McConnell, Merkley

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

Senator McConnell: (7:57 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "This can go on as long as senators want to or as short a time as senators prefer, provided no one is seeking recognition. But if anyone does seek recognition, they're limited to one hour, at which point the chair puts the question. So I can't tell you with specificity when the vote will occur but it will occur when no one is seeking recognition. Once this bill is concluded later this evening, under the regular order, the cloture motions on the two FISA bills will ripen an hour after we convene tomorrow, which could be as early as 1:00 A.M. tonight. So just to reiterate, if no senators are seeking recognition, we would move to a vote shortly. If any senator seeks recognition, they're limited to one hour. At the end of that, if no other senator is seeking recognition, we'll put the question and start the vote."


Senator Merkley: (7:59 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "So here is the bottom line -- do we want to live in an America where the middle class is going to be wiped out because we pulled down all the barriers between very low-wage countries, low-enforcement countries, low-labor-standard countries, low environmental standards, and our economy, which then creates tremendous pressure for our own wages and standards to diminish? And why does it create pressure? Because companies say you know what? If you push for higher wages or better working conditions, we're going to move our factory overseas. Or they say you know what? We already have a factory overseas. And we're going to increase our production there and decrease our production here. And that's the pressure here on wages and working conditions in the United States of America. And what about the people overseas? This agreement is designed so that companies who are producing in China, which will not be part of the agreement at this point in time, can say if you raise your wages and you're working conditions, we will go to Malaysia and if Malaysia raises there, we will go to Vietnam."