McConnell, Reid, Wyden, Hatch, Cornyn (UC)

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

Senator McConnell: (2:55 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "Blocking the Senate from even having a debate of such an important issue is not the answer. Senators who do so are choosing to stand with special interests and against the American jobs knocking down more unfair trade barriers we'll obviously support. So I sure hope that some of our colleagues across the aisle will heed the words of President Obama and rethink their choice. I hope they will vote with us to open debate on this issue and let me reiterate we'll continue to engage with both sides. We will continue to engage in both sides. We will have an open amendment process. We'll continue to cooperate in the same spirit that got us through so many impossible hurdles already in getting this bill to the floor. This was no small accomplishment to get it as far as it has come, given the various points of view on the Finance Committee and Chairman Hatch and Senator Wyden deserve a lot of credit for that. But they didn't go through all of that to stall out here before we have a chance to produce something important for the American people."

 

Senator Reid: (3:05 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "The reason for this situation we're in today is very simple - the Finance Committee reported four bills out by a large bipartisan vote, out of the Finance Committee. The majority leader decided on his own that he would consider two of those, and the others would have to figure out some other way to get done. As the Republican leader said this morning in his opening statement, let's move to those two bills and then we'll start the amendment process. Do all four and start the amendment process. It's very logical what I just said. It's illogical what he has stated. Why should we only do two of the four that we have reported out of the finance committee? It doesn't make sense."

 

Senator McConnell: (3:09 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "I want to make sure everybody has a clear understanding of where we are on that. Senator Schumer said explicitly in committee, "I explicitly did not offer the currency amendment to the T.P.A. bill, to the T.P.A. bill. We were told that it would not be a part - if it were a part of T.P.A., we all know it would kill it. The president wouldn't sign the bill. So my goal is not to use currency to kill the T.P.A. bill and not to kill the T.P.A. bill. It's to get currency passed. And that's why we offered it to the customs bill, to the customs bill, a separate bill on the view, strong view that no one disputed in committee, no one disputed this in committee that we'd get a vote separately, separately, I repeat, on the customs bill on the floor and that it would come to the floor just like the other bills." So currency in the committee agreed they would deal with it on the customs bill and not on T.P.A. And now our friends on the other side are trying to bunch it all together. But look, we need to be clear here. The currency issue on T.P.A. Is a killer. The president would veto the bill. It would defeat the bill."

 

Senator Wyden: (3:13 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "We are going to work together in a bipartisan fashion. That's what Chairman Hatch and I have done, since he became chairman. And I've been grateful to him because that's the way he sought to carry out his responsibilities when I was chairman. We're going to work together. But the challenge has always been to find a clear path forward for each of these four bills. So I urge my colleagues to continue down the Finance Committee's bipartisan route, find a path that moves all four of these bills forward, and, in closing, I want to reiterate that with the majority leader having entered into a motion to have the trade bill reconsidered, I want to express to my colleagues - and I see several finance members here; Chairman Hatch, Senator Cornyn, the senior member of the committee, member of the leadership - and I'm very interested in working closely with both of them to find a bipartisan path to get back to this legislation just as soon as possible."

 

Senator Hatch: (3:20 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "I've done all I can to get these important bills across the finish line and I'm going to continue to do all I can in the future to get these bills across the finish line. Unfortunately, after today, it's very unclear how many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are willing to do the same. Now, I believe there are honest, good people on that side of the aisle who want to make this right, who want to make up for what happened here today. I feel confident that that's so. And I'm going to proceed on the basis that that is so. And I sure hope it's so, because, my gosh, to put this nation's foreign policy, especially in the orient, in particular, to put it on hold when we could be building relationships in these countries like never before and at the same time spurring on international trade like never before it's a matter of great concern to me."

 

Senator Cornyn: (3:37 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "80% of the purchasing power in the world lies beyond the borders of the United States. Why in the world wouldn't we want to open markets to the things that we grow, that our ranchers raise and that our manufacturers make? Why in the world wouldn't we want to do it? Well, you'll have to ask our colleagues across the aisle who today, with the exception of one Democrat, chose to filibuster this bill. I'm intrigued to hear the numbers that were mentioned earlier. 14 pro-trade Democrats. 14. Well, I guess that means there are at least 32 anti-trade Democrats. But I must say on this side of the aisle, we are by and large a pro-trade party for the very reasons I mentioned earlier. And we'd like to work with anybody, including the president of the United States, to try to get our economy growing again, to open markets to the things that we make and grow and manufacture here in the United States because it benefits the entire country, including hardworking families."
  • Unanimous Consent –
    • At 4:00 PM, the Senate stand in recess subject to call of the chair.
  • (Without objection)