[Congressional Record: April 17, 2007 (Senate)]
[Page S4559-S4562]


  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of S. 372, which the clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 372) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 
     2007 for the intelligence and intelligence-related activities 
     of the United States Government, the Intelligence Community 
     Management Account, and the Central Intelligence Agency 
     Retirement and Disability System, and for other purposes.


       Rockefeller/Bond amendment No. 843, in the nature of a 
       Collins amendment No. 847 (to amendment No. 843), to 
     reaffirm the constitutional and statutory protections 
     accorded sealed domestic mail.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Casey). The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, the Republican manager, Senator Bond, 
and I and our staffs have been working together to clear some 
amendments, and we have in fact cleared already 10 amendments. I now 
ask unanimous consent that it be in order for the Senate to consider en 
bloc the following amendments, that they be agreed to en bloc, and that 
the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table en bloc. These were 
agreed to by both sides and have been cleared by all parties. The 
numbers of the amendments are 845, 846, 856, 858, 859, 860, 861, 862, 
863, and 872.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection to the several requests?
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, it is very important that we move forward 
with this bill. We have given time for our colleagues to debate and 
raise other questions. We would ask that we be able to proceed in a 
reasonable timeframe to take up amendments which have been introduced 
by the chairman and the vice chairman together and reflect bipartisan 
agreement. As vice chairman, I am firmly committed to passage of 
intelligence reauthorization. I would say further it remains my 
intention to reduce the partisanship and politicization of intelligence 
  Events on the Senate floor yesterday, including direct personal 
attacks on me, indicate this remains a tall order. This bill makes 
getting a bill harder, and it is already hard enough. Given the kitchen 
sink provided in the administration's Statement of Administration 
Policy indicating a possible veto, the chairman and I are trying in 
good faith, as the chairman indicated, to work through 9, 10, or a 
dozen amendments to correct the major objections that the 
administration has.
  The administration must know that as we try to weigh their key 
priorities, they must respect our priorities and our fundamental 
oversight responsibility which I and the Members of this body should 
take seriously, as any Senator will.
  As for yesterday's events, Senator McConnell manages the floor for 
the minority. He did not want to end the debate prematurely and the 
opportunity to offer amendments by the minority, especially with 18 
Members absent from the Senate due to bad weather. I supported him 
because it is the responsibility of our two leaders to manage the floor 
debate and to protect the rights of minorities and absent Senators. 
While the attacks on me were inappropriate and offensive, I will 
continue to work for passage of this intelligence reform measure, which 
is one of the most important bills we can pass in this session. The 
measure is too important to be derailed by personal and political 
  My friends on the other side of the aisle want more oversight of 
intelligence. I agree. We got into problems prior to 9/11 because we 
didn't have good oversight. We have found that there are holes that 
need to be plugged in oversight. We need to move forward. But forcing 
an end to the debate with 18 Members absent was not the way to do so. I 
am hoping that we can show progress by adopting amendments and moving 
this bill forward to exercise our oversight to provide the intelligence 
community the direction they need. Our desire is to move forward in the 
regular order, work our way through amendments, work out a time 
agreement, dispose of amendments, and hopefully conclude with a bill 
that most, if not the overwhelming majority, of Members can support so 
we can get to conference and continue the process.
  I will continue to work with the chairman under the difficult 
circumstances that he and I both face. I am not for delay or any 
effort, real or imagined, to kill this bill, but I have honest 
concerns, as others, that there should be an opportunity to address 
through the regular order in a reasonable timeframe. If there are 
unreasonable delays, then we will pursue other options which are 
necessary sometimes to move a bill.
  Because of the difficult division present in recent years over these 
issues, we have been unable to get an authorization bill passed. I find 
that unacceptable, and I am committed to finding a bill, but it can't 
be just any bill. It must be the product of give and take and mutual 
respect and compromise between both parties and both bodies and one the 
administration can sign.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Will the vice chairman yield?
  Mr. BOND. Yes.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, the Senator from Oklahoma has 
indicated to me that he will not object to the managers' amendment 
going forward, if he would be allowed to finish what he was talking 
about, which I assume would happen within the next 5 or 8 minutes. If 
that is the case, then we will have made progress.
  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, I didn't mean to cut the Senator off. For 
the movement of this bill, we had hoped to

[[Page S4560]]

be able to clear some amendments so we could show progress, but the 
Senator from Oklahoma is seeking recognition. I am sure he has some 
important things to say. I hope we will finish in time to allow us to 
pass the cleared amendments prior to 12:30. I apologize to the Senator 
from Oklahoma and thank the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. I ask unanimous consent to speak as in morning business 
for the next 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, it is very important we not leave the 
debate on earmarks. What we saw was an issue about the integrity of 
Congress which Senator DeMint and myself have been championing. There 
are only 4 Members of the Senate who don't offer earmarks, 4 out of 100 
who don't play the game of earmarks. It is important that the American 
people know that if we are going to have earmarks, it ought to be 
clearly identified. We ought to know who is benefiting, who is getting 
the money, who is sponsoring the money, and what the outcome will be. 
It is great that the Appropriations Committee has just stated that they 
are going to voluntarily accede to the rules we passed 98 to 0, except 
there is one small problem with that; the fact is, there is no 
enforcement of the rules available to Senators when they violate that 
very point, which means they may follow that, but if, in fact, they do 
not, we have no course of action with which to raise a point of order 
when they do not.

  I wish to go back to something the esteemed Senator from Illinois 
said, which is, we have gotten what we want. No, we have not. We have 
not gotten it until the American people get the transparency they need 
about how the Congress operates. If you eliminate earmarks in 
appropriations but do not eliminate earmarks in authorizations, what is 
authorized as an earmark will come to the appropriation as not an 
earmark because it is then authorized, so we will play the same game 
but one step further back.
  I am disappointed at the leadership, that they would block what the 
American people so fully want. And the idea we have to conference what 
should be a Senate rule, when the House has already passed a rule--they 
operate under the very same thing Senator DeMint has asked for--all we 
have to do is agree we will, in fact, abide by those rules by accepting 
that as a rule of the Senate. Anything less than that is political 
Washington doublespeak which the American people are tired of.
  There should not be one earmark, one special favor, one indication of 
anything done at any level--authorization or appropriations--the 
American people are not fully aware of as to who has the vetted 
interest and who will be the benefactor and what the motivations might 
be in association with that.
  So the fact the majority objects to incorporating what we obviously, 
supposedly, all agreed to--or was it the fact that people voted for it 
because the people wanted us to and now we will not carry it out? What 
it does, by not adopting this rule, Senator DeMint's rule, is we 
undermine again the integrity of this body.
  The American people deserve transparency. The American people should 
have transparency. The only way we can truly be held accountable by the 
American people is if they can see everything that is going on.
  To deny this rule, to deny the fact we are going to operate in the 
open, to deny the fact we are going to be held accountable is exactly 
what the American people are sick of.
  I remind my colleagues we do not have a higher favorability rating 
than the President at this time, whom we are so quick to impugn, and 
the reason we do not is the very reason we saw in the objection placed 
on this rule, this resolution. To me, it is a sad day in the Senate 
because we are playing games again with the American people. I said, 
after we passed the ethics bill, it will be a long time until we see 
anything. It will be a long time. It has already been a long time. Why 
hasn't it been conferenced? There have been 80 days to conference an 
ethics bill. There has not been the first step. There has not been the 
naming of conferees. There has not been the first step to move forward 
toward that.
  The American people should surmise--and correctly--the Congress still 
wants to work in the shadows, they still do not want to have 
transparency; therefore, they still do not want to be held accountable 
by the American people.
  I thank you for the time and yield back, and I will offer no 
objection to the request of the Senator from West Virginia to accept 
amendments on the Intelligence authorization bill.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. 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. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to set aside the 
pending amendment so I may call up amendments Nos. 848, 849, 850, 851, 
852, and 853, en bloc.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Objection.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, as I indicated before, the 
distinguished Republican manager, Senator Bond, and I and our staffs 
have been working together to clear some amendments. We have cleared 
10. I now ask unanimous consent that it be in order for the Senate to 
consider en bloc the following amendments, that they be agreed to en 
bloc, and the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table, en bloc. 
The amendment numbers are 845, 846, 856, 858, 859, 860, 861, 862, 863, 
and 872.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. CORNYN. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Would the Senator yield?
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I believe the Senator from West Virginia 
has the floor. I don't.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia is recognized.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. The Senator from West Virginia would be interested 
as to why it is the distinguished Senator from Texas objects.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, let me suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia has the floor.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                 Amendment No. 849 to Amendment No. 843

  (Purpose: To amend chapter 113B of title 18, United States Code, to 
  prohibit the recruitment of persons to participate in terrorism, to 
     provide remedies for immigration litigation, and to amend the 
 Immigration and Nationality Act to modify the requirements related to 
   judicial review of visa revocation and to modify the requirements 
      related to detention and removal of aliens ordered removed)

  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to set aside the 
pending amendment and call up Amendment No. 849.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Texas [Mr. Cornyn] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 849 to amendment No. 843.

  (The amendment is printed in the Record of Monday, April 16, 2007, 
under ``Text of Amendments.'')
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia is recognized.

Amendments Nos. 846, as modified; 856, 858, 859, 860, as modified; 861, 
as modified; 862, 863, and 872, as modified, en bloc, to amendment No. 

  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I resume my request which I will make 
in full, and that is that the Republican

[[Page S4561]]

manager, Senator Bond, and this Senator from West Virginia and our 
staffs have been working together to clear some amendments. We have 
cleared 10 amendments--9 amendments. I ask unanimous consent that it be 
in order for the Senate to consider en bloc the following amendments, 
that they be agreed to en bloc, and the motions to reconsider be laid 
upon the table en bloc. Those amendment numbers are 846, 856, 858, 859, 
860, 861, 862, 863, and 872.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendments were agreed to, as follows:

                     amendment no. 846, as modified

       On page 37, between lines 19 and 20, insert the following:
       ``(7) develop 15-year projections and assessments of the 
     needs of the intelligence community to ensure a robust 
     federal scientific and engineering workforce and the means to 
     recruit such a workforce through integrated scholarships 
     across the intelligence community, including research grants 
     and cooperative work-study programs;

                           amendment no. 856

 (Purpose: To strike the requirement for a study on the disclosure of 
                  additional intelligence information)

       Beginning on page 11, strike line 18 and all that follows 
     through page 12, line 20.

                           amendment no. 858

      (Purpose: To improve the notification of Congress regarding 
        intelligence activities of the United States Government)

       Strike section 304 and insert the following:


       (a) Clarification of Definition of Congressional 
     Intelligence Committees to Include All Members of 
     Committees.--Section 3(7) of the National Security Act of 
     1947 (50 U.S.C. 401a(7)) is amended--
       (1) in subparagraph (A), by inserting ``, and includes each 
     member of the Select Committee'' before the semicolon; and
       (2) in subparagraph (B), by inserting ``, and includes each 
     member of the Permanent Select Committee'' before the period.
       (b) Notice on Information Not Disclosed.--
       (1) In general.--Section 502 of such Act (50 U.S.C. 413a) 
     is amended--
       (A) by redesignating subsections (b) and (c) as subsections 
     (c) and (d), respectively; and
       (B) by inserting after subsection (a) the following new 
     subsection (b):
       ``(b) Notice on Information Not Disclosed.--(1) If the 
     Director of National Intelligence or the head of a 
     department, agency, or other entity of the United States 
     Government does not provide information required by 
     subsection (a) in full or to all the members of the 
     congressional intelligence committees, and requests that such 
     information not be so provided, the Director shall, in a 
     timely fashion, notify such committees of the determination 
     not to provide such information in full or to all members of 
     such committees. Such notice shall be submitted in writing in 
     a classified form, include a statement of the reasons for 
     such determination and a description that provides the main 
     features of the intelligence activities covered by such 
     determination, and contain no restriction on access to this 
     notice by all members of the committee.
       ``(2) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as 
     authorizing less than full and current disclosure to all the 
     members of the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate 
     and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the 
     House of Representatives of any information necessary to keep 
     all the members of such committees fully and currently 
     informed on all intelligence activities covered by this 
       (2) Conforming amendment.--Subsection (d) of such section, 
     as redesignated by paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection, is 
     amended by striking ``subsection (b)'' and inserting 
     ``subsections (b) and (c)''.
       (c) Reports and Notice on Covert Actions.--
       (1) Form and content of certain reports.--Subsection (b) of 
     section 503 of such Act (50 U.S.C. 413b) is amended--
       (A) by redesignating paragraphs (1) and (2) as 
     subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively;
       (B) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(b)''; and
       (C) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
       ``(2) Any report relating to a covert action that is 
     submitted to the congressional intelligence committees for 
     the purposes of paragraph (1) shall be in writing, and shall 
     contain the following:
       ``(A) A concise statement of any facts pertinent to such 
       ``(B) An explanation of the significance of the covert 
     action covered by such report.''.
       (2) Notice on information not disclosed.--Subsection (c) of 
     such section is amended by adding at the end the following 
     new paragraph:
       ``(5) If the Director of National Intelligence or the head 
     of a department, agency, or other entity of the United States 
     Government does not provide information required by 
     subsection (b) in full or to all the members of the 
     congressional intelligence committees, and requests that such 
     information not be so provided, the Director shall, in a 
     timely fashion, notify such committees of the determination 
     not to provide such information in full or to all members of 
     such committees. Such notice shall be submitted in writing in 
     a classified form, include a statement of the reasons for 
     such determination and a description that provides the main 
     features of the covert action covered by such determination, 
     and contain no restriction on access to this notice by all 
     members of the committee.''.
       (3) Modification of nature of change of covert action 
     triggering notice requirements.--Subsection (d) of such 
     section is amended by striking ``significant'' the first 
     place it appears.

                           amendment no. 859

 (Purpose: To strike the pilot program on disclosure of records under 
      the Privacy Act relating to certain intelligence activities)

       Strike section 310.

                     amendment no. 860, as modified

       Beginning on page 29, strike line 24 and all that follows 
     through page 31, line 15, and insert the following:
       (1) Report required.--Not later than 60 days after the date 
     of the enactment of this Act, the Director of National 
     Intelligence shall provide to the members of the Select 
     Committee on Intelligence of the Senate and the Permanent 
     Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of 
     Representatives a report on any clandestine prison or 
     detention facility currently or formerly operated by the 
     United States Government for individuals captured in the 
     global war on terrorism.
       (2) Elements.--The report required by paragraph (1) shall 
     include the following:
       (A) The date each prison or facility became operational, 
     and if applicable, the date on which each prison or facility 
     ceased its operations.
       (B) The total number of prisoners or detainees held at each 
     prison or facility during its operation.
       (C) The current number of prisoners or detainees held at 
     each operational prison or facility.
       (D) The total and average annual costs of each prison or 
     facility during its operation.
       (E) A description of the interrogation procedures used or 
     formerly used on detainees at each prison or facility, 
     including whether a determination has been made that such 
     procedures are or were in compliance with the United States 
     obligations under the Geneva Conventions and the Convention 
     Against Torture.

                     amendment no. 861, as modified

       Beginning on page 96, strike line 24 and all that follows 
     through page 97, line 6, and insert the following:
       ``(2)(A) As directed by the Director of National 
     Intelligence, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency 
     shall also develop a system to facilitate the analysis, 
     dissemination, and incorporation of likenesses, videos, or 
     presentations produced by ground-based platforms, including 
     handheld or clandestine photography taken by or on behalf of 
     human intelligence collection organizations or available as 
     open source information into the National System for 

                           amendment no. 862

(Purpose: To change the name of the National Space Intelligence Center 
               to the National Space Intelligence Office)

       Strike section 410 and insert the following:


       (a) Establishment.--
       (1) In general.--Title I of the National Security Act of 
     1947 (50 U.S.C. 401 et seq.) is amended by adding after 
     section 119B the following new section:


       ``Sec. 119C.  (a) Establishment.--There is established 
     within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence a 
     National Space Intelligence Office.
       ``(b) Director of National Space Intelligence Office.--The 
     National Intelligence Officer for Science and Technology, or 
     a successor position designated by the Director of National 
     Intelligence, shall act as the Director of the National Space 
     Intelligence Office.
       ``(c) Missions.--The National Space Intelligence Office 
     shall have the following missions:
       ``(1) To coordinate and provide policy direction for the 
     management of space-related intelligence assets.
       ``(2) To prioritize collection activities consistent with 
     the National Intelligence Collection Priorities framework, or 
     a successor framework or other document designated by the 
     Director of National Intelligence.
       ``(3) To provide policy direction for programs designed to 
     ensure a sufficient cadre of government and nongovernment 
     personnel in fields relating to space intelligence, including 
     programs to support education, recruitment, hiring, training, 
     and retention of qualified personnel.
       ``(4) To evaluate independent analytic assessments of 
     threats to classified United States space intelligence 
     systems throughout all phases of the development, 
     acquisition, and operation of such systems.
       ``(d) Access to Information.--The Director of National 
     Intelligence shall ensure that the National Space 
     Intelligence Office has access to all national intelligence 
     information (as appropriate), and such other information (as 
     appropriate and practical), necessary for the Office to carry 
     out the missions of the Office under subsection (c).

[[Page S4562]]

       ``(e) Separate Budget Account.--The Director of National 
     Intelligence shall include in the National Intelligence 
     Program budget a separate line item for the National Space 
     Intelligence Office.''.
       (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of contents for that Act 
     is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 
     119B the following new item:

``Sec. 119C. National Space Intelligence Office.''.

       (b) Report on Organization of Office.--
       (1) Report required.--Not later than 180 days after the 
     date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of the 
     National Space Intelligence Office shall submit to the Select 
     Committee on Intelligence of the Senate and the Permanent 
     Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of 
     Representatives a report on the organizational structure of 
     the National Space Intelligence Office established by section 
     119C of the National Security Act of 1947 (as added by 
     subsection (a)).
       (2) Elements.--The report required by paragraph (1) shall 
     include the following:
       (A) The proposed organizational structure of the National 
     Space Intelligence Office.
       (B) An identification of key participants in the Office.
       (C) A strategic plan for the Office during the five-year 
     period beginning on the date of the report.

                            amendment no. 86

(Purpose: To modify the requirements related to the Director and Deputy 
              Director of the Central Intelligence Agency)

       Strike section 421 and insert the following:

                   INTELLIGENCE AGENCY.

       (a) Establishment of Position of Deputy Director of Central 
     Intelligence Agency.--Subsection (a) of section 104A of the 
     National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 403-4a) is amended--
       (1) by redesignating subsections (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), 
     and (g) as subsections (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), and (i) 
     respectively; and
       (2) by inserting after subsection (a) the following new 
     subsections (b) and (c):
       ``(b) Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Agency.--(1) 
     There is a Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency 
     who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the 
     advice and consent of the Senate.
       ``(2) The Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence 
     Agency shall assist the Director of the Central Intelligence 
     Agency in carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the 
       ``(3) The Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence 
     Agency shall act for, and exercise the powers of, the 
     Director of the Central Intelligence Agency during the 
     absence or disability of the Director of the Central 
     Intelligence Agency or during a vacancy in the position of 
     Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
       ``(c) Military Status of Director of the Central 
     Intelligence Agency and Deputy Director of Central 
     Intelligence Agency.--(1) Not more than one of the 
     individuals serving in the positions specified in subsection 
     (a) and (b) may be a commissioned officer of the Armed Forces 
     in active status.
       ``(2) A commissioned officer of the Armed Forces who is 
     serving as the Director or Deputy Director of the Central 
     Intelligence Agency or is engaged in administrative 
     performance of the duties of Director or Deputy Director of 
     the Central Intelligence Agency shall not, while continuing 
     in such service, or in the administrative performance of such 
       ``(A) be subject to supervision or control by the Secretary 
     of Defense or by any officer or employee of the Department of 
     Defense; or
       ``(B) exercise, by reason of the officer's status as a 
     commissioned officer, any supervision or control with respect 
     to any of the military or civilian personnel of the 
     Department of Defense except as otherwise authorized by law.
       ``(3) Except as provided in subparagraph (A) or (B) of 
     paragraph (2), the service, or the administrative performance 
     of duties, described in that paragraph by an officer 
     described in that paragraph shall not affect the status, 
     position, rank, or grade of such officer in the Armed Forces, 
     or any emolument, perquisite, right, privilege, or benefit 
     incident to or arising out of such status, position, rank, or 
       ``(4) A commissioned officer described in paragraph (2), 
     while serving, or continuing in the administrative 
     performance of duties, as described in that paragraph and 
     while remaining on active duty, shall continue to receive 
     military pay and allowances. Funds from which such pay and 
     allowances are paid shall be reimbursed from funds available 
     to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.''.
       (b) Conforming Amendment.--Paragraph (2) of subsection (e) 
     of such section, as redesignated by subsection (a)(1) of this 
     section, is further amended by striking ``subsection (d)'' 
     and inserting ``subsection (f)''.
       (c) Executive Schedule Level III.--Section 5314 of title 5, 
     United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
     following new item:
       ``Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.''.
       (d) Role of DNI in Appointment.--Section 106(b)(2) of the 
     National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 403-6(b)(2)) is 
     amended by adding at the end the fallowing new subparagraph:
       ``(J) The Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence 
       (e) Effective Date and Applicability.--The amendments made 
     by this section shall take effect on the date of the 
     enactment of this Act and shall apply upon the earlier of--
       (1) the date of the nomination by the President of an 
     individual to serve as Deputy Director of the Central 
     Intelligence Agency, except that the individual 
     administratively performing the duties of the Deputy Director 
     of the Central Intelligence Agency as of the date of the 
     enactment of this Act may continue to perform such duties 
     after such date of nomination and until the individual 
     appointed to the position of Deputy Director of the Central 
     Intelligence Agency, by and with the advice and consent of 
     the Senate, assumes the duties of such position; or
       (2) the date of the cessation of the performance of the 
     duties of Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency 
     by the individual administratively performing such duties as 
     of the date of the enactment of this Act.

                     amendment no. 872, as modified

       On page 28, line 19, strike ``legal opinions'' and insert 
     ``legal justifications''.

  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I also ask unanimous consent that it 
be in order for any of the cleared amendments to be modified to comport 
to the substitute.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, I thank the Chairman. We are moving forward 
now on the bill. As indicated, we have some drafting problems we are 
working out, but we also have high hopes of being able to adopt a 
number of the amendments that have been filed on both sides. Some of 
them may require modification.
  Mr. President, as we get ready to go to our policy lunches, I once 
again ask that Members with amendments come forward and let us know 
what the amendments are. We ask that they be germane, because 
nongermane amendments, even if they are passed, will not survive 
conference. We want to keep the proceedings moving forward, so we ask 
that amendments be germane. We ask Members to work with us so we can 
accept them or offer a compromise to make them acceptable. We want to 
do that. Otherwise, when votes are needed, and I am sure they will be, 
we ask that a reasonable time period be agreed on by both sides, the 
proponent of the amendment and the opponent, so we may get some orderly 
procedure so our colleagues will know how we are moving forward and we 
can show progress.
  I thank the Chair and I yield the floor.


