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[Congressional Record: September 26, 2000 (Senate)]
[Page S9247-S9251]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I am pleased that the Senate has voted 94-3 
to invoke cloture with respect to H-1B legislation.
  As Members know, cloture limits debate and restrains amendments to 
germane amendments only.

[[Page S9248]]

  With that in mind, I want all Senators to know that the Senate is 
going to conduct a final vote on this legislation. We are committed to 
that, and we will get to that point even if it takes some more time. I 
hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will allow this bill to 
be voted on in the Senate. We have worked on it for months trying to 
get agreements to find a way to get conclusion. But it is time that we 
get to the conclusion and have a vote. I predict that the final vote on 
this bill will be somewhat like the vote we had on the FAA 
reauthorization bill some 4 years ago. There was a lot of resistance. 
It took a week to get to a final conclusion. The final vote was 
something like 97-3. I suspect that when we get to a final vote here it 
will be 90-10, if we can ever get a vote on the substance.

                             CLOTURE MOTION

  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I send a cloture motion to the desk to the 
pending first-degree amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motion having been presented under 
rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to report the motion.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the pending 
     first-degree amendment (No. 4177) to Calendar No. 490, S. 
     2045, a bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act 
     with respect to H-1B non-immigrant aliens:
         Trent Lott, Gordon Smith of Oregon, Judd Gregg, Wayne 
           Allard, Conrad Burns, Craig Thomas, Rick Santorum, Thad 
           Cochran, Bob Smith of New Hampshire, Spencer Abraham, 
           Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, Connie Mack, George 
           Voinovich, Larry Craig, James Inhofe, and Jeff 

                             CLOTURE MOTION

  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I send a cloture motion to the desk to the 
pending committee substitute.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motion having been presented under 
rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to report the motion.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the committee 
     substitute amendment to Calendar No. 490, S. 2045, a bill to 
     amend the Immigration and Nationality Act with respect to H-
     1B non-immigrant aliens:
         Trent Lott, Gordon Smith of Oregon, Judd Gregg, Wayne 
           Allard, Conrad Burns, Craig Thomas, Rick Santorum, Thad 
           Cochran, Bob Smith of New Hampshire, Kay Bailey 
           Hutchison, Connie Mack, George Voinovich, Larry Craig, 
           James Inhofe, Jeff Sessions, and Don Nickles.

                             CLOTURE MOTION

  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I send a cloture motion to the desk to the 
pending bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motion having been presented under 
rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the chair directs the 
clerk to report the motion.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on Calendar No. 
     490, S. 2045, a bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act with respect to H-1B non-immigrant aliens:
         Trent Lott, Gordon Smith, Judd Gregg, Wayne Allard, 
           Conrad Burns, Craig Thomas, Rick Santorum, Thad 
           Cochran, Bob Smith, Spencer Abraham, Kay Bailey 
           Hutchison, Connie Mack, George Voinovich, Larry Craig, 
           James Inhofe, and Jeff Sessions.

  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I would be happy to vitiate the cloture 
votes on this bill if the Democrats would agree to that. I think we 
could get a time agreement and have germane amendments that could be 
offered, and we could complete it in a reasonable period of time. 
Perhaps we should have gone through a procedural effort different from 
what we wound up with, but I really thought that once we had the 
cloture vote this morning, we would be able to get some sort of 
reasonable time agreement--6 hours or more if necessary--and get to a 
conclusion so that we could move on to other issues. I am still open to 
that. I know Senator Reid has put a lot of time on it and had some 
remarks today. I certainly understand that. The issue or issues that 
have been raised, I think, could be or would be considered on other 
bills and other venues. I hope we can work together to find a way to 
complete this important legislation.

