Executive Session (Baiocco Nomination)
May 22 2018 11:07 AM
Senator Durbin: (10:11 a.m.)
- Spoke on gun control.
- "Last Friday America watched in horror as a news story broke of yet another school shooting. This time in Santa Fe High School in Texas. Eight students, two teachers fatally shot. 13 victims wounded. Another devastating tragedy. The alleged gunman was a student who came into the school with his parents' shotgun and handgun and used them to commit mass murder. Of course we grieve for the families and the victims in Santa Fe, and of course we're grateful for first responders who ran to the sound of gunfire. But let's be honest. The shooting at Santa Fe High was, by one count, the 22nd school shooting in America this year."
- Spoke on for-profit colleges.
- "And then there is Robert Eitel, hired by Secretary Devos in February, 2017, as a special assistant. For the first nine weeks of his Department of Education tenure, tell was actually on unpaid leave of absence from Bridgepoint. You heard that right. He was an employee of the Department of Education and continued as an employee of one of the most predatory for-profit colleges in this country at the same time. ABC News reports tell had a hand in dismantling the department's borrower defense rule which would help students who were defrauded by for-profit colleges like Ashford. How is that for a fox guarding the henhouse?"
Senator Schumer: (10:28 a.m.)
- Spoke on China.
- "And I have public arguments with both President Obama and president bush on this issue. So when Donald Trump started talking about going after China and making them play fair, I felt that was a good thing. And when his administration fined Z.T.E. and then put sanctions on them so they couldn't get American components, I said finally, finally we're doing something tough on China. So you can imagine my disappointment in the reports last night that president trump, being advised so wrongly by people like treasury Secretary Mnuchin, is backing off on his toughness and just giving them a slap on the wrist, the fine."
- Spoke on the Mueller investigation.
- "Then yesterday the president summoned the leaders of the Russia probe to the White House to pressure them into releasing sensitive and classified documents pertaining to the investigation of congressional - of the investigation by congressional Republicans. Let me repeat that. The White House planned to arrange a meeting where highly classified and other information will be shared with members of Congress is highly irregular, inappropriate and unprecedented. The president and his staff should not be involved in reviewing or dissemination of sensitive investigatory information involving any investigation let alone one about the activities of his own campaign. It's amazing. It is what you hear happening in third world countries."
- Spoke on teachers.
- "We need great teachers in every classroom so that our children have every opportunity to succeed. In my view, as I said, teaching should be an exalted profession in the 21st century, and teachers' pay should more closely reflect their value to society."
Senator Isakson: (10:49 a.m.)
- Spoke on the V.A. Mission Act.
- "We won those wars because our best and brightest sacrificed so America could be there. There's nothing less we need to ask for ourselves than to have the health care benefits we've promised them for so long. The V.A. Mission Act answers all those questions that have been long on the front pages of the newspapers. I want to thank John McCain. John McCain was really the inspiration for the Veterans Choice bill, which we started four years ago when I was on the committee, finally passed a part of that program and it's been in operation until now. It's needs to be reformed and funded and with the passage of this legislation, we'll make it even better."
Senator Ernst: (11:00 a.m.)
- Spoke on the V.A. Mission Act.
- "There were on average 22 veteran suicides every single day in the United States. It underscored the troubles within the V.A. and the urgency to act immediately to help our veterans get the quality and the timely care that they have earned and that they deserve. That's why I introduced on that very day my first bill, the prioritizing veterans' access to mental health care act. My bill would have eliminated the distance and the wait time requirements for veterans seeking mental health care under the current choice program. Every veteran should have the choice to receive care in the community, but they should not be burdened by bureaucratic red tape or strict guidelines that serve as roadblocks to receiving this type of care."