Executive Session (Bridenstine Nomination)
Apr 19 2018 11:15 AM
Senator Schumer: (10:22 a.m.)
- Spoke on North Korea.
- "Now, let me begin by addressing the administration's ongoing efforts to secure a diplomatic deal in North Korea. To achieve the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. It's a worthy, ambitious goal. Indeed, we should all root for a diplomatic solution to the decades-long conflict. It is undeniable, however, that this meeting is fraught with peril. My primary concern is that the president and his penchant for spur of the moment decision-making could lead the United States into danger in one of two ways. My first concern is that the president, without a clear or coherent strategy, will buy a pile of magic beans, accepting an agreement, any agreement that allows him to declare victory."
- Spoke on Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
- "I have talked to members on both sides of the aisle who were worried of a constitutional crisis, and we all know the consequences of presidential interference in the Russian probe and how dire it would be for the rule of law fundamental to our democracy, and the constitutional crisis that it would create should be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, there are substantial evidence that the president has thought about firing the special counsel more than once in the past and may do so well in the future."
Senator Nelson: (10:30 a.m.)
- Spoke on the situation in Puerto Rico.
- "Tomorrow marks seven months since Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, and yet Puerto Ricans are still dealing with constant setbacks and unreliable power. This is just simply unacceptable. Senator Rubio and I have asked the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to conduct an additional oversight hearing on the overall hurricane recovery and to get to the bottom of this. I understand that this hearing will likely take place next month. But in the meantime this is a widespread power outage. It is just the latest example of why so many people who were forced to leave the island after the storm, they haven't been able to return home even though they want to."
- Spoke on the BP Oil Spill.
- "Tomorrow marks another somber occasion as well because eight years ago the news ticker came across our television saying that an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico was on fire. The coast guard was on the scene and workers were missing. It was a Tuesday night. It was nearly midnight on April 20, 2010. By morning light we knew that 11 men would not be going home again. For 87 days oil gushed into one of the most productive marine environments in the world."
Senator Rubio: (10:51 a.m.)
- Spoke on the nomination of James Bridenstine to be NASA Administrator.
- "I was not enthused about the nomination. Nothing personal about Mr. Bridenstine. NASA is an organization that needs to be led by a space professional. A few weeks ago the acting administrator resigned - or I should say retired, and his last day on the job is the 30th. So it leaves us with the prospect of this incredible agency with a vacancy in its top job and we're on our second acting administrator. If you do the math, even if Congressman Bridenstine were to withdraw, by the time it worked its way through the administration, the committee process, the floor, the way things are going, we could be into February of next year. There is no way NASA can go that long without a permanent administrator."
- Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
- "And by the way, the most important thing you want in a secretary of state, is someone the president has confidence in. Mike Pompeo clearly has that. Yet we face the prospect of significant opposition to the point where there are questions about whether it will pass in the committee, although I think he will pass on the floor. And I just think that's something I hope people will recalibrate brought in their thinking. I don't think you have to agree with Mike Pompeo. You don't have to think that he's the person you would have picked. But you have to recognize that you are not president. None of us here are the president."
- Spoke on the situation in Venezuela.
- "I do want to take a moment to speak about something I have been speaking about for the better part of four years and one that I know that Director Pompeo knows well, we've talked about it extensively, and that is the growing catastrophe that is Venezuela. To begin, I want to say clearly that we should care about it simply because that catastrophe has become a threat to the United States and to the region. What do I mean by that? First, the regime in control is a state sponsor of drug trafficking."