  Failing that, I had no alternative but to go this route.
  Mr. REID. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. LOTT. I am happy to yield to the Senator.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I don't really understand because I haven't 
been there, but I have some idea of the burden that the Senator bears. 
I really do. It hurts me--I care a great deal about the Senator as a 
person--to delay what I know the Senator believes is extremely 
  However, I believe we should resolve this quickly. We could have a 
vote in the morning on H-1B. We, the minority, don't oppose H-1B. As I 
have said today, we want a vote on the amendment filed which we have 
been talking about all day. We will take 5 or 10 minutes a side and 
vote. We could be done with this legislation tomorrow at 2 o'clock in 
the afternoon or 10 o'clock in the morning, whatever the leader 
  The debate we have had today has been constructive but, in a sense, 
unnecessary. I hope the majority leader, the man who has the burden of 
controlling what goes on here, especially in his waning days of this 
Congress, will meet with the caucus or make the decision unilaterally, 
or whatever it takes, and move on. Take care of the high tech people. 
Also, take care of the restaurant workers and other people who also 
need to be taken care of.
  Again, we will take as little as 5 minutes on this amendment and have 
a vote and go about our business.
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, if I might respond to Senator Reid, I think 
he knows an effort was made a few days ago to see if we couldn't clear 
a limited number of amendments--and either without identifying what 
those amendments would be or identifying them--and we are not able to 
clear it. We couldn't clear it on this side.
  We had Senators on this side that wanted to offer other issues, too, 
including the H-2A issue, involving how we deal with visas for 
agricultural workers. There are some Members who think we ought to do 
that. There are others who didn't think we ought to do it on this bill. 
While I understand what the Senator is saying, I have not been able to 
clear that, and therefore I had to move forward to try to get the bill 
to conclusion.
  I always enjoy working with the Senator from Nevada. He has been 
unfailingly fair and has worked with us to move a lot of issues. I 
appreciate that. I regret we couldn't get this cleared. I did try to, 
but I couldn't get it done. So now we need to get to a conclusion on 
the underlying.
  Mr. BIDEN. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. LOTT. I am happy to yield to the Senator.
  Mr. BIDEN. I realize the leader, as Senator Reid said, has a lot of 
burdens. But today the House passed, by a vote of 415-3, the Violence 
Against Women Act--24 Republicans and all Democrats. Seventy-one 
cosponsored the Violence Against Women Act.
  I wonder if the leader would be willing to agree to a 10-minute time 
agreement and we could vote on the Violence Against Women Act tomorrow 
or some day?
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, let me say we are going to try to clear that 
bill so we can get it into conference with the House. If we run into 
problems, whatever they may be, it is my intent that legislation will 
be on a bill that is signed into law before the end of this session. It 
is our intent to get it done. We will try a variety of ways to achieve 
that. We will want to put it on a bill that we hope will be signed into 
law. We are not going to try to put it on something that might not be. 
We will also be taking cognizance of what the House has done.

  Mr. BIDEN. If the Senator will allow me a moment, it may be helpful 
for consideration to know I spoke with Republican leadership in the 
House on this issue, as well as here, and I am confident we can arrive 
at a bill that wouldn't require a conference.
  So if the leader concludes at some point--and I take the leader at 
his word and he always keeps it--the intention is to bring this up, I 
think it may be possible we could literally pass a bill that would not 
require a conference. I raise that possibility.

[[Page S9249]]

