Whitehouse, Reid, Schumer, Boxer, Portman

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

Senator Whitehouse: (6:35 PM)

  • Spoke on climate change.
    • "Our excuse is what on climate change? Keeping big polluting special interests happy? Anybody who is paying attention knows those special interests are lying. Anybody paying attention knows they are influence peddling on a monumental scale. While they've done their best to hide that their denier tentacles are all part of the same denial beast, people all over who are paying attention have figured it out. One day there will be a reckoning. There always is. If we wake up, if we get this right, if we turn that ponderous balance of destiny in our time, then it can be their reckoning, and not all of ours. It can be their shame, not the shame of our democracy, not the shame of our beloved country, not the shame of America. As we close in this weekend on Memorial Day, we will remember those who fought and bled and died for this great republic. The real prospect of failing and putting America to shame makes it seriously time for us to wake up."


Senator Reid: (6:53 PM)

  • Spoke on climate change.
    • "On behalf of the entire democratic caucus, I want to extend my accolades, my admiration for senator Whitehouse's persistence and integrity. This is an issue that speaks well of him and our entire country, and I'm very proud of what he's done and will continue to do."


Senator Schumer: (6:55 PM)

  • Spoke on climate change.
    • "Those who for years have been telling us that a change in climate and rising seas are figments of the imagination, had to eat their words after Sandy, the third most significant storm to hit New York in those years. Those who continue to deny the real and very tangible evidence of climate change are like ostriches with their heads buried in the sand. Senator Whitehouse is right. And whether he tells us it's time to wake up ten times more or another 100, until we do something, he will continue to be right. I thank him for his leadership, his persistence, his eloquence, and his devotion to the cause. I hope for his sake and all our sakes this body takes his words to heart."


Senator Boxer: (6:57 PM)

  • Spoke on climate change.
    • "It's my grandkids and your grandkids and their kids that are going to have to deal with this. I'll close with this: This whole notion of I'm not a scientist is ridiculous and it is ludicrous. If one of our Republican friends went to the doctor and, God forbid, the doctor said you have a serious cancer and tumor and you really need to have it taken care of, you're not going to look at the doctor and say, well, I don't know. I'm not doctor. You might get a second opinion. That's good. And in the case of climate, we've got 97%, 98%, 99% of scientists agreeing on this problem. But you wouldn't say to your doctor, gee, I don't know. Maybe I'll just let this cancer go because I'm not doctor. What do I know? You have to reply on the people who know. And I have never seen anything like this since the tobacco company scandal."


Senator Portman: (7:43 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "The amendment that we're offering despite what some people have been saying about it and what I have seen written even today, which is inaccurate, the rules of the road are actually set out by the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization by reference to the I.M.F. By example, every single country we're negotiating with right now with regard to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, so-called T.P.P., are signatories to this International Monetary Fund and to the W.T.O. and therefore are obliged to live with these rules. All our amendment says - it's very simple - these rules apply just as they are currently provided for by the International Monetary Fund and that countries need to, when they're negotiating with us in a trade agreement, be consistent with those obligations that they've undertaken and there is an enforceability measure. If they don't do it, there will be some consequence. Right now there is no enforceability and you see currency manipulation which in turn hurts our workers, our farmers, who just want the chance to be able to compete and compete fairly."