[Congressional Record: April 17, 2007 (Senate)]
[Page S4562-S4587]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The pending business is the Cornyn amendment. 
Who seeks recognition?
  The Senator from Tennessee is recognized.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business for 5 minutes.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I wonder if my colleague will first allow me 
to lay down an amendment but not speak to it.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona is recognized.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, is there a pending amendment?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Yes, it is the Cornyn amendment.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to lay aside the 
pending amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                 Amendment No. 866 to Amendment No. 849

  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I simply ask unanimous consent to call up as 
a second-degree amendment to the pending amendment my amendment No. 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

[[Page S4563]]

       The Senator from Arizona [Mr. Kyl] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 866 to amendment No. 849.

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

              (Purpose: To protect classified information)

       At the end, add the following:

                   ENTRUSTED PERSONS.

       (a) In General.--It shall be unlawful for any person who is 
     an employee or member of the Senate or House of 
     Representatives, or who is entrusted with or has lawful 
     possession of, access to, or control over any classified 
     information contained in a report submitted to Congress under 
     this Act, the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act 
     of 2005 (Public Law 109-177; 120 Stat. 192), the Intelligence 
     Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-
     458; 118 Stat. 3638), or an amendment made by any such Act 
       (1) knowingly and willfully communicate, furnish, transmit, 
     or otherwise makes available such information to an 
     unauthorized person;
       (2) publish such information; or
       (3) use such information in any manner prejudicial to the 
     safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of 
     any foreign government to the detriment of the United States.
       (b) Penalty.--Any person who violates subsection (a) shall 
     be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned not 
     more than 10 years, or both.
       (c) Information to Congress.--Nothing in this section shall 
     prohibit the furnishing, upon lawful demand, of information 
     to any regularly constituted committee of the Senate or House 
     of Representatives, or joint committee thereof.
       (d) Definitions.--As used in this section--
       (1) the term ``classified information'' means information 
     which, at the time of a violation of this section, is 
     determined to be Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret pursuant 
     to Executive Order 12958, or any successor thereto; and
       (2) the term ``unauthorized person'' means any person who 
     does not have authority or permission to have access to the 
     classified information under the provisions of a statute, 
     Executive Order, regulation, or directive of the head of any 
     department or agency who is empowered to classify 

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee is now recognized.

                   USCIS Naturalization Test Redesign

  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, I thank my colleagues for giving me 5 
  As my late friend Alex Haley, the author of ``Roots,'' said, ``Find 
the good and praise it.'' We talk an awful lot about illegal 
immigration here in the Senate. The majority and minority leaders have 
both said that before Memorial Day, we will bring up immigration reform 
in a comprehensive manner. I hope very much that we do that. That is 
our responsibility. It is too big a problem for one party to solve, and 
we should work on it in a bipartisan way.
  Today, I want to talk about legal immigration as opposed to illegal 
immigration. About 650,000 individuals become U.S. citizens every year. 
Each of us has attended ceremonies where this happens. This is at the 
very heart of our Nation. This is why we call the United States of 
America the Nation of immigrants. What is so important about them is 
that no one becomes an American based upon his or her race or where 
their grandparents came from. In fact, that is constitutionally 
impermissible. One becomes an American by a remarkable oath of 
allegiance to this country as opposed to some other country, and then 
demonstrating good character, being here for 5 years, and showing that 
you know our common language, English, and an understanding of the U.S. 
  The importance of that was brought home to me last week when I was 
visiting in Nashville. About 30 percent of all of the students in 
Tennessee who have limited English proficiency happen to be in the 
Nashville School District, and Pedro Garcia, the superintendent of 
schools, was telling me that many of those students who are not now 
American citizens want to make sure they learn enough U.S. history in 
middle school and high school so they can pass the citizenship test and 
become Americans when they graduate.
  Today, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS, is 
formally releasing the Citizen's Almanac. I call it to the attention of 
our colleagues. It is a collection of American symbols of freedom and 
liberty to be given to every newly sworn citizen, and that would be 
650,000 this year. It is built upon action that was taken earlier this 
year by the USCIS to create a new and better citizenship test.
  At the conclusion of my remarks, I ask unanimous consent that a fact 
sheet about the naturalization test redesign be printed in the Record.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (See exhibit 1.)
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, the purpose of that test is to simply 
give new meaning to what it means to be an American. That oath of 
allegiance which these 650,000 new citizens will take is basically the 
same oath that George Washington and his officers took at Valley Forge 
in 1778. It has a great deal of meaning. Other countries in the world 
have not had the experience we have had helping people from around the 
world become Americans. The English, the French, the Japanese, and the 
Germans are struggling with that right now, as people move in who are 
not Japanese, German, English, or French. It is hard for them to become 
part of that national identity. We have not had that problem. We 
welcome everyone based upon their understanding of the symbols and 
documents represented in the Citizen's Almanac. So if we don't teach 
about these things in our schools or immigrants don't learn it in the 
naturalization process, then we are not a united country.
  As I have said many times on this floor, diversity is a great 
strength of the United States of America, but it is not our greatest 
strength. Our greatest strength is that we have been able to take all 
of this diversity and mold it into one country, not because of race or 
ethnicity but because of a belief in a few principles and our common 
language. We are able to say we are proud of where we came from, but we 
are prouder to be Americans.
  I salute the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for this 
document, and the National Endowment for the Humanities for its hard 
work on it. The Citizen's Almanac includes the patriotic anthems and 
symbols of the United States, Presidential and historical speeches from 
Presidents Lincoln, Washington, Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan, and 
Martin Luther King, Jr., and landmark decisions of the Supreme Court. 
It ought to be in every Senate office. It will be in every home of 
every new citizen. It will be a good document to be in every school in 
  I yield the floor.

                               Exhibit 1

 [From the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and 
                  Immigration Services, Jan. 22, 2007]

                   USCIS Naturalization Test Redesign

       U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is 
     revising the naturalization test to create a test and testing 
     process that is standardized, fair and meaningful. A 
     standardized and fair naturalization test will include 
     uniform testing protocols and procedures nationwide to ensure 
     that there is no variation between offices. A meaningful test 
     will encourage civic learning and patriotism among 
     prospective citizens. A revised test, with an emphasis on the 
     fundamental concepts of American democracy and the rights and 
     responsibilities of citizenship, will help to encourage 
     citizenship applicants to learn and identify with the basic 
     values that we all share as Americans.


       During the past 10 years, the standardization and 
     meaningfulness of the naturalization test have come under 
     scrutiny. Various studies found that the exam lacked 
     standardized content, instruments, protocols or scoring 
     system. Inconsistencies were reported in the way the exams 
     were administered nationwide, and there was no assessment of 
     whether applicants had a meaningful understanding of U.S. 
     history and government.
       To address these concerns, Immigration and Naturalization 
     Services (INS) launched a test redesign project in 2000 that 
     has included technical assistance from several test 
     development contractors, the National Academy of Sciences, a 
     panel of history and U.S. government scholars, and a panel of 
     English as a Second Language (ESL) experts. In addition, 
     USCIS has sought input from a variety of stakeholders, 
     including immigrant advocacy groups, citizenship instructors, 
     ESL teachers, and USCIS District Adjudications Officers.

                   Changes to the naturalization test

       The reading and writing portions of the pilot 
     naturalization exam is similar to the current test except 
     that the new exam contains more civics-based vocabulary. 
     Applicants will still have up to three chances to read and 
     write a sentence correctly in English. In the writing section 
     of the test, the testing officer will dictate a sentence and 
     ask the applicant to write everything the officer reads. 
     During the reading portion

[[Page S4564]]

     of the test, the test officer will ask the applicant to read 
     each word out loud in that sentence.
       The proposed format for the new civics exam will still 
     require applicants to correctly answer six out of 10 
     questions chosen from a master list of 100 civics questions 
     and answers. The difference is that the new sentences will 
     now focus on civics and history topics, rather than the 
     general range of topics on the current test. USCIS has placed 
     these questions and answers, along with a study guide on the 
     Internet and elsewhere in the public domain to help 
     applicants prepare.
       Q. What are the new civics questions and English vocabulary 
     list items?
       A. USCIS posted has made the English vocabulary lists 
     available at: www.uscis.gov/natzpilot.
       Q. How were the questions developed?
       A. English Items. A panel of English as a Second Language 
     (ESL) and other test development experts chosen by the 
     association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other 
     Languages (TESOL) developed the English items. The TESOL 
     panel established an English language level for the test 
     consistent with Department of Education reporting levels for 
     adult basic education.
       Civics Items. The TESOL panel also assisted in drafting and 
     reviewing civics questions using a content framework 
     identified by the Office of Citizenship from a review of 
     government authorized civics and citizenship texts, the U.S. 
     Department of Education's National Standards for Civics and 
     Government, the current naturalization test, and the study 
     guide developed by a panel of experts assembled by USCIS in 
       Q. How are the new questions an improvement over the old 
       A. By weighing the questions on the new civics and U.S. 
     history test we will ensure that all test forms are at the 
     same cognitive and language level. By creating test forms at 
     the same level of difficulty, we are ensuring that an 
     applicant who goes for an interview in one city of the 
     country has the same chance of passing the test as in any 
     other city. The English vocabulary on the new test is also 
     fairer because it is targeted at a language level consistent 
     with the Department of Education reporting standards for the 
     level required by Section 312 of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act. District Adjudication Officers are being 
     trained to administer and score the naturalization tests in 
     the same way nationwide to ensure uniform administration of 
     the test.
       Applicants will receive a study guide on the new civics and 
     U.S. history questions so they can deepen their knowledge and 
     understanding of our Nation as they prepare for the exam. The 
     new items will focus less on redundant and trivial questions 
     based on rote memorization and will focus on concepts, such 
     as the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Some items 
     on the current test fit those needs and required little 
     content change, so several items from the current test will 
     appear on the revised test. The range of acceptable answers 
     to each question will also increase so that applicants can 
     learn more about a topic and select from a wider range of 
     acceptable answers. And finally, the reading and writing test 
     will provide a tool for civic learning because the vocabulary 
     list is civics-based.
       Q. How will the interview process change for applicants?
       A. The interview process will not change.

                             PILOT PROGRAM

       As part of the test redesign, USCIS will conduct a pilot 
     program in ten cities beginning in February 2007 to ensure 
     the agency has all the information necessary before the new 
     test is fully implemented nationwide in 2008. During this 
     pilot, USCIS will carefully analyze the new test questions to 
     make certain that the questions are fair and work as they 
     were intended. USCIS will also collect information about 
     testing procedures, to include feedback from DAOs, to help 
     refine the testing procedures and facilitate the smooth 
     transition to the new naturalization exam.
       Q. What will USCIS pilot?
       A. USCIS plans to pilot 142 U.S. history and government 
     questions and approximately 36 reading and 36 writing items. 
     The topic areas include principals of American democracy, 
     system of government, rule of law, rights and 
     responsibilities, American History, and geography. About half 
     of the questions include rephrased versions of questions on 
     the current test. All citizenship applicants in the 10 pilot 
     areas who are scheduled for their naturalization test during 
     the pilot will receive advance copies of the civics questions 
     and the two lists of vocabulary for self-study. USCIS has 
     also posted these study materials on the web at: http://
     www.uscis.gov/natzpilot. The actual test will become 
     available to the public.
       Q. How were the questions selected?
       A. The TESOL panel assisted USCIS in drafting and reviewing 
     civics questions using best practices and conventional sample 
     techniques, such as regression analysis, currently used in 
     private industry.
       Q. Where are the test sites?
       A. The pilot program will run in 10 cities that were 
     randomly selected based on citizenship application volume. 
     The ten pilot sites are: Albany, NY, Boston, MA; Charleston, 
     S.C.; Denver; EL Paso, Texas; Kansas City, Mo.; Miami; San 
     Antonio, Texas; Tucson, Ariz.; and Yakima, Wash.
       Q. How were the 10 pilot cities selected?
       A. To capture the diversity of USCIS offices and 
     applicants, USCIS randomly selected a representative sample 
     of 10 districts by geographic region and the volume of 
     applications that were processed in each office to conduct 
     the pilot. This method will help insure that the final 
     results can be made with equal accuracy and statistical 
       Q. What is the purpose of the pilot?
       A. A pilot is a crucial component of any test design 
     process. A pilot ensures that the draft test items, scoring 
     rubrics, and administration processes are appropriate, not 
     too difficult, and elicit the responses we expect.
       Q. How will USCIS conduct the pilot?
       A. USCIS must administer about 6,000 tests to achieve a 
     representative and significant study.
       Pilots will begin in February 2007 and will last between 
     two to four months.
       USCIS trained the test administrators on the new exam 
       USCIS will mail a notification to all applicants scheduled 
     for an interview at the pilot sites during the pilot period 
     informing them that they have the opportunity to participate 
     in the national pilot program.
       Applicants will also receive a letter explaining the pilot 
     and study questions.
       Applicants who take the pilot but do not pass one or more 
     parts will have the opportunity to take the current test or 
     part of the current test immediately during the interview, 
     thus giving them an additional opportunity to pass the 
     naturalization test.
       Many of the questions on the pilot test and the current 
     test cover the same subjects, so additional preparation is 
     expected to be minimal.
       Once pilot results have been analyzed, piloted items will 
     be revised accordingly.
       Q. Must applicants participate in the pilot?
       A. No. Applicants will have the choice to decline 
     participation in the pilot test. For those who decline, they 
     will be given the current test.
       USCIS will continue to meet with local immigrant service 
     providers, advocates, and ESL teachers in pilot sites to gain 
     their support so that they can encourage immigrants to 
     participate in their government and make this a successful 

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California is recognized.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that Senator 
Feingold and I be permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes as in morning 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                 Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act

  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I rise in my capacity as chairman of 
the Rules Committee to speak about a bill that the Committee heard and 
passed out unanimously a short time ago. That bill is entitled the 
``Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act.'' It is sponsored by Senators 
Feingold, Cochran, and 32 other Senators. It would require that Senate 
campaign finance reports be filed electronically rather than in paper 
format. That is all the bill does.
  Currently, House candidates, Presidential candidates, political 
action committees, and party committees are all required to file 
electronically, and they do. But Senators, Senate candidates, 
authorized campaign committees, and the Democratic and Republican 
Senate campaign committees are exempt. As a result, we have a very 
cumbersome system in which paper copies of disclosure reports are filed 
with the Senate Office of Public Records, which then scans them, makes 
an electronic copy of them, and sends that copy to the FEC on a 
dedicated communications line. The FEC then prints the report and sends 
it to a vendor in Fredericksburg, VA, where the information is keyed in 
by hand and transferred back to the FEC database. All of this costs 
about $250,000, and it is a waste of money, a waste of staff, and a 
waste of time.
  At our hearing on February 14 on this bill--and this bill is just on 
this point--it was clear that there was no public opposition to this 
proposal, only public support. The bill has been hotlined. It has 
cleared on the Democratic side. It has not cleared on the Republican 
  Now, again, this bill says we will just allow us to electronically 
file our quarterly reports. I just electronically filed my quarterly 
reports. I then gave a paper copy to the Secretary of the Senate. This 
is exactly the type of good-government law the Senate can adopt as a 
stand-alone measure.
  I hope we move this legislation today, without burdening it with 
other items. It is really long past time to bring the Senate into the 
modern era. So I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will 
join me in ensuring timely access and disclosure of Senate finance 
campaign activities and bring that information before the public.
  I will now yield to the author of the legislation, the distinguished 
Senator from Wisconsin.

[[Page S4565]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin is recognized.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from California. I 
am very pleased to be here with her today. I sincerely thank the 
Senator from California for moving the Senate Campaign Disclosure 
Parity Act through the Rules Committee so that we are now in a position 
to finally pass this legislation. As the Senator from California 
indicated, at last count, we now have 35 cosponsors for S. 223, 20 
Democrats and 15 Republicans, and no known opposition.
  The bill fixes the anomaly in the election laws that makes it nearly 
impossible for the public to get timely access to Senate campaign 
finance reports, even though most other reports are available on the 
Internet within 24 hours of their filing with the Federal Election 
Commission, FEC. This bill will finally bring Senate campaigns into the 
21st century by amending the section of the election laws dealing with 
electronic filing to require reports filed with the Secretary of the 
Senate to be filed electronically and forwarded to the FEC within 24 
  This step is long overdue. There is no excuse for keeping our own 
campaign finance information inaccessible to the public when the 
information filed by House and Presidential candidates, PACs, parties, 
and even 527 organizations is readily available almost immediately. The 
Washington Post has called the outmoded Senate campaign reporting 
system ``obviously unjustified,'' and Roll Call has called it 
``indefensible.'' I couldn't agree more.
  The current system means that the FEC's detailed coding, which allows 
the press and the public to do more sophisticated searches and 
analysis, is completed over a week later for Senate reports than for 
House reports. It means that the final disclosure reports covering the 
first 2 weeks of October are often not available for detailed scrutiny 
until after the election. That is scandalous and there is no good 
reason for it.
  Let me just say that I know that the election laws have a big impact 
on campaigns and all Senators have a strong personal stake in vetting 
changes to those laws. I am very familiar with controversial and 
contested campaign finance legislation. This isn't that kind of bill. 
This bill is as close to a no-brainer as you can get in this area.
  In addition to bipartisan support here in the Senate, major media 
outlets have endorsed it, as have bloggers on the left and the right. 
No one that I know of opposes it. And yet, it has now been nearly 3 and 
a half years since I first introduced it. That is nearly half as long 
as it took us to pass McCain-Feingold. I know McCain-Feingold. You 
might say McCain-Feingold is a friend of mine. This bill is no McCain-
  As I understand it, this bill has cleared the Democratic side. Given 
the strong support for it from across the political spectrum, and 
cosponsorship from many Republican Senators, and I especially thank 
Senator Cochran for being the main author along with me. I sincerely 
hope there won't be an objection on the Republican side. It would be 
wrong to hold this bill up as some kind of bargaining chip. It is time 
for the Senate to pass this bill, and I hope that can be done today.
  Once again, I thank the Senator from California, and I yield the 
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, if I may, I will ask a question of the 
Senator from Wisconsin. First, I thank him for his leadership on this 
  If I can ask the Senator, is there any item in this bill other than 
electronic filing?
  Mr. FEINGOLD. No, there is not.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Doesn't this bill simply enable Members of the 
Senate, just as every other political office does, to file directly 
electronically their finance reports?
  Mr. FEINGOLD. That is all it does.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. I thank the Senator.
  Mr. President, this is such a simple, direct bill with respect to 
transparency. It is an idea whose time has long come. It happens 
everywhere else except for the Senate, Senate committees, and the 
Senate campaign committees. The time is long overdue to pass this bill. 
It is such a simple, good-government issue. It is very hard for me to 
understand who could oppose this and what their reason for opposing it 
could be. I hope that if there is opposition in this Senate, the Member 
would be willing to come down to the floor and express why they would 
oppose this bill.
  We have the solid support of the entire Rules Committee. This bill 
was easy to pass out of committee. It was easy to hotline on the 
Democratic side, and it should be easy to pass by unanimous consent.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the 
immediate consideration of Calendar No. 96, S. 223, a bill to require 
Senate candidates to file designations, statements, and reports in 
electronic forms; that the committee-reported amendment be considered 
and agreed to; that the bill, as amended, be read three times, passed; 
and that the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table, with no 
intervening action.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, on behalf of a Republican Senator, I 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. I yield the floor.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
order for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

             Action on Amendments Nos. 856 and 859 Vitiated

  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
previous action on amendments Nos. 856 and 859 be vitiated.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Brown). The Senator from West Virginia is 
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. 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. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that at 5:45 
p.m. today, the motion to proceed to the motion to reconsider be agreed 
to, the motion to reconsider be agreed to, and without further 
interning action, the Senate proceed to vote on the motion to invoke 
cloture on S. 372, the Intelligence authorization bill; further, that 
Members have until 4:45 p.m. to file any second-degree amendments.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I should say this has been cleared on 
both sides.
  Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa is recognized.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. 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. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I ask to speak as in morning business 
for half an hour, although I probably will not speak that long.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, earlier this year I gave a series of 
statements on this floor on the Medicare prescription drug benefit. 
Back then, I said I was informing my colleagues because in the near 
future Congress would consider some fundamental changes in how the 
benefit works.
  Well, for the entire Senate, the future is now. Last week the Senate 
Finance Committee marked up legislation on the so-called prohibition on 
Government negotiations under the Medicare prescription drug benefit. 
When I gave these four statements during February, I said it was 
important for the public and also for Medicare

[[Page S4566]]

beneficiaries to understand the proposed changes, and that it was 
equally important to explore the effects these changes would have.
  Those reasons still hold true this very day. They are even more 
important now as the Senate gears up for action on that ill-advised 
legislation. I will inform my colleagues on this topic today, tomorrow, 
and the rest of the week, if I need to, because I want to make sure 
everyone understands the consequences of this legislation that is going 
to change the Medicare Program and hurt the Medicare Program, a program 
that is working; that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I am willing to 
talk about this issue until I am blue in the face.
  First, everyone should recognize that political opponents of the drug 
benefit that we call Part D of Medicare have tried for 4 years to tear 
this benefit apart since day one. Day one dates back to December 2003, 
when the President signed the bill. These naysayers feel Government can 
always manage better. They want a Government-run benefit program of 
drugs in Medicare, and they want the Federal Government dictating drug 
prices, as if the Federal Government can dictate drug prices.
  Thankfully, the naysayers lost when that legislation was being 
considered. But that has not stopped them from constantly whining and 
carping about the drug benefit that is now law. The naysayers said 
there would be no prescription drug plans. Then when there were plenty 
of prescription drug plans coming into the system, approved by the 
Secretary of HHS to administer to the seniors of America, they said 
there were too many plans.
  The naysayers said it was too confusing, that the seniors would not 
be able to choose plans, even arguing that there would be a small 
number of seniors signing up.
  But the seniors have enrolled. In fact, 92 percent of the seniors in 
America are covered by a prescription drug plan. And what about their 
satisfaction? Interviews show a great deal of satisfaction on the part 
of seniors with the plans.
  Then the naysayers suggested plans could change their prices and the 
drugs they cover at the drop of a hat, which has not happened. So the 
naysayers were wrong again. They did all they could to taint 
beneficiaries' views of the benefits before it even got off the ground. 
But the naysayers' biggest criticism of the drug benefit is that, 
according to them, the Government does not negotiate with drugmakers 
for lower prices.
  Now I will show you how silly that is and how wrong that is and, more 
importantly, how misleading that is. I say according to ``them,'' 
meaning according to the naysayers, because they have gone to great 
lengths to make it sound as though nobody is negotiating with drug 
companies. If you believe the naysayers out there, you would think that 
drug companies name their price and Medicare is forced to pay it. That 
is so wrong that it truly boggles the mind. It seems to me, as I see 
these arguments, there is no embarrassment on the part of the 
naysayers' part.

