Portman, Boxer, Coons

National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1735)

Senator Portman: (1:33 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • "My amendment number 1850, modifies and builds on the great work that Senator McCain and Senator Reed and others have already done in the bill, if you look at section 1251 of the bill, there is $300 million aid provided to Ukraine. Our amendment directs the secretary of defense to spend this money to ensure it is the best bang for the buck and that we are really giving them the assistance they really need. It requires the secretary of defense to spend on a number of critical capabilities they need including real-time intelligence, medium and long-range radars, lethal assistance, such as U.A.V.'s and secure communications and training to develop support capabilities at the small unit level and at the brigade level."

 

Senator Boxer: (1:50 PM)

  • Spoke on the highway trust fund.
    • "A survey by the National Association of Manufacturers, one of our more conservative organizations, its members found 65% don't believe our infrastructure is sufficient. We know from the Texas Institute Study that traffic congestion in 2011 was 121 billion. People are wasting so much time in traffic. The cost to trucked goods moving on our highway system, $27 billion in wasted time and diesel fuel. So I hear a lot of talk about passing a long-term highway bill. I'm happy about hearing that. I'm starting to hear my Republican friends say, maybe we can do it. I we can do it. We still have fewer construction jobs than we had before the recession. So the clock is ticking. Failure is not an option. Let's get going. Let's come together and do the right thing. Pass the highway bill."

 

Senator Coons: (2:32 PM)

  • Spoke on the ex-im bank.
    • "But Chinese institutions, Chinese export financing institutions have provided an estimated $670 billion in just the past two years. In other words, China has done more in just two years to support the financing of their exporters that our export-import bank has done in its entire 80-year history and at no cost to the taxpayer. The bottom line is that American jobs are at stake in this debate and if we fail to keep the doors open to the export-import bank, we'll fail a lot of American workers. Every year ex-im supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and shuttering it will put them at risk. In fact, as "The Wall Street Journal" reported just this morning, American companies worry that global competition is "So cut-throat that they'd be forced to move manufacturing overseas to ship American manufacturing jobs out of the United States if the ex-im bank does not remain open.""
  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • "First, it would allow the secretary of defense to consolidate the various funding streams for the S.P.P., which right now comes from over a half dozen different accounts scattered across D.O.D., which makes it more difficult to provide meaningful congressional oversight. This amendment would allow the defense secretary to combine these funding sources into one National Guard fund to pay for personnel, training, operations and equipment. Second, my amendment would allow the National Guard to determine its core competencies to help combatant commanders determine how best to leverage the National Guard to serve the needs of a partner country. Last, my amendment would establish clear and enhanced reporting requirements to better track the annual performance of our units and make modifications where needed to enhance the program's effectiveness. Critically, this amendment would not increase the program's costs at all."