Opening Remarks

Today -

  • The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #609, James Bridenstine, of Oklahoma, to be Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
  • At 1:45 p.m., the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #609, James Bridenstine, of Oklahoma, to be Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


Senator McConnell: (10:03 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the opioid epidemic.
    • "This epidemic has been especially severe in my moment state of Kentucky - in my home state of Kentucky, claiming lives at a record pace. In light of this urgent problem, many are proud Congress is fighting back. We've passed substantial bipartisan legislation to give communities the resources they need. The most recent government funding bill provided billions of dollars of additional support. But the work to end the suffering continues. One of the most heartbreaking facts is the skyrocketing number of infants who are born dependent on opioids. Defenseless children start their lives suffering from addiction. That's why in 2015 I sponsored, along with Senator Casey, the bipartisan Protecting Our Infants Act. As the first law to specifically address prenatal exposure."
  • Spoke on the nomination of James Bridenstine to be NASA Administrator.
    • "Jim is a decorated pilot and combat veteran. His tenure in the House of Representatives testifies to his understanding of the issues facing today's space program and to his advocacy of NASA modernization. But is as often the case, this well-qualified nominee has waited too long for a vote. NASA has been led by an acting administrator for a record 15 months. So I hope my completion will join me in voting - so I hope my colleagues will join me in voting to confirm Jim Bridenstine today."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "I'd like to say a few words this morning about Mike Pompeo, our C.I.A. director and the president's extraordinary choice to serve as secretary of state. In recent days, the world learned Director Pompeo had undertaken initial conversations with Kim Jong-un directly -- Easter weekend - to discuss denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. Obviously he has the confidence of the president, engaged in the most sensitive undertaking one could imagine in today's world, and yet so many on the other side are suggesting they have reservations about this outstanding nominee. Pursued with clear-eyed realism and clear objectives, this is a worthy effort."
  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "But the simple fact is that Democratic policies left the rest of the country behind. In small towns, smaller cities, and rural areas, opportunity dried up, paychecks stayed flat, hope for a more prosperous future began fading. That's what President Trump and this Republican Congress were elected to change. Our governing philosophy is very different. We think more of the American people's hard-earned money should be left in their own hands to spend or save as they see fit. We think government needs to give workers and job creators some breathing room."