Hatch, Mikulski, Wyden, McCain

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2578)

Senator Hatch: (2:15 PM)

  • Spoke on the Social Security Trustees' report.
    • "My friends on the other side of the aisle have unfortunately injected needless politics into Social Security Trustee reports and have threatened the integrity of those very reports with their allegations as well as attacking an individual based on false claims. Unfortunately, it seems that in an election year, Democrats are intent on constructing a -- quote – 'privatization' -- unquote – straw man and using it to scare seniors into sending checks and votes to Democrats, something that we've become pretty used to really. It's something that is despicable to say the least. And in election year politics, they're apparently willing to sacrifice the historic transparency and integrity provided by the trustees' reports. Indeed they've gone out of their way to claim that the reports are already politically compromised despite having no credible evidence that such is the case."


Senator Mikulski: (2:40 PM)

  • Spoke on the Social Security Trustees' report.
    • "We're not playing a Social Security card. We don't believe you should play with Social Security. That's why many of us opposed the Chained CPI. That's Washington talk which would dramatically and irrevocably lower the cost of living with Social Security beneficiaries, which Social Security beneficiaries get already. So if speaking up to protect senior citizens, to make sure that they get their cost of living is playing the Social Security card, deal me in."


Senator Wyden: (2:48 PM)

  • Spoke on the McCain amendment #4787 to the commerce, justice, and science appropriations bill.
    • "Under his amendment, which we will vote on tomorrow, national security letters - what are called NSLs - could be issued by any FBI field office to demand records from a company without going to a judge or without any other oversight whatsoever. So let's just kind of repeat that, because what colleagues have wanted to know is exactly what this would cover. The McCain amendment would allow for the government to demand e-mail records, text message logs, web browsing history, and certain types of other location information without any court oversight whatsoever. Now, as I've indicated, this had been on the books for a number of years, and the administration of George W. Bush said it was unnecessary. In effect, that it was unnecessarily intrusive."


Senator McCain: (2:58 PM)

  • Spoke on the McCain amendment #4787 to the commerce, justice, and science appropriations bill.
    • "He says, 'This is essentially a typo in the law that was passed a number of years ago that requires us to get records -- ordinary transaction records -- that we can get in most contexts with a non-court order because it doesn't involve content of any kind. To go to the FISA court to get a court order to get these records, nobody intended that.' That's what the director of the FBI says. That's what the record shows is important. As the director of the FBI, 'Nobody intended that. Nobody I've heard thinks that's necessary. It would save us a tremendous amount of work hours if we could fix that without any compromise to anyone's civil liberties or civil rights.' I agree with the director of the FBI. This amendment - I'm astounded very frankly that there's not a unanimous vote on this. It's simple. If the FBI is able to go into your financial written records, if they're able to go into your telephone records, then pray tell, what is the difference between those and electronic records?"