Thursday, Mar. 22, 2018

Senate Opening

Senate Opening

Mar 22 2018 10:31 AM

The Senate convened.  


Opening Remarks

Mar 22 2018 10:42 AM

Today -

  • The Senate will convene at 10:30 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes.


Senator McConnell: (10:33 a.m.)

  • Spoke on government funding operations.
    • "First and foremost, in my view, this bill will market the end of disproportionate and harmful cuts to the Department of Defense. It delivers the largest year-on-year increase in defense spending in 15 years. These new funding levels will ensure that the training and tools available to our service members remain on the cutting edge, and at long last veterans will receive more transparent and more accessible care. This has been a top priority on our side of the aisle especially. To deliver for our men and women in uniform, to deliver for the future of national security, this bill will get it done. Of course, our armed forces aren't the only vital priority this measure will address. It will help those caught in the grip of the opioid epidemic."
  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "Now, on another matter, the good news about tax reform continues to sweep across the nation, but recently, as special bonuses, wage chiefs and ex - increases and expanded employee benefits continues to hit the headline, they have had to deal with cold weather. This could mean high utility bills. Tax reform has an answer to that. Rate pairs are looking forward to lower utility bills thanks to the tax code. In my state the public service commissioner announced that Kentucky utilities in will be passing along savings to customers to the tune of a 6% decrease in monthly bills - a 6% decrease in monthly bills."

Schumer, Corker, Durbin, Lee

Morning Business

Mar 22 2018 11:47 AM

Senator Schumer: (10:45 a.m)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senator Thad Cochran.
    • "I have a few items I'd like to address this morning, but first I'd like to recognize our dear friend from Mississippi, the senior senator, who will be delivering his farewell speech today. Senator Thad Cochran has served in this body for decades with a sense of dignity decorum, -- dignity, decorum, and respect for his colleagues that was always appreciated but never confused for lack of conviction. When his issues were on the line, Senator Cochran fought for Mississippi as hard as any senator. After all, he was first bitten first bit especially by the political bug in his run for head cheerleader of Ole Miss. He joins that distinction with Trent Lott."
  • Spoke on government funding legislation.
    • "Now, it certainly doesn't have everything Democrats want, and it contains a few things Democrats aren't thrilled about. The same is true of our Republican friends. That is true of all compromises. If each of us stood on our hind legs and said if I get everything I wanted, I'm voting no, we would be totally paralyzed. That happens far too often in this body. But somehow on this appropriations bill, this omnibus, that didn't happen. There is a remarkable spirit of give and take in the room. Overall, we Democrats are very happy with what we have been able to accomplish on a number of very important priorities to the middle class in America."
  • Spoke on China.
    • "For many of us, Senator Graham and I, since we went and visited China over a decade ago, we have watched China rapaciously take advantage of America, of American jobs, of American workers, and of American intellectual property. China's ruthless in how they go after us. They do it quietly. They do it with a smile. And unfortunately, previous presidents, Democrat and Republican, just stood by as China did what it did to us. President Trump is exactly right."


Senator Corker: (11:00 a.m)

  • Spoke on government funding legislation.
    • "Without extreme leadership at the very top, I do not think we will deal with this issue until there's a crisis because I just don't see the will here to do the things that need to be done. During December we had a debate on the pro-growth tax reform side of this. And I think it's well documented. I had concerns about it. As a matter of fact, when the bill came through the Senate, I voted against it. I continued to work with some of my counterparts on the Democratic side, Chris Coons and others, and the White House to see if there was some way to potentially alter the bill so if growth projections didn't achieve what we thought they might be, that we had some way of ensuring that we would not have deficits."


