Whitehouse, Sessions, Menendez

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

Senator Whitehouse: (11:31 AM)

  • Spoke on climate change.
    • "When it comes to climate change, the fast-track bill is silent. There's no mention of, let alone protection for, commitments that the United States and other countries might make to cut carbon pollution. The United Nations framework convention on climate change is the main international agreement for dealing with climate change. The U.S. Senate ratified this treaty in 1992, and since then under various administrations the United States has taken a leading role under the framework to reach global accord, particularly work to reach a global accord in Paris later this winter. The Paris Accord is perhaps our last, best hope to put the world on a path that avoids severe climate disruption, even climate catastrophe. That fast-track bill and the pacific trade bill ought to enable and support our trade partners to live up to their climate agreements. Those bills ought to protect countries that act to address climate change, and in particular they ought to protect them from the threat of trade sanctions or from corporate challenges seeking to undermine sovereign countries' climate laws."


Senator Sessions: (11:55 AM)

  • Spoke on the Yates nomination.
    • "Professor Turley has said you need to stand up to the chief executive, this chief executive while he's in office now. If you don't, we go to another election cycle, the powers he's aggrandized to himself will be claimed by the next president. Truly so. That's a grim warning he's given us and I'm ready I think it's time for us to stand up and be clear about this. So regretfully I feel compelled to carry out one of the powers that Congress has clearly been given, the power to confirm or reject nominations for high office. I believe we should reject the nomination for the Department of Justice deputy who is advocating and pursuing a lawsuit that goes against the constitutional powers of the congress and therefore I'll be voting no on the nomination."


Senator Menendez: (12:47 PM)

  • Spoke on infrastructure.
    • "We can start by putting politics aside and think about the safety of the American people, think about the future, think about America's competitiveness and finding common ground to do whatever it takes to invest in America's railroads, ports, highways and bridges and invest in our future. Let's not wait until there is another tragic headline or to see the consequences of what flows as people along the entire northeast corridor are trying to figure out alternatives in the midst of a system that is now shut down for intercity travel. And all the transit lines of states and regions within the northeast corridor that depend upon using Amtrak lines to get to different destinations for their residents. To get people to one of the great hospitals along the northeast corridor. To get people to their nation's capital to advocate with their government. To get people and their sales forces of companies to work. To get home. Let's not wait until we have another tragedy to think about the consequences of our transportation system, what it means to the nation."