Nelson, Burr, McCain, Durbin

USA FREEDOM Act (H.R. 2048)

Senator Nelson: (1:05 PM)

  • Spoke on Beau Biden.
    • "I want to express what is on every one of our hearts, of our grieving with the Joe Biden family. That family has had more of its share of tragedy, but what it has produced is, in the case of Beau Biden, an extraordinary public servant who served his country not only by elected office but by serving in uniform as well. Most of us in this chamber know the Biden family and the dad and the now mom, Joe and Jill are extraordinary human beings that have contributed so much, and it's not necessarily easy to be in public service as long as the vice president has and still raise a family that is so extraordinarily accomplished and contributing so much. And then to have that eldest son taken from him just is like a dagger into our hearts."
  • Spoke on the National Security Agency.
    • "But one senator can withhold unanimous consent. And that has been done, so the 30 hours. Now, normally, that may be standard procedure for the Senate, but it's getting in the way of our national security because at midnight last night the law that allows our intelligence community to track the e-mails and the phone calls of the terrorists has evaporated, and it won't be reenacted until sometime later this week because of the lack of unanimous consent. But this senator from Florida is not putting it at the feet of just the one senator that is withholding the unanimous consent. This senator from Florida is saying that this should have been planned on over a week ago. And this senator is saying that we should have gone through the laborious procedures, not assuming that we were going to have the votes last night, not assuming there was going to be comity and unanimous consent."


Senator Burr: (1:13 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Security Agency.
    • "Now, I'm not sure how we have invaded anybody's privacy by getting a telephone that is de-identified. We don't know who it belongs to, and we would never know who it belongs to until it's turned over to law enforcement to investigate because it's now been connected to a known foreign terrorist telephone number. Stop and think about this. The CFPB government agency collects financial transactions on every American. There's nobody down here trying to eliminate the CFPB. I'd love to eliminate the CFPB tomorrow, but there's no outrage over it and they collect a ton more information and it's not de-identified. It's identified. Every American has a discount card for their grocery store. You go in and you get a discount every time you use it. Your grocery store collects 20 times the amount of data that the N.S.A. does, all identified with you, and there's a big difference between the N.S.A. and your grocery store. We don't sell our data at the N.S.A. your grocery store does. I'm for outrage, but let's make it equal. Let's understand that we're in a society where data is transferred automatically."


Senator McCain: (1:32 PM)

  • Spoke on Bob Schieffer.
    • "I wish to pay tribute today to CBS broadcaster Bob Schieffer who retired yesterday as the moderator of the most-watched Sunday news show "Face the Nation" after a career in journalism that lasted more than half a century. Bob reported from Dallas that terrible weekend President Kennedy was assassinated. At that time he was with the Fort Worth Star Telegram. He was a CBS Pentagon correspondent and congressional correspondent and White House correspondent and chief Washington correspondent. He anchored the "CBS Evening News" at a time of transition and turmoil at the network. For 24 years, he has moderated "Face the Nation" which has become more popular every year Bob ran the show. He tried to retire before several times. CBS begged him to stay. That's an impressive run by anyone's standards, all the more so considering Bob is probably the most respected and popular reporter in the country."


Senator Durbin: (1:39 PM)

  • Spoke on Beau Biden.
    • "This life was cut short, a life which could have led to so many great things in public service beyond his service to the state of Delaware. But in a way, it's a moment to reflect on this family, this Biden family. I have been in politics for a long time and I have met a lot of great people in both political parties, extraordinary people. I never met someone quite like Vice President Joe Biden."
  • Spoke on Russia.
    • "Most recently last week he went so far as to make it illegal in Russia to report war deaths. Incredible. Yet while I was there as if anyone needed proof, two Russian soldiers were captured deep inside eastern Ukraine. They had killed at least one Ukrainian soldier and when it appeared they were about to be caught - listen to this -- when it appeared they were about to be captured by the Ukrainians they were fired upon by their own Russian forces. An effort to kill them before they could be captured. These soldiers have disclosed that they are in the Russian military and carried ample evidence on their persons to support the now obvious truth that Russia is squarely behind perpetuating this invasion and conflict. Mr. Putin, if you're going to drag your country into war to perpetuate your own power, you ought to at least have the honesty to tell the Russian people the truth about that war. Particularly those families of Russian soldiers most affected by this conflict. Going back to the old soviet playbook of lies and disinformation is an insult to the Russian families whose young men are being sent into your war. So it's clear the Minsk Agreement is in jeopardy."