislation seeks to build cooperative relationships with willing countries to secure vulnerable stockpiles of conventional weapons and strengthen barriers against WMD falling into terrorist's hands.

The first part of our legislation energizes U.S. programs to dismantle MANPADS and large stockpiles of other conventional weapons, including tactical missile systems. There may be as many as 750,000 MANPADS in arsenals worldwide. The State Department estimates that more than 40 civilian aircraft have been hit by such weapons since the 1970's.


S. 2571. A bill to promote energy production and conservation, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Finance.

Mr. CONRAD. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce a comprehensive energy bill, one that I call Breaking Our Long-Term Dependency, or the BOLD Energy Act. ...

This legislation invests approximately $40 billion over the next 5 years to meaningfully reduce our dependence on foreign energy. ...
First, the BOLD Act takes aggressive steps to increase alternative fuel production and use. It extends the biodiesel and ethanol tax credit. ...
Second, the experts tell us the single most important thing we can do to reduce our reliance on foreign oil is to improve the efficiency of our cars and trucks. My legislation provides a new rebate program for cars and trucks that achieve above-average fuel economy. The most fuel-efficient vehicles would qualify for rebates of up to $2,500. ...
Third, the BOLD Energy Act promotes environmentally responsible energy development here at home. It increases the existing enhanced oil recovery tax credit to 20 percent for any new or expanded domestic drilling project that uses carbon dioxide to recover oil from aging wells. ...
Fourth, my BOLD Energy Act promotes new technologies to improve energy efficiency and develop renewable energy, such as wind and solar. It extends the renewable energy tax credit for 5 years and establishes a national 10-percent renewable electricity standard. ...
Finally, my legislation will improve the electricity grid in the United States by making it easier for State governments to finance the construction of transmission lines through the issuance of tax exempt bonds.


By Mr. DOMENICI (for himself and Mr. INHOFE) (by request): S. 2589. A bill to enhance the management and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste, to ensure protection of public health and safety, to ensure the territorial integrity and security of the repository at Yucca Mountain, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I am pleased to rise today, on behalf of myself and Senator INHOFE, to introduce, at the request of the administration, legislation to further the development at Yucca Mountain of the national repository for nuclear spent fuel and defense nuclear waste. This bill is a good start on the road to enactment of legislation that will resolve issues critical to the construction, licensing and operation of the facility.


S. 2593. A bill to protect, consistent with Roe v. Wade, a woman's freedom to choose to bear a child or terminate a pregnancy, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, today I am introducing the Freedom of Choice Act. When the Supreme Court issued its landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, it made clear that our Constitutional right to privacy grants women the freedom to choose whether to begin, prevent, or continue a pregnancy.

The purpose of this bill is very simple: It ensures that the guarantees of Roe v. Wade will be there for every generation of women.


S.J. Res. 33. A joint resolution to provide for a strategy for successfully empowering a new unity government in Iraq; to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, 39 years ago this week Dr. Martin Luther King gave a speech at the Riverside Church in New York about the war in Vietnam. He began with these words:

I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice.

His message was clear. Despite the difficulty of opposing the government's policy during time of war, he said, ``We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.''

I am here today to speak about Iraq. There should be humility enough to go around for a Congress that shares responsibility for this war. I believe the time has come again when, as Dr. King said, we must move past indecision to action. ...

... we are now in the third war in Iraq in as many years. The first war was against Saddam Hussein and his alleged weapons of mass destruction. The second war was against Jihadist terrorists whom the administration said it was better to fight over there than over here. And now we find our troops in the middle of a low-grade civil war that could explode into a full civil war at any time. ...

That is why today I am introducing legislation that will hold the Iraqis accountable and make the goal of withdrawing the most American forces a reality. I personally believe that most of those forces could be and should be out of Iraq by the end of the year. This war, in the words of our own generals, cannot be won militarily. It can only be won politically. ...

Iraqi politicians should be told in unmistakable language: You have until May 15 to put together an effective unity government or we will immediately withdraw our military.

I know some colleagues and other people listening will say: Wait a minute. You mean we are going to automatically withdraw our military if they don't pull it together?

The answer is: You bet we ought to do that. Because there isn't one American soldier who ought to be giving up life or limb for the procrastination and unwillingness of Iraqis who have been given an extraordinary opportunity by those soldiers to take hold of democracy and who are ignoring it and playing for advantage. We all know that after the last elections, the momentum was lost by squabbling interim leaders. Everybody sat around and said, coming up to this election, the one thing we can't do is allow the momentum to be lost. Guess what. It has been lost. It has been squandered, again. We are sitting there with occasional visits, occasional speeches but without the kind of sustained diplomacy necessary to provide a resolution. It has gone on for too long, again.

If Iraqis aren't willing to build a unity government in 5 months, then how long does it take and what does it take? If they are not willing to do it, they are not willing to do it. It is that simple. The civil war will only get worse. And if they are not willing to do it, it is because there is such a fundamental intransigence that we haven't broken, that civil war, in fact, becomes inevitable, and our troops will be forced to leave anyway.

28 . STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

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