Brown, Whitehouse, Heitkamp

Executive Session (Bridenstine Nomination)

Senator Brown: (5:44 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Coast Guard reauthorization.
    • "This bill unfortunately with that amendment sets us back. We need to keep invasive species out of Lake Erie, and we need to pass the Coast Guard bill. There is no reason we can't do both. I want to speak to that in a moment. First how vital Lake Erie is to my state. Lake Erie, 50% of the fish in all the great Lakes consider Lake Erie their habitat. Its waters are critical to farming and clean energy development and industry and regional economic competitiveness, from tourism in Kataba and Put-in-Bay, to family reunions, Lake Erie benefits our communities, it creates jobs in Ohio. But for more than half a century, that half a century going back to when I was a kid in the 1960's and saw what lake Erie looked like, keeping our lake healthy has been a constant struggle."
  • Spoke on the Export-Import Bank.
    • "Mr. President, right now American manufacturers, American workers aren't competing upon a level playing field with foreign competitors. The Export-Import Bank is a vital tool for manufacturers in Ohio, in other states it's helping them export Ohio products around the world. It's helping them compete in the global marketplace. But for an unbelievable three years, the Export-Import Bank has been forced to stop most of its work."


Senator Whitehouse: (5:56 p.m.)

  • Spoke on climate change.
    • "Thank you, Mr. President. When we think, Mr. President, about climate change, something we don't do much of in this body, we often think about rising global temperatures and heat waves. We think about changing weather patterns, stronger storms or sea level rise threatening coastal communities. We actually see these effects unfold across the U.S. and around the world, as heat records fall, winters shrink, and waters creep ever higher along our coastlines. We also see the economic consequences of climate change. Just last year, the United States suffered a record 16, 1-6, 16 separate billion-dollar weather disasters, adding up to well over $300 billion in damages."


Senator Heitkamp: (6:25 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the Export-Import Bank.
    • "It's the workers of this country. The workers who have lost jobs because we do not have a functioning Export-Import Bank, the workers whose opportunity to earn a living has been compromised because we don't have an Export-Import Bank that is functioning. The workers who are now handed a big 50-pound weight against as Chinese worker when the Chinese are pumping money into their export agency and competing unfairly because we don't have an Export-Import Bank. Can we just for a minute be for the workers? The Export-Import Bank does not cost the taxpayer, and has not cost the taxpayers, a dime. In fact, it returns money to the treasury. It is a win-win, but yet here we are, based on strictly ideological grounds, arguing the value of the Export-Import Bank."