Lee, Kennedy, Hirono

The minibus appropriations bill (H.R. 6147)

Senator Lee: (2:21 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NFIP.
    • "It's fiscally unsustainable because it is, by its nature, structurally unsound. And, yet, here we are again for the seventh straight time in just six years considering so-called straight reauthorization - straight. Yes, that's the word that Washington uses. That's what Washington describes. It's the word that Washington uses when Republicans and Democrats, after burning the mid-day oil for two and a half a week for a few months, decide together that a dysfunctional program $20 billion in debt is, in fact, perfect. And so we're planning to rubber stamp a continuation of its dysfunctional status quo."


Senator Kennedy: (2:32 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NFIP.
    • "And through the president, nobody, nobody in this chamber has more respect for the junior senator of Utah than I do. He's whip smart. He's honest. He's a good guy. We almost always vote together. I have some problems that I'd like to point out to the chamber that I see with respect to the senator's request for unanimous consent. Number one, it is a fact, Mr. President, that 98.5% of all the homes insured by the National Flood Insurance Program are not owned by a bunch of rich people. 98.5% of those homes are located in counties with a median household income below $100,000."


Senator Hirono: (2:42 p.m.)

  • Spoke on health care reform.
    • "I wasn't scheduled to speak that evening. I had already spoken many times previously about the importance of health care. As the debate wore on, much of it focused on health care in the abstract. I felt compelled to talk about the immediacy of health care because of what I was experiencing. Two months earlier I had been diagnosed with kidney cancer during a routine examination. It's a moment everyone dreads, but it's also a moment nearly every family in this country has experienced at some point. But even as I reckoned with what came next, two surgeries and now ongoing immunotherapy, I knew I was fortunate. I had health insurance that allowed me to focus on my treatment rather than worrying about whether I could afford the care that would save my life."