Markey, Thune, Sanders, Durbin

Morning Business

Senator Markey: (5:30 PM)

  • Spoke on climate change.
    • "Those who say that it is not Pope Francis' business to speak out on something which is obviously created by human beings, that can be solve by human beings, are wrong. It is his place. He challenges us to put on the books of the laws of this country the kinds of standards that unleash the green energy revolution, that create jobs by the millions, while ensuring that we reduce greenhouse gases are going up and endangering the planet. It is just an incredible moment when the Pope speaks on an issue of this importance, and I am not saying that the action will be easy. But if we harness the ambition of the moon landing, the scope of the Clean Air Act and the moral imperative of Pope Francis' Encyclical, we can leave the world a better place than we found it. We have the tools do it. Now we need to forge the political will."

 

Senator Thune: (5:40 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • "At this very moment threats are multiplying around the world. Russian aggression is on the rise. ISIS fighters are carving a trail of slaughter across the Middle East. Iran is working to acquire a nuclear weapon. Now more than ever we cannot afford to be holding up funding for our military, especially for partisan political purposes. Democrats and Republicans have had a chance to make their voices heard on this bill, and our joint efforts have resulted in strong bipartisan legislation that will ensure our military is prepared to meet the threats of the 21st century. The Senate should pass this bill this week, and the president should sign it to make sure that our troops have the equipment and the resources that they need to do the most important thing that we can do as a nation, and that's defend our country."

 

Senator Sanders: (5:48 PM)

  • Spoke on senior food assistance.  
    • "If a senior is malnourished, that senior is more likely to fall, break a hip, end up at the hospital; a huge expense for Medicaid and Medicare. It makes sense to me, it seems, that we fund adequately this important program which keeps seniors healthy, independent, out of hospitals and nursing homes, and that that is what we should be doing. And that is why I sent a letter to my colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee calling for a 12% increase in funding for the Older Americans Act programs such as the nutrition programs. 32 colleagues joined me on that letter, and I hope that when we see the funding level for the Older Americans Act this year we will see it increased for these important programs."

 

Senator Durbin: (6:02 PM)

  • Spoke on ObamaCare.
    • "Now, if you eliminate the individual mandate you're back in the situation where people seeking out health insurance will be those who are the most vulnerable and sick. Those with preexisting conditions. That makes it tough to create an insurance pool that makes sense when it comes to risk. According to the American Academy of Actuaries, putting out a plan that eliminates the individual mandate will really be no help. That bill would only delay the onset of higher insurance premiums and loss of coverage for millions of Americans. The Affordable Care Act puts families in charge of their care instead of insurance companies, expands health care coverage, lowers health care costs, makes Medicare stronger, and lowers the deficit. I don't know why there's opposition to any of those elements. Before the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, 15 million Americans didn't have health insurance. While health care costs for working families and small businesses were increasing out of sight. The Affordable Care Act changed that."