Durbin, Schumer, Alexander

The minibus appropriations bill (H.R. 6157)

Senator Durbin: (10:14 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "Our two hard targets, the most threatening nations when it comes to the United States? Well, that's where you have to step back and shake your head and say it can't be true, but it is true. The Russian defense budget from 2017 to 2018, $78 billion. Remember my earlier figures? We're going to be spending $700 billion, and their annual budget is $78 billion. How can there be such a disparity? Well, some people have argued it's because of the accounting methods. It's the fact that Russian soldiers are paid dirt wages and ours, thank goodness, are paid just compensation and given benefits. I accept all of that, but it still doesn't explain an almost 10-1 ratio of spending in the United States against spending in Russia."


Senator Schumer: (10:34 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "I hope that he comes prepared to answer direct questions about his writings, speeches, opinions, and judicial philosophy. The nominee has weighed in on a number of legal issues publicly and in his role as a circuit judge. There's little reason why he should be unable to answer direct questions about his judicial philosophy, his record, and already - in already decided cases. I also hope he's willing to shed some light in the areas in his record that remain opaque. The senate and the public have only been able to see a funny fraction of the nominee's extensive written record because, unfortunately, the Republican majority continues to block access to the great bulk of these document. I'd ask Judge Kavanaugh, I'll ask our Republicans what are they hiding?"
  • Spoke on healthcare reform.
    • "Over and over again he tries to undo the health care Americans have without even understanding what he's really doing. On day one, President Trump issued an executive order aimed at the health care law. It was the very first thing he did. He then proposed legislation with congressional Republicans to repeal the health care law, devastate Medicaid, and eliminate protections for tens of millions of people with preexisting conditions. That failed. But congressional Republicans managed to repeal the coverage requirement in their tax bill of all places"


Senator Alexander: (10:55 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "I hope to see better behavior during the next few weeks as the senate begins hearings on president trump's nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to be a member of the United States Supreme Court. Instead of treating Judge Kavanaugh as someone recently released from San Quinten prison, I hope we treat him with dignity and respect so Americans can better understand about his temperament, about his intelligence, about his character. That's what we should want to know about a presidential nominee to the Supreme Court. The current rudeness is a recent phenomenon. Historically senators have recognized that bipartisan approval of qualified nominees helps improve the esteem of the court."