Floor Updates

Whitehouse, Moran

Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization bill (S. 1925)

Apr 18 2012

06:45 PM

Senator Whitehouse: (6:18 PM)
  • Spoke on the Highway bill.
    • SUMMARY "The state of play on that at this point is that the House has just passed another extension. We passed an extension back at the end of March that extended the existing highway program to the end of June. And what that will do is cause significant job loss because not knowing for sure what the Highway plan will be means that jobs will fall off the list of the Departments of Transportation around the country. So a further extension to September, which just passed the house an hour ago, makes that situation even worse. The solution to that problem is to make sure that the House and the Senate appoint their conferees so that we can go to conference quickly on that bill and get a lasting authorization out."
  • Spoke on climate change.
    • SUMMARY "A quick thumbnail summary of the week's climate science news. The stories from this week include that temperature variations, which relate to the extra energy put into the climate by the warming weather, could lower life expectancies of the chronically ill. That's one - the chronically ill. That's one story. Another report is a new report from NOAA that coral risks extinction due to climate change. More 50 coral species in U.S. waters are likely to go extinct by the ends of the century. By the end of the century. And the expert cited human driven increases of carbon dioxide as a driver to causing these extinctions. A third is tree diseases, according to rise by the U.S. forest service. Forest diseases are expected to spread more quickly in the western U.S. as climate change warms the regions' forests. And a fourth is a recent study publish in the journal, Nature, which finds that rising carbon dioxide levels drove temperature increases at the end of the last ice age. That at the end of the last ice age, atmospheric CO2 concentrations rose 80 parts per million. Over the past 100 years, CO2 concentrations have risen roughly 100 parts per million. So the effects are linked very closely to climate."

Senator Moran: (6:35 PM)
  • Spoke on the Postal Reform bill.
    • SUMMARY "We have obligation to the United States constitution to provide Postal Service. It matters in the sense that there are many items that are transported in commerce on an ongoing, daily basis in which the Postal Service is the method by which that transportation occurs, by which we certainly deliver mail and packages, shipping occurs in the United States as a result of the viability of the United States Postal Service. It's important, in my view, especially to me as a Kansan. One of the things that's pending in the absence of reform, improvements, and financial stability in the Postal Service is the potential demise of many rural post offices across Kansas and around the country. In my view, and I've expressed this to the postmaster general, the United States Postal Service on many occasions has made decisions that I think enhances - while may save a few dollars reduces the service that the Postal Service provides and ultimately hastens the day in which the Postal Service has even more challenges in remaining viable. One of those was the decision by the Postal Service to close many rural post offices across the country, 130-plus in Kansas. We have had attendance at more than 90 of the community meetings that revolve around the potential closing of a post office, and I have expressed great concern both in the committee - and I serve on the Committee on Homeland Security in which this bill originates and during that markup and debate, I expressed concern then and expressed concern on several occasions to the Postmaster General that there is no basis on making an intelligent decision on which post office should and should not be closed and citizens across Kansas and across the country attend one of these meetings, their question is, what can our community do? What can I do to make certain that our post office remains open and we have the opportunity to receive and have mail delivered from here at the united states post office in our community? And so in working with the committee, provisions were added to the 21st century Postal Service act that create criteria by which these decisions would be made and the community has an opportunity to appeal, should the decision be adverse and those criteria not met. So there, in my view, the Senate should not delay any longer addressing the issue of what we do to make certain that the Postal Service is and remains viable today and in the future."