Wyden, Cardin, McCain, Graham, Warren, Portman

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

Senator Wyden: (12:13 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "Just yesterday, Treasury Secretary Lew said he would recommend a veto of a T.P.A. package that included this type of amendment because he, too, thought it would threaten our nation's ability to respond to a financial crisis. So it's going to be important to get this right, make sure that our trade agreements have the upside of being strong in the fight against currency manipulation, but make sure that we also avoid the downside of restricting our monetary policy tools. I hope my colleagues will think about the unintended consequences of the Portman amendment. If we were to have another unfortunate financial crisis, no one wants that. We all want to make sure that the Federal Reserve has the full array of economic tools to get our economy moving again and to keep workers on the job. So we're going to be faced with this judgment, and I hope my colleagues will say that the approach Chairman Hatch and I have offered is one that will allow us to build on the first-ever negotiating objective for currency - that's in the bill - and accept our amendment."

 

Senator Cardin: (12:23 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "I would hope that my colleagues would agree that moving forward that we would want the president to take that into consideration to make sure that we have a game plan if we're dealing with a country that's violated human rights as to how we're going to correct that activity through the opening up of trade. Trade with our countries of benefit and it should be with countries that share our basic values. Lowering trade barriers should come with further commitments to our basic values, and that's what my amendment would do. I would urge my colleagues at the appropriate time to make sure this amendment is considered, and I would ask their support on this amendment."

 

Senator McCain: (12:37 PM)

  • Spoke on ISIS.
    • "Today it appears to be a sad reminder of this administration's indecisive air campaign in Iraq and Syria and a broader lack of strategy to achieve its stated objective of degrading and destroying ISIL. Equally disturbing, reports indicate over 75,000 Iranian-backed Shiite militias are preparing to launch a counteroffensive in the largely Sunni province. Whatever the operational success Shia militias may have in Anbar may be exceeded by the strategic damage caused by violent sectarianism and the fear and suspicion it breeds among Iraqi Sunnis. Moreover, the prominent role of these militias continue to feed the perception of a Baghdad government unable or unwilling to protect Sunnis. This is devastating to the political reconciliation efforts that must be central to ensuring a united Iraq can rid itself of ISIL. Shiite militias and Iranian meddling will only foster the conditions that gave birth to ISIL in the first place. Liberating ram Mahdi and defeating ISIL require empowering Sunnis want to rise up and fight ISIL themselves including integrating them into Iraq security forces providing more robust American military assistance."

 

Senator Graham: (12:53 PM)

  • Spoke on Iraq.
    • "If you want to stop the flow of foreign fighters into the arms of ISIL, you have to deliver a stinging defeat on the battlefield. Not only are they stronger today in Syria and Iraq than they have been in quite a while, they are expanding their influence to Libya, Afghanistan, and throughout the region. All I can tell you is their agenda includes three things. The purification of their religion, which means 3-year-old little girls are executed. Just hear what I said. They executed a 3-year-old little girl. They're enslaving women by the thousands as sex slaves under some twisted version of Islam. What they're doing to people, we can't really talk about on the floor because I think it would just be beyond our ability to comprehend. The second thing they want to do is drive out all western influence and create a caliphate where our allies have no place. The King of Jordan would be deposed. All of the friends of the United States and people who could live in peace with Israel, they fall. And in their place becomes the most radical Islamic regime known in the history of the world who will destroy Israel if they can. Purify their religion, destroy Israel, and come after us."

 

Senator Warren: (1:03 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "I come to the floor in support of an amendment I filed with Senators Merkley, Baldwin and Blumenthal. The amendment is simple. It says that Congress shouldn't make it easy to pass any trade deal that weakens our financial rules. In 2008, we suffered through the worst financial crisis in generations. Millions of families lost their homes. Millions of people lost their jobs. Millions lost their retirement savings. And they watched as the government spent hundreds of billions of their tax dollars to bail out the giant banks. In response, Congress passed commonsense financial reforms: The Dodd-Frank Act. These rules crack down on the cheating and lying in the financial marketplace. They required the big banks to raise more capital so they wouldn't need a bailout if they started to stumble."

 

Senator Portman: (1:09 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "Two of them, Japan and Malaysia, have engaged in currency manipulation in the past. Are they doing it now? In my view, no. But they have. Japan hasn't done it since 2012. But before that, they did if over 300 times. Why wouldn't we want to have a provision that says, I know you're not doing it now, but now that we've come up with this great agreement, let's be sure you don't do it in the future and undo all of these gains? Why would they be worried about that? Why would they not sign up? Why wouldn't the United States sign up and all the other countries? Malaysia has manipulated its currency in the past. If they are refusing to do so, if this is considered a poison pill for that reason, we should be worried about it. I thank you for giving me the time to clarify some of the statements made earlier. I hope that every member of the United States Senate will decide as they talk about the need for more enforcement this is what we're talking about."