  Now, it is correct, of course, that the Secretary of Health and Human 
Services himself does not negotiate with drug companies, but it is 
absolutely not correct to say there are no negotiations. That is 
complete and utter nonsense. It is embarrassingly wrong. Under the 
Medicare drug benefit, multiple drug plans compete against each other 
for the membership of seniors and disabled people covered by Medicare. 
These plans compete to get the lowest prices from manufacturers, for 
you as a member, because they want to keep you as a member.
  In fact, these plans want to be the best negotiators and to offer 
beneficiaries the best possible drug plan with low premiums, low cost 
sharing, and even with additional benefits. They compete to be the plan 
that beneficiaries want to join.
  Now, is this something new? No, it is nothing new. This is the same 
approach used for health care benefits for every Member of Congress, 
and 3 million Federal employees, under what we call the Federal 
Employee Health Benefit Program. If beneficiaries do not like the job 
their plan is doing, you can fire your plan. You can leave it, join 
another plan. You can choose a better plan. Yet, you see, it is 
actually very simple how this works; very simple. Harnessing the power 
of competition among plans gives the Medicare Program beneficiaries and 
the taxpayers access to better negotiation than anything the Government 
could do on its own.
  In fact, there are five negotiators out there that are negotiating in 
a bigger way than even the Federal Government can. Can you imagine 
that, there are five negotiators that are bigger than the Federal 
Government that were negotiating this? Competition, then, is the 
mainstay of our free market economy. Businesses compete every day in 
almost every sector of our economy to produce the products consumers 
most want at a price that consumers pay, which is probably what 
consumers can afford.
  But the naysayers of the drug benefit somehow do not like that. They 
are uncomfortable with the free market. They want the Government to run 
everything. They want the Government itself doing the negotiation. They 
find it hard to believe anyone could do a better job negotiating than 
big Government.
  Of course, along the lines, they are ignoring the simple fact that 
competition is working. They are ignoring that competition has led to 
lower premiums, $22 this year instead of $23 last year, instead of $37 
when we wrote the legislation.
  They are ignoring that competition is bringing choices to 
beneficiaries, those who said we would never have choice, that you 
could not use plans because plans would not work. You know what. Those 
very Members of Congress are wrong, because in my State there are 43 
plans. Will there always be 43 plans? No, I imagine there are some that 
are small, will weed themselves out, will be bought. These people are 
ignoring that the Government is not actually very good at figuring out 
what it should pay for drugs. They are ignoring the fact to carry on 
with the political scam that they committed against beneficiaries and 
against the public.
  I have a chart I used a month ago that I want to show again. On it is 
a quote from the Washington Post, recognizing as well, when it wrote 
the following in an editorial, that this is a political scam and that 
governments don't do a very good job of negotiating:

       Governments are notoriously bad at setting prices, and the 
     U.S. Government is notoriously bad at setting prices in the 
     medical realm.

  We knew this because of the Government's experience paying for drugs 
covered by Medicare Part B. There are not very many drugs covered by 
Medicare Part B, but there have been a few and over a long period of 
time. What did we learn from that experience of Part B Medicare? These 
happen to be the drugs that are given during a physician's office visit 
or other drugs such as oral cancer drugs. Medicare payments for these 
drugs were based on what is called the average wholesale price, AWP. It 
is similar to a sticker price for a car. No one actually pays that 
price on the sticker of a car. The joke was that average wholesale 
price or AWP actually stood for ``ain't what's paid.'' Over the past 
decade, reports issued by the inspector general, by the Department of 
Justice, and by the Government Accountability Office found that by 
relying on average wholesale price, Medicare was vastly overpaying for 
these drugs. Recommendations were made to change payments so they 
reflected actual market cost. The Clinton administration tried to make 
some of these changes but after pushback from providers, it backed off.
  Congress took another run at this issue in 2003 in the Medicare 
Modernization Act and was successful. Congress reformed how Medicare 
pays these drugs under Part B, not Part D. Medicare now bases its 
payment for many of these drugs on a market-based price, a real price, 
not the average wholesale price, not the ``ain't what's paid'' price 
because it wasn't paid. This change, believe it or not, is saving the 
taxpayers and beneficiaries, but it took years to get that fixed. In 
all that time, Medicare and taxpayers paid too many dollars for drugs, 
wasted money, billions and billions of dollars wasted. So using the 
Part B tradition, we don't want to make the same mistake. We don't want 
to repeat that experience under the new Part D of drugs for Medicare.
  We also knew Medicare overpays for a lot of other services and 

[[Page S4567]]

The bookshelves are full of other reports from the General Accounting 
Office, from the inspector general, from the Medicare Payment Advisory 
Commission, from the Congressional Budget Office, and others, about how 
Medicare is paying too much in too many areas. For example, Medicare 
overpaid for durable medical equipment for years until the Republican-
led Congress made changes in the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act. In 
addition, each year the Office of Inspector General issues what is 
called the Red Book, which presents cost savings recommendations. The 
books are usually 50 or more pages long, and the recommendations span 
all aspects of Medicare--hospitals, physicians, home health care plans, 
and others. This is more evidence of the many areas where Medicare 
doesn't get the best deal.
  Congress has even created the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, 
called MedPAC, to provide advice to Congress on payments for services. 
Every year, Congress hears recommendations from MedPAC to address 
Medicare overpayments, but many times it takes years for the Secretary 
of Health and Human Services or for the entire Congress to act to save 
the taxpayers money. In making recommendations, MedPAC looks at profit 
margins, for example. One type of provider had been found to have 
margins of 17 percent off of Medicare payments. The Congress has been 
able to act on many MedPAC recommendations, but it can be very hard to 
accomplish these changes. I remember when I was chairman of the Senate 
Finance Committee over the last 4 years. I received letters from 
Members saying something like: Please don't cut payments for this 
provider group or that provider group.
  In fact, on the Senate floor just before recess, I fought to prevent 
this very Senate from freezing a Center for Medicare Services' rule 
that would have prevented wasteful spending in the program we call 
Medicaid. Is the rule a good thing or a bad thing? We didn't bother to 
hold the first hearing on the subject. The only thing that mattered was 
that a group of providers complained. Like the Clinton administration 
found, letters and complaints such as that can make it difficult, in 
the very short order, to do anything about a problem, despite the 
compelling evidence of overpayments, despite the high profit margins, 
despite the fact that a proposed change could save taxpayers billions 
of dollars.
  Those of us who wrote the Part D Medicare drug plan passed 4 years 
ago--and that was mostly Senator Baucus for the Democrats and me for 
the Republicans--were concerned that this same kind of dynamic might 
happen with this Part D program. Political pressures on Medicare drug 
benefits would tie the hands of the Secretary of Health and Human 
Services. If that happens, the programs would be unmanageable and costs 
would skyrocket. Instead, Congress put competing private plans in 
charge of negotiating. These plans and their negotiators have years of 
experience in this arena. This is what they do for a living. Health and 
Human Services has had very little experience and a very dismal track 
  On this chart, these plans and their negotiators and managers have 
powerful bargaining clout in the market. They manage the drug coverage 
for tens of millions of people. There are plans that cover upwards of 
50 million people--75 million, in one case--far more than the 41 
million Medicare beneficiaries. Clearly, Medicare beneficiaries account 
for a large number of all prescriptions filled each year, so some might 
argue that 41 million beneficiaries have more clout than 75 million 
nonbeneficiaries, but numbers alone do not necessarily translate into 
lower costs.
  As evidence of that, we had all sorts of experts come before the 
Finance Committee in January on this very topic. In response to 
questions I asked, particularly of Professor Scott Morton of Yale 
University, he said it doesn't matter whether you negotiate on behalf 
of 1 million or 43 million people; what matters is what leverage you 
have and how you use that leverage.
  I think I ought to emphasize that. It is how you use the leverage. So 
it is what is done to leverage those numbers, then, that leads to lower 
costs. That leverage comes from the plan being able to say to a drug 
company something such as: I can get a better deal on drug A from a 
different manufacturer that has the same clinical effect as your drug 
B. If you can't match it or do better, then I am going to leave the 

  Some plans will get a better deal on drug A and put it in their 
formulary. Some plans will get a better deal on drug B. But many 
experts agree--and experience suggests--that it would be difficult for 
the Government itself, our Government, to walk away from the table. 
There would be enormous pressure to cover everything. If it did, the 
negotiating power lies not with the Government but with the 
  Here is what Professor Scott Morton said would happen if someone 
negotiating drug prices couldn't have a formulary:

       Each manufacturer would know that, fundamentally, Medicare 
     must purchase all products. The Medicare ``negotiator'' would 
     have no bargaining leverage, and therefore, simply allowing 
     bargaining on its own would not lead to substantially lower 

  At the same hearing, we had another witness. That witness was Mr. 
Edward Haislmaier, of the Heritage Institute. I would like to quote him 
from his written testimony:

       [that] volume purchasing encourages manufacturer 
     discounting, it is not, in and of itself, sufficient to 
     extract large discounts. Manufacturers will only offer 
     substantial discounts if the buyer combines the ``carrot'' of 
     volume with the ``stick'' of being able to substitute one 
     supplier's goods with those of another.

  In drug negotiations, that stick is called a formulary. Plans 
participating in drug benefits can use that stick. Expert after expert 
agrees it would be difficult, if not impossible, for the Government, 
however, to use that stick under Medicare. In fact, in a November 2 
Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Dr. Allen Enthoven, an economist at 
Stanford University, wrote:

       When the government negotiates, its hands are tied because 
     there are few drugs it can exclude without facing political 
     backlash from doctors and the Medicare population, a very 
     influential group of voters.

  Let's be honest with each other. What do you think would happen in 
the Senate if the Center for Medicare Services, CMS, tried to cut a 
large drug company headquartered in New Jersey or North Carolina, for 
example, completely out of Part D because they wouldn't meet the 
Government's price demands? Would Senators from those States say 
something such as: Oh, well, that is just too bad? Would any of you say 
that if it was in your State that a manufacturer was being cut out? 
Again, let's be honest with each other.
  What are we left with then? At the January Senate Finance Committee 
hearing, Professor Scott Morton said that without a formulary--the 
``stick,'' as I refer to it--the Secretary would have about as much 
negotiating power as you would get by calling a drug maker and saying 
something such as: I would like you to offer a lower price. Their 
answer might be: Why should I? You have to buy my drug, so why would I 
offer you a lower price? About all you have left after that is: Please, 
won't you give me a lower price? That is not going to get you very far.
  If my friends on the other side of the aisle think this bill is going 
to achieve real savings for consumers or the Federal Government, they 
must have some ideas in mind. I can't believe my friends would come to 
the Senate floor with a bill that is truly as ``do nothing'' as CBO 
describes it.
  Here is what the Congressional Budget Office said about S. 3. It 
would have ``a negligible effect on federal spending.'' Another quote:

       Without the authority to establish a formulary, we believe 
     that the Secretary would not be able to encourage the use of 
     particular drugs by Part D beneficiaries, and as a result 
     would lack the leverage to obtain significant discounts in 
     his negotiations with drug manufacturers.

  So let me repeat that other quote: It would have ``a negligible 
effect on federal spending.''
  The bill we are considering and voting on tomorrow cannot possibly be 
as innocuous or inconsequential as what the Congressional Budget Office 
said. Certainly, there must be creative ideas out there to find savings 
we have not considered.
  Since the Finance Committee's markup of S. 3 the other night, I have 
been considering how a Secretary

[[Page S4568]]

might use his imagination to find savings. One of the first places we 
looked at was H.R. 4, the bill that passed the Senate.
  H.R. 4 struck the language in the statute that prevents the Secretary 
from instituting a price structure for reimbursement of covered drugs. 
Did the House strike the ban because they want an imaginative Secretary 
to use price controls as part of negotiations? Because all we have 
heard is they do not want price controls.
  Last Thursday night, we offered an amendment to S. 3 to prevent the 
Secretary from using a preferred drug list, or PDLs as they are called. 
A preferred drug list is just a formulary under a different name. It is 
essentially a Government-controlled list of drugs that you can or 
cannot have.
  While I do not think there is a difference between formularies and 
preferred drug lists, we have seen the courts rule that a State can use 
one in Medicaid even though Medicaid bans the use of formularies.
  So Thursday night, we had an amendment to prevent the Secretary from 
using preferred drug lists. After all, we do not want the Secretary 
coming up with a list of drugs you can or cannot take, do we?
  To my surprise, the Democrats on the committee rejected my amendment. 
So what is going on? Perhaps they think that having the Government 
establish a preferred drug list is one of the imaginative ideas a 
Secretary will be able to use to save money.
  I think this bill is a Trojan Horse. It is dressed up as a do-nothing 
message bill. But before the week is out, we are going to look inside 
that horse and see all the bad that could be waiting to hurt 
beneficiaries. We will see what is bad in this bill that will hurt 
access and choices beneficiaries currently have in this Medicare drug 
benefit program.
  Maintaining access and choice--access and choice--is critical because 
beneficiaries have different drug needs. The way the benefit is 
structured now is that plans can have different formularies. Some might 
get a good price on one drug; another might get a better price on 
another drug. They can have different formularies, and beneficiaries 
can have choices that meet their needs.
  When Congress finished work on the new drug benefit in 2003, we knew 
it was an experiment. Nothing like this had ever been tried. Here is 
what we learned: Private competition works. It has been successful at 
keeping costs down. The 25 most used drugs by seniors cost 35 percent 
less. Plan bids have come in lower than expected. This year, they were 
down 10 percent from last year's bids.
  Premiums are lower than they were estimated to be. Before 2006, 
Medicare's chief actuary estimated the average monthly premium would be 
$37, but it was actually $23 in 2006. That is 38 percent lower than 
expected. Because of the strong competition between plans, the average 
premiums for beneficiaries is expected to be about $22 in 2007, not the 
$39 that had been estimated.
  Why? Private competition works.
  The net cost to the Federal Government is also lower than expected. 
In January, the official Medicare actuary announced that the net 10-
year cost of Part D has dropped by $189 billion over the original 
budget window used when the Medicare Modernization Act was enacted. 
That is 2004 to 2013. That is a 30-percent drop in the actual cost 
compared to the projection.
  Why? Because private competition works.
  The savings are unheard of for a Government program of any kind. 
Where else have you ever heard of a cost underrun in a Federal program?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, could I please have 4 more minutes? I 
ask unanimous consent for that additional time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. I wish to emphasize: We have a cost underrun in a 
Federal program. When have you ever heard of that?
  You could not get those lower prices and lower costs unless the 
prescription drug plans are being strong negotiators with the drug 
makers. States are also saving money in lower contributions, better 
known as ``clawback'' payments. State clawback payments are now 
projected to be $37 billion less over a 10-year period. That is 27 
percent lower. Just in 2006, States saved $700 million.
  Why? Because private competition is working.
  The plans are negotiating lower prices for drugs. I have said so many 
times, for the top 25 drugs used by seniors, the Medicare prescription 
drug plans have been able to negotiate prices that on average are 35 
percent lower than the average cash price at retail pharmacies--35 
percent lower.
  Why? Because private competition is working.
  Here are some examples: Lipitor is 15 percent lower, Atenolol is 63 
percent lower, while Fosamax is 30 percent lower. I could go on down 
the list.
  Now, when the drug benefit was signed into law, we believed it would 
work and hold down costs. That is certainly happening today even more 
than we expected because private competition works.
  We also said that if it did not work--if the negotiating model used 
for the drug benefit did not hold down costs--then Congress would need 
to reexamine things. If costs grew too fast, then the whole idea would 
have to be revisited.
  Maybe we would have to restrict access to drugs. Maybe we would have 
to rely more on mail order pharmacies instead of liberal access to 
local retail pharmacies. Maybe more drastic cost-cutting measures would 
be needed.
  But that is not the position we are in today. Why? Because private 
competition works.
  I hate to sound like a broken record, but I think the naysayers out 
there need a little repetition therapy. Everyone has heard the old 
saying that ``if it ain't broke, don't fix it.'' It certainly applies 
here, and the evidence shows it.
  I would like to be the first one to say that the Medicare drug 
benefit is not perfect. There are improvements that can be made. 
Congress should look at ways to make it easier for low-income 
beneficiaries to get the additional assistance they need by reexamining 
the low-income subsidy asset test.
  We need to look at payments to pharmacies and make some reforms in 
that area. We need to look at ways we can simplify the enrollment 
process. And there are other areas where we can make improvements.
  But one area that is working very well is the negotiating power of 
Medicare drug plans. They have shown their ability to hold down costs. 
It is working.
  The pleas from the naysayers to put the Government in charge of 
negotiating are about politics, not policy. These voices have not given 
up in their misguided quest to score political points with the drug 
benefit. It saddens me the Democratically controlled Congress has 
devoted so much time to this issue rather than looking at some of the 
improvements we can make in Part D that I mentioned.
  Why they have put politics ahead of constructive changes is beyond 
  In January, I had hoped we could put politics aside and focus on some 
of the real improvements we could be making with the drug benefit. But, 
sadly, that is not the case, and that is why I am here today.
  Under the drug benefit today, with the plans negotiating with drug 
makers and competing with each other, we have lower drug prices for 
beneficiaries, lower program costs for the Government--saving the 
taxpayers money--and prescription drug choices for beneficiaries.
  Private competition works.
  Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to oppose S. 3. It is a big 
government takeover of the private market that is working for the 
Medicare benefit.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts is recognized.
  Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent I be permitted to 
proceed as in morning business for such time as I may consume.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. KERRY. I thank the Chair.
  Mr. President, let me just comment. I did not come to the floor to 
speak about the bill specifically. I wish to speak about the 
alternative minimum tax in a moment. But I cannot help, since I am a 
member of the committee--listening to the ranking member talk about 
Medicare and what the

[[Page S4569]]

impact of allowing Medicare the possibility of being able to negotiate 
might or might not be--but speak to that for a moment, if I can.
  I think most Americans understand, as a matter of common sense, that 
when an entity that represents their tax dollars has the ability to go 
out into the marketplace and negotiate for a price, the probability 
they are going to have saved tax dollars is pretty real, if there is a 
good and decent negotiation.
  The resistance of the Senator from Iowa and others is interesting 
because it is a resistance that represents the power of big companies 
in the country--the drug companies--to sort of say: Hey, we kind of 
like the system the way it is--which we understand because the profits 
are enormous. But our job is to represent the taxpayers' dollars. Our 
job is also to use the marketplace thoughtfully.
  I do not know what it is that suggests, on the one hand, it is 
legitimate for the Veterans' Administration to go out as a Government 
entity and negotiate a lower price for the drugs it purchases to 
distribute to veterans--which we do--but it is not OK for Medicare--
which is another Government program that costs the taxpayers a lot of 
money--to be able to go out and negotiate a lower price for seniors. It 
is illogical.
  What they do is come in and try to scare people and say: Well, we 
have given this special privilege to the Veterans' Administration, but 
if all of a sudden we allow somebody else to negotiate it, then the 
veterans are not going to get as good a deal.
  Well, nobody knows that until you go out into the marketplace. The 
Veterans' Administration and Medicare together still do not represent 
the entire market. You are going to have an incredible number of 
private citizens still purchasing through private health care plans or 
their HMOs or other plans--private as they are--also.
  The marketplace is still going to have its capacity to work. This is 
not such a large block that it represents a complete and total 
eradication of a marketplace, No. 1. No. 2, there are other countries 
where you have this kind of negotiated fee for the service being 
provided which has worked very effectively.
  I think the bottom line is that people have to remember that this 
legislation we are talking about does not order the Secretary to do 
this. It is pretty obvious under this administration it is not going to 
happen because they do not believe in it. All we are doing is lifting 
the prohibition against the Secretary doing it. So if all the negative 
things the Senator talks about are true, a smart Secretary is not going 
to do them because they are negative.
  But why would you put in place a prohibition? Why do you specifically 
say: No, the Secretary can't go out and negotiate the price. You are 
stuck with the status quo. You are stuck with the current system. The 
reason is very simple: because it is a lot of money out of the pockets 
of taxpayers into the pockets of the big companies. That is it, and 
they are here protecting that.
  This is a question of whether we are simply going to lift the 
prohibition, let the Secretary make the judgment. Can you go out into 
the market? Can you do this without hurting veterans? Can you do it 
without upsetting the marketplace? Can you do it and still have the 
kind of resources you want put into the research of new drugs and other 
things? I am confident a Secretary is going to make a smart decision.

  It is interesting to see the people who usually spend the most time 
arguing in this country ``don't let the government interfere'' are the 
ones who are standing up to let the Government--excuse me, not let the 
Government, force the Government, in effect, to interfere with the 
marketplace. Actually, what they really are doing is putting in place a 
prohibition against the Secretary actually letting the marketplace work 
or testing whether the marketplace could work more effectively. In 
effect, we leave it in a state where the companies are dictating 
effectively what the price is going to be and the citizen, as a result, 
winds up paying an unfair burden.
  We are not doing the best job possible as Government trustees of 
taxpayer money in taking care of that money and in representing the 
interests of our taxpayers. That is what is at stake here. Are you 
prepared to trust the discretion of the Secretary to analyze this, to 
look at what is best for the country, best for the delivery system, and 
make that judgment? All we are doing is lifting an unfair special 
interest prohibition to allow a full analysis of what the better 
alternative might be.

