Wicker, Manchin, Sanders, Whitehouse, Chambliss

MTP to the Veterans Benefits Bill (S. 1982)

Senator Wicker: (5:09 PM)
  • Spoke on Puerto Rico.
    • SUMMARY "I rise today to speak about a recently introduced bill regarding the future of Puerto Rico's political status, known as the Puerto Rico Status Resolution act. This legislation would call for an up-or-down resolution on the Puerto Rican statehood, including the option of Puerto Rico's current status of --excluding the opposition of Puerto Rico's current status as a commonwealth. The president and Congress would have to proceed with the legislation if statehood receives a majority of votes. I support Puerto Rico's right to self-determination."
Senator Manchin: (5:17 PM)
  • Spoke on Puerto Rico.
    • SUMMARY "The Government Accountability Office is currently working on a report that examines Puerto Rico's economy and the cost of admitting Puerto Rico as a state. I look forward to seeing the results of that report… I support Puerto Rico's right to self-determination; however, I have voiced my concerns that the 2012 plebiscite did not meet our democratic respect standards of fairness and exclusivity and more than 470,000 Puerto Ricans who left the ballot's second question blank would seem to share my concerns."
Senator Sanders: (5:27 PM)
  • Spoke on the veterans benefits bill.
    • SUMMARY "The Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan scorekeeper, has estimated that mandatory spending in this legislation will total $2.88 billion over the next decade. All of this mandatory spending is completely offset, not by the overseas contingency operations or OCO, but through more than $4.2 billion in actual savings from programs within the jurisdiction of the Senate Veterans' affairs committee.  As a result, CBO has determined that overall mandatory spending in this bill will be reduced, by more than $1.3 billion. In addition to the mandatory spending, this bill authorizes $18.3 billion in discretionary spending over the next five years to improve the lives of our nation's veterans and their families."
Senator Whitehouse: (5:36 PM)
  • Spoke on climate change.
    • SUMMARY "I have to warn my colleagues that the denier machinery, the beast I described earlier this month, will ultimately be shown for the evil apparatus of lies that it is. When that happens, there will be more damage to go around. There will be damage to a party that allowed itself to be taken over and silenced by that corrupt apparatus, ignoring the plain facts in front of their faces. There will be damage to a Supreme Court that went through such peculiar contortions to let that dark money loose, ignoring plain facts in front of their faces. And we, we Americans, will hold our lamp high to the rest of the world as a beacon of democracy. We will have some explaining to do, how we, to the dismay of the rest of the world, let our great democracy be stifled by greedy polluters, ignoring the plain facts that the world faces."
Senator Chambliss: (6:13 PM)
  • Spoke on Iran.
    • SUMMARY "I strongly support provisions in the amendment from Senator Burr that would incorporate key provisions of the Nuclear Weapons-Free Iran act into the pending veterans legislation. 58 of my Senate colleagues have already signed on to this important freestanding legislation. They and I agree that the government of Iran continues to expand its nuclear and missile programs in direct violation of multiple United States constitutional resolutions. Iran has a demonstrated record of defiance and will continue to work toward stockpiling weapons-grade material, sponsoring terrorism and disregarding basic human rights."