  Mr. LOTT. We will be working on that. I have had other bills that I 
thought would zip right through'', no problem. We have one from the 
Finance Committee, the FSC issue, which is very important to compliance 
with the WTO decision. I am concerned now we may not be able to get 
that cleared.
  We are trying to get appropriations bills considered by the Senate. 
We are trying to get an agreement to take up the District of Columbia, 
and we ran into a problem. I think maybe we are fixing that problem, 
but I am saying to the Senator at this point it is hard to get 
clearances. We did get one worked on regarding the water resources 
development bill, and we are doing other issues.
  This is a bill we will find a way to get done before this session is 
over. We will see what happens when we get it together and try to work 
through it.
  Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I thank the majority leader. As I indicated 
to the majority leader, this may be a unique bill not unlike the one my 
friend, the Presiding Officer, has on sex trafficking on which he has 
worked so hard. This doesn't even have those problems. This has 415 
Members of the House voting for it; 3 voting against it; 71 cosponsors 
in the Senate. I am willing to predict, if we can agree to bring it up 
without amendment, we will get 85 to 95 votes. This is in the category 
of a no brainer. Henry Hyde is a sponsor of it. It is the Biden-Hatch 
  The only point I make, and I will be brief, time is running out. The 
Violence Against Women Act expires this Sunday, September 30. It took 
me 8 years to get this thing done. It took 3 years after it was written 
just to get it considered. It took that long to get it passed. It has 
been in place for 5 years. There are no additional taxes required to 
pay for this bill because there is a trust fund that uses the salaries 
that were being paid to Federal officials who no longer work for the 
Federal Government; it goes into that fund.
  As I said, if there was ever a no brainer, this one is it. Democrats 
like it; Republicans like it. As Senator Herman Talmadge from Georgia, 
said to me one night regarding another issue when I walked into the 
Senate dining room: What's the problem, Joe? I guess I looked down. He 
was chairman of the Agriculture Committee. I said: I'm having problems 
with such and such an issue. He said: What is the problem, son? I 
repeated; I thought he didn't hear me. He said: No, you don't 
understand. Republicans like it; Democrats like it. So just go and do 
  Well, that is where we are tonight. Democrats like the bill; 
Republicans like the bill; the House likes the bill; the Senate likes 
the bill; women like the bill; men like the bill, business likes the 
bill; labor likes the bill. So why don't we have the bill? And I have 
been hollering about this for 2 years now.
  Hopefully, in light of what the majority leader said, maybe we will 
get to it. I was beginning to get a little despondent. I was even 
thinking of attaching the bill to the Presiding Officer's bill to make 
sure we get it done.
  Today the Washington Post, in an editorial entitled ``Inexplicable 
Neglect,'' noted: ``There seems to be no good reason, practical or 
substantive, to oppose the reauthorization of the Violence Against 
Women Act.''
  I ask unanimous consent the totality of that editorial be printed in 
the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                          Inexplicable Neglect

       There seem to be no good reason, practical or substantive, 
     to oppose reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. 
     Originally passed in 1994, the act provides money to state 
     and local institutions to help combat domestic violence. It 
     is set to expire at the end of the month. Its reauthorization 
     has overwhelming bipartisan support. But House and Senate 
     leaders have yet to schedule a vote.
       Versions of the bill have been favorably reported by the 
     judiciary committees of both chambers. Both would expand 
     programs that during the past five years have helped create 
     an infrastructure capable of prosecuting domestic violence 
     cases and providing services to battered women. Since the 
     original act was passed, Congress has devoted $1.5 billion to 
     programs created by it. The House and Senate bills differ, 
     but both would authorize more than $3 billion in further 
     support during the next five years. There is room to debate 
     the proper funding level relative to other priorities, a 
     matter which will be determined later by appropriators; and 
     the programs won't end immediately if the act lapses, because 
     funds have been approved for the coming year. But failing to 
     reauthorize would send the wrong message on an important 
     issue and, more important, could threaten future 
       With time in the 106th Congress running out, the Violence 
     Against Women Act may become a casualty for neglect rather 
     than of active opposition. But that's no comfort. Congress 
     ought to find the time to pass it before leaving town.