Senator Durbin: (11:22 a.m)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "I don't care what my scorecard is with the national rifle association. I know what it is, incidentally. It's a failing grade, which I wear with pride. I don't care about my scorecard there. I care about my scorecard with the people I represent in Illinois and I particularly care about the parents who are worried about whether their school for their kids will be the next site of gun violence. These young people who are going to March on Saturday are fed up with lawmakers who ignore the majority of Americans, overwhelming majority of Americans who want to close loopholes in the background check system. Through their powerful advocacy and eloquence, these juniors and seniors in high school were already bringing about change. "


Senator Lee: (11:36 a.m)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Ryan Nelson to be Solicitor of the Interior Department.
    • "The American people deserve to have well-qualified professionals in the executive branch, and Mr. Nelson is qualified, to put it very mildly. He is someone who has worked in notable posts of responsibility in all three branches of government. During the George W. Bush Administration, Ryan worked as deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice's environment and natural resources division. In that position, he personally argued 13 appellate cases. He also oversaw 700 attorneys and staff who touched on all aspects of energy and environmental issues within the Department of Justice"

Cornyn, Alexander, Wicker, McConnell

Morning Business

Mar 22 2018 12:13 PM

Senator Cornyn: (11:46 a.m)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Madam President, our constituents are frustrated, frightened, and fed up. They want us to do something. More importantly than that, they want us to do something that will be effective and save lives. And I'm happy to say the Fix NICS bill fits that description. People that haven't been active on this issue now are raising their voices and demanding they be heard. Students are worried understandably and parents of students are worried. They simply don't want what happened at Parkland, Florida, to occur to them. We need to listen to all of these voices, including these students who obviously will shape our nation's future."
  • Spoke in tribute to Senator Thad Cochran.
    • "Senator Cochran has represented the State of Mississippi since 1978. That's in the Senate. He's one of the longest serving members of Congress in the history of the United States. His career and his life speak for themselves. He's the son of a school principal and math teacher. He was not surprisingly a gifted high school athlete. He's also a piano player and a former college leader and even like me, he's a recovering lawyer. But we won't hold that against him. Before he joined congress, he served in the United States Navy because he loves this country and the opportunities afforded him and his family. He's a man with a strong sense of duty and gratitude for the opportunities he's been given in life."


Senator Alexander: (11:58 a.m)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senator Thad Cochran.
    • "Growing up to be the governor of Mississippi was a great compliment to a young man in Mississippi at the time. One of those young men was named Trent Lott. One of those young men was named Thad Cochran. I telephoned Thad Cochran and invited him to be a member of the Citizens for Nixon-Agnew. He was a Democrat but he agreed to do that. He met in October of that year in Indianapolis. The mayor of Indianapolis then was Richard Lugar, a young mayor at that time, later a member of this body. And that was the beginning of Thad Cochran's Republican Party activity. Then he and that other young man who were so promising, both ran for the United States Congress in 1972, and to the surprise of a great many people they were elected the first Republicans since reconstruction, I suppose, in Mississippi, Thad Cochran and Trent Lott."


Senator Wicker: (12:02 p.m)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senator Thad Cochran.
    • "Now, during a campaign some years later in 1994 when I was first trying to be a member of the House of Representatives, then Senator Thad Cochran and I went around the northern part of the state and told many, many people that he and I were born not only in the same town and not only in the same clinic, but born in the same room, the delivery room of the Rayburn Clinic. We thought that was the truth. It turns out we found out later from our moms that the Rayburn Clinic had moved down the street. And so while we remember both born in the delivery room of the Rayburn Clinic, that clinic itself had moved. But it just points out how long Senator Thad Cochran and I have been friends and how long our families have been friends and how well associated we've been down through the years."


Senator McConnell: (12:09 p.m)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senator Thad Cochran.
    • "When I learned that our distinguished colleague from Mississippi would be retiring this month, I found it difficult to imagine the Senate without him. That's for good reason. Thad Cochran arrived here in 1978. 254 senators have since followed in his footsteps. Of those currently serving, 97 of us are newer at this than Thad is. And every single one of us has been treated to a first-rate example of honorable service. A master class in the art of legislation and living proof that unwavering principle and unflappable collegiality can and should coexist."

Leahy, Shelby, Collins, Schumer

Morning Business

Mar 22 2018 12:44 PM

Senator Leahy: (12:20 p.m)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senator Thad Cochran.
    • "I often thought that Thad Cochran and I would serve here together straight through whatever time we have in the Senate because he is such a dear friend. I often felt that Senator Thad Cochran was plucked from central casting to fill the role of devoted public servant. More than most of us, he looks the part. But more than most of us, he embodies the best of what the Senate can be. Currently in this body, I've served longer here than anybody else. I've never felt closer to a senator than I do to Thad Cochran, my dear friend. And our country needs more public servants like Thad."


