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Senate Floor: Amendment No. 1680 to Amendment No. 1679

  • Frank Murkowski
    Person
  • George J. Mitchell
    Person
  • Carl Levin
    Person
  • Joe Biden
    Person
  • The Presiding Officer
    Person
  • Alan Simpson
    Person
  • J. James Exon
    Person
  • William Cohen
    Person
  • Phil Gramm
    Person
  • Chris Dodd
    Person
  • Conrad Burns
    Person
  • Bob Dole
    Person
  • Paul Wellstone
    Person
  • Frank R. Lautenberg
    Person
  • Ted Stevens
    Person
  • Al D'Amato
    Person
  • Dennis DeConcini
    Person
  • Bob Bennett
    Person
  • Jim Jeffords
    Person
  • Wendell Ford
    Person
  • Dale Bumpers
    Person
  • Malcolm Wallop
    Person
  • Hank Brown
    Person
Unknown

Conrad Burns

Unknown
Mr. President, I send a second-degree amendment to the Murkowski amendment to the desk and ask for its immediate consideration. 3

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 5

Conrad Burns

Unknown
Mr. President, I think we have looked at the accumulation of debt, as was reported by the Senator from Iowa. This date is noted across the country as Tax Freedom Day and the deficit continues and the accumulation of debt continues. This is the latest it has ever come in the year, the 4th day of May, 2 days longer than a year ago. So I think what we are looking for here is, if we are really serious about taking not only what the subject of this bill has been, but also some fiscal responsibility -- I have long believed that if Congress really and earnestly is concerned about accountability and responsibility, there are two things that should be done. This is what I am told when I go home. 12

Conrad Burns

Unknown
First, any legislation that is passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, and as a result, that law goes to a faceless bureaucracy to write the administrative rules -- once the rules have been written and they are entered into the Federal Register they become the law of the land. So Members of Congress go home and one day they find out from their constituency, "Look at this law that you have passed. Look what it has done to me." So Members of Congress look at it and they say, "When we passed it, that was not the intent of the law." I suggest on some pieces of legislation, after those rules are written, they should come back to the Congress for the final OK by the Congress. That is one. 13

Conrad Burns

Unknown
For responsibility and accountability -- for what we have said was a pay raise here a couple of years ago to bring some more accountability to this body -- if we want to vote late at night and worry about who is going to dinner, and who is not -- then I think maybe that should be reflected in the pay of the people who serve in this body. 14

Conrad Burns

Unknown
The other day I raised a little Cain about bonuses that went to the Social Security people, bonuses that went to people who have not worked in the Social Security but for 2\1/2\ to 3 months and end up with a $9,000 bonus. 15

Conrad Burns

Unknown
Do you think they earned it? I do not think so, especially when Social Security comes to Congress asking for more money so they can catch up on the backlog of disability payments. So as a result of that, they are not showing their responsibility. Maybe we who are elected should show ours. 16

Conrad Burns

Unknown
So I offer this amendment as a 15-percent pay cut for Members of Congress as a second-degree amendment to the Murkowski amendment. 17

Conrad Burns

Unknown
Mr. President, I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum. 18

Conrad Burns

Unknown
Mr. MURKOWSKI addressed the Chair. 19

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 21

Frank Murkowski

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I would like to speak very briefly on the second- degree amendment offered by my friend from Montana. 23

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 25

Frank Murkowski

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Mr. President, I think our friend from Montana has brought up an appropriate consideration relative to the realities that we live in, and that is this Nation has accrued approximately $4.5 trillion of debt. 27

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
The significance of that is often overlooked because it is pretty hard to comprehend that kind of a number. But let me share with my colleagues a certain reality associated with that, and that is, about 14 percent of our current budget is interest on our accumulated debt. 28

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
That does not mean much, but let us take it one step further and recognize that we are committed to fund interest on that debt. The question legitimately is, how are we funding that interest on the debt? We are borrowing that interest on the debt. Think of the significance of that. We are borrowing in excess of $213 billion to pay interest on our $4.5 trillion worth of debt. 29

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
We are not addressing entitlement growth because we simply do not have the self-discipline to address it in a responsible manner, either through caps or freezing it at some level. So it continues to grow. 30

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
But let us look at the merits of what we mean when we talk about borrowing somewhere in excess of $212 billion for interest. That does not increase inventory, it does not provide jobs, it does not provide any social programs. It does not provide any defense budget. 31

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
If you went to your banker, Mr. President, and said, "I need a loan because I have to make a payment," you might get the loan if you said you wanted to make the payment to pay a portion of your principal down. But if you asked him or her for a loan so you could pay your interest, you probably would not get it because you would be a very poor credit risk. 32

Frank Murkowski

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That is the harsh reality of the condition of this Nation today. We are borrowing money to pay interest, and we are talking about the amendment of the Senator from Montana in the second degree cutting salaries. But we are continuing to expend more than we raise in revenue. 33

Frank Murkowski

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There is a very simple process here, Mr. President. We have one or two alternatives: We either raise revenue or cut spending. The appropriate alternative, obviously, is to cut spending, but we do not have the discipline to do it. 34

Frank Murkowski

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So I think as we address the merits of measures to cut spending, we should look at all measures and the amendment by the Senator from Montana relative to cutting salaries. At least he is cutting somewhere, and he is cutting pretty close to the heart when he proposes to cut Members' salaries 15 percent. 35

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
We, as individual Senators, have to meet our obligations, but the Federal Government simply adds to the deficit for whatever else it needs. That is fiscal irresponsibility, Mr. President, and I think we should give more time and attention to the merits of it. 36

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
There is a book out that some of my colleagues have read. It is "Bankruptcy 1995" by a gentleman by the name of Figgie. He may be off a few years, but he is right on target with what is happening in the United States, what happened in Central and South America in monetizing the debt. 37

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
We are approaching a time in the future, perhaps, but nevertheless it is inevitable, where a bigger portion of our budget goes for interest on the debt. That is like owning a horse that eats while you and I sleep. It goes on and on and on and on. Unless you address it by paying down the principal, it simply gets bigger. When you borrow to pay the interest solely, you are digging a grave for this country step by step. 38

Frank Murkowski

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So, Mr. President, I think this body should look at all provisions that suggest control of costs and particularly the merits of expanded collective debt, as we look at it today, $4.5 trillion. 39

Frank Murkowski

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I thank the Chair and yield the floor. 40

Carl Levin

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I suggest the absence of a quorum. 42

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 44

Carl Levin

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Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. 48

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Akaka). Without objection, it is so ordered. 50

Carl Levin

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Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment of Senator Bumpers be allowed to be further modified. 53

