Grassley, Brown, Blumenthal

Morning Business

Senator Grassley: (6:10 PM)

  • Spoke on executive overreach.
    • "Moreover, these agencies have the power to enforce their own regulations and the primary role in interpreting their regulations in individual cases. Thus, they exercise legislative, executive, and judicial power all in one. But this concentration of power in executive branch agencies creates a strong temptation for presidents to use it to implement their agenda irrespective of congress or the law of the land. I've been very critical of President Obama for a number of actions that I think exceed his legal authority from using the Clean Water Act to trying to regulate land use decisions in virtually every county in our country, to forcing states to adopt his preferred education policies in order to get funding and waivers, to granting a massive amnesty from our immigration laws, which even he previously admitted he didn't have the legal authority to do. I think these are bad policies, but even those who see these as short-term policy victories should be very wary of the long-term consequences of anything that erodes our tradition of respect for rule of law."

 

Senator Brown: (6:25 PM)

  • Spoke on summer meal plans.
    • "That means in my state almost 700,000 children on any given schoolday will be getting a free or reduced-price lunch. But during the summer months, only about 70,000 of those children get these meals or snacks. We need to do all we can to raise public awareness of these programs so that families know that the end of the school year doesn't mean an end to food services for their children. In Marion, where Winnie runs her program, she anticipates she will triple the number of meals she serves this year compared to five years ago. That's because she and other community partners have committed to making this program a success. Schools and churches and synagogues and community centers and pools and recreation centers, volunteers and organizers have ensuring that children have the healthy food they need to succeed."

 

Senator Blumenthal: (6:30 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • "The fact is that the Department of Defense's own research shows 52 unwanted sexual contacts occur every day on average across the military. That's the same rate as it was five years ago, in 2010. The fact is in fiscal year 2014, the Department of Defense estimates 62% of service women experienced retaliation for coming forward. The same percentage as 2012. Service members who report assault are 12 times more likely to experience retaliation for reporting their cases than seeing the assailant convicted of a crime. Retaliation is more likely than effective discipline or punishment against the perpetrator. The amendment that we have offered, the Military Justice Improvement Act, seeks to address this issue through explicit codification of punishment for any person deciding to retaliate against anyone who reports this crime of sexual assault. Explicit punishment for retaliation will not only send a message, but it will deter what is in civilian terms one of the most severe crimes known as obstruction of justice."