McConnell, Reid

Opening Remarks

Today –

  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will be in morning business until 12:30 PM, with the time equally divided.
  • At 12:30 PM, the Senate will recess until 2:15 PM for the weekly caucus luncheons.
  • At 2:15 PM, the time until 2:30 PM will be equally divided.
  • At 2:30 PM, the Senate will VOTE on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 1314, the legislative vehicle for the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act.

 

Senator McConnell: (10:02 AM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "Now, there are many members on my side of the aisle who have real reservations about T.A.A. I do as well. But I expect that at the end of this process, after the Senate works its will, that T.A.A., Trade Adjustment Assistance, will be part of a package that the Senate sends to the House. The top Democrat on the Finance Committee me it clear at the markup of these trade bills that T.A.A. needed to run alongside T.P.A. I know that the chairman of the committee, Senator Hatch, has also been working toward that end. Now, the Finance Committee didn't just mark up T.P.A. and T.A.A. It also marked up the African Growth and Opportunity Act and passed a generalized system of preferences bill by voice vote. It reported a customs and enforcement bill by voice vote, too. So while T.P.A. is clearly the centerpiece of the trade agenda before us, there is also bipartisan support for other bills reported by the Finance Committee. I know we've heard some concern that these bills might get left behind. I don't think that was anybody's intent. I expect to have a robust amendment process that will allow trade-related amendments to be offered and considered, including on the subject matters that the committee dealt with. The underlying substitute will be a compromise between the two parties marrying T.A.A. and T.P.A., but let me repeat so there's no misunderstanding, the measure before us will be open for amendment, and I expect that other trade policies considered by the committee and possibly even more will be debated on the floor."

 

Senator Reid: (10:10 AM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "I'm not a fan of fast-track, but it's important to remember that the Senate's ongoing debate about trade is not limited to legislation granting President Obama fast-track trade authority. One of the bills reported out of the committee finds worker assistance for American workers who lose their job because of trade. Important. Trade adjustments assistance helps American workers be trained, look for new jobs and re-enter the work force. It's a program that's worked well. The second bill helps developing countries export their products to the United States. The third bill started out as a customs bill, now includes bipartisan provisions, fighting currency manipulation, includes provision and importation of goods made with forced labor, and it also ensures that American manufacturers can enforce our trade laws against foreign companies who refuse to play by the rules. Simply put, these three other bills include many provisions to make sure that trade is fair for American workers and the American economy. My views on trade, I repeat, are well known. I don't support these trade provisions, but if the Senate's going to talk about trade, we must consider its impact on American workers and the middle class. That's what the customs provision does. It's why I support combining these four bills into one piece of legislation so no American worker is left behind by the Senate Republicans."