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 55

Phil Gramm

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Mr. President, reserving the right to object, how is it being modified? 57

Dale Bumpers

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If I may explain this to the Senator from Texas, I have an amendment at the desk right now with a modification which covers the Senate rules only. In order to cover the House rules, too, which we must do, I would have to offer an amendment to that to amend the bill in two places, which as the Senator knows someone could object to, if we do not get a unanimous-consent request that I be permitted to amend the bill two places. 59

Phil Gramm

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The Senator wants to apply the same thing to the House? 61

Dale Bumpers

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Absolutely. That is all it does. 63

Phil Gramm

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No objection. 65

Dale Bumpers

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That saves us an additional vote also. 67

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 69

Unknown
Without objection, it is so ordered. 70

Dale Bumpers

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Mr. President, I send the modification to the desk and withdraw the existing modification. 73

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 75

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 83

George J. Mitchell

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Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that at 9:40 p.m. the Senate vote on the Bumpers amendment as just modified; that following disposition of the Bumpers amendment, Senator Stevens, or his designee, be recognized to move to table the Murkowski amendment relating to PAC contributions; that if a motion to table is made, a vote occur on that motion to table; and that following disposition of that amendment, the Senate proceed to vote on the Murkowski amendment relating to reimbursement for travel to and lodging at charitable events; that if a motion to table the Murkowski amendment regarding PAC contributions is not made, the Senate then proceed immediately to vote on the Burns second-degree amendment to the Murkowski amendment, the Burns amendment relating to pay cuts; and that following the vote on the Burns amendment, the Senate proceed to vote on the Murkowski amendment regarding PAC contributions, as amended, if amended; and that following disposition of that amendment, the Senate then proceed to vote on the Murkowski amendment regarding reimbursement for travel to and lodging at charitable events. 86

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 88

Bob Dole

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Mr. President, reserving the right to object, if the Senator from Alaska, Senator Stevens, should decide not to move to table, then the procedure the Senator outlined will follow. There would be a separate vote on the Burns amendment and followed by the vote on the Murkowski amendment? 90

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
That is correct. 92

Frank Murkowski

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Mr. President, reserving the right to object, and the Senator from Alaska does not intend to object, but I would like reasonable time to talk on both my amendments following the process that the majority leader has drawn out. It would be a short time. 94

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
Yes. 96

George J. Mitchell

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Mr. President, my request would have the first vote occur at 9:40. So there would be time for debate between now and 9:40. I would suggest that it be equally divided between the Senator from Alaska and the manager of the bill, or his designee. Is that agreeable to Senator Murkowski? 97

Frank Murkowski

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The Senator from Alaska would like at least 10 minutes. 99

George J. Mitchell

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He would have more than that. 101

Frank Murkowski

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He has two amendments. I have not offered my second amendment. So I would like to have at least 10 minutes on my second amendment which I would offer after the vote on the Bumpers amendment and the disposition of the Burns-Murkowski amendment. 103

George J. Mitchell

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I have no disagreement with that. 105

George J. Mitchell

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I yield to the Republican leader. 106

Bob Dole

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Why not proceed as the majority leader suggests and following disposition of the three amendments then the Senator would offer his second amendment? 108

Frank Murkowski

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Yes. And I would like to talk on the second amendment for 10 minutes. 110

Bob Dole

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Then we could debate it. 112

Frank Murkowski

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That could be equally divided. 114

George J. Mitchell

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The agreement I proposed contemplated voting on both of his amendments in succession. 116

Bob Dole

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I see. 118

George J. Mitchell

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I believe he wants 10 minutes between the vote on his first amendment and second amendment. 120

Frank Murkowski

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The majority leader is correct. 122

George J. Mitchell

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In addition to the debate time between now and 9:30. 124

Frank Murkowski

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Yes. That would be on the pending amendment. 126

George J. Mitchell

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I inquire of the Senator, if the manager were willing to divide the time between now and 9:40 so the Senator from Alaska would have 18 minutes and the manager 5 minutes, would that be agreeable to the Senator? Then we could have the votes as suggested. 128

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
The Senator from Alaska would appreciate the majority leader accommodating him for at least 10 minutes prior to the vote on the second Murkowski amendment which would be the transportation issue. 130

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
Then, Mr. President, I modify my request to have a period of 15 minutes between the last vote on the second Murkowski amendment and the immediately preceding amendment with 10 minutes of that allocated to the Senator from Alaska and 5 minutes to the manager or his designee. 132

Carl Levin

Unknown
It better be evenly divided. There are a number of speakers. 134

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
I am now advised others want to speak. We have 20 minutes equally divided between the last vote and immediately preceding vote to accommodate the Senator from Alaska. 136

Dennis DeConcini

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Mr. President, reserving the right to object. 138

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 140

Dennis DeConcini

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Mr. President, reserving the right to object, yes. 142

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 144

Dennis DeConcini

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After that time the bill is open to further amendment or final passage? 146

George J. Mitchell

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The bill is open to further amendment. 148

Dennis DeConcini

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So not necessarily final passage tonight. 150

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
Mr. President, if I may respond to the Senator, we have been attempting to get a finite list with a time for finishing the bill. 152

George J. Mitchell

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I have been advised by our colleagues that no such agreement is possible until these votes occur but that after these votes occur it may be possible to get that. That is why I am doing it that way. 153

Dennis DeConcini

Unknown
Mr. President, I suggest that we call the Four Seasons restaurant and be sure that the Senators there with the Prime Minister from Malaysia will be through with the dessert and coffee by 9:30. We do not want to rush them because we have been sitting around here for several hours now to accommodate them in a few minutes. 155

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
I will see to it that such a call is made. 157

J. James Exon

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Reserving the right to object. 159

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 161

J. James Exon

Unknown
I probably shall not, but I would like to inquire of the leader and the minority leader, I assume the parliamentary situation is that the Burns amendment to reduce salaries by 15 percent is a second- degree amendment to the Murkowski amendment, is that correct? 163

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
I believe that is correct. 165

J. James Exon

Unknown
I am making an inquiry, I guess, as to the situation with regard to what can and cannot be done under the rules. I am considering an amendment, I must tell the leader and the minority leader, possibly -- if it is possible to work this in before the vote on the Burns amendment -- to offer a sense-of-the-Senate amendment that all of those voting for the amendment offered by the Senator from Montana should, regardless of the outcome of the vote, agree publicly tonight that, even if the vote fails, they would indeed cut their salary by 15 percent. 167

J. James Exon

Unknown
It seems to me that would be a totally reasonable proposition that we could offer. 168