                        Alternative Minimum Tax

  Mr. President, as Americans prepared their taxes this year, millions 
of families in Massachusetts and across the country found a very 
unpleasant surprise. Beyond their regular income taxes, families found 
another hidden income tax, which is the alternative minimum tax. It 
costs those families many thousands of dollars. Most taxpayers are 
accustomed to computing their income tax liability in the usual way: 
adding up their income, making whatever deductions they are entitled 
to, subtracting exemptions for their dependents, and then checking 
their tax bracket to find out how much they owe. But this year, many of 
those same taxpayers discovered another tax that ate up any exemptions 
and deductions they might have claimed. It is a hidden income tax, and 
it affects the wrong people. It affects people we never intended to 
affect, and each year that we don't address it, it grows worse.
  This alternative minimum tax is a tax that made sense once upon a 
time. When it was first enacted in 1969, it had a rationale, but since 
then, it has become bloated and illogical. The tax was first put in 
place when Treasury Secretary Joseph Barr, during his 1 month as the 
shortest tenured Treasury Secretary in history, told Congress about 155 
wealthy Americans who had paid no income tax in 1966. Congress was 
overwhelmed with mail expressing outrage that these 155 rich Americans 
weren't pulling their weight. In response, Congress passed the first 
version of the AMT. So the AMT was put in place to address Americans' 
concerns with 155 of the richest Americans at a time when 155 
represented a large block of those who were among the wealthiest 
Americans. Urging tax reform, Secretary Barr coined the phrase 
``taxpayers' revolt'' and that is exactly what we are likely to see 
unless we get this right now.
  In 1970, 20,000 taxpayers were affected by the alternative minimum 
tax. This year, about 4 million Americans will pay it, and next year 
that number could rise to 23 million Americans. What was originally a 
small fix at the edge of our Tax Code has now ballooned into a massive 
inconvenience and unfairness at the center of our Tax Code. Instead of 
serving its original purpose, the tax cuts we saw passed into law a few 
years ago, illogical and deceptive as they were, are winding up 
targeting the very people we are supposed to be helping. The very 
people we hear most of the rhetoric about--those who need help in 
America and the middle class being unfairly taxed--are the very people 
who are being unfairly taxed by this hidden tax people don't want to 
talk about. The fact is the middle class has seen an enormous shift in 
the burden away from the wealthiest Americans onto the middle class, 
the very people the AMT was designed to protect.
  The AMT is now poised to make a dramatic shift from the wealthy to 
the middle class. In 2006, taxpayers earning more than half a million 
dollars will pay 47 percent of the tax. By 2010, that number will drop 
to 16 percent. We are going to go from 47 percent of the people who 
earn more than half a million dollars who are supposed to be the 
targets of the alternative minimum tax--that will drop to 16 percent--
and the people who are going to pick up the difference are going to be 
Americans in the middle class who are struggling with increasing 
tuition costs, increasing energy costs, increasing health care costs, 
and wages that are either frozen or going down. Meanwhile, investment 
income will not be impacted by the alternative minimum tax, and the top 
alternative minimum tax rate is lower than the top marginal tax rate, 
which is what people pay on their income.
  So a tax designed to cover or apply to the wealthiest Americans has 
become a solidly middle-class tax.
  This tax also punishes certain States in our country more than other 
States, and particularly a State such as mine--Massachusetts--but other 
States in the Northeast and large industrial States.

[[Page S4570]]

In 2007, 24 percent of Massachusetts taxpayers, up from about 5 percent 
last year, will be hit by the alternative minimum tax, so that 
Massachusetts will be No. 4 in the rankings of all the States in the 
country. I don't think we ought to be putting an undue burden on the 
middle class, and we certainly shouldn't be putting one unfairly on 
certain States while other States are exempt.
  Worse still, the tax penalizes families with children because it 
eliminates any dependent exemptions. So here we are talking about 
family values, but the family values are stripped away for those 
middle-class families because they lose their exemptions for their 
  In 2007, the alternative minimum tax will impact a family with four 
children and an income of $57,000. Married couples will be more than 12 
times as likely as singles to face the alternative minimum tax in 2010. 
So those of us who argued strongly about the marriage penalty need to 
note that the marriage penalty is, in fact, growing larger as a 
consequence of the alternative minimum tax. We wrote the exemptions 
that we had specifically to help families to get away from that 
problem, and my question is, do we now want to burden them with this 
additional tax.
  President Bush has acknowledged, at least rhetorically, this is a 
failed policy. There is room for bipartisanship here. Congress and the 
President need to work together to address what has become a major 
structural problem in our Tax Code. I commend my colleague from 
Massachusetts, Congressman Neal, who is working in the House on this 
issue and showing important leadership in order to try to address it, 
and I look forward to seeing his proposal.

  In fixing this tax, there are two major pitfalls we have to avoid. 
The first is: Don't simply repeal the tax without paying for it. We 
can't afford to do that, and it is clearly not fiscally responsible. 
Finally, it doesn't solve the problem. Second, we need to find a 
permanent solution. The alternative minimum tax itself was originally a 
small fix for a different tax issue. It is the accumulation over time 
of stopgap measures that has brought us to the current problem. So I 
don't believe it serves us well at all to push this issue down the 
road, as has been the practice of the Congress in these last years.
  We also need to make the tax policy of our country simpler and more 
straightforward and fill it with a little more common sense and a 
little less special interests. Our tax problem as a nation was, in 
fact, made significantly worse by the Bush tax cuts, and the 
alternative minimum tax has been used quietly, more and more, to ask 
middle-class families to pay the burden of the wealthiest Americans' 
tax cut.
  We can all agree the main reason this tax has grown out of proportion 
is that it wasn't indexed to inflation. The same money we talk about 
today went an awful lot farther in 1970. The movies back then cost 
$1.65. The fact is we haven't adjusted the tax brackets to rise with 
  Another major problem has been the alternative minimum tax 
interaction with the Bush tax cuts. This administration and the 
Republican Congress purposefully allowed the tax system to become 
unbalanced. This was done in order to hide the true cost of the tax 
cuts. Normally, sound tax policy involves changing the alternative 
minimum tax to reflect changes in regular tax cuts. For example, in 
1993, we raised rates for both taxes simultaneously. But under this 
President, in 2001 and in 2003 and in 2004, we cut the regular income 
tax rate without making corresponding significant changes in the AMT. 
Instead of paying upfront through the regular income tax, this 
administration used the AMT to finance tax cuts for the very people the 
AMT was designed to tax. The AMT quietly takes back a portion of the 
Bush tax cuts by 2010, about 29 percent, transferring the tax burden 
from the top tax brackets to largely middle-class tax families.
  If we had a vote on the floor of the Senate which specifically said: 
Are you going to tax middle-class families in order to pay for a 
wealthy tax cut and shift the burden by about 29 percent, almost 
everybody here would vote no. So it is the hidden tax cut that has the 
impact. Before the Bush tax cuts, 17 million taxpayers would have been 
affected by the alternative minimum tax in 2010, but with the Bush tax 
cuts, that number almost doubles to 31 million. If we let the Bush tax 
cuts expire in 2011, at least the number of AMT taxpayers would drop 
dramatically. I am confident that will be an important debate down the 
road here. In 2007, a family with 2 children and an income of $80,000 
will see 59 percent of their tax cut taken back by the alternative 
minimum tax. Tom Waits, the 1970s singer and songwriter, once said the 
large print giveth and the small print taketh away. Well, the small 
print, my friends, is the alternative minimum tax, and it is taking 
away America's families' tax savings.
  We need to be honest about the cost of our tax cuts. Back in 2001, I 
tried to offer an amendment that exempted all taxpayers with incomes 
under $100,000 from the AMT. At that time I warned that the AMT is 
encroaching on middle-class taxpayers and that the tax cuts would only 
make things worse. The fix for the AMT problem at that time was 
estimated to cost $110 billion over 10 years, money that instead is now 
being paid by middle-class families. The amendment at that time was 
revenue neutral. It offset the cost by delaying some of the Bush tax 
cuts. It cut the 39.6 rate down to 37 percent, instead of 35, but 
unfortunately, the amendment failed.
  I don't believe we can continue to put this problem off. Unless we 
reform our tax system for the sake of middle-class families--and we 
simply can't afford not to reform it--we are going to pay one way or 
the other, with the debt that is passed on to our children or with 
taxes passed on from the wealthiest to an ever-growing part of the 
middle class. We need a bipartisan, fiscally responsible, permanent 
approach, not one that masks the costs of irresponsible cuts or becomes 
a burden for the middle class, and not one that gives more and more 
families an unpleasant surprise on tax day.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Whitehouse). The distinguished Senator 
from West Virginia is recognized.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I wish to propound a parliamentary inquiry.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator will inquire.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, what is the parliamentary situation?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate is considering S. 372.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I have a parliamentary inquiry further.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator will state it.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, what is the parliamentary situation--I may 
not have the floor. May I ask the Chair, please tell me what the 
parliamentary situation is.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia has been 
recognized by the Chair and now has the floor.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, if that were not the case, what would be the 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is no current time agreement. The Senate 
is considering S. 372 under no time agreement.
  Mr. BYRD. Very well. Mr. President, I am not going to speak just now. 
I want to respect the wishes of another Senator who is on the floor at 
the moment. In a few minutes, I will want to speak a bit. As of now, I 
am going to take my seat. I will ask the Senator, does he wish to speak 
at this time?
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished Senator from West 
Virginia for his courtesy. If it would not be too great an imposition, 
I will speak for a few minutes on the Intelligence bill. That would be 
very much appreciated.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished Senator. I am 
going to sit down and listen. May I ask the Senator this question: How 
long will he likely speak?
  Mr. WYDEN. Again, I thank the Senator from West Virginia for his 
courtesy. I will speak less than 10 minutes. I so appreciate the 
thoughtfulness of the Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished Senator. After he 
yields the floor, I will seek recognition. I understand the rules of 
the Senate. I am just stating at this point what I intend to do.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon is recognized.

[[Page S4571]]

  Mr. WYDEN. Before he leaves, Senator Byrd has always been so kind to 
this Senator. I appreciate it.
  I wish to take a few moments to talk about the critically important 
Intelligence authorization bill that is before the Senate now. I am 
disappointed that this legislation has not yet passed because it seems 
to me that Chairman Rockefeller and Vice Chairman Bond have done an 
awful lot of very good work in terms of negotiating on this legislation 
and doing it in a bipartisan fashion. A number of us have felt that it 
was critically important that intelligence, in the days ahead, at a 
time of great threat to our country, be an area that is pursued in a 
bipartisan way. My view is that Chairman Rockefeller and Vice Chairman 
Bond have really kept that kind of bipartisan lodestar in mind as we 
have conducted our work throughout this session. That is one of the 
reasons I have so wanted this legislation to move forward.
  I wish to take a minute to highlight just one of the provisions that 
seems to be objectionable to the executive branch and try to show how, 
in my view, that should not be the case and how the Senate ought to 
come together around it and move forward on this bipartisan piece of 
  There is a provision in the bill the Senate is now considering--a 
provision that I offered--which would make public the total size of our 
national intelligence budget. This provision would not make public how 
much the country spends on any particular collection method; it would 
simply state the U.S. Government spends X amount of money on national 
intelligence programs.
  This has long received bipartisan support. The bipartisan 9/11 
Commission was for it. The former Director of the CIA, Stansfield 
Turner, is for it. I would like to note that our current Secretary of 
Defense, Secretary Gates, when he was before the U.S. Senate 
Intelligence Committee--and I will quote here--said:

       From my personal perspective, I don't have any problem with 
     releasing the top line of the intelligence community budget.

  I am of the view that Secretary Gates was right when he said that a 
number of years ago, and he is right at this time as well. In my view, 
to suggest that disclosing the total size of our national intelligence 
budget would cause any harm whatsoever to national security is 
ridiculous. It is absolutely absurd to think that Osama bin Laden is 
off in a cave somewhere contemplating what the overall national 
intelligence budget is. It is absurd to suggest that Kim Jong Il is 
somehow sitting in his office wondering and worrying, for example, 
whether the Wyden amendment to the intelligence authorization is going 
to pass. It is absurd to believe that any terrorist or dictator or any 
other enemy of the United States will gain any sort of advantage 
whatever from the public disclosure of the top line of the national 
intelligence budget.
  But there are people who will gain an advantage; that is, the 
American people. Making the total size of our intelligence public is 
going to increase public accountability and will allow for a more 
informed debate about national security. If the national intelligence 
budget's overall number is made public, there will be a more informed 
discussion about whether money should be spent on aircraft carriers or 
submarines or on intelligence gathering. This debate will only ensure 
that taxpayer dollars are used more wisely and that America will be 

  Senator Byrd has been very gracious to give me this time this 
afternoon. There are other provisions that I feel strongly about in 
this legislation. The increased penalties, for example, for outing a 
covert agent is something I feel strongly about. After the Dubai Ports 
debate, it is clear that there should be additional resources devoted 
to looking at the intelligence ramifications of those particular 
  But my bottom line is, at a time when Americans are questioning our 
intelligence agencies' ability to keep them safe, the Congress has a 
responsibility to provide support. At a time when the intelligence 
community is undergoing major reorganization, the Congress has a 
responsibility to provide guidance. At a time when our allies and our 
citizens are raising serious questions about detention issues, Congress 
has a responsibility to conduct oversight. At a time when Americans 
continue to open their morning papers and read about aggressive new 
forms of Government surveillance and, in particular, the now-disclosed 
abuse of the national security letters, Congress has a responsibility 
to demand accountability.
  Chairman Rockefeller and Vice Chairman Bond have done a lot of good 
work on this legislation. The distinguished occupant of the chair has 
been involved in those debates, and we are pleased that he is part of 
the committee. I hope the Senate will move expeditiously to move 
forward on this legislation. It is an important bill, at a critical 
time for the security of the American people.
  Again, I express my appreciation to the distinguished Senator from 
West Virginia for giving me the opportunity to speak this afternoon.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia is recognized.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I wish to thank the distinguished Senator 
from Oregon, Mr. Wyden, for his courtesy, and I also want to say that 
he is one of the immortal 23 Senators who said, in kind words and 
respectful words and in senatorial terms, we won't go--meaning, we were 
going to be Senators. We know what the Constitution says about Members 
of the Senate and the House, we were going to be Senators, we were 
going to be respectful, but we were going to vote our way. We were 
respectful of the President, but we knew we were Senators and that 
there were three branches of Government, and we know and knew then that 
this is the legislative branch--the first branch of Government that is 
mentioned under the Constitution, and it is sometimes called ``the 
people's branch.'' That is for good reason.
  Now, what is the floor situation?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. S. 372 is the pending question, and the 
Senator from West Virginia has the floor with no present time 
  Mr. BYRD. Further parliamentary question: Is time controlled at this 
  Mr. BYRD. I thank the Chair. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent 
that I may speak as in morning business--in other words, out of order--
for not to exceed 20 minutes. I don't expect to take that much time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BYRD. I thank the Chair.

                              Veto Threats

  Mr. President, the 110th Congress will consider legislation this 
session that raises passions and excites partisan fervor. It is likely 
that much of what the Congress considers this year and next will be 
subject to Presidential veto threats because the President's political 
party no longer controls the Congress.
  I was quite surprised recently to hear some Senators take the 
position that this body is wasting its time in drafting and passing 
legislation which the President threatens to veto.
  Let me respectfully remind all who listen that the Congress 
legislates for the people and has a constitutional obligation--in other 
words, duty--to act independently from--I say this again, I say it 
respectfully--from the White House. There are three branches, as 
everybody knows, of Government. This is a separate but equal branch. I 
want Senators to listen. This is a separate branch, but it is equal.
  I will repeat myself. As Senators already know, there are three 
separate but equal branches of Government. The Constitution's Framers 
never considered a President to be the final arbiter of the public 
good. Whether the question relates to military, foreign, or domestic 
affairs, a Presidential veto threat is not the last word in what should 
become the law of our land. Those decisions are left to the 
representatives of the people, along with the power over the purse--
along with the power over the purse--and other constitutionally 
enumerated congressional powers.
  We hear almost daily a Presidential scolding of the Congress 
concerning the supplemental appropriations bill, which is shortly 
headed for a House-Senate conference. Continued Presidential veto 
threats on the funding for the Iraq war represent a stubborn 
unwillingness to concede that the American people have over time and 
with considerable debate come to see that the Iraq war was a mistake.

[[Page S4572]]

  In the case of Iraq, it is likely that the people of the United 
States would have come to these opinions much earlier had they not had 
information withheld from them or, in some instances, presented to them 
falsely. Of course, I knew this.
  Of course, also, it remains the constitutional prerogative of the 
President to exercise the veto. I respect that. But it also remains the 
prerogative of the Congress--the other body across the way and this 
body--it also remains the prerogative of the Congress to challenge that 
veto and to assert and defend the will of the people.
  A President's power to veto is not and should not be absolute. Let me 
repeat that. A President's power to veto is not and should not be 
absolute. If the President vetoes a measure under our Constitution, the 
Congress can override that veto with a two-thirds vote of both Houses. 
All Senators know that. I am not telling Senators anything they don't 
  A Presidential veto does not necessarily end the legislative process. 
When the President vetoes legislation under article I, section 7 of the 
Constitution, the President's objections are submitted to the House of 
Congress--Congress being of two bodies--submitted to the House of 
Congress in which the measure originated so that the measure and the 
President's objections can be reconsidered. All Senators know that. Any 
schoolboy who has studied the Constitution knows that. But I am stating 
for the record, again, for all who run to read.
  A new vote can be scheduled on the same piece of legislation and a 
veto can be overturned if the people's representatives--if the people's 
elected representatives--in Congress demand it.
  There is nothing earthshaking about overturning a Presidential veto. 
Since 1969, the Congress has overridden almost 20 percent of the 
Presidential vetoes. President Franklin Roosevelt had nine vetoes 
overridden by Democratic Congresses. I repeat: President Franklin 
Roosevelt had nine vetoes overridden by Democratic Congresses. 
President Ronald Reagan had six vetoes overridden by a Democratic House 
and a Republican Senate.
  The veto override provision in the Constitution is a protection for 
the people whom the Congress represents. Members of Congress are 
elected by the people to make laws based on sound public policy, not to 
capitulate or surrender to any--Republican or Democrat--to any 
Presidential threats. The Senate must never--hear me now, the Senate 
must never--become a rubberstamp for any President, Republican or 
Democrat or Independent or otherwise.
  Certainly, the Congress should carefully consider the announced 
reasons for a Presidential veto, but the Congress has a duty, if the 
President's reasons are not credible or do not reflect the will of the 
people, to overturn Presidential vetoes, if the Congress wishes to do 
  The veto on the override is a healthy public opportunity for Members 
of Congress--both Houses--to consider the reasons offered by the 
President for his veto. Just as the President is held accountable for 
his veto, we Senators are held accountable for our votes on bills that 
are sent to the President and, if applicable, a subsequent veto 
override vote.
  Members of the Senate and the people understand that when the 
President submits a bill to Congress and then asks that it be passed 
without any amendments or conditions--the President has a right to do 
that, but we all know that the President is treating the Congress like 
a subordinate branch capable of only saying yes or no and never 
expected to alter a Presidential proposal in any way.
  The President knows what the Constitution says, and he knows that the 
Congress has a right to listen, to study, and then to act as it seeks 
to act. So this is an argument that contradicts the most basic 
constitutional principles on which our Republic is founded.
  The Congress was envisioned as a check on an overzealous or unwise 
President, and that is no reflection on either party--that the 
President can be a Democrat, a Republican, or otherwise--and we do our 
duty to the Constitution when we vigorously utilize our enumerated 

  So let us hear no more about measures that the President has 
threatened to veto being not worthy of the Senate's consideration. Let 
the President issue his veto threats as he wishes, but also let the 
Congress dutifully represent the will of the people.
  On the matter of Iraq--and I say this most respectfully--I have been 
chagrined of late to hear the falsehoods and scare tactics emanating 
from the Oval Office. President Bush has repeatedly intimated that 
there is a connection between the attacks of 9/11 and the Iraq war when 
no such link exists. President Bush has suggested--he is my President 
and yours, Senators--that the supplemental appropriations bill as now 
written would cause death and destruction in America, which is patently 
false. I speak now as the chairman--of course, everybody knows it--I 
speak as the chairman of the Appropriations Committee.
  Mr. President, I make a parliamentary inquiry: Are we under limited 
time, I ask the Chair?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has 1 minute 30 seconds remaining 
of the 20 minutes he requested.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I am not going to belabor Senators. I have 
seven more pages to read. I know what is in here, and so I ask 
unanimous consent that I may use whatever time I consume, and I assure 
Senators I will not consume more than 10 minutes, if that much.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Hearing no objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BYRD. President Bush has said the bill does not fund the troops, 
which is false. The Senate bill provides $2 billion more than the 
President requested for the troops and provides $1.8 billion more for 
veterans health care. I regret this continual barrage of misinformation 
coming from the White House just as I regret the intransigence--the 
intransigence--of a President who will not cool off--and I say this 
respectfully--of a President who will not cool off and stop 
fearmongering long enough to negotiate a resolution to the differences 
in the bill's language. He--the President--has been invited to do so in 
good faith and yet still the almost daily castigation from the White 
House continues.
  I wonder about the effect on the morale of our brave fighting men and 
women when the President--any President--repeats inaccuracies like the 
Congress has failed to fully fund the troops. It seems to me that it is 
not a prudent thing to say. Congress and the American people support 
our troops, and the supplemental bill that we shall shortly take to 
conference robustly funds their needs in the field and cares for their 
needs after they return home.
  For the President to assert otherwise is a disservice--and I say this 
with the utmost respect. I will say it again. For the President to 
assert otherwise is a disservice. Honorable men and women may disagree, 
but Members of Congress and officials of the executive branch have a 
duty to try to find common ground, especially when the issue is a 
violent and controversial war, with our troops in harm's way every day. 
I shall hope for a more reasonable and more realistic tone from our 
President--and I say it with the utmost respect, but this is an equal 
branch with the executive branch and the judicial branch--in the coming 
days. May I say further that more light and less heat on this matter 
would truly be in the best interests of our troops and of our sorely 
divided country.
  Now, Mr. President, I have been here a long time. I know how to 
speak, when to speak, and when not to speak, but I am a U.S. Senator, 
and I am asserting this Senate's constitutional duty. My Republican 
friends and my Democratic friends know this, and I know they have a 
right to do the same, but that is my speech for today, God willing.
  Mr. President, I thank the Chair, I thank all Senators, and I yield 
the floor.
  Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, first, I thank my distinguished 
colleague from West Virginia for his insight, as always, and wisdom on 
so many issues. He epitomizes what it means to be a Senator, and we are 
honored and appreciative of his leadership.

                           Prescription Drugs

  Mr. President, I do want to speak today as it relates to prescription 
drugs and the very important vote we will be having tomorrow, but I 
also first want to speak to what is happening as it relates to 
Blacksburg, VA,

[[Page S4573]]

and Virginia Tech University, just to indicate that we know there was a 
memorial service today; that all of us, even as we carry on the normal 
business of the Senate, are very mindful and aware of what has occurred 
in the massacre at Virginia Tech University. My thoughts and prayers go 
out to everyone who has been affected throughout the university, most 
particularly the families.
  Certainly, I think I can speak for the people of my great State of 
Michigan when I say that we are deeply, deeply sorrowful, and our 
prayers go out to each and every one of the people who have been 
  Mr. President, we have a very important vote tomorrow, which is 
whether to proceed to legislation that would begin the process of 
allowing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to be able to 
negotiate the very best price for our seniors under Medicare. I want to 
take this opportunity to commend our majority leader for getting us to 
this point, Senator Reid, and the Finance Committee for getting us to 
this point, for bringing the issue of Medicare drug pricing to the 
Senate floor. I hope tomorrow we are going to see a strong bipartisan 
vote to proceed with the bill.

