Durbin, Schumer, Collins

Motion to proceed to the FDA User Fees bill (H.R. 2430)

Senator Durbin: (10:07 a.m)

  • Spoke on for-profit colleges.
    • "Quote, there is a market for people who constantly find ways to fill the world with their impressions and insights and digital photography can help you make a positive impression when you're ready to match your talents against the competition. From the very start we'll guide your development, creatively and technically. It's a step-by-step process that's all about preparing you for a future when you can do what you love. That's what's on the website. For the high school student who likes the idea of majoring in digital photography at the Illinois Institute of Art in Schaumburg. Boy, doesn't that sound good? So let's contrast that with what the gainful employment rule found about that particular program. Get ready. You know what the total cost of the digital photography course was at the Illinois Institute of Art, the for-profit school? Total cost - tuition, fees, books and supplies - to prepare you to be a photographer: $88,000. $88,000. It gets better. That's if you live off-campus. Want to live on-campus? The company helps you find an apartment nearby over the four years, an additional $56,000. Let's do the quick math here. $144,000 in debt finishing four years, majoring in digital photography at the Illinois Institute of Art. How many students have to borrow money to do that? 84% of the students who went to that school and took digital photography had to borrow the money. 84%"

 

Senator Schumer: (10:30 a.m)

  • Spoke on nominations.
    • "And we've made significant progress. Now that we've moved past the terrible process used on health care, I hope we can get back to a more normal way of legislating and clearing noncontroversial nominees. The two are tied together. We can't avoid regular order when you want to and then say Democrats should use regular order whenever you want us to. But now that health care is done, I think we can tie the two together. Normal way of legislating, clearing noncontroversial nominees as we move forward in September. Of course, controversial nominees will still require the proper vetting. But I'm committed to help moving noncontroversial, bipartisan nominees forward. I hope the fever is breaking. There's a real desire in this body to move past the acrimony of the health care debate and get to a place where we can work together to advance legislation that helps the American people. And I'm hopeful that the discussions between the Republican leader and I will produce a package of nominees we can pass today."
  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "Now, on taxes, the Republican leader has said the next big issue this body will take up is taxes. Democrats were excluded from even participating in health care discussions from the very first day of Congress. A process that ultimately ended in failure. So we have made the first overture this time to show our Republican friends we're serious about bipartisan process on tax reform. We have sent them a letter outlining three very basic principles. This is a guideline for our Republican colleagues to come work with us, and these are very simple principles that I think the vast majority of Americans would support. Let me say what they are. First, - well, first, the Republican leader has said that he would pursue reconciliation again. A process that purposefully excludes Democrats. Almost again on the first day when we begin to talk about tax reform. The majority leader brought down the curtain on bipartisan tax reform before a discussion between our two parties could even begin. He said Democrats don't want to have a bipartisan discussion. Of course we do."
  • Spoke on immigration.
    • "Many of those H-1B visas work in hotels. I don't know the number, but there are plenty of trump hotels. So when the president actually looks at negligence in his own business, he says we need more immigrants. And he has said when asked before, well, he couldn't get American workers. But when he comes up with his big immigration plan, I think appealing to not the higher instincts of Americans, he says slash it. Those two are complete contradiction. To hold both those views is to hold hypocritical views. The president wants to talk about immigration because he thinks the politics are to his advantage, but in truth, his immigration policy has a stunning hypocrisy at the core of it."

 

Senator Collins: (10:40 a.m)

  • Spoke on FDA reauthorization.
    • "This bill is the product of bipartisan, bicameral work, and it is proof that we can make progress when we work together on the areas where we can find agreement. F.D.A user fees which are reauthorized under this bill are critical to moving the most advanced research from a promise to a cure and ensuring that new treatments reach patients in need. User fees where companies fund a portion of the premarket review of their products account for more than a quarter of all F.D.A funding, yet the F.D.A's authority to collect these fees will expire at the end of next month unless Congress acts, and thus the urgency of getting this bill across the finish line. That is why it is imperative that we advance this bill now and ensure that work on these promising new pharmaceuticals continues uninterrupted. In May, the HELP Committee on which I am pleased to serve overwhelmingly approved bipartisan legislation to extend and reauthorize the F.D.A fees in order to support the public health of our nation. The bill before us also incorporates many provisions that were advanced by individual committee members. It's a great example of how a committee process should work and was collaborative. We each brought ideas to the table, and during our markup, those ideas were offered as amendments and in many cases incorporated into the legislation."