J. James Exon

Unknown
I have cosponsors to that, Mr. Leader. 169

J. James Exon

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We are going through gyrations around here. It seems to me that, I will just advise the leader and the minority leader, if it is possible for me to offer such a sense-of-the-Senate resolution before the vote, the courageous vote to cut the salary by 15 percent, then I think it is time maybe that the U.S. Senate stand up. 170

J. James Exon

Unknown
I will not use the word on the floor of the U.S. Senate that I would like to use in that regard, but I think many of these votes are put up strictly for political reasons. And I think maybe the best way to stop that would be to have a sense of the Senate, at least for those voting for the amendment to cut salaries by 15 percent by the Senator from Montana, to agree publicly, as they vote for that amendment, that they will cut their salaries by refunding that amount of money in some form for as long as they serve in the U.S. Senate. Maybe that would be one of these times when we could see how serious some of these amendments are. 171

J. James Exon

Unknown
Possibly -- I cannot do that right now; I will not object -- but if the opportunity presents itself, I intend to offer such an amendment, hopefully, before the vote on the amendment being offered by the Senator from Montana. 172

J. James Exon

Unknown
I do not object. 173

J. James Exon

Unknown
I thank the leader. 174

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
Mr. President, the Senator should understand that if the request I proposed is approved, then a vote may occur on the Burns amendment prior to the time that he would be able to offer a sense of the Senate. 176

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
I am grateful for his consideration. May I suggest to the Senator that the bill, after completion of these votes, will still be open to amendment, and he may then offer an amendment. It may not be as desirable as doing it before, but I think it would have the same effect. 177

Bob Dole

Unknown
Would the Senator yield? 179

George J. Mitchell

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I yield to the Republican leader. 181

Bob Dole

Unknown
I think if you could extend that sense of the Senate to apply to those who voted earlier today on the gift ban -- I mean, I cannot believe any politics was involved in that at all. Certainly that was all statesmanship, and the midnight pay cut is something else. 183

Bob Dole

Unknown
But there may be a way to construct a sense-of-the-Senate resolution we could all vote for, including the pay raise and the gift ban and all the shenanigans that have been going on all day here. 184

J. James Exon

Unknown
Reserving the right to object, the Senator from Kansas makes a very good point, although there is some difference between gifts. I intend to support the gift restraints, in all sincerity, as I have supported them for a long, long time. There is some kind of a difference. You can accept a gift and keep it a secret and not say anything about it. Not so with your salary in the U.S. Senate. If people want their salary cut, and if they so vote but it fails, then I think that they should voluntarily agree to make their tax return, or that portion of their tax return, public each and every year to indicate the seriousness of their convictions. 186

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
Mr. President, I renew my request. 188

Dennis DeConcini

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Mr. President, reserving the right to object. 190

Dennis DeConcini

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I would like to ask the majority leader, if the majority will indulge me for a moment, does the majority leader anticipate we will be in tomorrow with votes? 191

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
Unless we finish this bill tonight. 193

Bob Dole

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And we have Bosnia. 195

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
And we have the Bosnia matter. 197

Dennis DeConcini

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Is the answer, more or less, that we are going to be in tomorrow, with votes? Is that what it appears to be now? 199

Bob Dole

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If the majority leader will yield, I assume there is going to a considerable amount of debate on Bosnia. I am not certain there will be a vote tomorrow. 201

Dennis DeConcini

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The reason I ask -- it seems to me it is late -- why do not we put these votes off until tomorrow morning? 203

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
Mr. President, I will respond to that. We have had a lengthy delay here for three reasons. 205

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
First is that discussions were occurring regarding the substance of the bill in an effort to reach agreement on various provisions that would obviate the necessity of having votes to dispose of the matter. The second was, as the Senator has noted, to accommodate a group of Senators who left to have dinner with a foreign head of government who is in Washington at this time. And the third has been to try to resolve this issue of when we vote. 206

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
It is not uncommon. It occurs all the time. 207

George J. Mitchell

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There is a large number of Senators who want to finish the bill tonight and have no votes tomorrow. There is an equally large number of Senators who want to leave tonight -- maybe a smaller number of Senators, but a number of them -- who want to have no more votes tonight and put all the votes off until tomorrow morning. 208

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
I am trying very hard to reconcile what are almost irreconcilable interests. 209

George J. Mitchell

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Mr. President, I renew my request. 210

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 212

George J. Mitchell

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Mr. President, Senators should be aware, and I hope all will be notified, that the votes tonight will begin at 9:40 p.m. on the Bumpers amendment, and there will be at least three votes, and possibly four, depending on what occurs during the votes. 214

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
I thank my colleagues for their patience and cooperation. 215

George J. Mitchell

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Mr. GRAMM addressed the Chair. 216

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 218

George J. Mitchell

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Would the Senator yield for just one moment? 220

Phil Gramm

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I am glad to yield. 222

George J. Mitchell

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Mr. President, I neglected, in making my request, to ask consent that no second-degree amendments be in order to Senator Murkowski's amendment regarding reimbursement for travel to and lodging at charitable events. I now ask that my request be further modified to incorporate that. 224

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 226

Unknown
Without objection, the unanimous-consent, as further modified, is agreed to. 227

Unknown
The Chair recognizes the Senator from Texas, Mr. Gramm. 228

Phil Gramm

Unknown
Mr. President, I have remained silent all day during this debate in the hope that no one would remember that I was here. But I would just like to make a couple of comments about what we have been doing all day long. 230

Phil Gramm

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It seems to me that there are Members of the Senate who have concluded that the American people are unhappy with us. And indeed they are unhappy with us because we have raised their taxes, squandered their money, regulated their business, refused to provide quality services in education and law enforcement and, in short, they are just outraged that we are doing a bad job. 231

Phil Gramm

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Now, there seem to be some people who think that if we brutalize ourselves a little -- first, by saying, well, if somebody gave you a Christmas tree and it was worth more than $20, you had to give it back. 232

Phil Gramm

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Now we have an amendment saying if the Christmas tree is worth a nickel, you cannot take it. 233

Phil Gramm

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My point is this: If you want to take a Christmas tree as a gift, take it. If you do not, do not. But I do not think the American people are going to be impressed, because it is not what we are doing to ourselves that they are mad about, it is what we are doing to them. 234

Phil Gramm

Unknown
I do not think they are going to feel better if we slap ourselves around a couple of times because we will still be slapping them around. What we ought to be doing is trying to undo the bad things we do to the people. But penalizing ourselves in this fashion simply makes us look silly. I am sure there are people who thought when we started this debate that somehow it was going to make us look good. I think, frankly, it has made the whole institution and every Member look silly. 235