  Frankly, it is very unfortunate we are having to vote on whether to 
proceed to this bill, but since that vote is occurring, I hope we will 
have a resounding yes tomorrow for something that is so clear to the 
American people. The direction we will hopefully take tomorrow is the 
direction that the voters asked us to take. Their message last November 
was crystal clear: that they want to make sure we are making health 
care decisions in the best interests of people--the best interests of 
seniors, of children, of families--and not the special interests that 
make money off the system. Tomorrow is going to be a vote on that.
  Tomorrow will be the first step in the process. We are removing the 
provision that prohibits Medicare from using its negotiating clout. 
What we are going to be voting on tomorrow is whether we will proceed. 
And why are we doing that? Well, first of all, this Medicare bill that 
was put in place a few years ago actually prohibited the Secretary from 
negotiating to get the best price for seniors, amazingly. People to 
this day ask: How in the world did that happen? Well, it happened 
because, unfortunately, there were too many provisions in that bill 
that were put in on behalf of the special interests rather than our 
  The step we take tomorrow is good for our seniors, it is good for 
families, and it is good for taxpayers. It is good for taxpayers to get 
the best deal so that our dollars can go as far as possible under 
Medicare. So tomorrow is an important day.
  I have been fighting for this provision ever since the Medicare 
prescription drug program was passed in late 2003. I wish I could have 
supported that bill. I did not, in part because of the prohibition that 
was put into place. That bill was written and designed with a huge gap 
in coverage--it has often been called the doughnut hole--that, frankly, 
wouldn't be there if we were able to get the very best pricing and 
stretch those Medicare dollars as far as they should go.
  In fact, I joined a group of Senators to introduce legislation on 
December 12, 2003, to repeal the prohibition on negotiation, which is 
what we are talking about now, because we knew then what we know today. 
If the Secretary of Health and Human Services negotiates Medicare 
prescription drug prices, seniors will pay the lowest possible price. 
That should be what we are all focused on as it relates to Medicare 
prescription drugs. More than 3 years later, we are taking the first 
step toward getting this done. It is about time. I think that is what 
the American people are saying to us.
  The best way to get the lowest possible prices on prescription drugs 
is to use the negotiating clout of 43 million seniors and people with 
disability who are under Medicare. That negotiating clout needs to be 
used. We are considering this bill right now because the American 
people want it. According to a poll conducted by the AARP, 87 percent 
of all Americans said they want Medicare to negotiate prescription drug 
prices--87 percent. That is a pretty big number. Eighty-seven percent 
of the seniors, according to AARP, when asked, have said: Yes, of 
course, we want the Federal Government to negotiate to get the very 
best price.
  Why do consumers want Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices? 
Because they know what everybody knows: large purchasers are getting 
deep discounts for prescription drugs, and they want the same from 
  This bill does not do the same thing as the VA, but the VA is a good 
example of what can be done when there is negotiation, when the Federal 
Government brings its clout as it does for our veterans. It gives us 
some idea of the kinds of discounts that can be achieved.
  For example, we know that on average, the VA health system gets 
prescription drugs for approximately 58 percent less than their retail 
prices--58 percent--and on some medicines, it is up to a 1,000-percent 
difference. Now, I would say, if the VA can do this and get 58 percent, 
we can get a better deal if we negotiate, knowing again that this bill 
does not reflect what the VA does, but it gives you a sense of what can 
be done when we have that kind of clout.
  Let's be clear about what we are doing right now with this bill. We 
are opening the door to lower drug prices so Medicare beneficiaries can 
afford the medicines they need and we can save taxpayers money. We all 
know how many times we have heard the stories--I hear them all the 
time--of folks trying to juggle between keeping the lights on, buying 
food, and getting their medicine. Our top goal should be, as a Medicare 
Program, to make sure people can get the medicine they need at the very 
best price. This bill moves us in that direction.
  Let's be clear also about what we are not doing. This legislation 
does not create a national drug formulary, nor does it establish price 
controls. Seniors will have access to all of the drugs they do today, 
and possibly more. The prescription drug industry will continue to 
thrive, and R&D will not be affected. The change we will see is a 
change we have been asking for for the last 3 years, that seniors and 
families have been asking for for the last 3 years.
  It is also important to note because we will hear from our friends on 
the other side of the aisle that somehow, if Medicare is going to have 
the opportunity to negotiate or if the Secretary can negotiate at 
appropriate times for lower prices, we are going to see the prices of 
the VA go up. Well, I asked the Congressional Budget Office to submit 
to me in writing if that were, in fact, true under this bill. They, in 
fact, said: No, under this bill, that is not the case. We are not going 
to see veterans or any other group see their prescription drug prices 
go up under this legislation. So that is one good thing we need to make 
clear and debunk as we begin this debate.
  Now, what we do know is we have a very interesting thing going on. We 
have two kinds of debate going on right now in opposition from those 
who are major beneficiaries of the current system, the special interest 
groups that have the benefit right now of seeing huge profit increases 
as a result of this prescription drug bill. On the one hand, we are 
seeing ads that say: This legislation will do nothing. Do not pass it; 
it will not do anything. Then, on the other hand, the very same people 
are saying: But it will cause seniors to not be able to get the choice 
of medicines they want, it will cause veterans to see their medicine 
costs go up, it will cost R&D and we won't be able to do research and 
development into new prescription drugs anymore. I find it so 
interesting that the same people are arguing both sides: It will not do 
anything, and it will have all of these devastating effects.
  At the same time, we are seeing huge amounts of money, millions and 
millions of dollars--for months, I have seen ads on TV and radio, 
newspaper ads telling us these people do not want negotiation or that 
it will not do anything, all paid for by the same people who benefit by 
the current system. I might just say that just today, a full-page, 
single-color ad running in the Washington Post on page A5 today, costs 
about $135,000--this is today, this is yesterday. We have ad after ad 
after ad being run and paid for by people who tell us this bill will 
not do anything. It will not do anything, but yet they have spent 
millions of dollars on TV, millions of dollars on the radio, in ads we

[[Page S4574]]

have seen, ads for our benefit, ads telling us people do not want 
  I might add that in this ad which is running right now, where they 
say people really do not want Medicare to negotiate, what they say in 
the fine print is that, in fact, 89 percent oppose Government 
negotiation if it could limit access to new prescription medicine--if 
it could limit access to new prescription medicine. This bill does not 
limit access to new prescription medicine--or old prescription 
medicine, for that matter. That is not what we are talking about.
  In fact, what I find interesting, and the subtle part of this is, if 
we negotiate for a better deal, they won't be able to do research 
anymore. We know that right now the drug industry spends 2\1/2\ times 
more on marketing and advertising than they do on research.
  I would suggest we can negotiate to get a little better price. And I 
wonder how much $135,000 would buy in medicine for somebody today 
instead of one ad? Let's cut down a little bit on the marketing and 
advertising, and we won't have to worry about whether Medicare can 
negotiate for the very best price.
  So I hope that tomorrow we are going to have a vote to proceed to 
this very important public policy issue, this very important bill. I 
hope we are going to, in fact, do what 87 percent of voters are saying 
they want us to do--negotiate the very best price for prescription 
  I would ask my colleagues to vote to allow us to proceed to the bill. 
We can continue to work together on exactly what the language should 
look like, but the idea that you would stop it before we can even have 
the debate would be extremely disturbing. People in this country do not 
understand why it is that decisions are made too often for those who 
happen to have the lobbyists here or the ads on TV or in the newspaper 
and not enough for the folks who are working hard every day or are 
retired on a fixed income trying to make ends meet.
  Tomorrow is a chance for us to show that those folks are not making 
the decisions, that we are going to move forward on a bill which is 
positive for seniors, which is going to give us an opportunity to open 
the door to negotiating good prices and make a real difference for 
people, a real difference for people whom the system is supposed to 
help, the Medicare prescription drug benefit for our seniors, for 
people on Medicare. They deserve the best price. Tomorrow, we will have 
a chance to vote to go to that debate and work together to get a bill 
that will do that. I hope we are going to vote to do that.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alabama is recognized.

                                Tax Day

  Mr. SHELBY. Once again, today, tax time is upon us. It is April 17. 
We know April 15 is the magic day, but it has been extended because of 
when it fell. Today is the day everybody in America knows that the 
Federal Government income taxes are due. If you are like me, you spent 
way too much time completing your taxes this year.

  Our Tax Code and its accompanying regulations total tens of thousands 
of pages which are complicated, confusing, and costly to comply with. 
In fact, since we last had major reform in 1986 there have been more 
than 14,000 changes to the Tax Code. Average taxpayers should not have 
to pour over tax regulations for hours on end or pay a tax professional 
to complete their tax documents.
  In the IRS' own estimation, the average time burden for all taxpayers 
filing a 1040 is 30 hours. Unfortunately, what this means is that for 
most people is that in addition to paying the Government every year, 
they need to pay someone or buy software to tell them exactly how much 
to pay their Government.
  Americans need a simple, common-sense solution. This is why I have 
introduced S. 1040, the Tax Simplification Act.
  The Tax Simplification Act establishes a flat income tax of 17 
percent on all income and places real spending limits on the Federal 
Government. First, my proposal would replace our current 
incomprehensible Tax Code with a flat rate of 17 percent on all 
individuals' income beyond an exemption for the individual and any 
dependents. To prevent the double-taxation of income, earnings from 
savings would not be included as taxable income, resulting in a tax cut 
for virtually all taxpayers and providing a strong incentive for people 
to save. Increasing the savings rate in this country should be a 
priority of this Congress and this bill will do that.
  As complicated as the individual tax system has proven, it pales in 
comparison to the hoops U.S. businesses are required to jump through. 
In preparation for 2005 taxes, businesses and nonprofits spent an 
estimated 6.4 billion hours complying with the Federal Income Tax Code, 
with an estimated compliance cost of over $265 billion. Without action, 
that number is expected to grow to over $482 billion by 2015.
  What this means is that for every $5 the Government collects right 
now, businesses are forced to spend another $1 to comply with the 
countless rules and regulations that we, the Government, have created. 
These additional costs are then passed on to the consumers, investors, 
and employees. We need to overcome this notion that our corporate 
income tax simply applies to some faceless boardroom. Corporations do 
not pay taxes. People pay taxes. Corporations do not comply with our 
tax laws. People do.
  Under my legislation, companies would pay the flat tax of 17 percent 
rate on their income, simplifying the complicated calculations 
businesses currently go through to determine their taxable income. S. 
1040 simply defines income as the positive difference between revenue 
and expenses. As the legislation is implemented, the rate of taxation 
would be 19 percent in the first 2 years and then lowered to the 
desired rate of 17 percent in the third year.
  Finally, this legislation would require a three-fifths majority in 
Congress for any tax increase. This ensures that only in times of the 
most need would the Government be able to take any more money out of 
the hands of hard-working Americans. By enacting this legislation we 
would institute a strong backstop against those that would seek to 
continue the out-of-control growth of the Federal Government. And we 
would open a new chapter of responsibility and accountability in our 
revenue collection.
  Yes, the flat tax would revolutionize the way our Government 
operates. Today, if a flat tax were in place, taxpayers would file a 
return the size of a postcard. Rather than spending hours deciphering 
convoluted IRS forms or resorting to professional tax assistance, the 
flat tax would allow taxpayers to complete their taxes quickly and 
  The time for significant reform of our Tax Code is now. The flat tax 
would revolutionize the way our Government operates. The complexities 
and inequities of the current tax system would end. They would be 
replaced by a system that treats every taxpayer equally and represents 
a massive reduction in the tax burden carried by hard-working 
  Only by treating every taxpayer equally can our Tax Code ever achieve 
true fairness. Only when the shackles of our burdensome Tax Codes are 
removed will we truly see what our great economy is capable of doing.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan is recognized.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, Mr. Isakson has a very brief statement, 
perhaps 2 minutes. I wonder if he can be recognized for 2 minutes and 
then Senator Nelson for 2 minutes and then I be recognized for 5 
minutes. I ask unanimous consent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Georgia is recognized.

                          Honoring Ryan Clark

  Mr. ISAKSON. Mr. President, I ask to address the Senate as if in 
morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. ISAKSON. Mr. President, I rise today to express my sympathy and I 
know the sympathy of all of the Members of the Senate and the people of 
the United States of America on the tragic losses yesterday at Virginia 
  I learned this morning that one of those first tragic losses was a 
young gentleman by the name of Ryan Clark,

[[Page S4575]]

and I, from the floor of the Senate, send to Martinez, GA, my sympathy, 
that of Senator Chambliss, and that of all Members of the Senate on the 
tragic loss of Ryan.
  None of us can understand what happened yesterday, but all of us must 
understand the profound tragedy and the loss of youth in its prime.
  Ryan Clark, 22 years old, a double major in English and biology, was 
about to walk across the stage and graduate and then pursue a masters 
and a Ph.D. in psychology. Ryan is survived not only by his mother 
Letitie but by his brother Bryan. Bryan told us that his brother was 
known best by his nickname on the campus, ``Stack.'' Stack, if you go 
to the Web site of the Virginia Tech band, can be seen volunteering his 
time in a food drive for the needy. In fact, just last December, in the 
Georgia Dome at the Peach Bowl of 2006, one of the last times that Ryan 
went back to Georgia, he performed with the Virginia Tech band at 
halftime of that bowl game.
  This young man was a residential adviser, a member of the band, an 
outstanding student, a proud son, and a proud brother. I am very proud 
as a Georgian to have known of his accomplishments, and I send his 
mother Letitie my prayers and my hopes that she will accept our 
sympathy and endure the tragedy of the loss of her son Ryan.
  To the families of all of those professors, employees, and students 
who were hurt yesterday in Blacksburg, VA, I extend my sympathy and my 
deepest prayers that we will find reconciliations out of tragedy.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida is recognized.
  Mr. NELSON of Florida. Mr. President, our hearts go out to the 
citizens of Virginia, to the university community, and to the families 
and the loved ones of those in this tragedy. It goes without saying 
that we will get to the bottom of this and then find out what is going 
wrong in this country that our sense of morality has gone askew so that 
a senseless set of murders such as this would occur.
  I am here to speak on behalf of this intelligence legislation on 
which we are about to have a vote, cutting off debate so we can proceed 
to finalize the bill. It is necessary that we do that. I had the 
privilege of serving on the Intelligence Committee along with my 
colleague, the Senator from Michigan, on his committee, the Armed 
Services Committee, as well as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. 
There is so much going on that is at stake for this country that we 
cannot in any way delay this Intelligence bill; it needs to be 
considered; it needs to be amended, if that is the will of this body; 
it needs to be passed, and we need to then get reconciled with the 
House and get it to the President for his signature. There are too many 
things that are super important to this country for us to do anything 
other than protect the interests of this country through our 
intelligence activities.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan is recognized.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, the release of the 9/11 Commission Report 
in July of 2004 fueled a debate about how our intelligence community 
should be restructured to better respond to the post-9/11 threat.
  In response to problems identified by the 9/11 Commission, Congress 
passed and the President signed into law the Intelligence Reform and 
Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. Most notably, that bill created the 
Director of National Intelligence, empowering the DNI with budget power 
and control over personnel in the intelligence community.
  The bill also created the National Counterterrorism Center, or NCTC, 
with the authority to conduct strategic counterterrorism planning and 
to assign roles and responsibilities for counterterrorism activities. 
Passage of intelligence reform was a watershed moment in the drive to 
better organize our Government to deal with the threat of terrorism.
  On December 8, 2004, the same day the Senate passed the Intelligence 
reform bill, it passed the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal 
year 2005. It is troubling that that day, December 8, 2004, was the 
last day this body passed an Intelligence authorization bill, and it 
underscores the importance of the Senate passing the bill before us. 
Since passage of the Intelligence reform bill in 2004, we learned a 
good deal about what additional changes to law might be needed to 
improve our intelligence community functions. In addition, as we have 
learned about such activities as the NSA's warrantless wiretapping 
program, we have come to better appreciate the need for strong 
congressional oversight of the intelligence community.
  As a matter of fact, the 9/11 Commission said the following in its 
very lengthy and thoughtful report, ``Strengthen Congressional 
Oversight of Intelligence and Homeland Security.'' That is the heading 
of the section, and this is the one pungent sentence from that report 
which I hope will cause a lot of people to rethink their opposition to 
cloture on this bill:

       Of all of our recommendations, strengthening congressional 
     oversight may be among the most difficult and important.

  Those words should have an impact on the vote that is coming up in 
about 40 minutes.
  More than 30 years ago, the Senate passed S. Res. 400, establishing 
the Select Committee on Intelligence, and charging that committee with 
providing ``vigilant legislative oversight over the intelligence 
activities of the United States to assure that such activities are in 
conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.''
  The legislation before us today takes significant steps toward 
reinvigorating our oversight responsibility. For example, effective 
oversight depends on Members of Congress having timely access to 
intelligence information. Unfortunately, too often that is not the 
case, as requests from Congress for intelligence information are 
stonewalled and slow walked. Section 108 of the bill before us requires 
the intelligence community to provide, upon request from the chairman 
or vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee or chairman or 
ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, timely access to 
existing intelligence assessments, reports, estimates, legal opinions, 
or other intelligence information.
  The bill before us also advances Congress's oversight of particular 
matters. For example, section 313 requires the Director of National 
Intelligence to submit a classified report on any clandestine detention 
facilities operated by the U.S. Government. This public law requirement 
reflects the Intelligence Committee's determination to undertake 
serious oversight of any intelligence community detention and 
interrogation practices. The bill before us also establishes within the 
Office of the Director of National Intelligence an inspector general of 
the intelligence community. That is a major reform. It is highly 
important, and it is long overdue. The creation of an inspector general 
of the intelligence community will strengthen accountability by 
permitting independent examinations of problems, abuses, or 
  We should not let another year go by without an Intelligence 
authorization bill. We cannot defeat the threats this Nation faces 
without the strongest and most effective intelligence community which, 
in turn, requires strong oversight.
  I yield the floor and suggest the absence of quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Salazar). Without objection, it is so 


  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, later this week there will be a group of 
us in the Senate holding a meeting on trade issues and talking about 
what our response will be to the request by President Bush to extend 
what they call trade promotion authority. Trade promotion authority is 
a slogan that was used to replace fast track because fast track 
apparently became some sort of a pejorative term, at least in the minds 
of some. So they came up with the term ``trade promotion authority.'' 
It is like labeling things healthy forests or clear skies, trade 
promotion authority. What it means is fast track. The Congress, by 
Constitution, has the

[[Page S4576]]

right to be engaged in foreign commerce. That is where it is described, 
in the Constitution. It is not described as part of executive branch 
responsibilities. It is described as part of the responsibilities of 
Congress to be involved in the issue of trade and foreign commerce.
  What has happened over some years is the Congress has given the 
President authority to negotiate trade agreements in secret behind 
closed doors, bring the trade agreements to this Congress, and we agree 
we will put on a straitjacket and not be allowed to offer any 
amendments, and it will be considered as a trade agreement that we have 
negotiated with some other country under expedited procedures. The 
Congress itself has decided to put itself in a straitjacket with 
something called fast track or trade promotion authority. I did not 
support that. I didn't support it for President Clinton. I don't 
support it for President Bush. President Bush has had fast track trade 
promotion authority now for some while. It is about to expire on June 
30. He is asking that it be extended. As for me, I will not support 
extending it. I hope to be involved with a group of Senators who 
similarly will describe the danger to this country's economic future 
that would be entailed by supporting the extension of fast track or 
trade promotion authority.
  Let me describe what the danger is. Some wish to ignore all the 
evidence that exists with respect to trade. The fact is, in the past 
year our trade deficit in 1 year was $830 billion. What does that 
number mean? It probably doesn't mean much to most people. It means 
every single day we purchase from foreign countries $2 billion more 
than we are able to sell to foreign countries. Every single day we put 
$2 billion worth of IOUs in the hands of another country. A substantial 
portion of those IOUs is now possessed by China, Japan, and others. 
About $1 billion is owed from the citizens of this country to China and 
  In addition to the imbalance of $2 billion a day importing more than 
we export or consume--saying it another way, about 6 percent more than 
we produce--we are seeing American jobs being shipped overseas. We have 
actually some cheerleaders for that proposition. We have some people in 
this country who say isn't that great. Isn't that a wonderful situation 
where we can actually move American jobs abroad. None of those people 
will ever lose their jobs. They will write books and make laws, but 
they will never lose their jobs. It is the folks who shower after work 
who lose their jobs; the people who go to the plant, the people on the 
assembly line; the people who find their job is going elsewhere because 
there is someone else in the world, a billion to a billion and a half 
people willing to work for 20 or 30 cents an hour. They will work with 
no health care benefits and no retirement benefits and in some cases 
for 20 cents an hour. If they decide they are being cheated out of 
wages and try to organize workers, they will be sent to prison.
  That is the new economy? That is the new circumstance of the global 
economy? That is free trade? That is good for our country? I don't 
think so.
  I have spoken at length about this issue. I am for trade and plenty 
of it. Sign me up. I support trade. I like trade. I insist that it be 
fair to this country. I am flat out tired, through fast track, of 
having trade agreements being negotiated in secret overseas someplace 
behind closed doors by U.S. negotiators who forget who they are working 
for. They bring them to this Chamber under expedited authority called 
fast track and there is the prohibition of any amendment being offered 
to change what is obviously wrong with the agreement. Then it runs 
through here like a hot knife through butter. We have had NAFTA and 
CAFTA and U.S.-Canada. We have had all these trade agreements, at the 
end of which we have the largest trade deficit in the history of 
humankind. It is not even close. Every time we pass a new trade 
agreement, we have a larger deficit.
  The people who come up with these concoctions called free trade say: 
Isn't this wonderful? No, it is not. Would they say it was wonderful if 
they were losing their jobs? They wouldn't. But they are not the ones 
losing their jobs.
  Alan Blinder, a mainstream economist, former vice chairman of the 
Federal Reserve, said this about the outsourcing of American jobs: 
There are 40 million American jobs subject to outsourcing. Not all of 
them will leave this country, but even those that remain will have 
downward pressure on their income because there is someone else 
somewhere else in the world willing to work for pennies.
  So is that the new global economy? Is that the flat world? Mr. 
Friedman wrote the book ``The World is Flat.'' I know better than that; 
so does he. The world is not flat. In the chapter where he looks at 
Bangalore, India and says, isn't this wonderful, all these jobs in 
India, no, it is not wonderful.
  Is this the kind of new economy we signed up for? Have we forgotten 
the lessons, have we forgotten what it took to get to this kind of 
standard of living?
  James Fyler was shot 54 times. It was said once he died of lead 
poisoning. I guess when you are shot 54 times--he was actually killed 
in Ludlow, CO, nearly 90 years ago. He was killed because he thought 
people who went into the coal mines to mine for coal had a right to a 
fair wage and a right to work in a safe workplace.
  Move forward a century from James Fyler, from people who gave their 
lives to lift the standards in this country, to expand the middle 
class, to provide for good jobs, demand a fair wage, demand decent 
benefits, and then ask yourself if, after a century, when we expanded 
the middle class in this country--with good jobs that pay well--have we 
now decided there is a new strategy, a bankrupt strategy, which is so-
called free trade, which is unfair to the American worker, because it 
is a race to the bottom, saying to companies: If you can find somebody 
who will work for 20 cents an hour, have them make the Huffy bicycles, 
have them make the Radio Flyer little red wagons, have them make the 
Fig Newtons, have them make the Hanes underwear, and have them make the 
Levi's. They are all gone because they went in search of cheap labor. 
All those American jobs are gone. Now, I ask you, is that a road to a 
better future for American workers?
  We, actually, in this Chamber, mind you--not me but a majority--have 
supported one of the most pernicious provisions I have ever seen, a 
provision that says: Do you know what, if you want to close your 
manufacturing plant and fire your workers and move the jobs to China, 
we intend to give you a big fat tax break for doing it. That is 
unbelievable. I have tried four times to change that in the Senate and 
have come up short in the vote four straight times. But I guarantee you 
this: One day, there will be enough clear thinking in this Congress to 
decide we ought to stop subsidizing the export of American jobs.
  So I started by saying we have an $830 billion trade deficit. That 
relates to the export of jobs and the purchase every day of $2 billion 
more than we are able to ship abroad. We are going to have to repay 
that someday. You can make a case on the budget deficit that is money 
which we owe to ourselves. You cannot make that case with the trade 
deficit. That will be repaid someday with a lower standard of living in 
this country.
  That is why we ought to, as a country, begin worrying about and 
thinking about this new strategy. I am for a fair trade strategy. I am 
for trade, and plenty of it, but it must be fair to this country. I am 
sick and tired of seeing trade agreements that pull the rug out from 
under our workers and pull the rug out from under our standards. I want 
to lift people up, not press people down. I do not believe in a future 
in which 40 million to 50 million additional workers are subject to 
outsourcing. But if they are not outsourced, they, nonetheless, can 
come home and say: Honey, I didn't lose my job today, but they are 
going to pay me less.
  One final point. I spoke here about a week ago about Circuit City. I 
do not know much about that company. I do know this: They announced 
they were going to fire 3,400 people. Because they were bad workers? 
Not a bit. No. They said: We are going to fire them because we want to 
rehire other workers to whom we can pay less money. They were making, I 
think, slightly above $11 an hour. They wanted to fire 3,400 workers so 
they could hire cheaper workers, less expensive workers.

