May 19 2015 11:19 AM
Senator Durbin: (10:14 AM)
- Spoke on immigration.
- "And if they step forward, they've got to pay a filing fee for us to process their application. And they have to submit themselves to a criminal and national security background check. We don't want anybody in this country who is a danger to America. If they flunk that part of the test, they're finished and deported. Then they have to put their names on the books to pay their taxes in the United States while they are working. And under those circumstances, we'll give them the temporary -- temporary - renewable right to stay here and work without fear of deportation. And then several years later repeat it, make the application again. The president believes - and I share the belief - we'll be a safer nation if we do that. There could be as many as 11 million undocumented people in this country who would qualify for what we call DACA, who would have to pay their fee, pay their taxes, go through this background check and be subject to renewal on a regular basis."
Senator Leahy: (10:24 AM)
- Spoke on the National Security Agency.
- "The U.S.A. Freedom Act doesn't just end bulk collection under section 215 and other national security authorities, it also contains other important reforms that can't be won through legal challenges, such as new transparency measures. A panel of experts from which the FISA Court can call on for amicus support. Congress has to act. The courts aren't going to write this whole bill for us. Of course we can. We've had years of working on it, numerous hearings. The Senate came up last year with really basically the last bill the House just passed overwhelmingly. We shouldn't be standing around talking about we're going to go to the break. We're going to put our intelligence community on the question of do we or don't we. The U.S.A. Freedom Act is a responsible solution."
Senator Isakson: (10:48 AM)
- Spoke on Sonny Dixon.
- "It is not often that anyone comes to the floor in the Senate to praise a journalist one way or another. But on the 31st of May, Sonny Dixon, of Savannah, Georgia, will retire after 18 years as the anchor of WTOC. Sonny Dixon is a rare breed indeed as far as political reporters because he's actually been elected to political office, serving for years in the Georgia legislature, some of those years with me. I know him as a friend, a professional, and I know him as the best anchor man, period."
- Spoke Roy Roberts.
- "I also want to talk about Roy Roberts of Walton County, Georgia. It's also not often that you rise-to-as a Georgian to compliment a Kentucky basketball player. He played for the famous Adolf Rough in the 1960's. He made the all-SEC team as a player for Kentucky. He was a great player in that year and made many all-star teams but he came back to Georgia to ranch his farm. With his two brothers he made Walton County, Georgia, a centerpiece of our state. He has participated with many things that involve politics in Walton County and has helped Walton County to be one of the leading Republican states in the state of Georgia."
Senator Cornyn: (10:53 AM)
- Spoke on trade.
- "In short, this trade legislation will provide Congress the needed oversight of the trade negotiations and will act as a safeguard for American interests, to make sure that our markets remain competitive, our goods and services remain competitive in the global marketplace. And so finally, I would just like to say that this is a reminder of how the Senate should function on a bipartisan basis to do something important to help hardworking American families. The Senate to work as a deliberative body and that we vote and I hope we will be having a series of votes later on this afternoon. Having an open amendment process, as the majority leader has promised, I think, is something that's been found a welcome development, not just for the majority but also for the minority. Who I know wants to participate in the process and thus represent their constituents to the best of their ability."
Senator Collins: (11:04 AM)
- Unanimous Consent –
- The Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of H.R. 2252, to clarify the effective date of certain provisions of the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014.
- The Senate pass H.R. 2252.
- (Without objection)
- Spoke on trade.
- "Assisting American workers who are negatively faced by international trade, particularly when they are competing with workers with lower wages, in countries with lower wages and lower environmental standards or none at all, is vitally important and the right thing to do. In Maine, the effects of free trade agreements have been decidedly mixed. While some past agreements have brought benefits to my state in the form of lower tariffs on Maine products such as potatoes, lobster, and wild blueberries, jobs in many other industries have suffered terrible losses as a result of unfair foreign competition. Our workers are the best in the world, and they can compete when there is a level playing field. But oftentimes they are competing against industries in developing countries that are paying lower wages, that don't have to comply with any kind of environmental standards, and that are often subsidized by those governments."