Heitkamp, Nelson, Blumenthal, Coats

Morning Business

Senator Heitkamp: (3:30 PM)

  • Spoke on Vietnam veterans.
    • "I rise today to continue our efforts to honor the 198 North Dakotans who give their lives while serving in the Vietnam War. Together with Bismarck High School's is 11th graders and their teachers, my office is reaching out to the family and friends of these fallen heroes. I'm humbled to learn the tidbits about each man and wish I could dead crate a whole speech to each life. Today I want to highlight the service and contribution to North Dakota and our country by my good friend Rick Massner of Bismarck."


Senator Nelson: (4:08 PM)

  • Spoke on Iran.
    • "At 5:30 we're going to vote on Senate resolution 16 which calls on the government of Iran to release the Americans that are held and also calls on the government to cooperate in finding, locating and ultimately releasing Bob Levenson. Robert Levenson, a retired F.B.I. agent, while visiting the tourist island in the Persian Gulf, the Kish island, a part of Iran, suddenly disappeared in 2007. It is eight years since his disappearance. That occurred March 9 of 2007. And since Bob is a part of this resolution, this is just another of a continuing conversation that this senator from Florida has had over the course of the last eight years, and it is just unbelievable, eight years and it wasn't until 2010, three and a half years after his disappearance, that the Levenson family received a video, a proof of life and a year later they received photographs of Bob, April of 2011. And since then, nothing. Now if the government of Iran really wanted to help, they could."


Senator Blumenthal: (4:15 PM)

  • Spoke on the highway trust fund.
    • "The greatest generation came back from World War II and built the interstate highway under the leadership of President Dwight Eisenhower. He committed to make America one nation in its roads, tying us together, binding us as a nation through that investment. And he had the courage, as we should today, to say what's great about America is what we give back, what we're willing to invest not only for today but for tomorrow, and we are in danger today in this chamber, in this nation of being one of the first generations that left a lesser America for our children. Think of it. A lesser America at a time when the word exceptional and exceptional trips off the tongues of many of our colleagues here in this chamber, we need to match that rhetoric with real action. And so today let us resolve that we will debate and act on a long-term investment program to make sure that our roads and bridges, our railroads and airports, the ports that could make our nation the envy of the world are matching our rhetoric and our goals."


Senator Coats: (4:34 PM)

  • Spoke on Waste of the Week.
    • "He found that 2,500 unused state vehicles still had the pennies on their wheels. If they've been sitting here for months and nobody is using them, why are we paying for them? Why we spending money on purchasing these? Let's sell them off, saving some money for the state. They obviously aren't necessary. It was a third fleet's vehicles. The state had its own printing operation. It was, like a lot of state-held operations and our federal operation, it was kind of bloated with excess spending. And he said, let's shop around and see if the private sector can do this more effectively and efficiently. And of course they did find a private vendor in Indiana that did it much more effectively. He said, you know, do these things have to be all glossy and colored, just a lot of pieces of paper that we pass out and read. Even in the Senate, these are not colored brochures. They're simply black and white. Save a lot of money just by going black and white. Maybe not quite as pretty, maybe not quite as attractive, but another way to save money. These are small things, but when you total them up for all the agencies that are in Washington, as was determined by the Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, it adds up to a lot of money."