Nelson, Rubio, Flake, Leahy

Executive Session (Stras Nomination)

Senator Nelson: (11:05 a.m)

  • Spoke on the situation in Puerto Rico.
    • "We're trying to add to that the additional financial assistance that is needed in Puerto Rico. So I hope our colleagues in the Senate will understand the urgency of this matter. We can't keep pushing this off down into the future. The need to act is now. Mr. President, I just want to say in addition, in Florida, people are struggling. We should not negligent what is happening on the mainland. It's true in Texas. It's true in California. It's true in Florida. It's true in the islands. The storms destroyed homes and damaged apartments all around Florida, but we haven't seen any real attempt to address the housing needs of hurricane victims in the state."


Senator Rubio: (11:18 a.m)

  • Spoke on the situation in Florida.
    • "What we don't recognize is that underneath all of that is the long-term damage done a small business that went two weeks without any sort of income and so they closed. It is the impact we see in the Florida Keys where we have a lot of people that used their retirement savings to buy a small property they rent out in the Florida keys - very common; you buy a small townhouse, you rent it out in the winter to people that stay there and then you use it in the summer for your family. Guess what? This winter you're probably not getting a lot of visitors. There's all the debris from the canal that's sitting there. The canal, the waterway that takes them out has a refrigerator floating in it, has all kinds of debris. There's all kinds of debris from previous storms."


Senator Flake: (11:36 a.m)

  • Spoke on DACA.
    • "Now, other things being debated like changes to legal immigration levels truly need their own debate. Now, some appear to have seized on this as an opportunity to push forward an agenda aimed at limiting the future flow of legal immigration. Before this idea gains any steam, we have to fully discuss and debate its potentially enormous impact on our economy. It's easy for some to see unemployed Americans and point to immigrants as a scapegoat, to suggest that every immigrant who passes through our borders represents a job being pried from the hands of an American, an American citizen is far-fetched at best."


Senator Leahy: (11:43 a.m)

  • Spoke on government funding legislation.
    • "Well, the idea that Democrats are holding up defense spending doesn't pass the laugh test. The Republicans are in charge of getting appropriations bills at levels - last July, that was seven months ago, I called for bipartisan budget negotiations like we've always done in the past. And as the vice chairman of appropriations, I put forward a proposal that would increase defense spending by $54 billion and would increase nondefense spending by an equal amount, $54 billion. Basically what we did when Senator Murray and then-Congressman Ryan worked out the budget agreement, we did that years ago."