Schatz, Gardner, Thune, Corker

The minibus appropriations bill (H.R. 5895)

Senator Schatz: (10:52 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "The increased funding for our V.A. will go where it will do the most goods for our veterans and their families, that includes $400 million to combat the opioid epidemic, which is $18 million above the budget request, $365 million above the budget request for the caregivers' program, nearly $500 billion above the omnibus for mental health services, an additional $87 million to increase staffing to process veterans disability appeals, and an additional $30 million to help deliver telehealth services to remote and rural areas. We have extra for V.A. medical care above the advanced appropriations in the omnibus."


Senator Gardner: (11:13 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the forest fires in Colorado.
    • "It started burning now. It's about 35,000 acres of land have been gobbled up by this wildfire. There also are a number of other fires across Colorado. The Borough fire, Buffalo Mountain fire, a fire between Redvale and Montrose, Colorado. I come to the floor to bring attention to some of the actions that we have taken, though, that have helped with fighting these fires, some of the policies that we need to put in place that could do a better job giving more tools to fight these fires, and what we could do to help make firefighters do their jobs in a better, safer way. So if you look at what we did this past year, the past year, just a couple of months ago, we passed a bill that fixed the fire-borrowing crisis that had consumed our wildfire-fighting budget each and every year."


Senator Thune: (11:33 a.m.)

  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "And small business optimism has hit its second-highest level ever. A recent survey from the National Association of Manufacturers reported that 97% of manufacturers plan to increase hiring as a result of tax reform, 86% report that they plan to increase investments, which I means new jobs and opportunities for workers. That's a lot of numbers, but they all boil down to one thing, Mr. President, and that is life is getting better for American families. Yesterday the "Wall Street Journal" reported, and I quote, economic confidence among lower-income Americans is taking a recent leap, the latest benefits that the economic expansion are reaching a broader swath of workers. End quote."


Senator Corker: (11:41 a.m.)

  • Spoke on tariffs.
    • "In some cases appearing to take place over personal picks that the president may have against an individual or another company. That's not the way the United States - that's not the way the United States has led the world. And we have a responsibility as a Congress over these matters. Section 232 of the Trade Act has never been used like it's being used today where we, in essence, are claiming under the guise of national security, tariffs being put in place against our neighbors and against our allies. I don't think there's a person in this body that believes that the national security waiver being utilized in the manner it is being utilized is even appropriate."