Hatch, Wyden, Barrasso, Merkley

Vehicle for Trade Promotion Authority (H.R. 1314)

Senator Hatch: (9:49 AM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "If nothing I've said here today about the complexities of currency and monetary policies has resonated with my colleagues, this fact remains: A vote for Portman-Stabenow, the Portman-Stabenow amendment is a vote to kill T.P.A. I'm sure that sounds good to some of my colleagues who are fundamentally opposed to what we're trying to do here. But for those who support free trade, open markets and high-paying jobs for American workers, this truth is ultimately inescapable. Once again, this doesn't mean we should stand by and do nothing about currency manipulation. The Hatch-Wyden amendment will provide an effective path to improve transparency, measurement and monitoring of our trading partners' currency practices and effective and transparent ways to counteract anyone seeking to manipulate currencies for unfair trade advantage. The Hatch-Wyden amendment will allow Congress to speak forcefully on the issue of currency manipulation without putting our trade agreements and domestic policies in limbo."

 

Senator Wyden: (10:10 AM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "The evidence is that trade jobs pay better than do the non-trade jobs. We need more of them. There was a report this morning that my state has a significant trade surplus, and we're very proud of that. There are other states that don't but promote legislation that allows us to secure more exports, particularly in the developing world where there are going to be a billion middle-class consumers in 2025. We want them to buy America, because when they do, it creates the opportunity for us to have more of those export, value-added, high-productivity jobs that pay our workers better wages that strengthen our middle class."

 

Senator Barrasso: (10:27 AM)

  • Spoke on ObamaCare.
    • "I know that the senator from Connecticut has come to the floor saying that we should be celebrating ObamaCare. Well, with these rate increases for families in Connecticut, it looks to me like the party is over. ObamaCare was supposed to bring costs down. That's what the president promised. He said the premiums would go down by an average of $2,500 per year per family. It hasn't happened. For an average family that gets coverage through their work, the premiums have gone up about $3,500 since the president took office in 2009. Why do we still see headlines about premiums going up by 14% or even 2%? Why are they going up at all? Why are the promises that Democrats made about the health care law not coming true? Why are ObamaCare rates set to soar again in 2016? Why are people in places like Connecticut still seeing headlines about their costs going up by 14%?"

 

Senator Merkley: (10:38 AM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "Let's get these amendments up, let's debate them, let's quit stalling, let's quit engaging in this process of trying to rush this through in a manner where these fundamental issues not have been addressed like the fact that there's no minimum wage in this agreement. And that the playing field is tilted deeply against manufacturing in America. Fundamental issues like there are negotiating objectives that should be negotiating requirements for a bill to have the privilege of getting fast-track here on the floor of the Senate. Fundamental deals like we should not have our environmental, public health, and consumer laws subject to an international tribunal. Fundamental issues like Americans should have the right to label their products the way that they decide according to their statutes and not have that overruled by an international group. I would love to see a Senate function and actually debate these amendments. I hope that happens and any effort to shove this bill through without having those types of debates is certainly not the open and robust amendment process that was promised by the majority leader."