Nelson, Rubio, Cruz, Stabenow

Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill (H.R. 695)

Senator Nelson: (4:17 p.m)

  • Spoke on government funding legislation.
    • "People have been waiting and they've been suffering and over one-third of the people in Puerto Rico are as of right now closing in on five months after the hurricane without electricity. Potable water is still a problem in Puerto Rico. Now, can you imagine any other mainland state if nearly five months after a hurricane and one-third of the people didn't have electricity restored, I mean, there would be such outrage and demonstrations. Well, this is what's going on in Puerto Rico. And finally I think we are able to see in this disaster bill some assistance to the island as well as to the Virgin Islands, and especially to our state of Florida that was hit so hard."


Senator Rubio: (4:28 p.m)

  • Spoke on government funding legislation.
    • "The House added a few things to it. But over the last two months, it's been the ability to work here in the Senate, not in front of the cameras, not, obviously, through a series of press conferences, but the way legislation is put together and the way we were able to work together and our offices worked together that we were able to come out with a concise, unified position on the needs of both Florida and Puerto Rico, working the leadership of the Democratic party on his side and the Republican on ours. And I've got to tell you, in a place where it's very hard to get 60% of what you want and that's a win, when you start to go through some of the items that are going to be in this relief package, it would be hard to complain."


Senator Cruz: (4:44 p.m)

  • Spoke on the nomination of William Northey to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.
    • "Mr. President, I'm sorry to tell you 48 days have passed and that meeting still hasn't taken place, because unfortunately a handful of lobbyists representing the ethanol industry have taken the position that they are unwilling to meet, they are unwilling to speak, they are unwilling to discuss anything with anybody, and apparently if thousands of people lose their jobs in refineries, that's not their problem. Mr. President, quite frankly, that's not a reasonable position. That is not a reasonable or rational position. Mr. Northey would have been confirmed long ago had the lobbyists for the ethanol industry been willing to come to the table and reach a commonsense solution that would have resulted in more money for their industry, more ethanol, more corn."


Senator Stabenow: (5:01 p.m)

  • Spoke on the nomination of William Northey to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.
    • "You know, despite historic delays in receiving nominations from the administration, our committee has worked swiftly on a bipartisan basis to put qualified leaders into place at the USDA. When we get qualified nominees, we move them. And under secretary nominee Bill Northey is no exception. In fact, I believe that he is a bright star in terms of the nominees and those that will be serving in the USDA. He was nominated in September, Mr. President, of last year, and our committee quickly held a hearing and reported his nomination with a unanimous bipartisan support to the floor on October 19. Mr. Northey is a highly qualified nominee."