Senator Shelby: (12:31 p.m)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senator Thad Cochran.
    • "Thad Cochran for the tireless dedication and public service that he has brought forth here throughout some 40 something years, 45 years. Over 45 years ago, as has been said here, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives and elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978. Thad was a practicing attorney in Jackson, Mississippi, a graduate of the University of Mississippi, law school, undergraduate. And also studied abroad at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, where we visited one time. We've served together here in the U.S. Senate for over 30 years. He's been an excellent colleague and I've been honored to work with him. We represent neighboring states, Mississippi and Alabama."


Senator Collins: (12:34 p.m)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senator Thad Cochran.
    • "He treated everyone with such dignity. He was nice to everyone, from the elevator operators to the highest officials around the world. He truly is one who leads by example. Those qualities are his legacy, and I have seen them time and again as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee when Thad was an important member and, of course, when he became the chairman. Last year was the 150th anniversary of the creation of the Appropriations Committee, and Thad marked that occasion by reminding all of us of our great responsibility to make thoughtful and informed decisions in the allocation of public funds."


Senator Schumer: (12:40 p.m)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senator Thad Cochran.
    • "I went to Thad. I didn't have to say a thing. He said, I remember what you did for me. I'm going to help you all the way with sandy, and he did. It's just one of many great traits about this man and why he was so amazingly successful for the country and most of all for his beloved state of Mississippi. He made people want to help him and help his state, even though we don't have, as Susan says, the senator from Maine said, our states are so different, we wanted to help each other and we're bound by it."

Hatch, Blunt, Isakson

Morning Business

Mar 22 2018 12:59 PM

Senator Hatch: (12:42 p.m)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senator Thad Cochran.
    • "It's difficult to describe the special bond you share with someone who has been your close friend and partner here on the floor and colleague for more than four decades. Thad and I have been here through some of the most formidable events in modern history, including the fall of the soviet union, the rise of American gem any, the creation of the internet and the coming of the digital age. And as members of this body, we had the privilege of not only to witness history but also to help shape it. Whether as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, the Agriculture Committee, or the Appropriations Committee, Senator Cochran has spearheaded some of the most significant policy initiatives of the last several decades."


Senator Blunt: (12:46 p.m)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senator Thad Cochran.
    • "And I think the majority leader in the Senate at the time was Thad's colleague from Mississippi, and Trent Lott turned to Thad and I was who was the junior person at the table. My mom and dad were dairy farmers. Maybe that's why Senator Lott thought I would understand but it was a dairy issue and he said why don't you and Senator Cochran work this out. I think it was on something like the milk marketing orders, which almost nobody understood. It was a problem that nobody thought they could solve. And all I got to do, I had been here about 25 months, senator Cochran had been here 25 years, what I got to do was the great gift of watching him work that problem out."


Senator Isakson: (12:52 p.m)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senator Thad Cochran.
    • "He's gracious, smart, genteel, inquisitive. He's a great colleague. I want to tell you about Thad Cochran. When I came to the Senate 14 years ago, I did what - I served in every legislative body I could be elected to living where I live. The Georgia House, Georgia Senate, the U.S. House, U.S. Senate. In each one of them I got advice my first year in the Georgia House 41 years ago that was real good advice. A friend of mine said Johnny, the first year you're down here don't say a word. Just watch everybody talk. Watch what everybody else does. Look at people you'd like to be like."

Enzi, Durbin, Cochran

Morning Business

Mar 22 2018 01:10 PM

Senator Enzi: (12:47 p.m)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senator Thad Cochran.
    • "This determined yet respectful approach to negotiations and his passion to find solutions to the problems and concerns of the people of Wyoming and America have led to his nickname of the quiet persuader. He's been a great mentor to me. Thad has had a remarkable career and his leadership will be dearly missed. He has inspired future leaders from his state and in that which and so many others he's made a difference. Diana sends me - joins me in sending our best wishes to you, to your wife Kay and to the rest of your family and our appreciation for your willingness to serve Mississippi and the nation so faithfully and so long. "


Senator Durbin: (1:00 p.m)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senator Thad Cochran.
    • "We never, ever set out to trouble or embarrass one another publicly. We tried to always have a good, positive working relationship and the very few disagreements we had were behind closed doors and usually resolved behind closed doors. It really was the Senate that I was elected to and the one that I miss today. We need more of it. Thad Cochran, you made it easy when you were chairman of the defense committee for this ranking Democrat to be an active partner of yours in doing some important things."


