Leahy, Tester, Daines, Blunt, Sanders

Vehicle for Trade Promotion Authority (H.R. 1314)

Senator Leahy: (2:03 PM)

  • Spoke on the PATRIOT Act.
    • "We're moving for a responsible path forward. We've worked for two years on this bill to end the N.S.A. bulk collection of Americans' phone records. Republicans and Democrats have worked together for two years to end the N.S.A.'s bulk collection of Americans' phone records, something that every one of us at a town meeting, I don't care what state you're in, if you ask Americans do you want a bulk collection of all your phone records, you know what the answer would be: of course not. Clocks run out but there is a responsible choice before us. Let's pass the U.S.A. Freedom Act today. Then we have the improvements, we keep America secure and we don't have all our authorities expire."


Senator Tester: (2:17 PM)

  • Spoke on Chuck Johnson. 
    • "Known as the Dean of the capitol press corps, Mr. Johnson would take young reporters under his wing, teaching them how to understand the governmental process and sharing his vast knowledge of Montana politics. From his reporting on taxes and budgets, he has a way of making it easy to make sense to the average reader. But where his reporting stands out is his ability to track and understand campaign finance. He has been known to plow through election reports late on a Friday night when all the other reporters have called it quits and gone to bed. Digging for a story, holding elected leaders accountable and reporting the facts. It's his integrity, his commitment to the truth and fair reporting that has earned the respect of politicians and readers alike from both sides of the aisle."


Senator Daines: (2:20 PM)

  • Spoke on Chuck Johnson. 
    • "With chuck's retirement and the closing of the Lee State Bureau, Montana is saying farewell to not only a talented and dedicated reporter but also a historian of our state and a mentor to countless young reporters looking to make their own mark in Montana's news media. I want to thank Chuck personally for his years of service to Montana, his lifelong commitment to making our state's government open and more accessible to all Montanans. He has made a lasting mark on the state of Montana. His depth of knowledge, his life time of experience will be difficult if not impossible to replace. And his byline on newspaper stories across Montana will be greatly missed. Well, Chuck, congratulations on your retirement. We appreciate all that you have done and we wish you the very best."


Senator Blunt: (2:29 PM)

  • Spoke on the highway trust fund.
    • "And since the very earliest days of the Congress, what the federal government could and should do regarding interstate commerce and transportation and the constitution itself talks about building postal roads, it talks about interstate commerce. So hopefully, we take this vote today or tomorrow or whenever we take this vote, to be sure we continue the construction already underway but don't stop for a minute in working on this process until we get a highway and bridge and construction bill for transportation that allows us to move forward and to move forward for a significant future of what we need to do. We are going to lose the advantages we have if we don't maintain and improve the transportation network that we have. I look forward to seeing that happen and encourage my colleagues to vote for that two-month extension but don't give a moment's relaxation seeking the multiyear highway bill, the multiyear transportation bill that the country really needs."
  • Spoke on the Veterans Administration.
    • "The Veterans Administration system is not what it should be. It continues to seem to me that the Veterans Administration wants to focus on what's good for the Veterans Administration instead of what's good for veterans. And I'm tired of it. And I think many people in the country are tired of it, and we need to do something about it. We got a report in our state this week about tone of the St. Louis facilities, the John Cochran Hospital. Now, this hospital, Mr. President, has had seven acting directors in two years. It's a hospital with problems. It's a hospital that's not serving veterans the way it should, and it's had seven acting directors in two years."


Senator Sanders: (2:41 PM)

  • Spoke on the PATRIOT Act.
    • "We must bring together leaders in the technology world, people who not only know what technology today is doing in invading our privacy rights but what the future holds. Because I am quite certain that every single day this technology is growing more and more sophisticated and more and more intrusive. And sitting down with people who are experts on technology, we have got to have civil libertarians, people who understand what the first amendment is, what the fourth amendment is, what the Bill of Rights is about, what the constitution is about. And of course involved in that discussion must be law enforcement and our security experts. And the goal of all of this must be to create legislation which does everything that we can to protect the safety of the American people but also protects our privacy rights and the our constitutional rights."