[[Page S4577]]

  I do not know. If you go into a store and ask somebody where the 
camera counter is, are you going to find a worker who knows? Maybe you 
have a worker you could pay less money to, but do these companies 
forget that their company is their workers, the company is represented 
by their workforce, that is their brand?
  We are headed in the wrong direction. There is no social program in 
this country as important as a good job that pays well. Yet the whole 
notion here of the companies that want to produce in China and ship 
here and run their income through the Cayman Islands to avoid paying 
taxes to this country--the whole notion is, this is a new day, it is a 
new economy. Don't you understand it? Free trade. That is not fair 
trade, where I come from.
  My colleague, Senator Brown, has worked on this issue for a long 
while in the U.S. House, and now in the U.S. Senate. I really 
appreciate seeing new voices come to the Senate demanding we move 
toward fair trade relationships. We can compete, but the competition 
has to be fair. That has not been the case with any of these trade 
  Mr. President, I am happy to yield the floor so my colleague, Senator 
Brown, can be recognized.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. BROWN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business for only 5 minutes or so.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BROWN. Mr. President, I wish to echo much of what Senator Dorgan 
has said and thank him for his leadership on trade issues. I came to 
the House of Representatives in 1993, elected in 1992. Our trade 
deficit was fairly large in those days, we thought: $38 billion. Today, 
as the Senator said, depending on whether you count services in 
addition to manufactured products, it exceeds $800 billion.
  Interestingly, if you add the aggregate trade deficit from 1992 
through 2006--that means the amount of imports we have brought into our 
country versus the amount of exports we have going out of our country--
we have had a $4 trillion trade deficit in the aggregate. That is $4 
trillion of wealth having gone out of our country.
  To understand what $4 trillion is, because nobody can really 
understand that, if you spent $1,000 every second of every minute of 
every hour of every day--if you spent $1,000 of every second of every 
minute of every hour of every day--to spend $4 trillion, it would take 
you 135 years. That is the kind of wealth we have seen go out of our 
country. But to understand that in more human terms, let me just share 
a story, if I could, for a moment.
  About 7 or 8 years ago, after the North American Free Trade 
Agreement, unfortunately, passed the House and Senate--Senator Dorgan 
voted against it in the Senate; I voted against it in the House, a 
dozen or so years ago--I flew to McAllen, TX, at my own expense and 
rented a car and went across the border with a couple of friends and 
visited Reynosa, Mexico, to see what NAFTA had brought to the border 
areas and to the country of Mexico--at least that part of Mexico.

  I went to the home of two General Electric workers--General Electric, 
Mexico. Both made about 90 cents an hour. Both worked pretty much 60 
hours a week, 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. They lived in a home maybe 
20 feet by 15 feet, with no running water, no electricity. They had 
dirt floors. When it rained hard, the floors turned to mud.
  When you went outside their home--these are people who worked 60 
hours a week each for an American company, a Mexican subsidiary of an 
American company, 3 miles from the United States of America in Reynosa, 
Mexico--if you went outside their home, there was a ditch behind their 
house, maybe 4 feet wide, with 2 by 4s across the ditch. Children would 
be playing in this ditch with human waste, industrial waste--who knows 
what was going through it. The American Medical Association said the 
Mexican-U.S. border is the most toxic place in the Western Hemisphere. 
And these children were playing in whatever this human and industrial 
effluent waste was in this neighborhood.
  As you walked through this neighborhood, you could tell where the 
workers worked by the construction materials from which their homes 
were built--packing materials and cardboard boxes from the companies 
for which they worked or from the suppliers to the companies for which 
they worked. They used that as roofs and walls to build their shacks.
  Again, these are people who hold full-time jobs for General Electric, 
Mexico, 3 miles from the United States of America.
  Then, nearby, within a mile, I visited an auto plant--an auto plant 
that looked just like an auto plant in Lordstown, OH, Avon Lake, OH, 
with modern technology, even more modern than what we have often in 
auto plants in Ohio, unfortunately. They had clean floors and hard-
working workers who were very productive.
  There was one difference between the Mexican auto plant and the auto 
plant you would see in Cleveland. The difference was there was no 
parking lot in the Mexican auto plant because, simply put, the workers 
have not shared in the wealth they produce for their company.
  You could go halfway around the world. You could go to a Motorola 
plant in Malaysia, and the workers are not paid enough to buy the 
phones they make. You could come back halfway around the world to Costa 
Rica to a Disney plant, and the workers do not make enough money to buy 
the toys they make for their children. You could go back halfway around 
the world to China, and the workers at the Nike plant are not paid 
enough to buy the shoes they make. The difference in their economy and 
ours, and these trading partners where we have huge trade deficits, is 
the workers are not sharing in the wealth they create.
  But that is starting to happen in the United States. In the last 30 
years, the wealthiest 20 percent in our country, the wealthiest 5 
percent, the wealthiest 1 percent are seeing their wealth go up while 
wages are stagnant for the rest of the country. That is why the middle 
class is shrinking, because people who are working hard and playing by 
the rules simply are not sharing in the wealth they create.
  They are more productive than they have ever been. We are setting 
productivity records in this country. Yet wages are stagnant or worse. 
Companies are outsourcing, companies are going overseas. Senator Dorgan 
said those same companies are getting tax breaks and all kinds of 
advantages, as this body and, across the Capitol, the House of 
Representatives continue to pass these job-killing trade agreements 
that outsource our jobs, that betray our middle class, that mean 
layoffs of police and fire and teachers and people who make our 
communities healthier, as families are hurt by these layoffs or as 
families are hurt by stagnant wages.
  That is why we need a very different trade policy--whether it is with 
Japan, whether it is with Mexico--a trade policy that lifts up the 
middle class and helps to strengthen the middle class, a trade policy 
that will help workers in the developing world instead of this trade 
policy that outsources our jobs, betrays our communities, and hurts our 
  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, will the Senator from Ohio yield for a 
  Mr. BROWN. Yes.
  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, the Senator from Ohio has described 
automobiles as one part of his discussion. I wonder if the Senator from 
Ohio knows, for example, with respect to South Korea, we imported about 
700,000 automobiles from South Korea in the last year. We were able to 
export about 4,000 American cars to South Korea.
  Now, why the imbalance? Mr. President, 99 percent of the cars driven 
on the streets of South Korea are made in South Korea. That is the way 
they want it. Once in a great while, we have a little burst. The Dodge 
Dakota pickup--all of a sudden, it looked like they were going to sell 
some Dodge Dakota pickups in South Korea. Just like that, the 
Government shut that down. Oh, they do it very subtlely, but they know 
what they are doing--just like that.

  China is a good example. We did a trade agreement with China. China 
is now creating an automobile export market. They want to be a big 
automobile exporter and intend to export to this country. Here is what 
we said to China, a country with which we have a giant trade deficit: 
When you ship your Chinese cars to the United States, we

[[Page S4578]]

will impose a 2.5-percent tariff on your cars. And we agree that for 
any U.S. automobiles we would sell in China, you may impose a 25-
percent tariff. So to a country with which we have a giant trade 
deficit--we now have a $230 billion trade deficit with China--we have 
said: It is OK for you to impose a tariff that is 10 times higher than 
we would impose on your cars.
  That is unbelievably ignorant, in my judgment, ignorant of our own 
economic interests.
  If I may make one additional point. In Ohio, they used to make Huffy 
bicycles. I have spoken about that at some length on this floor. They 
paid people $11 an hour to make Huffy bicycles. Huffy bicycles are 20 
percent of the American bicycle market. You can buy them at Wal-Mart, 
Kmart, Sears. The people at the plant in Ohio loved their jobs. They 
made the Huffy bicycles for over a century. They all got fired. They 
all lost their jobs. You can still buy a Huffy bicycle. They are all 
made in China.
  But on the last day of work, after they were fired, these Huffy 
bicycle workers, as they drove out of the parking lot of the plant, all 
left a pair of empty shoes where their car used to sit in the parking 
lot. It was their way of saying to this company: You can ship our jobs 
overseas, but, by God, you are not going to fill our shoes. It was a 
poignant way for workers to say: This job mattered to me. We worked 
here for a century making bicycles as American workers. And now it is 
  It is unbelievable, when you hear these stories and see what the 
consequences are of American companies that have decided: Do you know 
what, the new economy says, let's produce where we can pay people 30 
cents an hour. Incidentally, that is how much workers get who are now 
producing Huffy bicycles. They are paid 30 cents an hour. They work 7 
days a week, 12 to 14 hours a day. That is what the Ohio workers were 
told. You cannot compete against that, so you lose.
  In my judgment, our country, this Senate--Senator Brown and I and 
others--has to begin standing up for the economic interests of our 
country and our workers. If we do not, we will surely see a shrinking 
of the middle class and a dramatic impact on the economy and future 
growth of this country. That is why this is such an important issue.
  Again, let me just say how impressed I am with not only Senator Brown 
but especially Senator Brown and some others who have joined us in the 
Senate, who will be very strong voices on behalf of a sane, thoughtful, 
sensible protrade policy that is pro-fair trade and stands up for this 
country's economic interests.
  I thank the Senator from Ohio for yielding to me.
  Mr. BROWN. Mr. President, I reemphasize what Senator Dorgan says so 
often; that is, we want trade--plenty of it--we just want it with 
different rules. We want fair trade. Plenty of countries around the 
world practice trade, as South Korea does, for their own national 
interests. We practice trade according to some economics textbooks some 
days, and other days we practice trade according to what is in the 
interests of these large corporations that outsource. But these 
companies--again I use the word ``betray''--they betray our families, 
they betray our communities when they do what Huffy Bicycles did 
because those jobs were good-paying union jobs in Shelby County OH, in 
western Ohio. As Senator Dorgan said, they have been there for hundreds 
of years.

  In the far corner of northwest Ohio there is a company called the 
Ohio Art Company. The Ohio Art Company makes something that almost 
everyone who grew up in this country knows about: they make the Etch A 
Sketch. Some years ago, Wal-Mart went to the Ohio Art Company and said: 
We want to sell Etch A Sketch in our stores for under $10, and the Ohio 
Art Company couldn't make them for that price, so they pretty much 
moved most or all of their production to China.
  It is that kind of betrayal by these corporations, with the 
concurrence of our Government, because our Government writes the rules 
for these trade agreements--our Government has consistently practiced 
trade and allowed our largest companies to practice trade not 
according--unlike other countries that don't practice it according to 
our national interests, and it is time that we do.
  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, I would like to ask the Senator to yield 
for one more point. The Governor of Pennsylvania, Governor Rendell, 
tried very hard to keep a company in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania House 
Furniture. They make fine furniture with Pennsylvania wood, a very 
special kind of Pennsylvania wood. They make top-of-the-line furniture 
and did for a long time--I think for over a century as well. They were 
purchased by La-Z-Boy, and La-Z-Boy decided that Pennsylvania House 
Furniture would be outsourced to China. At that point, Governor Rendell 
and folks in Pennsylvania got involved to try to save Pennsylvania 
House Furniture, but they couldn't do it. The jobs all went to China. 
Incidentally, they now ship the wood from Pennsylvania to China, put 
the furniture together, and then ship it back to be sold as 
Pennsylvania House Furniture.
  There is somebody in this country who has a piece of furniture that 
they don't understand the value of. The last day at work at this plant 
where they had made furniture, these craftsmen, who made top-end, top-
of-the-line furniture, these craftsmen, the last day of work, on the 
last piece of furniture that came off the assembly line in 
Pennsylvania, turned it over and they all signed it. Someone has a 
piece of furniture with the signatures of all the craftsmen at that 
plant who, on their last day at work, decided they wanted to sign as a 
note of pride in the work they had just completed.
  Then the jobs were gone, all gone to China, because the Pennsylvania 
workers could not compete with those who would work for 25 cents, 30 
cents, 35 cents an hour. But they shouldn't have to. That is the point 
of our discussion about fair trade.
  Mr. BROWN. Mr. President, in the next decade our Nation needs to--our 
Government needs to come up with a manufacturing policy. If our trade 
laws and our tax laws continue to encourage outsourcing, continue to 
contribute to this erosion of the middle class, we will be a country 
with less and less manufacturing, fewer and fewer manufacturing jobs, 
less and less of an ability to protect our national interests. It is a 
question of national security, to be able to have a strong 
manufacturing component to our economy, and it is a question of 
economic security for families in places such as Dayton, in places such 
as Steubenville and Painesville and Cleveland, OH, places where people 
have built middle-class lifestyles, bought their homes, sent their 
children to college, worked for a decent retirement because they have 
worked hard and played by the rules and manufactured goods that people 
in our country use.
  I think it is important as we move forward with Senator Dorgan and 
people like Senator Whitehouse from Rhode Island, who is also very 
interested in this, that we move forward on developing this 
manufacturing policy on trade, on tax law, and on helping particularly 
our small manufacturers compete in this global economy.
  I thank the President, and I yield the floor.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, we have seen a considerable number of 
the members of the Intelligence Committee come up to this floor this 
afternoon, and that is because we have before us S. 372, legislation 
authorizing funding for our intelligence and national security 
services. But rather than work with Congress to ensure agencies such as 
the CIA, FBI, NSA, and many others receive the funding they need to 
meet their missions and keep Americans safe, the Bush administration 
and some in the Republican minority are stonewalling this legislation.
  As the newest member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, I am 
deeply troubled to see this legislation stalled at the expense of the 
security of our Nation. My father was a Foreign Service officer, and 
through his eyes I have seen the power of American diplomatic and 
intelligence efforts to do both great good in the world and great harm.
  In their misuse and in the politicization of America's intelligence 
apparatus, President Bush and his administration have done great harm 
to America's standing in the world and our security at home. Now we 
face the

[[Page S4579]]

bleak prospect that for the third year in a row the Senate may not pass 
an intelligence authorization bill. This should give every concerned 
American pause.
  This measure will fund our intelligence community agencies, fight 
terrorism, strengthen our capabilities to collect, analyze, and act on 
intelligence, and, most importantly, expand transparency and oversight 
of our intelligence community. It is a reflection of diligent, 
thorough, and tenacious work by our committee chairman, Jay 
Rockefeller, the distinguished Senator from West Virginia whom I see 
with me on the floor this afternoon, along with his Republican 
counterpart, Vice Chairman Bond. I was hopeful that at least we could 
end the partisan logjam that has crippled the Senate Intelligence 
Committee for the last several years. I have been pleased with the 
thoughtful and serious tone of the committee's work on both sides of 
the aisle. Yet now something has suddenly changed, and the Republican 
minority has maneuvered to block this legislation from becoming law. 
Now it appears the White House has intervened, has called in chits, and 
twisted arms to stop a bill on which Chairman Rockefeller and Vice 
Chairman Bond have worked so long and hard.

  We understand this administration does not want congressional 
oversight. They don't want oversight on their inept response to 
Hurricane Katrina. They don't want oversight on the unprecedented purge 
of U.S. attorneys. They don't want oversight on the debacle going on in 
Iraq. They don't want oversight on intelligence either. But no 
administration in recent memory has more badly needed congressional 
oversight, and in no area has that need been more plainly demonstrated 
than in the intelligence function of our Government.
  This is the administration that failed to ensure adequate oversight 
of national security letters under the PATRIOT Act. This is the 
administration that conducted its own secret wiretap program to monitor 
conversations, including the conversations of U.S. citizens. This is 
the administration that established its own secret prison network 
offshore to hold terrorism suspects off the record of this country's 
legitimate judicial institutions. This is the administration that 
cherry-picked its intelligence to justify the claim of Iraqi weapons of 
mass destruction. That abuse of intelligence alone cost our country 
thousands of lives, billions of dollars, and damage to our relations 
with allies around the world that will linger for many years.
  One can see why this administration would resist congressional 
oversight, but Congress is obligated to oversee our country's national 
security and intelligence-gathering services. That is our duty under 
the Constitution. This duty is particularly important with the covert 
intelligence agencies because their work is not subject to public 
inquiry. These are not organizations that work in the bright light of 
day but in the deep dark of the secrecy they require to be effective. 
So meaningful and appropriate congressional oversight is our only 
  This administration welcomes oversight less than almost any I can 
think of, but no administration in recent memory has needed it more. 
Perhaps the Nixon administration, but like the Nixon administration, 
this administration's resistance to congressional oversight is a 
measure of how badly that oversight is needed. Unfortunately, for too 
many years this Congress has conducted oversight by the principle, 
``out of sight, out of mind'' or maybe ``see no evil, hear no evil, 
speak no evil.'' You don't have to look far to see how badly this 
strategy has failed.
  But there is a new team in town and a new leadership of this Congress 
that takes these responsibilities seriously. It is an abdication of our 
responsibility under the Constitution, and it is irresponsible with 
respect to the security of our Nation to let this legislation languish.
  I urge my colleagues in the minority to reconsider their actions, to 
return to this floor in good faith, to continue the good work that 
Chairman Rockefeller and Vice Chairman Bond have so nobly accomplished, 
and to give our intelligence agencies the funding they need to keep us 
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, first of all, I want to truly 
congratulate the Senator from Rhode Island for his statement which was 
delivered forcefully, intelligently, accurately, and with great 
conviction which comes from his extremely broad experience in life.
  For this Senator's part, my view is this: Unless the Senate invokes 
cloture and moves to finish action on the fiscal year 2007 
authorization bill, we have failed for the third time, or as Senator 
Levin put it, since 2004 when we last passed it, to pass important 
national security legislation. Everything that the American people are 
worried about, everything that comes out of events like yesterday in 
Blacksburg, VA--and by the way, I spent a good deal of time on the 
phone talking to students I know down there--everything points to a 
massive, tectonic change in the way we are carrying on.
  I speak very proudly of a PBS series which is looking at this whole 
subject. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 12 
consecutive hours of looking at what Islam is, what it isn't; what 
jihad is, what it isn't; and how we came to this point. It is done from 
all points of view, usually without any journalists, just soldiers 
talking. It is brilliant, and I recommend it to my colleagues.
  We tried last week to move the Intelligence authorization bill, and 
we were prevented from doing so due to objection from some of our 
Republican colleagues. When cloture on the motion to proceed was passed 
last Thursday, the vote was 94 to 3. That is not just to drop off a 
number, that is a significant expression of public will in the Senate. 
The Senate was again prevented from moving to the bill for the purpose 
of debate and amendment by a continued Republican objection, forced 30 
hours to run on the motion to proceed. As a result, we have wasted 2 

  As my distinguished and good friend Senator Bond said, we wasted 2 
days when we could have considered and disposed of many amendments, 
which we were prepared to do.
  Vice Chairman Bond and I have been working together, the two of us, 
to clear and pass amendments even this day, and have done so, a goodly 
number of very important ones, because we are determined that this 
should work. However, many of those 42 amendments filed are extraneous, 
and they are nonrelevant. We have to pay attention to those things that 
are outside the jurisdiction of the Senate Intelligence Committee and 
the purpose of the authorization bill so they don't fall, but we won't 
be able to get to those.
  So I would just conclude this way. Oversight of the activities of the 
U.S. intelligence community is a necessary and essential duty of this 
body. It is a duty which Vice Chairman Bond and I take extremely 
seriously. He is very aggressive about it and cares a great deal about 
it. I do, too. I think it defines the integrity of the process with 
which we protect our Nation and the people who protect our Nation, 
covertly, overtly, as the Senator from Rhode Island talked about.
  So it is our constitutional duty. I don't like to be in dereliction 
of my constitutional duty at any particular time. I can't think of any 
time that is more important to me not to do so than right now.
  In addition, I fear that it sends a disturbing message to the 
clandestine collectors and the intelligence analysts of the 
intelligence community who actually watch us and pay a lot more 
attention to us, particularly here in Washington, and read our tea 
leaves and take their signals about where they stand on our priority 
list. I want them to stand at the very top. I think the vice chairman 
wants them to stand at the very top. If we do not consider them a 
legislative priority, then I am saddened by that.
  I call upon my colleagues to set aside politics and vote for cloture 
and final passage of this intelligence authorization bill that has 
languished in legislative limbo for more years than I am happily 
willing to admit.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri is recognized.
  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, I regret we have come to an impasse. The 
chairman and I and the members of the committee have worked very hard 
to get a bill that is getting much better. I am very sorry that we were 
not allowed to

[[Page S4580]]

vote on amendments this afternoon and to continue with our efforts to 
move this bill forward. The leaders are responsible on both sides for 
running this body, and we are in a position now where it appears to the 
minority that amendments will not--could be precluded under that 
circumstance. I am afraid there will not be the support for cloture. I 
regret that we have worked so long and hard and apparently will not be 
able to continue with this bill. I hope to do so at a later time.
  I thank my colleagues and I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the motion to 
proceed to the motion to reconsider is agreed to.

