Hoeven, Donnelly, Murphy, Graham, Moran, Shellby

National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1735)

Senator Hoeven: (4:05 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • "Bottom line is the men and women assigned to the nuclear mission in the U.S. Air Force are doing incredibly important work every day for the security of our country and we need to do all we can to support them. We need to provide them with the support they deserve so they can continue to do the job we ask them to do and do it at the level that our security requires. The nuclear force improvement program is a success, and the Air Force needs to extend it into the future and continue to shore up the foundations of our nuclear deterrent, which is itself at the foundation of nuclear of national security. In conclusion, let me say that working on legislation as essential as the defense of our nation is and should be a bipartisan effort. The Senate Armed Services Committee passed this bill out of committee with a bipartisan vote of 22-4. Let's come together to do this for the American people and the men and women, and families who have undertaken the great and noble effort to protect our country."

 

Senator Donnelly: (4:22 PM)

  • Spoke on the Military and Veterans Mental Health Provider Assessment Act.
    • "This legislation requires all D.O.D. primary care and mental health providers that they have received evidence-based training on suicide risk recognition and management and that their training be up-dated to keep pace with changes in mental health care best practices. It also requires D.O.D. to report to Congress on the military's current mental health workforce. The long-term mental health needs of service members and families and how we assure that D.O.D. meets those needs. Finally it requires the Department of Defense to bring us a plan to assess mental health outcomes and D.O.D. care, variations in outcomes across different D.O.D. facilities and barriers to D.O.D. mental health providers."

 

Senator Murphy: (4:49 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • Now, there are some people who will say that this isn't the role of Congress, and I will just state for the record that there are a litany of examples in the past in which Congress has placed commonsense limitations on our authorizations for military force, and in fact the president in submitting a proposed AUMF to the Foreign Relations Committee several months ago, in fact included in that authorization of military force a limitation on ground forces. And so this would be entirely consistent with the history of this body, but also with the proposal that the president has made. I know have having visited our troops in Afghanistan and in Afghanistan that it is easy for us to believe that there is no mission that U.S. soldiers can't take on, that their capability, that their bravery, that their courage, that their adaptability knows no bounds. And they have done admiral work inside Iraq over the course of the last ten years."

 

Senator Graham: (4:58 PM)

  • Spoke on the ex-im bank.
    • "What we're trying to do here is basically show support for the ex-im bank, which is due to expire in June. We're trying to find a vehicle that is a must-pass piece of legislation to keep the bank afloat. I think it's very important to the American economy that American manufacturers not be disadvantaged. The ex-im bank makes money for the American taxpayer. China's ex-im bank is larger than France, Germany, the United States and England combined. What does this mean to the average person when a product's made in the United States, sold into the developing world without the ex-im financing mechanism available to American manufacturers, we're going to lose market share to other countries like China, France and Germany who produce wide-body jets and other products. 89% of the people who get help from the ex-im bank are small businesses."

 

Senator Moran: (5:00 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • "I came to the floor today to speak in favor of an amendment described earlier in the afternoon by Senator Vitter shall, that makes certain the US Army is able to maintain the current number of brigade combat teams. Sequestration is creating problems in our Army and defense and the concern is that in the process of downsizing the Army as a result of sequestration, and other reductions in available funding, that combat brigade combat teams would be eliminated and Senator Vitter's amendment which I support and am a cosponsor of would eliminate that as an option."

 

Senator Shelby: (5:01 PM)

  • Spoke on the ex-im bank.
    • "In my opinion, after evaluating this issue during a series of hearings in the Senate Banking Committee, there's no compelling case to reauthorize the bank. After years of efforts to reform the export-import bank, it has become clear to me that its problems are beyond repair and that the bank's expiration is in the best interests of the American taxpayers. Nearly 99%, of all American exports, over $2 trillion, are financed without - without - the export-import bank help. Which demonstrates that the subsidies are more about corporate welfare than advancing our economy. I believe that the export-import bank has outlived its usefulness and should be allowed to expire."