Opening Remarks

Today -

  • The Senate will convene at 10:30 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the House message to accompany H.R. 695, the defense appropriations bill, with the time until the cloture vote equally divided between the two leaders or their designees.
  • Note: on Wednesday, February 7, cloture was filed on the motion to concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment, with a further amendment, to H.R. 1892, the vehicle for the CR.


Senator McConnell: (10:32 a.m)

  • Spoke on defense spending.
    • "If we act now, we can start rebuilding our military and provide our troops the training and equipment they need to defend the homeland and protect the American people. The crisis in our military is acute. Just this week headlines revealed that two-thirds of the Navy's FA-18 aircraft are not prepared to fly. The fleet which must secure sea lines of communication across the globe and patrol the Persian Gulf and the South China Sea has shrunk to the smallest ship count in nearly three decades. We've become too reliant on special operations forces and radically drawn down our conventional force structure. This has not been lost on China or Russia. They're improving their conventional forces and intimidating their neighbors."
  • Spoke on government funding legislation.
    • "This agreement provides for new grants, prevention programs, and law enforcement initiatives to bolster existing national and state efforts. The legislation secures relief for families who are still struggling to rebuild in the wake of last year's spade of natural disasters. This provision was only made possible by tireless work from several of my colleagues. Thanks to the leadership of Senator Cornyn and Senator Rubio who led on behalf of Florida and spoke up for the people of Puerto Rico, help will soon be on the way. And the agreement also provides for new investment in our nation's infrastructure, a shared bipartisan priority."