                             cloture motion

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order and pursuant to rule 
XXII, the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture.
  The 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, 
     hereby move to bring to a close debate on Calendar No. 20, S. 
     372, the Intelligence Authorization bill of 2007.
         Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Russell D. Feingold, Jay 
           Rockefeller, Evan Bayh, Patty Murray, Dick Durbin, Jeff 
           Bingaman, Robert Menendez, B.A. Mikulski, Dianne 
           Feinstein, Bill Nelson, E. Benjamin Nelson, S. 
           Whitehouse, Byron L. Dorgan, Blanche L. Lincoln, Ron 

  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 S. 372, 
a bill to authorize appropriations through fiscal year 2007 for the 
intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States 
Government, the Intelligence Community Management Account, and the 
Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, 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 bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Delaware (Mr. Biden), 
the Senator from South Dakota (Mr. Johnson), and the Senator from 
Illinois (Mr. Obama) are necessarily absent.
  Mr. LOTT. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Kansas (Mr. Brownback) and the Senator from Arizona (Mr. McCain).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 50, nays 45, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 131 Leg.]


     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)



                             NOT VOTING--5

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 50, the nays are 
45. Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I am deeply disappointed and concerned 
about the continuing Republican filibuster of the fiscal year 2007 
Intelligence authorization bill. This bill is critical for our national 
security. It supports the intelligence community while ensuring that 
Congress can conduct necessary oversight of our intelligence 
activities. Failure to pass this legislation would undermine the men 
and women of our intelligence community who look to Congress not only 
for funding but for policy guidance and legal clarity. It also sends a 
terrible signal to the American people, that despite repeated abuses by 
this administration from warrantless wiretapping to National Security 
Letters, Senate Republicans have chosen to shield the administration 
from congressional scrutiny and oversight. Unchecked executive 
authority is contrary to our constitutional system. And the American 
people understand well what the 9/11 Commission stressed--that strong 
congressional oversight is an essential part of defending and 
protecting America.
  There are a number of provisions of the bill that I view as 
particularly important. Besides authorizing the intelligence programs 
that help keep us safe, the bill improves congressional oversight of 
the intelligence community and advances the critical work of 
intelligence reform. The National Security Act requires that the 
congressional intelligence committees be kept fully and currently 
informed of all intelligence activities. The administration failed to 
comply with this law with regard to its illegal warrantless wiretapping 
program. I am pleased, therefore, that this bill limits the ability of 
the executive branch to deny information to the full membership of the 
Intelligence Committee. I am also pleased that the classified annex to 
the bill includes my amendment calling on the administration to work 
with the committee to ensure adequate oversight of the program, which 
has not yet occurred.
  With regard to intelligence reform, the bill establishes, within the 
Office of the Director of National Intelligence, an inspector general 
of the intelligence community, which will strengthen accountability 
across the community. The bill also requires the declassification of 
the aggregate budget for all intelligence activities. This longstanding 
intelligence reform goal, which was recommended by the 9/11 Commission, 
will allow for basic budget transparency and a level of accountability 
without damaging our national security.
  The bill includes an amendment I offered to the classified annex with 
Senator Rockefeller calling for more intelligence resources to be 
directed toward Africa. The continent presents a wide range of threats, 
such as terrorist havens and the transnational movements of terrorist 
organizations, while corruption, authoritarianism and poverty allow 
these conditions to fester. In order to bolster our national security, 
we need greater information and understanding of these threats. Of 
particular concern is Somalia, where the committee encouraged the 
intelligence community to work with other agencies of the U.S. 
Government on a comprehensive strategic plan for stability. 
Unfortunately, since the amendment was originally accepted by the 
committee in May 2006, the situation in the Horn of Africa has only 
deteriorated and the overall U.S. Government strategy for addressing 
the crisis remains sorely inadequate.
  Finally, I am pleased that, in response to the concerns of Senator 
Wyden and myself, a provision creating a new exemption to the Privacy 
Act has been removed. Widespread abuses involving National Security 
Letters recently uncovered by the Department of Justice inspector 
general only underscore why Congress must conduct vigorous oversight of 
how current authorities are being used before providing new ones.
  I again express my disappointment that the bill is being filibustered 
and hope that the bill will soon be passed into law.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I rise to talk to my colleagues about my 
amendment No. 866 to protect the classified information handled by 
  Having served on the Intelligence Committee for 8 years, no one needs 
to tell me how important it is for Congress to have the information it 
needs to perform oversight of the intelligence community.
  However, we must be mindful that much of this information could do 
great damage to our national security.

[[Page S4581]]

This bill includes what I believe are misguided provisions related to 
clandestine prisons, the Detainee Treatment Act, and the enormous 
expansion of access to highly sensitive national security information.
  The bill would declassify information about the intelligence budget, 
dramatically expand the number of members and staff with access to the 
most sensitive national security information our government holds, and 
provide details of the interrogation techniques used by our military 
and intelligence community.
  Can anyone imagine what would happen if al-Qaida became privy to the 
interrogation techniques our military and intelligence community use? 
Does anyone think al-Qaida wouldn't adapt and train its terrorists 
  I believe disseminating this information is a mistake. But, if we are 
going to disseminate it, we must put in place a mechanism to ensure 
this sensitive information does not get into the hands of our enemies. 
And we must give pause to those who would use this information to 
conduct their own personal foreign policies, as has been seen in the 
systematic use of leaks of classified information in recent years.
  My amendment will ensure this information is treated as it should be 
by imposing a 10-year criminal penalty on those Members and staff who 
leak our national security secrets.
  I urge adoption of the amendment.


  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss the Medicare 
prescription drug program that Congress passed a little over 3 years 
ago with a bipartisan majority. We have all heard the very impressive 
statistics associated with the Medicare Part D program. More than 90 
percent of seniors eligible for the benefit have drug coverage, and 
they will save on average $1,200 per year.
  More importantly, more than 80 percent of enrolled seniors have 
expressed their satisfaction with the program. Competition in the 
prescription drug benefit has forced down costs far below what was 
anticipated. In 2007, the average premium for the benefit was $22 a 
month, 40 percent less than projected at the outset.
  The Congressional Budget Office's new budget estimate for the next 10 
years shows that net Medicare costs for the prescription drug benefit 
will be more than 30 percent, or $256 billion, lower than originally 
forecast. Not only are the costs for this prescription drug benefit 
lower than expected, but for 2007 more drugs are also being covered by 
participating plans than last year. The average plan now covers 4,300 
drugs in its formulary versus 3,800 last year, a 13-percent increase.
  The basic point is this: We passed a prescription drug benefit that 
uses market competition to provide critical medications to seniors at a 
cost much lower than originally projected. The results so far 
demonstrate a familiar principle: competition and choice bring lower 
prices and, I might add, better service.
  There are some who want to change that successful model, so we have 
to ask ourselves: How does their plan improve on this very successful 
Government program?
  Since I believe being a zealous guardian of the taxpayers' dollars is 
one of the reasons my constituents sent me here, one of the first 
questions I ask is: Will the alternative plan of interfering with this 
market-based competition actually save taxpayers money while continuing 
to provide choice and access to prescription drugs for seniors?
  The simple answer to this question is, no, and you don't have to take 
my word for it. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined 
that the proposal that is before us would have a ``negligible effect'' 
on reducing Government spending.
  The advocates of this particular proposal that is pending before us 
cannot point to any Government source that will support their claim 
that the Federal Government can negotiate more effectively than the 
private market. Specifically, CBO writes that ``CBO estimates that H.R. 
4 would have a negligible effect on Federal spending because we 
anticipate that the Secretary would be unable to negotiate prices 
across the broad range of covered part D drugs that are more favorable 
than those obtained by PDPs under current law.'' Secretary Leavitt 
describes in practice how having the Government negotiate drug prices 
will not lead to lower costs for beneficiaries or taxpayers. He has 

       We are seeing large-scale negotiations with drug 
     manufacturers, but they are being conducted by private plans, 
     not the government. A robust market with a lot of competitors 
     has driven down prices. It's the magic of the market. To 
     assume that the government, in our genius, could improve on 
     this belies the reality of a complex task.

  In fact, public opinion polls back up Secretary Leavitt's comments. A 
study by the Tarrance Group found that only 28 percent of seniors 
believe that the Government would do a better job in setting drug 
prices than a competitive marketplace.
  The Washington Post agrees. It has written, on January 14:

       Governments are notoriously bad at setting prices, and the 
     U.S. Government is notoriously bad at setting prices in the 
     medical realm.

  As policymakers, it is also our job to ask: What are the potential 
consequences of this new legislation that is pending before us? Quite 
simply, the consequences are dire. Since Government will decide which 
drugs seniors have access to, seniors will be left with fewer choices.
  In terms of analyzing the consequences of this alternative plan, it 
is helpful to look at examples in other countries that have tried what 
Democrats are now advocating in this model. We don't have to guess 
about what the consequences would be because other countries have tried 
it. I recently read a piece published in the Washington Post and 
written by Alberto Mingardi, president of a think tank in Italy, and I 
want to quote from this article because I believe it demonstrates my 
point. He writes about the Democrats' plan to require the Government to 
set prices, or at least giving the Secretary the authority to do that. 
He said:

       It would create a Medicare drug program that looks a lot 
     like the system we have in my country, Italy, where drug 
     prices are among the lowest in Europe. At first glance, this 
     might seem like an enviable model for America to follow. But 
     before Pelosi rushes down the road to Italian-style health 
     care, let me offer a word of caution. Italy is hardly a 
     health care paradise. In fact, it's more like a quagmire of 
     red tape.
       For the most part, Italy's lower drug prices are the 
     product of government price controls. In Italy, these price 
     controls have created a number of problems. The government's 
     attempt to force down drug prices has not produced overall 
     health-care spending. Rather, it has resulted in a spike in 
     demand--which is one reason why Italy's health-care spending 
     has skyrocketed, growing nearly 68 percent between 1995 and 
       As for the quality of Italy's care, that, too, has 
     suffered. With demand for drugs rising, the Italian 
     government has attempted to save money by adopting 
     reimbursement policies that favor certain drugs over others. 
     Unfortunately, the most innovative products often aren't 
     considered reimbursable by the government precisely because 
     they are the most expensive.
       It's a great system if you just need an antibiotic. But if 
     you're hoping to avoid open heart surgery through access to a 
     miracle drug, it can be a nightmare.

  He concludes.

       The economy is also harmed. Because it's simply not 
     profitable for companies to invent cures in Italy, price 
     controls have decimated Italy's pharmaceutical industry. So 
     by attempting to hold down drug prices, the Italian 
     government has deprived its citizens of the best care without 
     reducing health-care spending. And it has deprived the 
     country of what could be a vibrant sector of the economy. In 
     their rush to revamp Medicare, U.S. policy leaders should be 
     careful not to make the same mistake.

  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the article be printed in 
its entirety in the Record at the conclusion of my comments.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Menendez). Without objection, it is so 
  (See exhibit 1.)
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I also want to stress the last sentence 
that I read one more time, where he says: It is a great system, if you 
need an antibiotic. But if you are hoping to avoid open heart surgery 
through access to a miracle drug, it can be a nightmare.
  We don't need to go down this path. We don't have to change course. 
Right now, under Medicare Part D, market forces and competition have 
created a wildly popular benefit that uses market competition to 
provide critical medications to seniors at costs much lower than 
projected a few short years ago.
  I have spent a few moments describing my concern with the Democrats'

[[Page S4582]]

plan to ``so-called'' negotiate prices. I would say to ration drugs is 
a more accurate description. But by far my biggest concern about this 
bill is, of course, another example of their preference for Government 
control in health care rather than market-driven, patient-centered 
approaches favored by those of us on this side of the aisle.

  I would urge my colleagues to call this debate what it is: It is not 
so much about noninterference clauses in Medicare prescription drug 
laws. There is a much more importantly and potentially consequential 
debate about whom Americans want to be making decisions in our health 
care system. Do they want it to be the Government or do they want it to 
be patients themselves and their doctors?
  I recently read a quote from a physician in Switzerland that I found 
particularly poignant. He reminds us that:

       We all have a single-payer health care system. Citizens 
     always wind up paying for health care, either through taxes, 
     insurance premiums, or out-of-pocket costs. The real question 
     is whether they will have a single-decider system. In many 
     European countries, there are single-decider systems in which 
     governments and their agents control what medical services 
     its citizens will or will not receive.

  Of course, we know all too well how close we are in this country to 
having a single-payer health care system. Roughly, 50 cents of every 
health care dollar we spend in the United States is spent directly by 
the U.S. Government. The health care economy is approximately $2 
trillion annually, or one-sixth of the entire U.S. economy. I believe 
we have to reform our health care system, emphasizing individual choice 
and trusting patients and their families and their doctors to make the 
right choices--not lawyers or, yes, even bureaucrats in Washington, 
DC,--to make the important health care and treatment decisions.
  So make no mistake about it, this bill is about a much larger issue 
than the title of the legislation itself would suggest. We are not 
debating some sterile provision called a noninterference clause. We are 
debating something far more significant.
  The Washington Post believes this debate is about something much 
larger than the noninterference clause as well, and they have written:

       The Democrats' stance is troubling because it suggests an 
     excessively governmental-led view of health care reform. The 
     better approach is to let each insurer offer its own version 
     of the right balance, see whether it attracts customers, and 
     then adapt flexibly.

  In my State, the Dallas Morning News has written:

       When congressional Democrats press for this change next 
     year, remember they're pushing for much more than lower 
     prices. They're seeking to move the line where government 
     should stop and the marketplace should start.

  I do agree with the Democrats that this debate is about negotiation, 
but the real question is not should we have negotiation but who should 
negotiate. The proponents of this legislation believe it should be the 
Government, and I couldn't disagree more. The proponents of this 
legislation believe the Government is more skilled in making pricing 
decisions than the free market, and I have to say, I think that is 
  We have been presented in this legislation with a remarkably clear 
choice: If you believe the way to improve our broken health care system 
is to embrace a market-driven approach that lowers costs and does not 
reduce choices for seniors, then you will vote to continue the 
prescription drug program that we passed a few short years ago. If you 
believe, as the advocates of this legislation do, that Government 
bureaucrats are better suited than the free market to make pricing 
decisions for thousands of prescription drugs, then you will want to 
vote for this legislation.
  I will vote for the current market-driven approach that provides 
choices for seniors and puts patients and doctors in control rather 
than the Government, and I urge my colleagues to join me.

                               Exhibit 1

               [From the Washington Post, Nov. 12, 2006]

                        Drug Price Path To Avoid

                         (By Alberto Mingardi)

       The next speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-
     Calif.), has let it be known that within her first 100 hours 
     on the job, she will move to allow the government to 
     negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies to obtain 
     lower drug prices for Medicare patients.
       Her plan would create a Medicare drug program that looks a 
     lot like the system we have in my country, Italy, where drug 
     prices are among the lowest in Europe. And that's pretty low, 
     considering that drugs in Europe average about 60 percent 
     less than in the United States. Even as U.S. prices rose, 
     Italian drug prices decreased by 5 percent last year.
       At first glance, this might seem an enviable model for 
     America to follow. But before Pelosi rushes down the road to 
     Italian-style health care, allow me to offer a word of 
     caution. Italy is hardly a health-care paradise. In fact, 
     it's more like a quagmire of red tape.
       For the most part. Italy's lower drug prices are the 
     product of government price controls. The state purchases 
     nearly 60 percent of the nation's prescription drugs. And it 
     supposedly negotiates prices directly with pharmaceutical 
     companies. But since the Italian government controls such a 
     disproportionate share of the market, it in effect dictates 
     drug prices. In Italy, these price controls have created a 
     number of problems.
       First, they distort the laws of supply and demand. Because 
     of the country's artificially low drug prices, demand for 
     pharmaceuticals is artificially high--higher than it would be 
     under free-market conditions. The point is that the 
     Government's attempt to force down drug prices has not 
     reduced overall health-care spending. Rather, it has resulted 
     in a spike in demand--which is one reason why Italy's health-
     care spending has skyrocketed, growing nearly 68 percent 
     between 1995 and 2003.
       As for the quality of Italy's care, that, too, is 
     suffering. With demand for drugs rising, the Italian 
     government has attempted to save money by adopting 
     reimbursement policies that favor certain drugs over others. 
     Unfortunately, the most innovative products often aren't 
     considered reimbursable by the government precisely because 
     they are the most expensive.
       It's a great system if you just need an antibiotic. But if 
     you're hoping to avoid open-heart surgery through access to a 
     miracle drug, it can be a nightmare. And Italians are lacking 
     more than just choice in cutting-edge drugs. They also lack 
     information. According to a recent survey, more than 50 
     percent of Italy's patients believe that the national health 
     service cannot even supply adequate information about 
     treatments and drugs.
       The economy is also harmed. Because it's simply not 
     profitable for companies to invent cures in Italy, price 
     controls have decimated Italy's pharmaceutical industry. 
     Today not one of the world's 50 largest drug manufacturers 
     has its headquarters in Italy, even though the country is the 
     world's seventh-largest economy. Because most drug and 
     biotechnology companies are outside Italy's borders, there 
     are only 84,000 pharmaceutical workers in Italy's entire drug 
     industry. The industry has become a perfect target for 
     Italy's politicians, because they can rail against it with 
     little political downside. The more we follow this path, the 
     less likely it is for Italian companies to develop valuable 
     innovations--at great risk for both our economy and our 
       So by attempting to hold down drug prices, the Italian 
     government has deprived its citizens of the best care without 
     reducing health-care spending. And it has deprived the 
     country of what could be a vibrant sector of the economy. In 
     their rush to revamp medicare, U.S. Policy leaders should be 
     careful not to make the same mistake.

  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I rise to express my deep concerns about S. 
3, the Medicare Fair Prescription Drug Price Act of 2007.
  Back in 2003, I helped draft the Medicare Modernization Act. I was 
one of the Senate's chief negotiators for the House-Senate conference 
on this legislation. We wrote legislation that was approved by both 
Chambers of Congress and signed into law by the President in December 
2005. And by enacting this legislation, Medicare beneficiaries are now 
offered a quality prescription drug benefit at an affordable price. It 
is a successful program by any measure.
  I want to take a few minutes to talk about the Medicare Modernization 
Act of 2003 and what a difference it has made in the lives of Medicare 
  Today, there are 38 million Medicare beneficiaries and over 90 
percent participate in the Medicare Part D program. Eighty percent of 
Medicare Part D beneficiaries are happy with their Medicare 
prescription drug plan. And they are happy with their plans, because 
they have a choice in coverage--beneficiaries are able to get a plan 
that meets their needs. We don't have a one-size-fits-all program 
attempting to stretch over 38 million people. The cost savings have 
been profound for both beneficiaries and for taxpayers.
  When the Medicare Part D plan first began in January 2006, we thought 
that the average premium would be around

[[Page S4583]]

$37 per month. Because of plan competition, the average premium is $22 
a month. That has reflected for taxpayers over $113 billion of savings 
over what Congress had originally estimated. And the other good news is 
that if a beneficiary hits the doughnut hole--the point where the 
beneficiary has to pay out of pocket for his or her prescriptions--
there are now plans in every State that will provide coverage through 
the doughnut hole period.
  As we all know, back in January, the House of Representatives passed 
legislation that would require the prices of prescription drugs 
received under the Medicare Part D program to be negotiated by the 
Secretary of Health and Human Services. Late last week, the Senate 
Finance Committee also approved S. 3, the Medicare Fair Prescription 
Drug Price Act of 2007. While this legislation does not mandate that 
the Secretary negotiate drug prices for the Medicare Part D benefit, it 
gives the Secretary the discretion to do so.
  Any way you look at it, Congress requiring the Secretary to negotiate 
prescription drug prices would lead to a one-size-fits-all drug plan 
which would result in fewer choices. Beneficiaries would have less 
satisfaction with a one-size-fits-all plan. And, in my opinion, drug 
prices will not be lower.
  In addition, beneficiaries would have fewer choices. When you 
negotiate drug prices, there is really only one way to do it. You limit 
the choices available. You say I am going to take your medication off 
your drug plan or I am only going to pay X amount for a drug, a price 
so low that perhaps the manufacturer cannot participate. If the 
Government starts doing that, suddenly you have the Government making 
choices about who can get what drug as opposed to beneficiaries and 
their doctors making those decisions.
  Currently there are over 4,400 drugs available on Medicare Part D 
plans. Beneficiaries may choose a plan that meets their needs. That is 
exactly why 80 percent of Medicare Part D beneficiaries are happy. And 
for those who aren't, the good news is we can help find a plan that 
serves them better. If we had one plan, one formulary, then we would 
have a lot more unhappy people.
  And how does the Secretary of Health and Human Services feel about 
this new responsibility? I would like to take a minute to read an 
editorial that appeared in the Washington Post on January 11, 2007. 
This editorial was written by Secretary Mike Leavitt, not only a good 
friend of mine but a very thoughtful, knowledgeable, and openminded 
Secretary of HHS as far as health care policy is concerned. ``Medicare 
And the Market Government Shouldn't Be Negotiating Prescription 
Prices,'' by Mike Leavitt, Thursday, January 11, 2007; Page A25:

       We all want people with Medicare to get the prescription 
     drugs they need at the lowest possible prices. The issue 
     before Congress this week is how best to do that. Should 
     consumer choice and private-sector competition determine 
     prices--or should government?
       The success of the Medicare prescription drug benefit 
     provides strong evidence that competition among private drug 
     plans has contributed significantly to lowering costs. The 
     average monthly premium has dropped by 42 percent, from an 
     estimated $38 to $22--and there is a plan available for less 
     than $20 a month in every state. The net Medicare cost of the 
     drug program has fallen by close to $200 billion since its 
     passage in 2003.
       Seniors and people with disabilities like the benefit. 
     Studies consistently show that three-quarters of Medicare 
     beneficiaries are satisfied with their coverage. Individuals 
     like being able to choose the plan that best fits their 
     needs. A single, one-size-fits-all drug plan would have made 
     the choice easier, and Congress did create a standard plan. 
     But fewer than 15 percent of enrollees have selected that 
     standard plan--opting instead for plans with lower premiums, 
     no deductibles and enhanced coverage.
       Despite the success of the benefit, some people believe 
     government can do a better job of lowering prices than a 
     competitive marketplace. Legislation under consideration 
     would require the secretary of health and human services to 
     negotiate and set the prices of drugs. In effect, one 
     government official would set more than 4,400 prices for 
     different drugs, making decisions that would be better made 
     by millions of individual consumers.
       There is also the danger that government price setting 
     would limit drug choices. Medicare provides access to the 
     broadest array of prescription drugs, including the newest 
     drugs. But price negotiation inevitably results in the 
     withholding of access to some drugs to get manufacturers to 
     lower prices.
       The Department of Veterans Affairs, often cited as an 
     example of how government can negotiate prices, operates an 
     excellent program for veterans, but the VA formulary excludes 
     a number of new drugs covered by the Medicare prescription 
     benefit. Even Lipitor, the world's best-selling drug, isn't 
     on the VA formulary. That may be one reason more than a 
     million veterans are also getting drug coverage through 
       Some observers point to the massive buying power of the 
     federal government as the means to exert clout over drug 
     companies, but the federal government has nowhere near the 
     market power of the private sector. Private-sector insurance 
     plans and pharmacy benefit managers, who negotiate prices 
     between drug companies and pharmacies, cover about 241 
     million people, or 80 percent of the population. Medicare 
     could cover at most 43 million.