  Mr. BIDEN. The act of 1994 signaled the beginning of a national--and, 
I argue, historic--commitment to women and children in this country 
victimized by family violence and sexual assault.
  The act is making a real difference in the lives of millions of 
women. The legislation changed our laws, strengthened criminal 
penalties, and facilitated enforcement of protection orders.
  I see my friend from California is here. When she was in the House of 
Representatives, she was one of the few people, man or woman, on either 
side that fought for 2 years to get this passed. I say to the Senator, 
the majority leader indicated he plans on making sure that this gets 
voted on this year. ``This year'' means the next couple of days or 
weeks. He says he wants to attach it to another bill.
  I have been making the case, I say to my friend from California, that 
based on the vote in the House, 415-3 and 71 Senators cosponsoring the 
Biden-Hatch bill here in the Senate, we should bring this up free-
standing. I was presumptuous enough to speak for you and others and say 
we would agree to a 5-minute time agreement on the bill.
  Mrs. BOXER. Will my friend yield for just a couple of quick 
questions, and then I will allow him to, of course, finish his 
  First, I really came over to the floor when I saw the Senator took 
time to speak on the floor about the Violence Against Women Act. It was 
my great honor when I was in the House that he asked me to carry that 
bill those many years ago. I remember what a struggle it was. We 
couldn't get that House at that time to recognize this problem.
  I have heard my friend say many times, even the words ``domestic 
violence'' indicate something that is different about this particular 
kind of violence; there is something that is domesticated about it. It 
is violence; it is anger; it is rape; it is hard to even describe what 
women, particularly women--although it does happen to men--go through.
  So I took to the floor just to ask a couple of questions. In light of 
the House passage with the kind of vote you rarely see over there--my 
goodness, we hardly ever see a vote like that--and the fact it was 
freestanding, wasn't attached to any other bill, doesn't my friend 
believe we should bring this up--I agree with him--with a short time 
agreement, 2 minutes a side? It doesn't matter to me. We have talked 
enough about this over the years.
  Doesn't my friend agree it would be much better to just bring it up 
freestanding instead of attaching it to another bill that some people 
may have problems with? Why would we want to take this idea, this 
incredibly important idea that the Senator pushed through this 
Congress, and attach it to another bill that may be controversial?
  Mr. BIDEN. In response to the question of the Senator, I fully agree 
with her. I indicated that to the majority leader. To give the majority 
leader the benefit of the doubt, which I am prepared to do, I am not 
sure he understands how much support this has. When I indicated it 
should be freestanding, he cited other bills he thought were going to 
go through and they didn't go through and that was what he was worried 
  He had to leave here necessarily and so didn't hear my response, 
which is, this is not like any other bill. I have not heard of any 
problem. If any staff is listening--staffs of all one hundred Senators 
listen to proceedings. They are assigned to listen to them. I ask 
anybody in the Senate who has any problem with the Biden-Hatch bill to 
please come and let us know, to debate it. I do not know anybody who is 
even willing to debate it, to say they are not for it.
  I would be dumbfounded, when in fact we bring this up, if we bring it 
up freestanding, if it didn't get everyone in the Senate voting for it. 
I would be astounded if it got fewer than 85 or 90

[[Page S9250]]

votes. I would not at all be surprised if it got 100 votes. But I am 
not sure the majority leader understands that.
  Frankly, what the Senator from California and I could do with 
Senators Hatch and Specter and others who are supportive of this bill--
maybe we can go see the majority leader tomorrow and lay out for him 
why we are so certain he will not get himself in a traffic jam if he 
brings this bill up and why he doesn't need to attach it to anything 
  Mrs. BOXER. Right. I say to my friend, since we are strategizing here 
in front of the world----
  Mr. BIDEN. The whole world.
  Mrs. BOXER. We might want to see if we could get some signatures on a 
letter asking him to bring it up freestanding because it seems to me to 
be the best thing to do.

