McConnell, Reid

Opening Remarks

Today –

  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will be in morning business for one hour, with the time equally divided.
  • Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 1735, the National Defense Authorization Act.
  • Note: Cloture has been filed on McCain for Burr Amendment #1569 (re: criminal background and cyber security), as amended, to H.R. 1735.


Senator McConnell: (10:02 AM)

  • Spoke on Dr. Billington.
    • "I don't think Dr. Billington is ready to take his scholar cap off quite yet because he's preparing to do la little writing too, and about folks who played an important role in the history of - what else - the library that means so much to him. Dr. Billington has called the Library of Congress the greatest collection of knowledge and copy righted creativity in human history, and I know how proud he is of the many initiatives he's undertaken to expand its reach and its relevance. I noted yesterday that you're unlikely to come across many guys who can say they have been a Princeton valedictorian, a Harvard professor, an expert on the kremlin, a veteran, and a Rhodes Scholar. But that's our librarian of Congress. He speaks seven languages. He's got 42 honorary degrees. And I'm hoping he'll soon be able to start catching a full eight hours sleep every night. Dr. Billington has certainly earned it and we wish him the very best in his retirement."
  • Spoke on cybersecurity.  
    • "We shouldn't wait for the administration to fumble away another four million Social Security numbers or personal addresses before we help them get modernized and up to speed. That hasn't stopped some Democratic leaders from thinking they should try to score some political points by taking down a bipartisan measure to combat cyberattacks. I hope they won't do that. Most Americans would find it awfully cynical for Democratic leaders in the wake of the administration's inability -- inability - to stop such a massive cyberattack to vote against the very same cybersecurity legislation their own party vetted and over whelming endorsed in committee for the sake of scoring political points. We've got a smart, transparent, bipartisan, fully vetted measure before us that can help make our country safer."
  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • "Kentuckians and Americans know that supporting our troops is never, ever a waste of time. They know that ensuring the military has the tools it needs isn't a game. Here's something else so many of our constituents know. What America needs right now is not a summer of filibusters. But a season of serious bipartisan solutions. That's what this defense bill before us represents, and that's what this new Congress has been doing all year. We've gotten a lot done. There's a lot more we can do, and if rank-and-file Democrats reject their leader's partisan gains in favor of keeping up the bipartisan work that got us to this point instead on a bill they joined with Republicans to pass in committee 22-4, 22-4, then that's just the kind of productive summer we can keep working toward."


Senator Reid: (10:16 AM)

  • Spoke on Dr. Billington.
    • "I admire and appreciate very much my friend, the Republican leader, mentioning Dr. James Billington. Friend of mine. I had a wonderful conversation with him yesterday. I wrote him a nice letter - at least I think so - talking about the work we've done together over these past three decades … His academic record is just really terrific. As a person, he is the best. We've traveled parts of the world with him."
  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • "The Republican leader is now using this bill, which should be focused on funding our troops to pull these ploys, these diverting, deceitful ploys on cybersecurity and the export-import bank. On cybersecurity, with the Republican leader's blessing, Senators Burr and McCain employed a rarely used device to get a cybersecurity amendment pending with no amendment. Then before any action was taken, the Republican leader quickly filed cloture. When the senate considered the 2012 cybersecurity bill, and we tried so hard to get that up, Senator McConnell complained about cloture being filed too quickly, which I did because they wouldn't let us move at all on the bill. In 2012, here's what he said, "The few days the bill was on the floor, the majority limited its consideration to debate only and then filed cloture." Continuing the quote, "but of course that's kind of par for the course around here. The notion that we should just roll over and waive through these bills without having a chance to approve them and that Democratic senators would be willing to be rolled in such a way is ridiculous, especially on a bill of this significance," by senator from Kentucky."
  • Spoke on the export-import bank.
    • "The Republican leader and his colleagues have reported opposition on a program that supports 165,000 American jobs, jobs here right in our country, many in their own states. Every state in the union benefits. Because they changed their opinion on a bank that returned $7 billion to the Treasury, our Treasury, it's a flip that would make a trapeze artist cringe. We haven't much time. The export-import bank expires at the end of this month. Last night's vote proves there is support. 65 senators voted in favor of support of the bank last month. I ask Republicans to understand where the real cynicism and hypocrisy lies in this chamber."