  The independent Congressional Budget Office has said that government 
price negotiation would have a ``negligible effect on federal 
spending.'' And previous experience with Congress and Medicare 
regulating drug prices has not been reassuring. Medicare Part B, which 
covers physician services, outpatient hospital care and other services, 
sets the prices for some medicines--notably a number of cancer drugs. 
It has a history of reimbursing at rates substantially greater than 
prevailing prices. In 2005, Part B drug spending increased by almost 20 
  If the Federal Government begins picking drugs and setting prices for 
all Medicare beneficiaries, administrative costs would add a new burden 
to taxpayers. The Department of Health and Human Services would have to 
hire hundreds of new employees. Legions of lobbyists would follow, each 
seeking higher Medicare payments for the drug companies they represent. 
As a Post editorial noted in November, ``having the government set drug 
prices is a sure way of flooding the political system with yet more 
pharmaceutical lobbyists and campaign spending.''
  There is a proper role for government in setting standards and 
monitoring those who provide the benefit. We should ensure that 
beneficiaries have access to medically necessary treatments. But 
government should not be in the business of setting drug prices or 
controlling access to drugs. That is a first step toward the type of 
government-run health care that the American people have always 
  There are many ways the administration and Congress can work together 
to make health care more affordable and accessible. But undermining the 
Medicare prescription drug benefit, which has improved the lives and 
health of millions of seniors and people with disabilities, is not one 
of them.
  Secretary Leavitt is correct--providing flexible prescription drug 
plans to beneficiaries should be one of our top goals. Getting Medicare 
beneficiaries the best price possible for their prescription drugs 
should be one of our top goals. And offering Medicare beneficiaries 
high quality prescription drug plans should be one of our top goals. In 
my reading of this legislation, passage will result in none of these 
goals being achieved and, in fact could result in the Medicare 
prescription drug benefit becoming a national formulary which could 
result in higher prices for drugs and limited choices for Medicare 
  When we were drafting this bill, we took great care to provide 
protections to Medicare beneficiaries who decided to participate in the 
Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. We wanted to provide beneficiaries 
with a drug benefit that would not cost them an arm and a leg, and that 
would allow access to a wide range of prescription drug choices.
  In order to preserve those choices, the Medicare Modernization Act 
prohibits the Secretary from establishing a formulary. If the Secretary 
cannot lower prices without a formulary and if it is prohibited by law 
for the Secretary to establish a formulary then I ask you--what is the 
purpose of this bill?
  I believe that, should this bill become law, it will be no time 
before its supporters decide that now they want the Secretary to 
establish a formulary. I think this bill is a Trojan horse with a 
Medicare formulary hidden inside.
  Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to think carefully about this 
issue. I urge them to talk to their Medicare beneficiaries in their 
states and ask them whether or not they are happy with their 
prescription drug plans. I believe that they will find that almost 
everyone is happy with their current

[[Page S4584]]

benefit and changing this benefit is a terrible mistake on our part.

                   federal income tax filing deadline

  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, today the tax man cometh.
  Americans have April 17 circled on their calendars, and not with a 
smiley face.
  This year, roughly 135 million Americans sat down to complete their 
tax returns. Many have made the unfortunate discovery that they owe 
additional money to the IRS.
  Others are shocked to learn that they owe something called the 
alternative minimum tax.
  I would like to emphasize one point today, a point that many of my 
constituents have learned the hard way: their tax burden is already too 
  For middle-class Americans, tax day has become an aggravation at 
best, and an outrage at worst.
  Many Utahns, as well as distraught taxpayers throughout the Nation, 
know the look of tax overload. They see it when they look in the 
mirror, and they see it when they look at their spouse.
  There is the kitchen table. A late night. Some scattered papers and 
receipts. An elbow on the table. And a hand on the forehead in 
disbelief. This is the look of overtaxed Americans. It is the look of 
misery and confusion. It does not need to be this way.
  There are economic burdens as well, and that burden is only going to 
grow if the Democrats get their way.
  Many of us pay too much in taxes already. But the policies of the 
congressional majority are a blueprint for even higher taxes. Neither 
our citizens nor our economy can bear much more.
  Middle-class Americans are overtaxed.
  According to the Tax Foundation, this year Americans will work 120 
days to pay their total tax burden.
  Let's put this in perspective. They will work 62 days to pay for 
their house and home. They will work 52 days for health and medical 
care. They will work 30 days for food. But they will work 120 days to 
pay their taxes.
  If you told my parents' generation that their tax burden would be 
that high, they would have thought we lost a war to France.
  But the Democrats are not satisfied. They want the so-called rich to 
pay more of their so-called fair share.
  Let me translate. By ``rich'' they mean anyone with a job.
  And by ``fair share,'' they mean empty your wallet.
  According to recent data from the IRS, persons making more than 
$30,122, or the top 50 percent of all income earners, paid 97 percent 
of all income taxes in 2004, the latest year there were data available.
  Those who made more than $60,041 in 2004, the top 25 percent, paid 85 
percent of all income taxes.
  These people are not rich.
  As one of my Democratic colleagues noted earlier this year, a mother 
and a father making $90,000 a year in a place like Virginia or New York 
or California or New Jersey are not rich. They are doing the best they 
can to provide for their families. And once you factor in taxes, 
housing, clothing, medical care, and college savings, those paychecks 
do not go that far.
  The middle class is already paying out much more in taxes than is 
spent by the Government on its behalf.
  According to the Tax Foundation, an individual making over $65,000 a 
year pays $7,217 more in taxes every year than is spent for him or her.
  But for some Members of this body, our system is still not 
progressive enough.
  I know that there are some policy wonks and political strategists who 
think the days of tax revolt are over.
  Apparently we are at some postpartisan, end of history, where 
Americans just accept big government and big bites out of their 
  I for one am not buying it.
  It seems some things never change in this country.
  One of those things is the commitment of Americans to their rights of 
life, liberty, and property.
  Americans remain very jealous of their liberties, and rightly so. 
Chief among our liberties is the freedom to use the money you earn 
through your hard work and initiative, to build your business, buy a 
home, and take care of your family.
  Working hard to fund some new Government bureaucracy is not at the 
top of the list. If taxes go up significantly, the party responsible is 
going to be in for a rude awakening. They are going to be reminded, 
with grave electoral consequences, that the Government can take only so 
  Along with many of my colleagues on this side of the aisle, I think 
our tax burden is still too high. Many Americans still pay too much. 
The estate tax still destroys family businesses. Too many startup 
businesses are killed off by taxes before they have begun. We need to 
be providing tax incentives so people can responsibly save for their 
retirement and health care. We need to be coming up with innovative tax 
policies and entitlement reforms.
  Instead, the Democrats are keeping mum as Medicare and Social 
Security take on water, keeping to themselves their foolproof plan to 
bail us out: Raise taxes.
  The combined unfunded liability for Social Security and Medicare is 
$84 trillion. That is ``trillion'' dollars. Where is that money coming 
from? They are having a hard time coming up with money today for a $50 
billion 1-year fix for the AMT, the alternative minimum tax. Where are 
they going to get $84 trillion?
  Do not worry, they tell us; they are going to fix Social Security and 
Medicare. But fixing it their way will break the backs of middle-class 
taxpayers. Mark my words, they will raise taxes on the middle class, 
taking away or limiting savings vehicles for health and retirement. 
They will raise taxes on individuals, hiking rates and hurting 
families. And they will raise taxes on businesses, killing industry and 
choking initiative.
  Conservatives are fond of saying that ideas have consequences. They 
certainly do. There are important differences between the parties. In 
their guts, Democrats distrust markets, believe that more Government 
intervention and Government programs are the answer, and are willing to 
hike taxes to achieve their goals.
  Those of us on this side of the aisle believe in personal 
responsibility, low taxes, and encouraging the freedom, 
entrepreneurialism, and dynamism of the American people.
  Ideas have consequences. One leads to economic prosperity; the other 
leads to national stagnation. I want my constituents to know that on 
these debates to come, I stand with the taxpayers. We need to be 
encouraging industry. We need to be growing our economy. We need to be 
lowering and simplifying our tax burden.
  Today's Democratic majority promised real change. Instead, we are 
getting the same tired song. They are not taking our Nation's fiscal 
woes seriously. They are hoping Americans will not object when their 
taxes are hiked to pay for our coming entitlement train wreck.
  They should think twice before going down this road. Middle-class 
Americans, such as my constituents in Utah, are trying to get their 
taxes done by midnight tonight. They want their tax burden lowered, and 
so do I. There are lots of promises made by our friends on the other 
side to get rid of the AMT. They have had at least three chances to 
vote to get rid of the AMT for the vast majority in the middle class 
and they have refused do so.
  If left unchecked, the AMT is going to, within the next 10 years, be 
assessed on over 35 million Americans. Remember, it started out because 
there were about 159 people who did not pay their taxes, people who 
were immensely rich. Now we are talking up to 25 million Americans as 
we stand here today, and up to 35 million Americans within the next ten 
years. I am calling on my colleagues on the other side to live up to 
their campaign promises and let us get rid of AMT. It is very unfair to 
the middle class, and frankly, for most Americans.
  I promise to do all I can to see we do that.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia is recognized.
  Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as if 
in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, I rise today to oppose S. 372, the 
fiscal year 2007 Intelligence authorization bill, in its current form. 
I believe, without amendment, this legislation will

[[Page S4585]]

deteriorate the existing working relationship and trust the 
intelligence community has with Congress.
  I voted against this legislation in both the Intelligence Committee 
and the Armed Services Committee because I believed significant 
alterations needed to be made before I could offer my support. As a 
member of the Intelligence Committee, I am fully cognizant of the 
importance of passing an authorization bill to guide our intelligence 
community as well as to advise the Senate appropriations process. 
Passing an authorization bill reasserts much needed Congressional 
oversight of the intelligence community, and it ensures that the Senate 
is relevant on national security issues that are critically important.
  At this time, I question whether the Senate is serious about the need 
to examine all possible improvements to the bill or is willing to 
devote the time necessary to discuss and debate all amendments. Given 
the natural and conflicting interests involved, it is prudent that 
Congress act carefully and work with the executive branch to ensure 
that its needs are met, rather than hastily making demands through 
legislation that many provisions of this bill attempt to do. This will 
only create further friction between the two branches. I believe there 
are other ways to ensure effective oversight.

  Some sections of this bill, particularly sections 304 and 107, are 
problematic to me, and I believe they will not further meaningful 
Congressional oversight. Therefore, I have offered amendments to strike 
these sections and urge my colleagues to support my amendments.
  Let me detail my concerns with these two sections. First, section 304 
requires the intelligence community to notify all of the members of the 
Senate and House Intelligence Committees whenever the House and Senate 
leadership and committee leaders are briefed on highly sensitive 
intelligence or covert actions. It requires that the notification 
include a statement of the reasons why only the leadership was 
informed, as well as a description of the main features of the matter.
  There is a history of compromise and cooperation between the 
executive and legislative branches regarding the sharing of sensitive 
intelligence with Congress. The President has the duty to protect 
intelligence sources and methods. One such way is to limit the number 
of people who are privy to the information. Congress recognized this 
duty in the National Security Act, which states that information be 

       with due regard for the protection from unauthorized 
     disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive 
     intelligence sources or methods or other exceptionally 
     sensitive matters.

  The reporting requirement in section 304 may disclose the very 
sensitive information the President has determined only the leadership 
has a need to know. As a member of the Intelligence Committee, I 
recognize there are some highly sensitive matters I do not have a need 
to know, and I support having limited notification when absolutely 
necessary to protect the information.
  Frequently the Congressional leadership will be informed of tightly 
controlled classified operations in which limiting knowledge of them is 
appropriate. Many of us do not have a need to know about various 
sensitive operations which, if leaked, could result in lives being lost 
as well as the termination of Congressional access to information.
  Additionally, I have confidence in the chairman and vice chairman of 
the Intelligence Committee. I count on the leaders of the committee to 
be responsible for determining when additional access to information is 
warranted and for requesting that additional members be briefed as 
necessary. Section 304 seeks to abandon these practices which have been 
refined over three decades of aggressive Congressional oversight.
  Next, section 107 requires the public disclosure of the National 
Intelligence Program budget requests and Congressional authorizations 
and appropriations for the intelligence community. Disclosing these 
figures to the public also discloses them to our enemies who will be 
watching for fluctuations in these figures, which may damage 
intelligence sources and methods over time.
  Additionally, declassifying the overall budget for the intelligence 
community may lead others to demand that each agency declassify their 
budget. No doubt this would have grave effects on the capabilities of 
our intelligence agencies. For those reasons I oppose S. 372 in its 
current form and the managers' amendment to it. I urge my colleagues to 
support my amendments to strengthen this bill.

                              Fair Tax Act

  Mr. President, today is the deadline for all taxes to be filed. As 
many millions of Americans rush to file their taxes, I rise to bring 
attention to our horribly broken, overly complex, and unfair American 
tax system. I have and will continue to support significant reform of 
the Tax Code in this country, as I have consistently done during my 
service in Congress.
  Accordingly, I have recently introduced the Fair Tax Act of 2007 on 
behalf of myself, my colleague from Georgia, Senator Isakson, Senator 
Coburn, and Senator Cornyn, because we are in desperate need of tax 
  Imagine the economic freedom and purchasing power provided by a tax 
system that would allow us to retain 100 percent of our earnings while 
maintaining the benefits of Government-sponsored programs, and allowing 
them to flourish. Such would be the case under the system proposed in 
the Fair Tax Act.
  The Fair Tax Act would create a national sales tax as the primary 
source of Federal revenue, would eliminate our current archaic and 
inefficient Tax Code, and would replace it with a simpler, fairer means 
of collecting revenue. Specifically, the Fair Tax Act would repeal the 
individual income tax, the corporate income tax, capital gains tax, all 
payroll taxes, self-employment tax, and the estate and gift taxes in 
lieu of a 23-percent tax on the final sale of all goods and services.
  Elimination of these inefficient taxing mechanisms would bring about 
equality and simplicity to our overly complex tax system. Moreover, the 
Fair Tax Act would abrogate any double taxation that occurs under our 
current tax system because it would provide tax relief for business-to-
business transactions. These transactions, including used-product 
transactions that have already been taxed, are not subject to the sales 
  More importantly, under the Fair Tax Act, the Federal Government's 
revenue would go unchanged. Social Security and Medicare benefits would 
remain untouched under the Fair Tax bill, and there would be no 
financial reductions to either one of these vital programs. Instead, 
the source of the trust fund revenue for these two programs would be 
replaced simply by consumption tax revenue instead of payroll tax 
  Finally, under the Fair Tax Act, every American would receive a 
monthly rebate check equal to spending, up to the Federal poverty level 
according to the Department of Health and Human Services guidelines. 
This rebate would ensure that no American pays taxes on the purchase of 
necessities. This is a critical component.

                         Invest in America Act

  Mr. President, I also rise today as an original cosponsor of the 
Invest in America Act. While I firmly believe significant overhaul of 
the Tax Code is the best way to achieve absolute fairness and 
transparency in our tax system, until we actually get to that point, we 
simply cannot allow the current rate reductions and other provisions of 
the 2001-2003 tax relief packages to expire, which is what the 
Democrats have proposed in their budget for the 2008 fiscal year. This 
would be a drastic blow to the economy and a misguided step in the 
wrong direction. The Invest in America Act would make the individual 
tax rates permanent. The lower rates have been essential to our 
continued economic growth over the past several years, and have 
encouraged Americans to work harder, be more productive, and retain 
more of their hard-earned money.
  Additionally, this bill corrects current wrongs in our tax codes, 
such as the death tax and the AMT. It would make the repeal of the 
death tax permanent, and would save more than 130,000 families each 
year from confronting a loss of the family farms, ranches, or family-
owned businesses. It would permanently repeal the AMT which, while 
designed to ensure every American pays some minimum tax, is

[[Page S4586]]

in fact now hitting more and more middle-income families, and this it 
was not designed to do.
  Most significant to the growth of our economy, this bill would also 
make the current reduced capital gains and dividend rates permanent. 
Since the reduction of these investment rates in 2003, it has become 
easier for new businesses, and existing ones, to attract the capital 
they need to start, succeed, and expand.
  Moreover, with greater than half of all Americans owning stock, 
middle-class families, seniors, and other Americans are greatly 
benefitting from these lower rates, including the 5-percent rate, which 
drops to zero percent in 2008.
  The proposals in this bill would also help American families by 
making permanent the increased child tax credit, the marriage penalty 
relief, the adoption tax credit, the tuition deduction, and the teacher 
deduction. These provisions, along with other proposals in the Invest 
in America Act, make permanent the R&D tax credit and the increased 
small business expensing rates, enabling both the taxpayer and the 
American economy to grow.
  Most importantly, the Invest in America Act sets forth a tax system 
that would gave back to those who invest in the strengthening of the 
American economy. We need to overhaul our tax system, impose fairness, 
and implement policies that encourage economic growth rather than 
stifle it. That is what Georgians want and deserve, and that is what 
Americans want and deserve.

                         Virginia Tech Tragedy

  I rise today with a very heavy heart to extend my condolences to the 
families who lost loved ones as a result of yesterday's tragic 
shootings on the Virginia Tech campus. One of those victims includes a 
young man, 22-year-old Ryan Clark of Martinez, GA, who served as a 
resident adviser at West Ambler Johnston dormitory where the first 
shooting occurred. Ryan was set to graduate this spring with a degree 
in biology and English, and he hoped to pursue a Ph.D., a pretty 
amazing young man from an academic standpoint. In his spare time, he 
also helped out the disadvantaged children in the area, as well as 
disabled children. On this particular day, he came to the rescue of the 
first victim and, as a result, became a victim himself.
  I wish to convey my extreme sorrow to his family as they try to grasp 
the reality and gain a better understanding of what has happened. While 
he was still in his very young years, it is clear that he had already 
impacted so many lives and in so many different ways. While I know that 
words may be of little comfort at this time, the Clark family and all 
of the families involved and the Virginia Tech community will remain in 
my prayers as we try to find peace in the coming days.
  It is difficult to fathom how something like this could happen. Words 
can't fully describe the grief we all feel as the weight of this 
tragedy settles over our Nation. My prayer is that through faith and 
resolve, our country will emerge from this disaster in unity and 
strength as together we find healing. While I know that we are still 
learning the facts surrounding these despicable acts, it is my hope 
that we can all work together and renew our commitment to ensure that 
our communities and schools are safe from similar future events.
  I join my colleagues in the Senate who have spoken so eloquently on 
this matter and our entire Nation in mourning the 32 lives lost 
yesterday, and I pray for the strength of our country during this time 
of grief and sorrow.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, news of yesterday's tragic killings at 
Virginia Tech reached me piecemeal as I was traveling back to 
  We are still far from final answers and explanations. Even today, 
facts are still being confirmed, evidence is still being collected, and 
the impact of the tragedy is still reverberating.
  Last night, the Senate formally reacted to these terrible events 
through a resolution of sympathy.
  I rise today to personally express my sorrow and condolences to the 
family and friends of the victims, to the survivors, and to the 
Virginia Tech community at large. The magnitude of this tragedy is 
unimaginable. You are in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope you know 
that the hearts of millions of Americans go out to you in your time of 
  As we come to understand more about the events that unfolded so 
tragically yesterday, there will be plenty of time for us to argue 
about policy and politics and how to distribute blame. Today we should 
be mourning the loss of these lives, and doing what we can to help the 
wounded and comfort the bereaved.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader is recognized.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I don't need to remind my colleagues that 
our country is at war. We face tremendous challenges in keeping America 
safe. On the other side of the aisle, in the last couple of days we 
have heard some talk about the Intelligence authorization bill which 
the Republican majority failed to pass in 2 separate years, the first 
time in 27 years this bill has not been passed, but it wasn't passed 
the last 2 years.
  This year I thought it would be good if we passed an Intelligence 
authorization bill. We have 16 agencies that deal with the espionage, 
the security, the intelligence of our Nation. A bipartisan bill came 
out of the Intelligence Committee, the committee agreeing that 
something should be done. But it gets over here and word comes from the 
White House: Don't let that bill go. Like lemmings off a cliff, the 
Republicans do not allow this bill to go forward. The excuses, a fourth 
grade student could see through, maybe a second grade student.
  They say: Democrats wouldn't allow us to offer amendments. That is 
absolutely false, untrue. From the very beginning, when they refused to 
let us proceed to the bill initially and we had to file cloture, 
cloture was invoked because it gave them 30 hours to stall doing 
nothing. I said that during that 30-hour period amendments could be 
offered. Not a single amendment was proffered.
  So then we come to cloture on the bill itself. Even the vice chairman 
of the committee did not vote to go forward with this legislation. 
Again, I said: OK, cloture wasn't invoked. Let's go ahead and offer 
some amendments. They did. Guess what the first amendment was to show 
how serious they are about the intelligence operations of this country. 
An amendment was offered by a Republican 34 pages long dealing with 
immigration which shows how they want to solve the immigration problems 
of this country and the intelligence problems. This is no place for 
immigration. We are going to debate immigration the last 2 weeks of 
this work period.
  It is beyond my ability to comprehend how Senators on this side of 
the aisle, looking over there, could vote this way, people whom I have 
always believed to be patriots. Why would they not vote on this? I will 
tell you why they didn't. Vice President Cheney wants to be the czar of 
intelligence of this country, as he has been for 6 years. He can rest 
well tonight because he is going to be able to continue, without this 
bill setting certain standards for interrogation with our intelligence 
agencies and other things that on a bipartisan basis were said to be 
important to improve the intelligence apparatus of our country.
  The amendments offered this afternoon were not in good faith. A 34-
page immigration amendment on an Intelligence authorization bill? They 
were nothing more than an effort to make the White House happy. It is 
no secret. Senators have told Senators on this side that is why they 
voted against cloture: they were told to do so by the White House.
  Maybe my friends on the other side of the aisle think it is not 
important, that they can pull this one off and get away with it. We 
have a war on terror going on, and we have intelligence agencies--16 in 
number--that are working every day trying to keep ahead of the bad 
guys. The bipartisan bill that has been before the Senate for the last 
several days was drafted based upon what the intelligence agencies 
thought they needed to improve their ability to collect information. I 
don't think it is going to work. The credibility of the Vice President 
is not very high in this country. For reasons like this, it is apparent 
why that is.
  The White House talks about the war on terror; let's work together to 

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something about it. Step back a minute. Is it political posturing to 
think that the intelligence agencies of this country that should have 
legislation that should be passed every year not be passed for 3 years?
  I am very disappointed. I say this not in a mean or argumentative 
way. I am terribly disappointed. If the Presiding Officer, other 
Senators on this floor, if I ever as the leader came to one of you and 
said: We are not going to let the intelligence bill go forward this 
year, I think my caucus would tell me what to do with my suggestion. 
But apparently the White House has more sway than the American people 
to this group across the aisle. That is really too bad.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.