  Almost everything else we do, as my friend has pointed out, is 
controversial. But when you have a bill that has worked to increase the 
funding for shelters and train judges and doctors and the rest, and as 
a result we have seen a 21-percent decline in this kind of violence, it 
ought to breeze through here.
  But I really came to the floor to thank my friend for his leadership 
here and his continued focus on this issue. A lot of us, as we get 
older, start thinking: What have I done that I am really proud of? I 
know my friend can truly say--and I can say it because I was fortunate 
he involved me in this early on--this is one of the good things, one of 
the great things.
  I thank my friend and hope we can prevail on the majority leader to 
bring this up freestanding. I thank my colleague for yielding.
  Mr. BIDEN. I thank the Senator. I will follow onto that.
  History will judge--and even that is a presumptuous thing, to think 
history will even take the time to judge, but some folks will judge 
whether or not my career in the Senate accomplished anything. I know 
for me, the single most important thing I have ever been involved in, 
and have ever done, and I care more about than anything I have ever 
been involved in, is this legislation. The thing I am most proud of is 
that it has become a national consensus. It is not a Democratic issue; 
it is not a Republican issue; it is not a women's issue, not a men's 
issue. We have taken that dirty little secret of domestic violence out 
of the closet.
  Mrs. BOXER. That is right.
  Mr. BIDEN. We have freed up, as a consequence of that, not only the 
bodies but the souls of millions of people and thousands and thousands 
of women.
  As the Senator well knows, the hotline that she and Senator Kennedy, 
Senator Specter, and others have worked so hard to put in place, that 
hotline has received literally hundreds of thousands of calls--300,000 
all told--tens of thousands of calls over the years since we passed 
this, saying: Help me, help me. I am trapped.
  I say to men who say: Gee, whiz, why don't women just walk away; Why 
don't they just walk away from this abuse they get; There are a lot of 
reasons they don't, from being physically intimidated, to being 
psychologically intimidated, to having no place to go and no financial 
  Mrs. BOXER. Will my friend yield on this point?
  Mr. BIDEN. Yes.
  Mrs. BOXER. I think also--and I know he is so aware of this--another 
reason they do not walk away is their kids.
  Mr. BIDEN. Absolutely.
  Mrs. BOXER. They fear for their kids. With all of the attention we 
have paid to the entertainment industry--and the Chair has taken a lead 
on this--to call to everyone's attention the excess of violence and the 
marketing of too many R-rated films to kids, we know for sure, I say to 
Senator Biden, there is only one proven predictor that violence will be 
passed on to the next generation, and that is when the child sees a 
parent beat the other parent. We know that 60 percent or more of those 
kids are going to grow up in the same fashion.
  I was going to leave now, but every time the Senator starts to bring 
up another point, it is so interesting, I am kind of spellbound. But 
the bottom line is, with this bill we are helping women and children 
and families. We are standing for the values that I thought we all mean 
when we say ``family values.'' Again, my thanks.

  Mr. BIDEN. I thank my colleague.
  Mr. President, I will not go through the whole of my statement. Let 
me just make a few other points.
  I must say I compliment the Chair for his work and his, not only 
intellectual dedication but, it seems to me, passionate commitment to 
do something about the international sex trafficking occurs. This is a 
women's issue internationally.
  I suspect he feels the same way I feel about this legislation. I 
suspect he believes there is probably not much more that he has done 
that is as tangible and might affect the lives of people, that you 
could look to, you could count, you could touch, you could see. When I 
said there are a lot of calls, literally over half a million women, 
over 500,000 women have picked up the phone and called, probably 
huddled in the dark in the corner of their closet or their room, hoping 
their husband or significant other is not around, and said in a 
whisper, ``Help me, help me''--given their name and address and said, 
``Help me.''
  Think of that. Think of that. A half a million women have picked up 
the phone. How many more have not picked up the phone?
  The thing we should be aware of--and I know the Chair knows this--it 
is counterintuitive to think a child who watches his mother being 
beaten to a pulp would then beat his wife or girlfriend later. That is 
counterintuitive. Wouldn't you think that would be the last thing a 
child would do? But the psychologists tell us it is the first thing. 
They learn violence is a readily available and acceptable means of 
resolving power disputes.
  You know, as the Chair I am sure knows--I am not being solicitous 
because of his work in this generic field--about 60 percent of the 
people in prison today have been abused or were in families where they 
witnessed abuse. This is not rocket science. I hope we get on with it.

