Brown, Menendez

Morning Business

Senator Brown: (6:31 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "Fast tracking fast-track will prevent us from having serious debates on issues from public health to the auto industry to international monetary policy. During the Finance Committee's consideration of this bill, I filed 88 amendments to the package of four bills, 81 of those to fast track alone. I offered a number during markup. I'll offer more on the floor. I know Senator Menendez had a very important amendment and he will be speaking in a moment, in the Finance Committee that was adopted. I know other colleagues have amendments that will be considered. We should debate these amendments to legislation as important as this. Now the majority leader, who just spoke, wants us to rush this bill through, to fast track fast-track, in the last few days just to get it done, just so the public won't be able to find out what's in it. We owe it to the American people to not rush through something as important as international trade policy. We owe it to the American people to spend the limited time available on the floor passing a job-creation bill like the highway bill, set to expire May 31."


Senator Menendez: (6:37 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "A bipartisan group of 16 senators voted for my amendment to prohibit fast-track procedures from applying to any trade agreement with a country ranked as tier 3, the worst ranking. Congress has never before approved a free trade agreement, much less fast-tracked one, with any country while it was ranked tier 3. And I do not believe we should start now. I want to be clear. The amendment I offered and was adopted with a bipartisan vote in the Finance Committee is not meant to single out Malaysia or any other country. My anti-trafficking provision to the fast-track bill is a simple bipartisan statement of our American values. Contrary to the administration's comments, my amendment is not a poison pill. I don't know when trying to fight human trafficking becomes a poison pill. Nothing could be further from the truth."