Phil Gramm

Unknown
I hope there is a good baseball game on television tonight that somebody is watching. I hope my mama is not watching this process when we are debating silly, trivial things, so many that are unbecoming to the U.S. Senate, when there is so much real work to be done, when there are so many fundamental issues that ought to be decided and on which we should be concentrating. 236

Phil Gramm

Unknown
I do not know in the big picture if today's debate will make any difference, but so much of it seems to trivialize the greatest deliberative body in history. I just wanted to get up and say that I do not think the U.S. Senate has covered itself in glory today. I think it is too bad. Again, I do not think that in the process of conducting this silly debate that we are making people like us more. They want us to stop doing bad things to them and nothing we do to ourselves will change that. 237

Phil Gramm

Unknown
I yield the floor. 238

Phil Gramm

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Several Senators addressed the Chair. 239

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 241

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
Mr. President, I will only say, with respect to comments made by the Senator, that what is silly or trivial, is of course a subjective judgment that is in the eye of the beholder. I think what the Senator has said about silly and trivial things coming before the Senate is true as to many things other than what has occurred today. We spend a lot of time on things that I feel are silly and trivial and others feel are silly and trivial. I respect his point of view. Perhaps it will lead us to think about some of the other things we do in this Senate that many of us regard as silly and trivial. 243

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 245

Frank Murkowski

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Mr. President, I thank the Chair. I want to make sure my colleagues understand the amendment before us. My amendment is to prohibit all political contributions from political action committees. I think it is important for the record to note that, since the passage of the Federal Election Campaign Act, the number of PAC's has grown from 680 in 1974 to 4,192 in 1992. Think of that growth when you look at the impact of political action committees as we reflect on the merits of reform legislation. PAC contributions increased from $12.5 million to $180 million, which is an increase of more than 400 percent in real terms. In 1992, 55 percent of the House winners received more than half their contributions from PAC's. 247

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
The situation is worse than is reflected by these numbers, because almost all corporate and trade PAC money, 90 percent, went to incumbents. Almost all won reelection. 248

Frank Murkowski

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So I encourage my colleagues to reflect a little bit on how the American public is going to view this vote. Are they going to view it as business as usual where there is an effort to vote down or table my amendment to prohibit political action committee contributions coming in? This legislation would prohibit a Senator specifically from accepting any gift, directly or indirectly, from a political action committee. Banning PAC contributions was really a key part in the Republican campaign reform bill. I simply extend that concept to ban contributions from lobbyists as well. 249

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
I might add, this proposed amendment would apply to both the House and Senate. Campaign reform legislation is now in conference. We hear it will be brought to the floor but oftentimes these things get bogged down in conference. My amendment provides Senators the chance to block this special influence of the PAC's, as well as the lobbyist. It is basically 2 for 1. We get an opportunity with this vote to ban both the PAC's and the lobbyist. Perhaps it is poetic justice that Members who insist on banning all gifts, all gifts from lobbyists, many of whom are facing reelection in the near future, but are against extending it to political action committees. 250

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
Mr. President, I think we have before us an opportunity to address this forthrightly, recognizing that the American public feels there is too much influence from PAC's and this is a way to address that influence as we look at the vote we are about to initiate from the Senator from Arkansas, which would prohibit all gifts. That is the question before us. Following that will be my amendment to prohibit all political action committee contribution, contribution from political action committees. 251

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
I have not heard any of my colleagues speak against the amendment proposed by the Senator from Alaska, which I find rather interesting. It will be equally interesting to see the vote count on this amendment when the time is up. 252

Frank Murkowski

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I have no further comments at this time. I yield the floor. 253

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 255

Carl Levin

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Mr. President, the amendment of the Senator from Alaska is an amendment which I personally support. I do think the fact that PAC contributions are made and are easily connected -- and I think wrongly connected -- but nonetheless easily connected to people's votes in the media has undermined confidence in this Government. When people read that someone gets a $5,000 contribution from a PAC and then votes in a way which that PAC supports, people jump to a conclusion that there is a connection between the two. That creates a problem in terms of public confidence and public credibility. I think we have to correct it by eliminating those PAC contributions. So I support the Murkowski amendment. I think he is right in terms of trying to raise the level of public confidence in this country. 257

Carl Levin

Unknown
The same thing is true with gifts from lobbyists. It is a serious issue, because most people think the lobbyists control the Federal Government. In the most recent public opinion poll -- when a scientific cross-section of Americans was asked "Which of the following do you think really controls the Federal Government in Washington?" -- 7 percent say the President; 22 percent say the Congress; 50 percent say the lobbyists and the special interests, 50 percent. 258

Carl Levin

Unknown
We have to do whatever we reasonably can to inspire public confidence in Government. One of the ways we can do it is to control the gifts of meals, of tickets, of travel by lobbyists. That is what this gifts bill is all about. That is why it is serious business. It is serious business because it involves the public confidence. And in a democracy you better have public confidence because if you do not, your democracy is going to be a lot weaker. 259

Carl Levin

Unknown
That is what the gifts bill is about -- trying to promote public confidence in Government by controlling what the public knows happens around here, which are tickets coming from lobbyists, meals paid for by lobbyists, travel paid by lobbyists. That is what we are trying to end in this gifts bill. It is serious business. It is not trivial business. It is not a waste of this Senate's time to be debating this today -- quite the opposite. If we can control some of the gifts which have created this impression in the public mind that this Government is run by lobbyists, we will be making a significant contribution, I believe, to this great democracy of ours. So let us get on with it. 260

Carl Levin

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Several Senators addressed the Chair. 261

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 263

Malcolm Wallop

Unknown
Mr. President, I had thought when I announced that I was not going to run for reelection, that it would be a sad moment for me. Mr. President, I have decided that it was perhaps the wisest decision of my political career. 265

Ted Stevens

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Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum. 267

The Presiding Officer

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The PRESIDING OFFICER. 269

Ted Stevens

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Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. 273

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 275

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 278

Unknown
The yeas and nays have been ordered. 279

Unknown
The clerk will call the roll. 280

Wendell Ford

Unknown
I announce that the Senator from Arkansas [Mr. Pryor] is necessarily absent. 284

Wendell Ford

Unknown
I also announce that the Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby] is absent because of illness. 285

Alan Simpson

Unknown
I announce that the Senator from Missouri [Mr. Bond], the Senator from Maine [Mr. Cohen], the Senator from Minnesota [Mr. Durenberger], the Senator from Kansas [Mrs. Kassebaum], and the Senator from Oregon [Mr. Packwood] are necessarily absent. 287

