Wyden, Boxer, Carper, Lee, Leahy

Morning Business

Senator Wyden: (10:16 AM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "I listened carefully to the remarks of the Senate majority leader, and I believe that the majority leader's statement provides potential - potential -- to find the bipartisan common ground on trade that we found in the Senate Finance Committee. In the Senate Finance Committee, we passed the Trade Promotion Act by a 20-6 vote, the Trade Adjustment Assistance act by a 17-9 vote, and we passed a robust trade enforcement measure and package of trade preferences by voice vote. Respectfully, Mr. President, I would hope that the majority leader would take this morning to work with those on my side of the aisle who are supportive of trade to find a similar bipartisan approach to ensure that all four of the measures I've described are actually enacted."


Senator Boxer: (10:18 AM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "You have a trade agreement that threatens 12 million manufacturing jobs. You have a trade agreement that is pushing off the floor all the things we need to do for our middle class. You have a trade agreement that sets up this extra judicial board that can overcome America's laws. As former labor secretary Robert Reich has warned, the consequences could be disastrous. He calls the T.P.P. a Trojan Horse in a global race to the bottom, giving big corporations a way to eliminate any and all laws and regulations that get in the way of their profits. So we should set this aside, not go to this today, work together, as Democrats and Republicans, for a true middle-class agenda, for a robust investment in our roads, bridges and highways, to fix our immigration system."


Senator Carper: (10:40 AM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "The president has suggested, supported strongly a trade agreement that would involve 12 nations, including about a half dozen here in this hemisphere and the other half over in Asia, that altogether encompass about 40% of the world trade market. And the president is not suggesting that we just open up our markets so that other countries can sell more of their stuff here. They already do that, for the most part. The goal of this trade agreement is to open up these other markets in other countries so we can sell our goods, our products and our services there. This is a top priority for this administration and this should be a top priority for Democrats and Republicans and a priority that's hammered out and compromises that are hammered out that are fair to workers and middle-class families. The majority leader has come here today to suggest a path forward. I hope we'll not reject it. What he suggested is we allow, through a vote, a cloture motion, to move to the floor and begin debate on four different pieces of legislation that are part of the transportation agreement. "


Senator Lee: (10:46 AM)

  • Spoke on the U.S.A. Freedom Act.
    • "Senator Leahy and I have introduced the U.S.A. Freedom act. It directly addresses the bulk data collection issue while preserving essential intelligence-collecting capabilities. Rather than relying on the government's interpretation of the word "relevant," our bill requires that N.S.A. requests include a specific selection term, a term meant to identify a specific target and that the N.S.A. would then use the term to limit to the greatest extent reasonably practicable the scope of its request. We give the government the tools to make targeted requests in a manner that parallels the current practice at the N.S.A., a practice that is currently limited only by presidential preferences. This bill would enable the court to invite pre--cleared privacy experts to help decide how to address novel questions of law, if the court wants any input. The bill would also increase our security in several ways, including by providing emergency authority when a target of surveillance enters the United States, to cause serious bodily harm or death, and instituting the changes necessary to come in line with bush-era nuclear treaties."


Senator Leahy: (11:03 AM)

  • Spoke on the U.S.A. Freedom Act.
    • "Numerous independent experts also conclude the N.S.A.'s bulk collection program is nonessential to national security. I mention these things, because it's so easy to come down and say, we are all going to face another 9/11, we're all going to face ISIS, we're all going to face these terrible attacks if we don't have this and yet we can show want it hasn't stopped any of these things. The president's review group had former national security official stated the bulk collection of Americans' phone records is not essential to preventing attacks. It could have readily been obtained in a timely manner using conventional orders. So, we can go with hysteria and overstatements or we can go with facts. In my state of Vermont we kind of like facts. We shouldn't be swayed by fearmongering. We shouldn't reauthorize and we will not reauthorize the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act without enacting real reforms."