Murray, Cantwell, Sessions, Portman, Reed

National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1735)

Senator Murray: (2:02 PM)

  • Spoke on the Children's Recovery from Trauma Act.
    • "I'm very proud that under the Children's Recovery from Trauma Act, the Clear Center would continue to receive critical federal investments. In addition, I'm very proud other child trauma centers such as those that mobilized after the 2001 terrorist attacks or natural disasters like hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and the shootings at Virginia Tech and New Town would continue to get those investments as well. As I have said before, I am so inspired by the strength and the resilience of communities in Washington State who are impacted by the tragedy on state route 530 mudslide and the shootings recently at Marysville Pilchek High School. Communities like these who face hardships can't always be predicted or prevented, but they do need our support. The Children's Recovery from Trauma Act would take some critical steps forward in this effort, and I hope all of our colleagues will join me in supporting it."


Senator Cantwell: (2:13 PM)

  • Spoke on the ex-im bank.
    • "Well, for some reason many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle after years and years and years and years and years and years and years of supporting the ex-im bank now all of a sudden don't want to support it anymore because the Heritage Foundation is saying it's something they shouldn't support. In fact, they are giving bonus points on a ranking system as a way to say we'll reward you for trying to get rid of what has been a viable tool for small businesses in our economy. So we hope that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle will soon wake up to the fact that the expiration of such an important tool is not in the interest of our economy and not in the interest of small businesses, and come up with a vehicle for this to get done. Those on the other side of the aisle who think it's okay that the bank lapses is putting about $12 billion of deals at risk that are before the bank, but won't get executed on if the bank closes at the end of this month."


Senator Sessions: (2:24 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • "I have reached my belief that our committee has worked in a positive way. We've taken the advice of the president and the defense department. We've examined it in an appropriate way and produced this bill that I believe will strengthen our national defense. And with strong backing to modernize and expand our missile defense capabilities and to strengthen our deployed forces, allies, and partners. So I hope we don't have a fuss over demands to increase spending for non-defense when we're supposed to be funding the defense department. If there are arguments to be made in that regard, it's on another bill when those bills come up. It ought to be brought forth in that fashion. It would be wrong, and I think a big mistake, to use defense appropriations and authorization bills in any way as some sort of hostage to force spending in other areas. The bill is a good bill. It puts us on the right course."


Senator Portman: (2:41 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    •  "To shave several years off the fielding time line, however, the Army needs additional funding, they say, in fiscal year 2016. They need it now. That's exactly what this amendment does. The review of these requirements by the Army was occurring while the defense bill was being marked up in committee. The House appropriators, the first to mark up since the army communicated the requirement, fully funded the need. I want to thank Chairman McCain and I want to thank the ranking member for their consideration including this important funding into this bill even though the need was communicated very recently. This turret, cannon itself will be competed and that is appropriate. The increase in funding is offset by taking additional reductions from the expected surplus from the foreign currency fluctuations identified by G.A.O."


Senator Reed: (2:52 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • "The Striker program. It has been extraordinarily effective in protecting our soldiers and their efforts both in Afghanistan and Iraq. It's a critical program. The amendment would add $371 million of funding. We all understand this is a very difficult budget environment. I would point out that the Army submitted their unfunded requirements list to the committee in March. This was not on their request. However, it's my understanding that the request for additional funding is driven by a new requirement that actually became evident in April of 2015. So the issue could have been that they weren't as aware as they should have been. For the record, this is not part of the unfunded requirement list of the Army. We did not have the chance to look at this as an approach that we would include in our defense appropriations bill."