Ayotte, Donnelly, Gardner, Thune, Hatch, Grassley

Vehicle for Trade Promotion Authority (H.R. 2146)

Senator Ayotte: (2:15 PM)

  • Spoke on the Internet Tax Freedom Act.
    • "I know in my home state of New Hampshire, where we've chosen not have a sales tax, it would be completely unfair for us to consider passing this proposal, which is a brand-new tax grab that erodes New Hampshire's competitive status of choosing not to have a sales tax, and also the concerns we all should have about a central taxing authority holding all of this private sales information in each of the states and what could be done with that information and how will consumers' information be protected. New Hampshire's reserve did notes and internet retailers can't afford this radical federal invasion of our state, and I hope that my colleagues will see the importance of extending the Internet Tax Freedom Act to encourage job creation. But under no circumstances should the internet tax moratorium be held hostage by a new and invasive sales tax that would not only undo the benefits of the tax moratorium but also burden our small businesses by becoming tax collectors for other states."

 

Senator Donnelly: (2:30 PM)

  • Spoke on the export-import bank.
    • "The ex-im bank costs zero in taxpayer dollars. In fact, it turns a profit. Since 1992, the bank has returned more than $7 billion in profits to the Treasury. Just last year, $675 million were returned to the Treasury. And the default rate, 0.175%. That's less than one fifth of one percent. That is an effort to manage in a fiscally prudent, fiscally responsible manner. In fiscal 2014, ex-im authorized about $20.5 billion for 346 transactions which contributed to $27.5 billion of U.S. exports and more than 164,000 jobs right here in the United States. These aren't in most part huge corporations. They're small companies that wouldn't be able to find financing elsewhere. In 2014, 90% of the transactions approved by the bank were in support of small businesses. So what happens if ex-im's charter is to expire? It will be forced to shut down. Unwind current obligations, and the loss of future financing could result in a significant amount of business being lost overseas."

 

Senator Gardner: (2:56 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "I urge my colleagues to continue their support for free trade agreements and so that the United States can help grasp the great opportunity that awaits us in the Asia pacific. We've held several hearings over the past couple of months in the Foreign Relations Committee and beyond talking about the benefits of free trade. Last week we were joined by - a couple of weeks ago joined by experts in Asia and economic leaders around this country, all of whom believe that of we have an important role to play until expanding trade and expanding the opportunities that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will lead it to when that agreement comes to this floor, thanks to Trade Promotion Authority. It is an important measure that we must enact. It is an important statement of good faith that the united States truly is interested in the Asia region, the Asia pacific region and making good on our efforts to truly pivot to Asia to rebalance the policy we support that we are making good on our word that we are in the region to stay."

 

Senator Thune: (3:05 PM)

  • Spoke on the defense appropriations bill.
    • "The authorization act is the first step in a two-step process which has to be followed by the appropriations bill that actually provides the funding. But Democratic leaders and the president, even though many of them supported the defense authorization bill, are upset that government agencies like the E.P.A. and the I.R.S. aren't receiving the Democratic' preferred level of funding. So they've decided to hold appropriations bills hostage in an effort to get what they want. Well, it's unfortunate that Democrats are holding funding for our troops hostage in order to get more funding for the E.P.A. and the I.R.S. If Democrats believe funding levels on appropriations bills are not acceptable, they'll have the opportunity to offer amendments to increase the funding. But in order to do that, they have to allow us to actually proceed to consideration of these bills on the senate floor."

 

Senator Hatch: (3:21 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "Of course, without T.P.A., these two trade agreements, which are among the largest and most ambitious agreements in our nation's history don't stand the chance. T.P.A. gives our negotiators the tools they need to get the best deals possible. T.P.A. gives Congress and our constituents a strong voice in the negotiating process. T.P.A. assures once an agreement is reached our country will be able to deliver on the deal. Utahans depend on international trade. Utah's job creators like those throughout the country need greater access to foreign markets in order to compete. Put simply, they are not going to get that access without T.P.A. So for the sake of the thousands of Utah companies that export goods around the world and tens of thousands of Utahans whose jobs depend on those exports and for really hundreds of thousands of companies all over this country, and more, I urge my colleagues to join me one more time in supporting our T.P.A. legislation."

 

Senator Grassley: (3:42 PM)

  • Spoke on the REACH Act.
    • "I'm introducing called the Rural Emergency Acute Care Hospital Act. And for purposes of shortening the name of that legislation, it has the acronym, REACH, so I'm going to refer to it as the REACH Act. Since January 2010, 55 rural hospitals closed their doors. So you can see in the years that we have listed here, it adds up to 55 hospitals. Now, even more troubling is that the pace of rural hospital closures appear to be accelerating. Again, as you can see in the chart, the number of hospital closures has increased very definitely over the last five years. These closures are creating a health care crisis for hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country. The REACH Act will create a new rural hospital model under Medicare that will enable struggling rural hospitals to keep their doors open and maintain the most critical hospital service emergency medicine. When a rural hospital closes, the community loses the lifesaving capability of the emergency room. According to the national conference on state legislatures, 60% of trauma deaths in the United States occur in rural areas. After a traumatic event, access to an emergency room within one hour can make a big difference between life and death."