Ted Stevens

Unknown
Regular order. 298

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Feinstein). The question now occurs on amendment 1680 offered by the Senator from Montana [Mr. Burns]. 300

Bob Dole

Unknown
I ask for the yeas and nays. 302

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 304

Unknown
There is a sufficient second. 305

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 309

Wendell Ford

Unknown
I announce that the Senator from Arkansas [Mr. Pryor] is necessarily absent. 313

Wendell Ford

Unknown
I also announce that the Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby] is absent because of illness. 314

Alan Simpson

Unknown
I announce that the Senator from Missouri [Mr. Bond], the Senator from Maine [Mr. Cohen], the Senator from Minnesota [Mr. Durenberger], the Senator from Kansas [Mrs. Kassebaum], and the Senator from Oregon [Mr. Packwood] are necessarily absent. 316

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 318

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 329

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
Madam President, I would like to very briefly explain the intent of the amendment. The amendment offered by myself prohibits the Senate -- 331

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 333

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
I ask unanimous consent that I may express the intent of the amendment. 335

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 337

Dennis DeConcini

Unknown
Objection. 339

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 341

Unknown
Mr. MITCHELL addressed the Chair. 342

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 344

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senator from Alaska be recognized for 30 seconds to explain the intent of his amendment. 346

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 348

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
Madam President, I ask for the yeas and nays and will make a brief explanation. 350

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
The amendment would prohibit the Senator from accepting any gift directly or indirectly from a political action committee. 351

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
We are talking about trying to ban gifts here. My amendment merely adds this prohibition to include what some would consider a very important type of gift, a political contribution from a PAC. 352

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
I thank the Chair. 353

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 355

Unknown
Is there a sufficient second? 356

Unknown
There is a sufficient second. 357

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 362

Wendell Ford

Unknown
I announce that the Senator from Arkansas [Mr. Pryor] is necessarily absent. 366

Wendell Ford

Unknown
I also announce that the Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby] is absent because of illness. 367

Alan Simpson

Unknown
I announce that the Senator from Minnesota [Mr. Durenberger], the Senator from Kansas [Mrs. Kassebaum], and the Senator from Oregon [Mr. Packwood] are necessarily absent. 369

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 371

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
Madam President, I move to reconsider the vote. 382

Carl Levin

Unknown
I move to lay that motion on the table. 384

Carl Levin

Unknown
The motion to lay on the table was agreed to. 385

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 387

Unknown
The Senator from Alaska. 388

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
Madam President, I send an amendment to the desk and ask for its immediate consideration. 391

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 393

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that reading of the amendment be dispensed with. 398

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 400

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 406

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
Madam President, the amendment I presented would strike from the committee substitute the provision which prohibits Members of Congress from receiving private reimbursement for travel, food and lodging in connection with a charitable event. 408

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
Under this amendment such reimbursements would be permitted so long as the reimbursement was not made by a registered lobbyist or foreign agent. We have seen charitable events such as Senator Garn's Ski Cup, which goes for the Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City. It would be prohibited for Members supporting that event as a consequence of the underlying amendment. 409

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
In my State of Alaska, were we to attempt to have a charity event, we would be prohibited because transportation is not provided. The injustice of this is that under the committee substitute large charitable organizations that have the resources to have their fundraisers in Washington, DC will be able to invite Members of Congress to their events because, under the committee amendment, the underlying amendment, a Member of Congress may accept -- and this is the injustice -- a Member of Congress may accept an offer to attend such an event, even if the event is a $1000 a plate dinner to raise funds for whatever purpose. But we who are out in the west, out far away, simply are excluded from that opportunity. 410

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
My amendment would allow reimbursement for lodging and transportation in connection with charitable events only. 411

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
Madam President, these events do not benefit Senators, as do political fundraisers and legal defense funds. I would like to point out that we have protected ourselves on political fundraisers, and the American public is going to question our wisdom, to say the least. We have done the same with regard to our legal defense funds, as well as political fundraisers. 412

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
One would ask and the American people will ask each of us why we have a double standard: One for political events where travel and lodging can be reimbursed and another standard for charitable events where expenses simply cannot be reimbursed. 413

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
Madam President, the inequity is obvious. I would like to refer specifically to our rules under Interpretive Ruling No. 193. The question is: May a Senator accept travel expenses from an official of a district's political party organization in return for his or her appearance at a rally sponsored by that organization? 414

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
Rule 35 excepts from the definition of "gifts, anything of value, including transportation for which consideration of equal or greater value is received. Travel incident to a political appearance would appear to meet this consideration." So there we have it, Madam President. I ask the manager of the underlying amendment if I understand that under the provisions of the underlying bill in the Senate rules, any Senator can attend a political fundraiser and accept reimbursement for travel and lodging expenses? I ask that of the floor manager. Perhaps the floor manager was in conversation. 415

Carl Levin

Unknown
Perhaps the chairman of the Rules Committee could respond relative to existing rules, but for whom is the reimbursement you are referring to in your question? 417

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
I am referring to Interpretive Ruling 193 and the reimbursements would be to a fellow Senator. 419

Carl Levin

Unknown
I think you have to check with the Ethics Committee. 421

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
I just read the ruling and, indeed, it is reimbursable. The example specifically is if a Senator could attend a fundraiser for, say, the California Democratic Committee in Los Angeles, including a movie preview and an expensive dinner surrounded by lobbyists, and have his or her hotel and travel and all other expenses paid for by the California Democratic Committee. The answer, of course, under the rules, is absolutely yes, we are not prohibiting ourselves from that through this revolution of so-called gift legislation. 423

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
But the same Senator could not have his or her expenses reimbursed for participation in a fundraising event for a charitable organization that was raising money for, say, cancer detection for poor people. There is the inconsistency, and that is the justification for my amendment. 424

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
The American people are going to see through this if, indeed, we do not support and recognize that we have a legitimate contribution to make to charities in this country and it can be made in an honorable manner in spite of the opinion of some who have criticized some of the charities and particularly that of Senator Garn's ski cup where they have participated for an extended period of time. I thank the Chair. 425

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 427

Paul Wellstone

Unknown
If I can have 3 minutes. 429

Carl Levin

Unknown
I yield 3 minutes to the Senator. 431

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 433

Paul Wellstone

Unknown
Madam President, I have not had a chance to see this amendment, and I cannot speak to the interpretation to which the Senator from Alaska spoke, but I do think this goes to the heart of Senator Levin's amendment and what we debated in the earlier part of the day. 435

