Cornyn, Merkley, Boozman, Corker

Executive Session (Grenell Nomination)

Senator Cornyn: (1:03 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "It's clear that their no vote is primarily a way to lash out at President Trump, because anybody President Trump chooses, they instinctively and reflexively oppose. It was disappointing, but in today's environment it's not all that surprising. Their obstruction was not only a sad break from the tradition that I mentioned a moment ago, but a sorry continuation of the hyper-partisanship that they have been engaging in with so many of the president's cabinet nominees since he took office. Mike Pompeo not long ago was one of the exceptions. 14 Democrats and one independent supported his confirmation as C.I.A. director. Yet now one year later, after an unblemished record of service as C.I.A. director, only three are voicing their support for him."


Senator Merkley: (1:15 p.m.)

  • Spoke on dark money in politics.
    • "One of the organization's founders once said about solidifying power for the biggest corporations and wealthiest Americans, and I quote, I don't want everybody to vote. Our leverage in the elections, quite candidly, goes up as the voting populace goes down. And that's this intense support to engage in voter suppression. If you are a red-blooded American, you believe in the vision of voter empowerment, not voter suppression. So it says a lot about what this organization is all about. Not we the people. Not voter empowerment. But rigging this nation and this process for the powerful and the privileged. The papers, reports, and journals that come from the heritage foundation work to muddy the water on established science."


Senator Boozman: (1:34 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the opioid crisis.
    • "This funding will be used to provide additional resources for law enforcement, continue important grant programs that help state and local governments offset the cost of opioid abuse, and also support research into opioid addiction and alternative treatments. We must ensure we are all doing all we can do to supplement state and local efforts to combat the spread of opioid abuse. Unfortunately this is currently not happening. The Department of Justice is hurting our community's efforts to get a handle on the crisis by withholding critical funds. The burn jag grant program was created more than a decade ago and local law enforcement agencies purchased essential equipment and support drug treatment and enforcement activities."


Senator Corker: (1:43 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Richard Grenell to be Ambassador to Germany.
    • "Mr. Grenell has a deep background in diplomacy and strategic communications, he received his master's degree in public administration from Harvard University at the J.F.K. School of Government. He spent eight years as spokesman - spokesman to the United Nations mission in New York and worked for every U.N. ambassador appointed by President George W. Bush. The German chancellor is scheduled to arrive tomorrow for a one-day working trip to meet with President Trump. Her visit comes at a time of heightened importance with a number of critical items on the agenda including transatlantic trade, the Iran nuclear deal, and I think it is important to vote on this ambassadorship today."