Senator Cochran: (1:04 p.m)

  • Delivered his farewell address to the Senate.
    • "It empowers our citizens to achieve greatness and to protect the common interests -- military, domestic - a review by the president of departments, including number one national defense. It's an opportunity to empower our citizens, to join in the discussions at hearings. In these opportunities, our defense - empoweredness of our military is a beacon of freedom throughout the country, and liberty for the world. And I'm optimistic about the future of our great nation and in the United States Senate role that has been discharged and discussed here today. And I'm optimistic about the future success of our efforts to protect the security, to health, to the guarantees of the bill of rights of the United States."

Sullivan, Brown, Casey, Barrasso, Cantwell

Morning Business

Mar 22 2018 02:48 PM

Senator Sullivan: (1:20 p.m)

  • Spoke in tribute to the Alaskan of the Week.
    • "Nearly a thousand miles through some of the harshest landscapes and some of the harshest climates, and we just finished the Iditarod, the last great race. So we want to encourage people watching on TV, people in the gallery to come on up to Alaska. You'll love it. It will be the trip of a lifetime. Come see the Iditarod next year. The last great race. We just finished that up last year. It's a great time to be in Alaska. It's still winter, of course. Time to ski and snow machine. Still cold, lots of snow, but the sun is now really coming out high in the sky. And of course in Alaska, there is hockey. Hockey. We love hockey. Now, we all know it's a tough and competitive sport, but it certainly fits right into the ethos of my state. All across the state, kids, adults play hockey."


Senator Brown: (1:39 p.m)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "My prayers - not just my prayers are with the families and victims, but actually do something. Change never starts in Washington. We make progress because of grassroots movements of Americans across our country demanding action. For too long Congress has ignored millions of Americans who want reasonable gun safety measures. Instead this congress continues to do the bidding of the gun lobby. We already see activism making a difference. This week, a minor step, but we will finally limit research on gun safety. We can't say we're doing what it takes to keep our country safe until we're finally willing to pass commonsense laws to protect all Americans from gun violence."


Senator Casey: (2:11 p.m)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "We've never seen on this issue, and maybe any other issue, this kind of intense activism that young people have undertaken across the country. This March on Saturday, March for our lives, will be unprecedented in recent American history. I'm going to be in the city of Philadelphia. I know some people will be marching here in Washington and also in communities across the country. The focus of the work of young people across country, starting with the students in parkland, Florida, but growing all across the country in these many weeks, the focus of that will be taking action, demanding that the United States senate, the united States house, and any other legislative body that can have an impact on this should take action. "


Senator Barrasso: (2:25 p.m)

  • Spoke on Democrat obstructionism.
    • "Republicans wanted to vote on Mike Pompeo's nomination to be head of the Central Intelligence Agency, an important key position in any president's group, but we already had had the debate in the foreign relations committee. We could have had a debate on the floor that evening. No, a small number of Democrats blocked it. Forced us to have a cloture vote and wait, delaying the process from the day one inauguration day of the administration. Now, how much of the 30 hours did the Democrats actually spend debating this person's qualifications to be head of the C.I.A.? Less than two hours. Waste 30 hours of the whole time. Only two hours was used in debate. That's how long the Democrats spent on this floor giving their reasons why they wanted to vote against the nominee."


Senator Cantwell: (2:25 p.m)

  • Spoke on government funding legislation.
    • "And it will help us better manage with stewardship contracts and release the funds that should be going to recreation management within our forests. So this fire funding fix has been long in the making, and I want to thank my colleagues, Senator Wyden, and Crapo for their hard work on this and to thank Brian Batite in my office. We are starting a new day on how we treat our forests and hopefully one that will reduce the risks in many communities. I want to thank our colleagues for working on including a provision on affordable housing. This is the first affordable housing increase in a decade. And I want to thank specifically Senator Schumer and Senator McConnell and Senator Hatch, my cosponsor on this legislation, to helping us get this done."
  • Spoke on the Kennedy-King National Commemorative Site.
    • "This commemorative site which will remain as part of a city park, it's not going to be part of a National Park System although I'm happy to discuss that with my colleagues moving forward, this national park service is to authorize a cooperative agreement to help provide for education and interpretation of this site. The Young-Donnelly Amendment removes language in the bill authorizing the park service to conduct a special resource study and assess whether its potential for its inclusion in the National Park System."