Paul Wellstone

Unknown
Clearly, Senators should be able to contribute to charities. We can do that. We can travel to gatherings on our own resources, and we can do all that. That is not really the issue. If the Senator will let me finish, that is not really the issue. The issue is what, in fact, has all too often been something that just does not seem at all credible, which is that we go to charities but it is at those gatherings -- whether it is golf, tennis, recreation, plus whatever else we do -- they may not be paid by lobbyists, but it is paid by the lobbyists' clients. 436

Paul Wellstone

Unknown
That is what the Senator is talking about. To the extent you have some other party that is paying your expenses, then we run right smack back into the very problem to which I think this reform is trying to speak. I think this really goes very much against the Governmental Affairs Committee amendment. I think it is a huge mistake. I think it becomes a huge loophole. 437

Paul Wellstone

Unknown
It is the very thing, quite frankly, if we are going to talk about perceptions -- and that is what we have been talking about throughout the day -- that has really gotten us into a lot of trouble. There is no reason why we need to have clients of lobbyists or other people paying for this. There is no reason we cannot do this on our own. I think it is a huge mistake. 438

Paul Wellstone

Unknown
So I think the Senator's amendment really does very much undercut what Senator Levin had been proposing and what I think we have been supporting. I will let the Senator from Michigan expand on the remarks. 439

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
Madam President, I intend to yield time to my friend, the senior Senator from Alaska. The fact is, I will respond to the Senator from Minnesota. Under the provision of the underlying bill and the Senate's rules, any Senator can attend a political fundraiser and accept reimbursement for travel and lodging expenses, but he cannot do it for a charitable event. That is what is wrong with it. 441

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
I yield some time to my friend, the senior Senator. 442

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 444

Ted Stevens

Unknown
Madam President, I think Senator Murkowski has a point. I believe every Senator here has attended political fundraising events that have included the same kind of entertainment that has been criticized so harshly. Whether it is to go to a movie in Los Angeles or go to a golf event in Florida, if it is for political purposes, a Senator may go and have the amount completely reimbursed by the candidate's political action committee or the party that is raising money for another Senator or for any other candidate, and it is deemed to be acceptable. But if we have the same kind of event in Alaska, as Senator Murkowski has arranged this year, to raise money for a new breast cancer device for our State, that is not allowed. 446

Ted Stevens

Unknown
I do not believe that that duplicity should be carried forward in this bill, and I support Senator Murkowski's concept that if it is legal to have such allowance for travel for hotel bills, for expenses and for entertainment for political purposes, it is just as legal to do that for charitable purposes. 447

Ted Stevens

Unknown
I challenge any one of you. You all have participated in it. Why suddenly say, OK, right here in Washington, it is all right here in Washington, but it is not all right when you have to travel to the West to do it? 448

Ted Stevens

Unknown
Any one of you know what it costs to travel to our State. These people are willing to participate and support the charities of our State, just as they are yours here. Why should we not have the same considerations that you have here? 449

Ted Stevens

Unknown
I do believe this amendment is a valid one. 450

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 452

Carl Levin

Unknown
I yield myself 3 minutes. 454

Carl Levin

Unknown
Madam President, the rule which the Senator from Alaska is referring to is existing law and existing interpretation which is not touched by this bill. The reimbursement which he is referring to, as I understand it, in his amendment is not reimbursement which is permitted under this bill. It is an interpretive ruling, No. 189, of existing rules and laws. 455

Carl Levin

Unknown
If the Senator from Alaska thinks that that should be changed so that people cannot be reimbursed from their own campaign funds to go to a political function, then the Senator from Alaska should offer an amendment to tighten that restriction. 456

Carl Levin

Unknown
But to throw out the key provision of this committee substitute, which is to end the kind of so-called charitable, but very significant, recreational trips which are taken by Members of Congress and paid for by the interests in this country that want to hobnob with Members of Congress at those events, would be a total reversal of what we did this morning. 457

Carl Levin

Unknown
The Johnston amendment permitted this kind of recreational travel to a so-called charitable event. Our committee substitute does not do it. 458

Carl Levin

Unknown
If you want to know what the issue really is -- I have these at the desk; we do not have the time to debate it -- read the transcripts of the TV shows that describe these events. Each of us has to decide in our own conscience whether or not we believe credibility is contributed to with these kinds of events. That is a decision for each of us. We made that decision, I thought, this morning with a very clear vote on the Johnston substitute to the committee amendment. 459

Carl Levin

Unknown
That is what the issue is here with the Senator from Alaska. Do we wish to provide for this kind of recreational travel to a so-called charitable event. This morning we said no. And I think we based that to a significant degree on what we see happening at those events as portrayed in the national media. 460

Carl Levin

Unknown
If we are comfortable with it, if we are not embarrassed by it, if we think it contributes to the credibility of this institution to have these events, then I presume people will vote that way. I do not. I have seen these events on the TV shows. I think we undermine public confidence when there is that kind of recreational travel to a so- called charitable event which typically -- typically -- will have half the money going to pay for the room and travel of Members that are going, and the other half roughly -- and this is just a rough estimate -- going to the charity. 461

Carl Levin

Unknown
I yield myself 1 additional minute. 462

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
Madam President, could I inquire how much time is remaining? 464

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 466

Carl Levin

Unknown
I yield the floor. 468

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 470

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
May I ask how much time we have on this side, Madam President? 472

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 474

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
I yield myself 30 seconds. 476

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
I ask my colleagues to recognize what we are doing. We are setting two standards here. We are setting a standard for our political activity and another standard for our charitable activity. Who are we trying to kid? The group that hobnobs at a charity event is not that the same group that is going to hobnob at a political event, the lobbyists and the PAC's. Let us not kid ourselves. A charity event is just that. The proceeds go for charity. 477

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 479

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
A political event is a political event, but you have people wearing the same hats at both. 481

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
I yield my friend from Utah 1 minute. 482

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Graham). The Senator from Utah is recognized. 484

Bob Bennett

Unknown
Mr. President, I wish to say as the Senator from a State where one of these events has gone on, that prior to the time the Senators started coming to Utah for the ski event, the Primary Children's Hospital was unable to raise the sums that have been raised since then. There is no question but that crippled children have benefited tremendously by the Senators coming there. 486

Bob Bennett

Unknown
Second, I have seen the television and I have attended the event, and I find no correlation of truth between the television view and what actually went on. 487

Bob Bennett

Unknown
I think the time has come for the Senate to stand up and be serious about this. Charitable events are, indeed, charitable. And if we let our lives be run by the scandals that are run on television, we will all be forced to retire at some point or other. 488

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 490

Unknown
Who yields time? The Senator from Alaska. 491

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
Mr. President, if no other Senator wishes to speak -- I yield 1 minute to the Senator from Vermont. 493

