McConnell, Reid

Opening Remarks

Today –

  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 1191, the legislative vehicle for the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, with the time until 10:30 AM equally divided.
  • At 10:00 AM, there is a filing deadline for all second-degree amendments to Corker Substitute Amendment #1140 to H.R. 1191, and H.R. 1191.
  • At 10:30 AM, the Senate will VOTE on the motion to invoke cloture on Corker Substitute Amendment #1140 to H.R. 1191. 
  • Note: Cloture has been filed on the motion to proceed to H.R. 1314, the legislative vehicle for the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act.


Senator McConnell: (9:47 AM)

  • Spoke on Iran.
    • "Let me be clear - a bad agreement seems far more likely to eventually lead to the kind of military conflict everyone wants to avoid than no agreement at all. President Obama would also be leaving the task of dealing with violations of an agreement to his successor. I say all this to underline the need for a bipartisan Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act which is before us today. If we didn't face the threats of filibusters or the blocking of amendments or the specter of presidential vetoes, this bill would be a heck of a lot stronger, I assure you. But the truth is we faced all those things, we do. That's the frustrating reality. The response to this should not be to give the American people no say at all, no say at all on a deal with Iran. The response should be to overcome these challenges in a way that will give Congress and the American people the best possible chance to review any possible deal and affect its outcome. So I would urge members of both of our parties here in the Senate to join me in supporting this bill, and make no mistake, that will not be the end of the support either. This Congress is determined to pursue other avenues to address Iran's aggressive campaign of expansion and intimidation in the months to come."
  • Spoke on trade.
    • "This bipartisan bill would also force America's trade negotiators to meet congressional objectives and consult with Congress regularly throughout the process, and it would ensure that an agreement like the Trans-Pacific Partnership could not be enacted without explicit congressional approval. It's a commonsense bill that was supported by large numbers of Republicans and Democrats in committee, passing by a vote of 20-6. So there's no reason we shouldn't turn to this bill and then pass it. The other countries in the region have made clear that they will have regional trade agreements with or without us, whether we participate or not, and if we walk away, China will step right in, no question about that. So we will turn to the Bipartisan Congressional Trade and Priorities and Accountability Act, and when we do, we'll have a choice to make. Would we rather see Chinese workers and Chinese farmers or American workers and American farmers reap the economic benefits of selling more to this dynamic region?"
  • Spoke on Don Ritchie.
    • "I'd like to bid a fond farewell to one of the smartest guys around here, Don Ritchie, who will be leaving us later this month. He has been the Senate's historian since 2009. Don's only the second one we've ever had. His immediate and only predecessor, Richard Baker, hired him when the Senate Historical Office came into being in the mid 1970's. There were a lot of applicants to be Baker's number two back then, but Don quickly rose to the top of the heap. Baker said he received several extremely heartfelt letters of recommendation for Don that were just literally over the top. One, he said, was from a leading diplomatic historian who said that in his whole 30-odd years of teaching, he had never encountered a more perceptive or diligent or brighter student than Don."


Senator Reid: (9:58 AM)

  • Spoke on Don Ritchie.
    • "Three decades ago when Senator Robert Byrd began drafting a series of lectures on the history of the United States Senate, who did he go to for help? Don Ritchie. Ten years ago when Dan Bowen, the popular author of the bestseller "The da Vinci Code" wanted information about the Capitol for his new novel, where did he go? Don Ritchie. Even now when famed his for I don't know and biographer Robert Carro needs facts for his five-volume work on Lyndon Johnson, he goes to Don Ritchie for help. For 39 years, any person needing valuable insight into the United States Senate and its history has known where to go. The Senate historian Don Ritchie. Don has obliged, sharing his wealth of knowledge with anyone who asks - senators, staff, authors, historians, visitors. But after nearly 40 decades, Don will officially retire from the Senate Historical Office at the end of this month, as the senior senator from Kentucky has just stated."