McConnell, Reid

Opening Remarks

Today –

  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 1314, the legislative vehicle for the Trade Promotion Authority bill.
  • At 1:00 PM, there is a filing deadline for all first-degree amendments to both H.R. 1314 and Hatch Substitute Amendment #1221.
  • Note: Cloture has been filed on H.R. 1314 and Hatch Substitute Amendment #1221.


Senator McConnell: (9:33 AM)

  • Spoke on human trafficking.
    • "The House passage of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act represents a vital ray of hope for the countless victims of modern slavery who need our help. Victims groups and advocates tells us this human rights legislation would provide unprecedented support to domestic victims of trafficking. They urge Congress to pass it. We can now say that we have passed it. We can now say that hope is on the way for the victims who suffer in the shadows. Unfortunately, the victims of modern-day slavery had to wait entirely too long for help. Last Congress the House of Representatives did its job by passing several pieces of legislation, but the Senate failed to bring any trafficking legislation to the floor. As a new majority, senate Republicans were determined to make this matter a priority."
  • Spoke on trade.
    • "So I'm going to keep working to get votes on amendments, both Republican and Democrat amendments. There have been objections from the other side of the aisle, and I would remind our colleagues that even with my strong support, the Senate can't have a robust amendment process if every single amendment offered by Democrats or Republicans is objected to by our friends on the other side. Our bill manager, Senator Hatch and Senator Wyden, are working hard, and we hope to get past these objections so that more amendments can be considered. But we'll need cooperation. The Senate can't vote on amendments that are being prevented. We hope to see more of that cooperation so we can pass good, fair, enforceable trade legislation that will benefit our country and so many of the people we represent."


Senator Reid: (9:40 AM)

  • Spoke on the highway trust fund.
    • "50% of America's roads are in disrepair. 64,000 bridges are structurally deficient. Our railroad systems are outdated, and we know that recently from the headlines we've seen with that devastating accident in Pennsylvania. Instead of working with Democrats to provide adequate long-term investment to our country's infrastructure, Republicans are advocating short-term fix after short-term fix. Repair our nation's roads and bridges through long-term investments could provide shows and thousands of jobs for Americans. If the Republican leader truly has interest in the middle class at heart, he should be leading the charge for these investments, but he's leading the charge against them."
  • Spoke on trade.
    • "This Trade Adjustment Assistance is one way to try to improve it. But what was the Republicans' first amendment to the trade bill? It was an amendment to strike a program known as Trade Adjustment Assistance that I've just talked about from the bill. This program is to help those who lose their jobs because of trade, and they will lose their jobs. As we talk about opening foreign markets to American products, surely we should make American have the tools compete internationally. The export-import bank is weeks away from expiring. If it expires, financing for billions of dollars of U.S. exports would disappear and thousands of American jobs would be in jeopardy. And how much does that cost? Nothing, zero. Ideological mind-set that the Republicans have that they don't like government programs. We are losing internationally. We're losing trade."