Young, Alexander, Graham, Rounds

Morning Business

Mar 22 2018 03:24 PM

Senator Young: (2:44 p.m)

  • Spoke on the Kennedy-King National Commemorative Site.
    • "This important legislation commemorates the landmark for peace memorial in Indianapolis and establishes the site as part of the African American civil rights network. The act would not have passed without the support of both Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Cantwell, and I want to thank both of them and their hardworking staff for their assistance in this effort. I also want to extend my sincere gratitude to Representative Brooks, Senator Donnelly, and Representative Carson for working with me to pass this measure that recognizes a significant moment in Indiana and our nation's history. Indianapolis will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Senator Robert F. Kennedy's timeless speech in the circle city."


Senator Alexander: (2:50 p.m)

  • Spoke on health care reform.
    • "Mr. President, how are they going to explain today and next October when the insurance rates are announced for 2019 and 2020 and 2021 that they had an opportunity in March of this year to reduce rates in 2019, 2020, and 2021 by 40% and they refused to do it because they said we will not apply the traditional Hyde language to health insurance even though we're going to apply it to Indian health programs, to V.A. women's health medical care, to global health programs, to the Ryan white HIV-Aids program, to 100 programs that Democrats will be voting on today to apply the Hyde language to. They'll do that, but they're going to block bipartisan legislation supported by the president, the majority leader, and the speaker that will reduce the health insurance rates of the plumber making $60,000 from $20,000 to $12,000."


Senator Graham: (3:04 p.m)

  • Spoke on health care reform.
    • "President Obama took care of these people through executive action. That has been found to be unconstitutional by our courts. So legislatively we're trying to continue this program to help somebody whose premiums are going through the roof that are not eligible for the statutory subsidies but create a new level of help that will keep their premiums from skyrocketing, actually decrease their premiums in October by 40%. So there's a lot of things we can agree on. There's a lot of things we can accomplish when it comes to health care. But this is not one of them. And I can only imagine how these two senators feel."


Senator Rounds: (3:15 p.m)

  • Spoke on health care reform.
    • "Look, I'm a pro-life Republican, and by allowing the Hyde Amendment to prevail in this particular case, like it does with all of the other funding that we send back to the states so that it cannot be used to fund abortions - and that's what this is all about - then it allows us to still continue on to provide with a clear conscience the dollars necessary to provide health care for individuals that otherwise may not get it. What this particular proposal allows is for states to once again take charge of part of the health care that we want to see delivered at the local level."

Collins, Lankford, Peters

Morning Business

Mar 22 2018 04:17 PM

Senator Collins: (3:22 p.m)

  • Spoke on health care reform.
    • "I want to commend Senator Alexander, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, for his extraordinary leadership and hard work in this area. I'm also very pleased with the work that has been done by Representative Greg Walden, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Representative Costello. We have come back along with a substantial number of our colleagues, including Senators Graham, Rounds, Isakson and Murkowski, among many oh, on this very important insurance stabilization and rate reduction package."


Senator Lankford: (4:01 p.m)

  • Spoke on election security.
    • "I have zero doubt that the Russians tried to meddle in our election in 2016. They started in 2014 trying to strategically plan for how they would interfere with our election with social media, false news to able to get out misinformation. They started the process early. They planned and executed well, quite frankly, but they exposed a weakness in our system. We're an open society that's exceptionally trusting of each other, and we're not used to having a foreign entity reach in and try to influence us like that. What the Russians exposed in 2016 we should be able to push back against in 2018 and 2020 and not be caught off guard again. The Russians reached in and scanned - scammed multiple states, looking at voter rolls."


