Alexander, Franken, Blumenthal

Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization bill (S. 1925)

Senator Alexander: (2:38 PM)
  • Paid tribute to Pat Summit, the University of Tennessee's Women's Basketball coach.

Senator Franken: (3:05 PM)
  • Spoke on a Franken amendment to the Postal Reform bill.
    • SUMMARY "S. 1789 would refund overpayments that the Postal Service has made to the federal pension program. It will also reduce the requirement that the Postal Service prefund retiree health care benefits. I am very supportive of both of these provisions, which will save the Postal Service over $15 billion over the next two years. However, I believe that the bill can be strengthened to maintain delivery standards and better protect rural post offices. I have been working with a group of my colleagues, including the presiding officer, led by Senator Sanders to improve the bill. I want to thank Senator's Carper and Lieberman for working with us. The managers' amendment addresses some of our concerns. Most importantly, it would require the Postal Service to retain regional overnight delivery standards. This will protect many processing facilities and importantly for Minnesota it will likely keep the Duluth processing facility open. But the substitute still doesn't do enough to protect rural post offices. I have introduced an amendment that will give communities the opportunity to fight to prevent the closure of their local post offices and processing facilities. Right now the postal regulatory commission can review post office closure decisions but can only issue advisory options. Our amendment would give the commission authority to reverse post office and processing facility closure decisions. That would guarantee that individuals and communities impacted by closures would have real recourse. I urge my senate colleagues to support our amendment. We need to make thoughtful changes to S. 1789, and we need to act now. Last December I joined with a number of my Senate colleagues in pushing the postmaster general for a five-month moratorium on postal closure the moratorium is now running out and the Postal Service is not waiting. It can't. On May 16, the Postal Service will close thousands of centers. We need to act now."
  • Spoke on the Patient Safety and Generic Labeling Improvement Act.
    • SUMMARY "Our bill, the Patient Safety and Generic Labeling Improvement Act, would allow generic drug makers to update their warnings to accurately reflect the known risks associated with their drugs. That's it. It wouldn't require them to do so. It just lets them do what other drug manufacturers already are allowed to do. Our bill says that millions of Americans who are taking generic drugs are entitled to the same protections as people who take brand-name drugs and says that people are entitled to their day in court when manufacturers fail to disclose risks."

Senator Blumenthal: (3:37 PM)
  • Paid tribute to Pat Summit, the University of Tennessee's Women's Basketball coach.
  • Spoke on the NCAA's academic standards application to the University of Connecticut's Men's Basketball program.