  There are a few things I want to mention. This bill does not merely 
reauthorize what we have done. I made a commitment, when I wrote this 
bill and we finally got it passed as part of the Biden crime bill, that 
I would go back and look at it--and others have, too, but personally 
since I was so involved in it--and the parts that were working I would 
try to beef up; the parts that were weak and did not make sense, I 
would jettison. In the reauthorization, I would get rid of them.
  I hope my colleagues will see we have kept that commitment. We take 
the parts we found were lacking in our first bill and we, in fact, 
beefed them up. We kept the police training, the court training, and 
all those issues. We kept the violent crime reduction trust fund which, 
by the way, gets about $6.1 billion a year from paychecks that are not 
going to Federal employees anymore and go into this trust fund. It 
trains attorneys general and the rest.
  What it does beyond all it has already been doing is it provides for 
transitional housing for women. We have over 300,000, in large part 
thanks to Senator Specter from Pennsylvania, who has been so dedicated 
in his appropriations subcommittee to this. We have built all these new 
shelters. We do not send women to shantytowns. This is decent housing 
with anonymity, giving them an opportunity to get out from under the 
male fist abusing them, and they can bring their children with them.
  Seventy percent of children on the street are homeless because their 
mothers are on the street, a victim of domestic violence. We realized 
there is a gap here because there are so many women knocking down the 
door to get into these shelters to get out of abusive circumstances. We 
can only keep them there for 30 days, 60 days, sometimes longer. They 
cannot go back home because their husband has either trashed the home 
or tried to sell the home or they have to move back in with the 
husband. We tried to find some transitional housing that takes them 
down the road for the next couple of years and gives them some hope.
  We also beef up cross-State protection orders. For example: God 
forbid there is a woman staffer in ear shot and she lives in Virginia 
or Maryland or a nearby State and she went to the court and said: Look, 
my husband or my boyfriend or this man has harassed me or beaten me, 
and I want him to

[[Page S9251]]

stay away from me. The court issues what they call stay-away orders, 
victim protection orders.
  That woman may work in the District of Columbia. Now she crosses the 
line from Virginia or Maryland into D.C., and she gets harassed. The 
man violates the order, and she goes to a D.C. cop or D.C. court. They 
do not have any record of it. There is no record or they do not honor 
it. I am not talking about D.C. particularly. One State does not honor 
another State.
  What we have done is beefed up the requirement that States honor 
these stay-away orders when women cross the line, literally cross a 
State line, cross a jurisdictional line.
  There is a very well-known reporter at the Washington Post--although 
he has written about this, I am not going to take the liberty of using 
his name without his permission. His daughter was in a similar 
situation in Massachusetts. She was abused by someone. A stay-away 
order was issued. She was in Massachusetts. She was in a different 
county. The man, in fact, violated the order. They went into a local 
court. The local court, because there were not computerized records, 
did not know there was a State stay-away order.

  By the way, the stay-away order says if you violate the order, you go 
to jail. If a man follows a woman into a different jurisdiction and the 
jurisdiction knows that order exists and he violates the order, they 
can arrest him and send him to jail on the spot because it is part of 
the probation, in effect, to stay away. It is part of the sentence, if 
you will; not literally a sentence. They can put him in jail.
  George's daughter said: This guy has an order. He is not supposed to 
be near me.
  The judge said: We have no record of that order because they are not 
computerized for interchange of these records.
  They walked outside the courtroom, and this man shot her dead. He 
shot dead on the spot the daughter of this famous Washington reporter 
because there was not the honoring, even within the State, of these 
orders. We beefed that up.
  By the way, in my State of Delaware, which has a relatively low 
murder rate, 60 percent of all the people murdered in the last 2 years 
were women murdered by their husband or their boyfriend. Did my 
colleagues hear what I just said? Murdered by their husband or 
boyfriend. The vast majority of women who are murdered in America are 
murdered by a significant other or their husband. This is not a game.
  We are now in a position where there is, in fact, no authorization 
for the continuation of this law for which we worked so hard. Come 
October 1, which is what, how many days? Today is the 26th. The point 
is, in less than a week, this law is out of business.
  I have much more to say about this, but I will not take the time of 
the Senate now. I am encouraged, I am heartened by what the House did. 
I am encouraged by what Senator Lott said to me today on the floor, and 
I look forward to the opportunity to convince the leader to bring this 
up in whatever form that will allow us to pass it because, again, this 
is not a Republican or Democratic issue. This literally affects the 
lives of thousands and thousands of women.