Gardner, Schumer, McConnell, Cantwell, Thune

Executive Session (Bridenstine Nomination)

Senator Gardner: (5:15 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "We have also seen incredible partisan obstruction threatened on his nomination. The absurd levels of partisanship in this chamber are a stain on our institution. We see it at every level of nomination from ambassadorships to commissions to boards, and now we see it at the level of the secretary of state, a position that will be instrumental in denuclearizing the North Korean regime. Director Pompeo had his confirmation hearing last week before the Senate foreign relations committee where he reiterated again, and we now know that this committee hearing, his testimony took place after he had visited Kim Jong-un, and in this committee, he stated I want to be - he made it very clear that our goal remains the complete and verifiable, irreversible denuclearization."

 

Senator Schumer: (5:23 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Coast Guard authorization.
    • "Now, Mr. President, the Senate routinely reauthorizes the Coast Guard, much like the defense act, which shouldn't be a terribly partisan issue, never has been. We all deeply respect the work of the Coast Guard and recognize the heroism of the men and women who serve in that capacity. But unfortunately the Republican majority slipped a poison pill rider into this otherwise noncontroversial bill that would repeal part of the clean water act. That's why the Coast Guard reauthorization bill failed today. The rider would prohibit the E.P.A. and the states from regulating solution and invasive species from the ballast water of large vessels. Instead, it would let the Coast Guard set regulations. An agency that doesn't have the environmental expertise of the E.P.A. This is a massive change to the Clean Water Act."

 

Senator McConnell: (5:29 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Coast Guard authorization.
    • "Today Senate Democrats have filibustered legislation to reauthorize funding for our Coast Guard. In a dangerous world, the brave men and women of the Coast Guard are always ready for the call, whether it be to interdict drugs, secure our ports, or conduct daring maritime rescues. They citizen our support. They don't deserve a filibuster for the sake of political posturing. So let's have a little plain talk about why the bill failed. Democrats filibustered this legislation because it contains an eminently sensible bipartisan provision to streamline regulations for the mariners and vessel on others who drive America's maritime economy."

 

Senator Cantwell: (5:33 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Coast Guard reauthorization.
    • "Mr. President, I come to speak tonight because I did not support the coast guard bill as it came out of committee because we did want to see changes to it. The legislation that was brought up, the final language on Monday night, gave our colleagues very little time to consider it. Washington State is very proud of the rich maritime heritage that the coast guard provides and our fishermen, our tribes, our shipbuilders, our sea trade, our thriving coastal tourism all count on us working together for our maritime economy. Thousands of northwest fishermen call Washington State home and over 35,000 Washington State jobs are supported by the Alaska fishery and the ports of Tacoma and Seattle are combined to be the fourth largest container gateway in the United States."

 

Senator Thune: (5:38 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Coast Guard reauthorization.
    • "But the issue was a matter under the jurisdiction of this committee, the commerce committee, and for the information of the Senate, this part of the bill has been introduced has a stand-alone bill, Senate bill 168. It was referred to the Commerce Committee, not the E.P.W. Committee. The chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee agrees with that. So I don't know this argument that somehow this is not under the committee's jurisdiction is probably, you know, one issue I guess I would raise just an objection - I guess just in objection to the senator from Washington's request."