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 495

Jim Jeffords

Unknown
I was one who also, Mr. President, attended the events in Utah. I have never been so moved as when I saw Jason this last time, who came to us limping and on crutches and thanked us for making his life to be a little bit brighter because of the efforts that went on at that event. I think we were all moved to tears. And to think that I no longer can go there because of the scandal sheet, and the TV portrayed something which never happened to me -- I never was lobbied once in all the time I was there, never once by any lobbyist -- and yet it was a beautiful event, a beautiful expression of kindness and thanks. 497

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 499

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays. 501

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 503

Carl Levin

Unknown
I yield 1 minute to the Senator from Maine. 505

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 507

William Cohen

Unknown
Mr. President, I think this debate has pointed out the difficulty we are all trying to come to grips with. We are looking for symmetry between what we can do as candidates and what we can do as Senators. 509

William Cohen

Unknown
But there is no symmetry. The Senate has gone on record in favor of the Bumpers amendment to reduce the value of a gift that can be given down to zero. If you follow the logic and apply it to campaigns, then you eliminate all contributions to campaigns other than through public financing. We have yet to take that step, and there are very few who are willing to take that step. 510

William Cohen

Unknown
Bumpers says no gift of any kind. Yet, contributors, lobbyists, PAC's, and CEO's can all contribute substantial amounts to our campaign funds. So we have a great disconnect. We are not going to resolve that issue here tonight by saying we should have one rule for campaigns, but another for gifts and charitable events. I agree with Senator Levin; this amendment would in fact amount to a reversal of what we did this morning, and I would argue we ought not to accept it. 511

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 513

Unknown
The Senator from New Jersey, 2 minutes. 514

Frank R. Lautenberg

Unknown
I thank the Chair. 516

Frank R. Lautenberg

Unknown
I, too, attended for a few years the ski cup in Utah, had a very good time, and was convinced that the Primary Children's Hospital was a wonderful place. And the last time I went I brought a check from me, personally, to the hospital because I thought it was so good. 517

Frank R. Lautenberg

Unknown
But when you do the accounting and you look at what is spent on travel and entertainment and lodging and ski lifts and ski instructors, and you count the net, I think that we could do just as well for the Primary Children's Hospital if we all said to the companies that sponsored it, give it direct and we will salute you out here in front of the Capitol. Give the money direct and forget about all of the other stuff, the entertainment. It was fun while it lasted, but its time has passed, Mr. President. 518

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
Will the Senator from New Jersey yield for a question? 520

Frank R. Lautenberg

Unknown
On whose time? 522

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
On the Senator's time. 524

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 526

Frank R. Lautenberg

Unknown
I had 1 minute. Is my minute used? 528

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 530

Frank R. Lautenberg

Unknown
I had 1 minute. 532

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 534

Frank R. Lautenberg

Unknown
Sure. 536

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
I would ask my good friend from New Jersey, since he obviously is an expert and has attended the Jake Garn ski event on many occasions, why it took him so long to find out it was not a worthwhile event? 538

Frank R. Lautenberg

Unknown
I never said it was not a worthwhile event. I said that things have changed. 540

Frank R. Lautenberg

Unknown
The Senator asked me for an answer. I am going to give it to him. Things change. People expect different things from us. We used to have free gyms, we used to have free doctors, we used to have free this and free that. Why did we vote to change them? Because the public expects more of their public servants than to be out on a ski trip or a golf trip or a tennis trip. 541

Frank R. Lautenberg

Unknown
What they expect is that if we are going to do our business, it is going to be done primarily here. And when we go some place like that, I submit to you, pay for it and go and show how serious you are about the Primary Children's Hospital. 542

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 544

Unknown
Who yields time? 545

Frank Murkowski

Unknown
I ask for the yeas and nays. 547

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 549

Carl Levin

Unknown
If I have any time, I yield it back. 551

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 553

Unknown
Is there a sufficient second? There is a sufficient second. 554

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 558

Wendell Ford

Unknown
I announce that the Senator from Arkansas [Mr. Pryor] is necessarily absent. 562

Wendell Ford

Unknown
I also announce that the Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby] is absent because of illness. 563

Alan Simpson

Unknown
I announce that the Senator from Minnesota [Mr. Durenberger], the Senator from Kansas [Mrs. Kassebaum], and the Senator from Oregon [Mr. Packwood] are necessarily absent. 565

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 567

Bob Dole

Unknown
Mr. President, it is my understanding that the bill reported by the Government Affairs Committee would prohibit contributions by registered lobbyists to an entity that is maintained or controlled by that Member. Is this correct? 578

Carl Levin

Unknown
Yes. 580

Bob Dole

Unknown
As my colleagues know, I am currently chairman of the Dole Foundation, a tax-exempt non-profit organization established to expand employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. Assuming that I maintain or control the Dole Foundation, the committee-passed bill would prohibit registered lobbyists from offering monetary contributions or other items of value to the Dole Foundation. Is this correct? 582

Carl Levin

Unknown
Yes, it is correct. The committee-passed bill prohibits contributions by registered lobbyists to foundations or charities maintained or controlled by a Member, officer, or employee of the Senate. 584

Carl Levin

Unknown
This prohibition, however, does not apply to contributions to a foundation or charity by anyone other than a registered lobbyist. The prohibition applies only to contributions by registered lobbyists. 585

Carl Levin

Unknown
Under S. 349, the Lobbying Disclosure Act, a registered lobbyist is "an individual who is employed or retained by another for financial or other compensation to perform services that include lobbying contacts." The term "registered lobbyist" does not cover "an individual whose lobbying activities are incidental to, and are not a significant part of, the services provided by such individual to the client." In the committee report on S. 349, we interpret this level of activity to mean more than 10 percent of a person's working time. This definition is obviously not intended to cover the overwhelming majority of corporate chief executive officers, other corporate officers, or members of corporate boards. For example, a CEO who visits Washington, DC, four times a year to talk to Members and staff, or a person who serves on a board of directors who infrequently calls a Member on behalf of the company for whom he serves, or an officer or employee of a company who engages in lobbying activities in a manner incidental to his normal duties, would not be considered a lobbyist. 586

Bob Dole

Unknown
In other words, if the committee-passed bill became law, it would still be permissible for me to request contributions on behalf of the Dole Foundation from most corporate executives, and it would also be permissible for these executives to make contributions to charitable foundations like the Dole Foundation. 588

