Durbin, Barrasso, Portman, Johnson

Executive Session (Brennan Nomination)

Senator Durbin: (2:01 p.m.)

  • Spoke on net neutrality.
    • "The concept behind this is really pretty simple. It ensures that all content on the internet is treated equally so that the internet can remain openly accessible as a platform for users and an equal playing field for everyone. Unfortunately, some leaders at the Federal Communications Commission disagree. Despite being given the responsibility to make sure that they operate in the public interest, when it came to our nation's communications networks, the F.C.C. in December walked away from this important responsibility and decided to put the needs of companies ahead of customers. It appears with this administration that everything's for sale. That means public lands, our privacy, and in this case the pathway that American families use every single day to get on the internet."

 

Senator Barrasso: (2:07 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Republican economic policy.
    • "Well, the unemployment rate is now down to 3.9%. It's the lowest it has been in 17 years. One analyst from the network CNBC said this is a wow number. The American economy has created three million jobs since President Trump took office. Three million Americans who are now earning a paycheck instead of waiting for a government check. Gotten 304,000 new manufacturing jobs since trump took office. 352,000 new construction jobs. 84,000 new jobs in mining and logging industries. Compare this, Mr. President, to when Democrats in congress and in the last administration launched an all-out war on coal. 84,000 new jobs in mining and logging. Look, Republicans ended the war on coal. We struck down a major Democrat regulation that would have crippled the mining industry."

 

Senator Portman: (2:24 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Republican economic policy.
    • "And I say that with respect because the Bureau of Labor Standards does the best they can but they can't include the people who aren't trying to find work. Those people are outside of the workforce. What the economists call this is a low labor force participation rate. In other words, the low percentage of Americans who are even showing up. That concerns me a lot because, one, obviously it's hurting the economy. You have this huge pool of workers out there, 8.5 million men between the ages of 25 and 55, able bodied men who are in this category. Unemployed, yes, but not even looking for work so not showing up in these numbers."
  • Spoke the opioid epidemic.
    • "We're doing things we've never done before in terms of funding, recovery, treatment, also prevention and education. We need to do more. But we've begun the process of turning the tide I believe by some of this legislation. We need to do more on the law enforcement side. We have legislation called the stop act that simply says, with regard to the most difficult problem we now face in Ohio and around the country, which is synthetic opioids, think fentanyl or carfentanyl let's at least stop the post office for being a conduit for that coming in our country."

 

Senator Johnson: (2:49 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Michael Brennan to be United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit.
    • "I'd like to focus my remarks today on Mike's commitment to public service and his reputation as a jurist. Becoming a seventh circuit judge will not be a huge adjustments for Mike because he has spent nine years as a judge. Anyone who spends time with Mike will be struck not only by his intellect but by his humility and strong commitment to justice and the rule of law. This explains why attorney general the Wisconsin and the state's public defender, fierce adversaries in the courtroom, were able to come together to write a letter enthusiastically supporting his nomination. I have a sense those two don't often agree, but when it comes to who they want deciding their cases, they both point to Mike."