Durbin, Barrasso, Lankford, McCaskill

Executive Session (Pompeo Nomination)

Senator Durbin: (2:17 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "He and I have met and had serious and challenging discussions before, notably when he was nominated to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency. We met again a few weeks ago. It was a good and candid conversation. He seemed to understand the desperate situation at the State Department and that the State Department's top experts should be included in key administration discussions. This conversation left me in the same place, I believe, that Senator Menendez pondered at the end of Pompeo's Foreign Relations Committee hearing -- who is the real Mike Pompeo? You see, I find it hard to square the reasonable man I met the other day with some of his actions."
  • Spoke on DACA.
    • "When President Trump repealed DACA seven months ago, he set an arbitrary March 5 deadline of this year for Congress to act and replace it. We tried. We offered to this president six different bipartisan alternatives to continue the DACA program. He rejected every single one of them. He sent to Congress his own plan for dealing with immigration. It received 39 votes in the United States Senate. 39. Remember, there's a Republican majority of 51. The president struggled to get his own party to support his ideas on immigration."

 

Senator Barrasso: (2:33 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "Our alliances spanned centuries because of diplomats, diplomats, Mr. President, who have cultivated the close relationship that the countries continue with today. It's a shame that we didn't have a secretary of state of the United States who could have helped us welcome the French president during his visit here. We have a nominee eminently qualified, Mike Pompeo, and Republicans are ready to confirm him right now. We're ready to confirm him last week. We were ready for him to get to work, get to work maintaining and strengthening relationships around the world. You know, Mr. President, under previous administrations, we could have brought that nomination to the floor of the Senate without needing to waste all of the time and the delays by the Democrats."

 

Senator Lankford: (2:46 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Taxpayers' Right to Know.
    • "It's something Senator McCaskill and I have worked very, very hard on. It passed out of the committee unanimously. This is a very bipartisan bill. To show you how bipartisan this is, this passed in the House of Representatives last session 413-0. Not a single House member voted against this proposal, but it wasn't able to pass the Senate. So Senator McCaskill and I brought it up again this year. It came unanimously out of committee. It also has already been to the House of Representatives in January of 2017. It passed unanimously in the House of Representatives again. This is just not a controversial piece of legislation. What's interesting was Senator McCaskill and I did a lot of work before, working with President Obama's Office of Management and Budget to make sure that there were no concerns."

 

Senator McCaskill: (2:50 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Taxpayers' Right to Know.
    • "American taxpayers deserve a government that can tell them how their money is being spent, and that's all this bill is trying to do. It's not complicated. It's trying to get important information to the people who are paying the bills. Don't they have a right to know where all the money is going? It improves a publicly accessible online database with information about federal programs, including the funding for the program and the activities that it comprises, the authorizing statutes and relevant rules and regs, the individuals the program serves and the employees who work to administer it, and copies of recent evaluations or assessments provided by the agency, inspectors general, or the Government Accountability Office."