Carl Levin

Unknown
That is correct. 590

Bob Dole

Unknown
I thank the distinguished Senator from Michigan for his comments. 592

Chris Dodd

Unknown
Mr. President, in recent years, many Americans have expressed dissatisfaction with Congress. It seems that every other day there is an opinion poll in which Members of Congress are ranked at the bottom of the list of trusted professions. 595

Chris Dodd

Unknown
I am concerned about the way in which Americans will view this debate. It seems to me that we are almost promoting the perception that every Member of Congress is being corrupted by lobbyists. Certainly, that is not an accurate reflection of reality. We must restore the public's confidence in Congress, but we need to find careful solutions that do not create more problems than they solve. 596

Chris Dodd

Unknown
During my years in the Senate, I have fought to reform the political system. In 1988, I introduced a bill to ban honoraria -- the speaking fees that Members of Congress were receiving from special interest groups. That measure was eventually enacted into law and now those fees go to charities. That measure was a step toward ensuring that Members of Congress are responsive only to those paying their salaries -- the taxpayers. 597

Chris Dodd

Unknown
Senator Levin deserves commendation for his more recent efforts to craft gift reform legislation. However, I am concerned that his gift ban bill may actually create more uncertainty as Members of Congress try to determine what is permissible. 598

Chris Dodd

Unknown
Some of my colleagues have already discussed the problems with the lack of clear definitions in the bill. If the bill is not modified, Members would have to determine who is a "friend," what constitutes a "widely-attended" event, and what types of activities are "substantially recreational." Consideration of these issues could be humorous, except that someone's reputation would be at stake. The ambiguity of such provisions could also create a large bureaucracy at the Ethics Committee, as additional staff spends hours attempting to apply these rules. 599

Chris Dodd

Unknown
The Levin bill would also limit the time and energy that Members of Congress and their staff could devote to fund-raising for charities. Instead of suggesting that such activities are somehow inappropriate, we ought to In my view, Senators Johnston and McConnell have crafted a more practical alternative. Their amendment would change current law to limit the types of gifts Members and staff could accept. It would also require disclosure of any gifts over $75 and any privately funded trips. With better disclosure requirements in place, the public can judge for itself whether Members are being faithful to the electorate. Finally, the amendment contains a severe penalty -- expulsion -- for any violations. 600

Chris Dodd

Unknown
In the long run, the best way to reform the political process is through campaign finance reform. The problem is not that a Member of Congress receives an occasional gift from a constituent, or takes a trip to a foreign country to help expand economic opportunities for American businesses. The problem is that candidates must spend too much time trying to raise the ridiculously large sums of money that it takes to run a campaign. Although practical limitations on the activities of professional lobbyists are important, we must also move comprehensive campaign finance reform through this Congress. 601

Alan Simpson

Unknown
We earlier passed a managers amendment which banned the current practice that allowed registered lobbyists to write checks to charities designated by Senators who have delivered a speech for an honorarium. This prohibition, however, is limited only to lobbyists and registered foreign agents. Honoraria speeches can still be made under this bill. Appropriate charities can still be designated by the Senator making the speech. The major change in the law is that the payments must not be written or tendered by lobbyists or foreign agents. Of course, 100 percent of any honoraria must go to the charity. I wish to direct this inquiry to the author of the bill, Senator Levin. On February 13, 1992, Senator Kennedy and I received a ruling from the Senate Ethics Committee in regard to our participation in a series of broadcasts known as Face Off on the Mutual Broadcast System. As a result of our participation on Face Off, we are able to direct $25,000 per year to various charitable causes. We are, of course, prohibited from personally keeping one cent of that money. The checks to the selected charities are received from the broadcast group which produces "Face Off." The broadcast group is neither a foreign agent or a registered lobbyist. Would the bill, as amended, in the view of the Senator from Michigan, have any adverse effect on this arrangement? 603

Carl Levin

Unknown
If the broadcast group is neither a registered lobbyist nor a foreign agent, it is my opinion that this bill would not in any way change, alter or amend the earlier Ethics Committee ruling on that subject. 605

Alan Simpson

Unknown
Mr. President, in the year 1992 our Senate colleagues directed over $500,000 to go to charities as a result of speeches which they made. By current law, not one cent of those funds went into any Member's pockets. In 1991, the amount was over $762,000. These funds go to organizations such as the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts, the American Cancer Society, universities, community colleges, environmental and Conservation causes, scholarship programs, veterans groups, and many other worthwhile charitable and educational institutions. I believe this kind of work which Senators do to benefit charities is most commendable. This bill would have banned that type of activity entirely. I was prepared to offer an amendment which would have continued current law regarding charitable honoraria. Since my amendment became known to my old friend, Senator Carl Levin, the author of the legislation, he and I and our respective staff members have engaged in fruitful negotiations. I think we have achieved a solution which will allow these types of worthwhile organizations to continue to receive proceeds from honoraria. However, since this bill is mostly about appearances, and the perceived influence of registered lobbyists, we have agreed to modifications of the current system. I commend Senator Levin and his staff for their work in helping to draft this resolution. 607

Alan Simpson

Unknown
As I understand it, provisions in the managers' amendment would prohibit charitable contributions in lieu of honoraria if those contributions are made directly by a lobbyist or a registered foreign agency is that correct? 608

Carl Levin

Unknown
That is correct. 610

Alan Simpson

Unknown
However, I understand that nothing in the managers' amendment which includes the provisions I requested would prohibit a Member from entering into an agreement to make a speech, and then to direct that an honorarium for the speech go to appropriate charities so long as the person who writes the check to the charity is not a registered lobbyist or registered foreign agent. Is that correct? 612

Carl Levin

Unknown
That is correct. It is not our intention to prohibit Senators from directing honoraria proceeds to worthy charities. However, we do not want the perception to be that lobbyists are seeking to influence a Senator by contributing to his or her favorite charity. The entire focus of this bill is to avoid that sort of perception. Accordingly, the prohibition extends only to lobbyists or foreign agents. 614

Alan Simpson

Unknown
I very much appreciate the outstanding cooperation I have received from my fine friends, Senator Levin and Senator Cohen, in arriving at a satisfactory solution to this matter. 616

J. James Exon

Unknown
Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk and ask for its immediate consideration. 619

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 621

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that reading of the amendment be dispensed with. 626

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 628

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum. 634

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 636

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. 640

The Presiding Officer

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. 642

George J. Mitchell

Unknown
Mr. President, we have had several discussions involving a large number of Senators in an effort to devise a procedure to complete action on this bill and to take up other matters. The Republican leader and I have reached agreement which has not been reduced to writing and, therefore, I am not prepared to formally present it as a unanimous consent request. 645

George J. Mitchell

Unknown