Floor Updates

Hoeven, Reid, Blumenthal

MORNING BUSINESS

Mar 01 2012

02:31 PM

Senator Hoeven: (1:57 PM)
  • Spoke on the Iranian elections.
    • SUMMARY "We want to support that right for self-determination in Iran, for the people of Iran as well. Right now the only people that can run for office in Iran are people that are approved to run by the regime itself. They have the counsel of guardians and the council of guardians has to approve anyone that wants to run for office. So the reality is the government itself, the regime itself decides whether or not you can run for office and about something over 5,000 individuals applied to run for government. Of those 5,000, about 3,000 were approved by the Iranian regime to run. More than 2,000 were denied. So they can't even run. Well, how can you have a free or a fair or an open election, an election that meets independent standards, when the government itself decides who can run and who can't run? Doesn't work. That's not the way elections should work and America truly is a force for freedom and for democracy in the world and that's why we're working to call the attention of the world to these elections. It is particularly important at this time that we stand with the Iranian people in calling for free and fair elections as we impose sanctions to try to prevent the government from developing nuclear weapon. We want to make very clear that while we need to impose strong, consistent sanctions that prevent the Iranian - the Iranian regime from obtaining a nuclear bomb, at the same time we support the Iranian people's right to self-determination."

Senator Reid: (2:02 PM)
  • Unanimous Consent: Filled the amendment tree; Withdrew amendment #1730; Proposed amendment #1761; Proposed second degree amendment #1762 to amendment #1761; Proposed amendment #1764 to amendment #1763; Proposed second degree amendment #1764 to amendment #1765 (without objection).
  • The first amendment offered was Reid amendment #1761 (Banking, Commerce, Finance titles and 37 amendment cleared by the bill managers).
  • Spoke on the Highway bill.
    • SUMMARY "I offered a revised amendment a little - a few minutes ago. This amendment includes the very same consensus work that comes from the product of these three committees regarding my earlier amendment. It includes matters reported unanimously by the banking committee, strong bipartisan vote in the finance committee, matters negotiated between the chairman and ranking member of the commerce committee. What's new in the amendment that I just offered is that it now - it also includes 37 additional amendments cleared by the managers of this bill and, where appropriate, cleared by other committees. Specifically, the commerce committee and the banking committee. 37 amendments. So that's now part of my substitute that's now before the Senate. I would be very satisfied if the Senate adopted this amendment and provided it would serve as original text for purpose of further amendment. The two managers will continue to work to clear additional amendments. But we need a path forward on this bill and we don't have it now. we continue to work on an agreement to have votes on a number of non-germane amendments in which the Republican caucus say they want. On our side, if they want amendments, we could have some non-germane amendments also. I'd rather we disposed of the non-germane amendments. and i am thinking seriously of coming to the floor today and asking consent that we move forward on this bill with no irrelevant or non-germane amendments. It's vital that we complete work on this surface transportation bill. I'm determined that the Senate will do so and do so as quickly as possible. Doing so will take cooperation from different senators. so we need to keep our eye on the road. We need to get this legislation passed. Saving or creating up to 2.8 million jobs is the destination of this path that we're seeking. Let's work together to get there as soon as possible."

Senator Blumenthal: (2:09 PM)
  • Spoke on the Iranian elections.
    • SUMMARY "The parliamentary elections that will occur on Friday in Iran will be neither free nor fair. They've already taken actions to assure that it will be, as one observer said, the fakest one yet. but the brutal repression in human rights going on there are too real for those who suffer at that government's and that regime's hands. As the resolution makes clear, Iran has already disqualified 2,200 candidates from actually running for office simply based on their political views, and it maintains severe restrictions on the press, strangling a free press, preventing even the voice of America and radio-free Europe from reaching the people - radio free Europe from reaching the people of Iran. Having created a sham election, a travesty and a tragedy, the Iranian regime now will try to force Iranians to vote at the polls in an effort to show popular support, force them to vote simply to show this sham support. The truth is, it has no such support. Allowing international monitors to bear witness, as we demand in our resolution, would reveal these acts of repression for what they are and for the world to see."