Lankford, Moran, Daines, Coats, Brown, Hatch

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

Senator Lankford: (4:33 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "When people have freedom of conscience and faith, they're also better trading partners. Their country is stable, their families are stable, and their economy will grow. With that I encourage this body to do something new. Let's start exporting the values that we hold dear, not to compel nations to have our faith but to have other nations recognize the power of freedom of religion within their own border. I have a simple amendment to the Trade Promotion Authority, asking the trade negotiators to take into account conditions relating to religious freedom of any party to negotiations for a trade agreement with the United States. It's not complicated. It's a simple encouragement and it's a step towards us exporting our value. I ask for the support of this body as we consider our greatest export, freedom."

 

Senator Moran: (4:38 PM)

  • Spoke on the Environmental Protection Agency.
    • "The Obama administration has repeated the mantra that the rule is only intended to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act but we all know better. Not only has the rule failed to provide certainty, it has sought to expand the E.P.A.'s jurisdiction to include thousands of new miles of streams and rivers and even dry ditches. Where I come from the term navigable waters which is what the statute says, means something that you can float a boat on. We don't have many of those waters in the state of Kansas. Yet this administration seems to believe that they have the right to enforce those regulations, burdensome regulations, on land that is far removed from what is traditionally considered navigable waters. People in Kansas face regulations from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The bird's listing is creating uncertainty. Wind energy projects have been abandoned, oil and gas production has slowed and farmers are faced with uncertainty regarding new restrictions on what they can do on their privately owned land."

 

Senator Daines: (4:44 PM)

  • Spoke on the Indian Coal Production Tax Credit.
    • "The study found that the Indian Coal Production Tax Credit contributes to 1,600 jobs across Montana and generates $107 million in royalties and tax revenues for the Crow Tribe in 2013 alone. In addition, the tax credit stimulates $95 million in wages for the state of Montana. The Indian Coal Production Tax Credit which expired at the end of 2014 after a one-year extension continues to serve the crow rob tribe as an effective mechanism for economic development. However, it is also a constant source of angst due to Congress' unwillingness to adopt a permanent extension of the provision. The benefits of this tax credit are evident on tribal lands, especially in Montana. In fact, displayed prominently in my Washington, D.C., office is a note from Crow Chairman Okaya's daughter Evelyn. She wrote this on this note, and I have it framed in my office. "Please keep the coal tax credit going to help me and other Crow kids have a brighter future. A permanent extension provides a scale for energy projects and provides a path forward for the long-term prospects of our tribal nations."

 

Senator Coats: (4:50 PM)

  • Spoke on Waste of the Week.
    • "So what we are proposing here is simply a requirement, the taxpayers who claim a tuition tax credit have proof that they have actually received the credit and are eligible to receive the credit, and that proof is the 1098-T form. So we're proposing here that we would simply require that taxpayers hold a valid 1098-T or some form of substantiation in their possession when they fill out their tax returns and claim tuition benefits. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that this very simple requirement would save $576 million over the next ten years. Now, compared to the billions that we have already proven that we can save by better management of taxpayers' money, we're going to add another $576 million to this. As you see, we're on the way to $100 billion of savings through some very basic and simple modifications and changes in our tax code and in our procedures in terms of how we run this government."

 

Senator Brown: (5:22 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "We've actually lost 70,000 jobs instead because of a swelling trade deficit with South Korea. And we have Trans-Pacific Partnership, even it's supporters acknowledge there will be workers who lose their jobs. They believe a net gain but nonetheless numbers of workers will lose their jobs and will need retraining. So that conservative number of only $450 million when it's clear we need the larger number of $575 million. The same level that President Obama included in his budget, the same level that 70 senators, a number in each party supported."

 

Senator Hatch: (5:27 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "Look, significantly increasing funding levels for T.A.A. May make it much harder to pass both here and in the House of Representatives. It's a bill that's not supported by a great number of us. That being the case, I hope my colleagues will join me in voting "No" on this amendment. We've put together a bill that literally has brought together both sides as well as we possibly could. And hopefully we'll vote "No" on this amendment."