Senator Peters: (4:11 p.m)

  • Spoke on agriculture.
    • "Our businesses that play by the rules and pay their workers a fair wage for a hard day's work too often lose business to foreign competitors that cheat. It is one thing to lose a sale to competitor that has the right product at the right time or is better positioned in the market, that certainly happens, but it is another thing all together to lose because an international competitor is being subsidized by a foreign government or deliberately dumping goods below cost to drive American companies out of business. This needs to stop and it needs to stop now."

Manchin, Durbin

Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to the vehicle for the Omnibus (H.R. 1625)

Mar 22 2018 05:13 PM

Senator Manchin: (4:16 p.m)

  • Spoke on the opioid crisis.
    • "However, it was not highlighted the same as it would when you have any type of an allergy or if you go in and say that - the question is usually asked are you allergic to penicillin and it's highlighted to the point that that mistake would not be made. This was not done. After Jesse's surgery, the discharging doctor who said he didn't know she was a recovering addict sent her home with a prescription for 50 oxycodone pills. She should never have been given a prescription for opioid medication in the first place as she had asked when she entered the hospital."


Senator Durbin: (4:23 p.m)

  • Spoke on DACA.
    • "And yet they're not legal in the eyes of the law in America. So we tried. We tried to make sure that there was a way to protect them when the new president came to office. President trump had said very clearly in his campaign that immigration was a big issue. EP said a lot of things - he said a lot of things. Some of them were inflammatory. But interestingly enough, he said several times the dreamers are different. These young people are different. He told me personally, senator, don't worry about it. We're going to take care of those kids. I believed him. I was hoping that he would find a way to either embrace the dream act or extend DACA so these young people would have their chance. "

Blunt, Inhofe, Carper

Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to the vehicle for the Omnibus (H.R. 1625)

Mar 22 2018 06:22 PM

Senator Blunt: (5:22 p.m)

  • Spoke on government funding legislation.
    • "And we've lost a lot of the advantages we had over the last ten years. We clearly have not funded the military at the level that it needed to be funded. We haven't provided the training dollars. We've let the equipment get old, and I'd like to think that I have consistently been on the other side of that debate, but what we see happen when we lose that advantage, we lost 80 personnel this year - last year, 2017, in accidents, in training accidents, in other accidents where people are asked to do too much for too many hours without enough training on the kind of equipment they're going to be using. We had 80 people lost in those accidents, four times as many people as were lost in combat. And we can't continue to let that happen. That's what this bill does."


Senator Inhofe: (5:39 p.m)

  • Spoke on government funding legislation.
    • "You know, this is going to be kind of a strange statement to make. I have a great regret I'm going to have to vote for this bill when it comes up, and I'm talking about the spending bill, and I don't like it. I've spent a lot of years, since I have been here, I have been ranked with three of the most conservative members every year more times than anybody else have. I was looking at this and listening to some of my colleagues who are concerned about the spending and no one is more concerned than I am about the spending. We've got a problem though that nobody - a lot of people don't understand. I've been on the Senate Armed Services Committee for - well, actually, 24 years in the Senate and I was on the same committee in the House before that."


Senator Carper: (6:09 p.m)

  • Spoke in tribute to a member of his staff.
    • "Mr. President, we're here today to discuss what we call an omnibus bill, and I know that omnibus is another funny-sounding word that we use sometimes here in Washington, but it simply means a bill that covers a lot of topics. There are provisions in the omnibus legislation that deal with everything from homeland security to the environment to veterans and science, just to name a few. It's particularly fitting that we're discussing an appropriations bill that covers such a wide range of topics as I come to the floor to recognize the service of a member of our staff who has worked on most of the policies covered in the omnibus legislation, maybe all of them, maybe all of them."


Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to the vehicle for the Omnibus (H.R. 1625)

Mar 22 2018 08:09 PM

Senator Leahy: (6:23 p.m)

  • Spoke on government funding legislation.
    • "We've had months of intense negotiations, sometimes lasting all night, throughout weekends. We've had very tough choices. We've had some very good-faith compromises. In other words, we've actually handled legislation the way we should. We've reached a bipartisan agreement to fund the government for this fiscal year and to make renewed investments in the American people and to protect our national security. The fiscal year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill has $1.3 trillion in discretionary spending. That includes $700 billion for defense programs to support our men and women in uniform."