Merkley, Reed, Sullivan

Executive Session (Duncan Nomination)

Senator Merkley: (2:43 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the situation in Burma.
    • "In just the first month of this crisis, doctors without borders says well over 6,000 Rohingya were killed, including hundreds of children under the age of 5. As one U.N. advisor on genocide prevention has said, the Rohingya have endured what no human beings should ever have to endure. Now we are seeing the brutality of the Burmese military followed by deliberate strategy of isolation and starvation. Several times in recent years, from "The New York Times" has reported on the Rohingya. He entered the country on a tourist visa. He was warned by the Burmese government not to do any reporting, but he did. He traveled to a total of five Rohingya villages working hard to be able to see these places in which everyone was banned from going."


Senator Reed: (3:05 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Russian election interference.
    • "Free and fair national elections are the foundation of our country. The framers created a unique system that has stood up for over 200 years and has served as a beacon around the world. Regrettably, Russian hybrid operations and maligned influence against the 2016 election has put the sanctity and security of our democracy in question. Our duty as citizens and as legislators is to recognize this crisis and take concrete steps to protect our democracy. We must force a climate of vigilance when it comes to election integrity. I want to take a moment to review what happened and offer some steps that we should take immediately. Now, some may say there was no interference in that talking about Russia's meddling against our democratic institution is fake news. I wish it were fake news, but the facts are very clear and acknowledged by experts of every political viewpoint."


Senator Sullivan: (3:32 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to the Alaskan of the Week.
    • "Those of you watching in the gallery or on TV, the wonderful mountains, oceans, how beautiful the state is the. Right now the sun is out again and shining high, snow is melting, the buds are coming up, birds are coming back, but it is a really good opportunity for me to talk not just about the natural wonders but the people, the people that make Alaska such a great place. And, Mr. President, while it doesn't get as much attention as deserves the incredibly fascinating and sometimes tragic history of my state, it is a good opportunity for me talk to my colleagues about that and the people who have worked hard and been part of that history and have helped to heal some of the scars that have been left from that the history."
  • Spoke on Coast Guard reauthorization.
    • "This body was unable to get the authorization bill that sets the policies and funding and spending for the coast guard, and that's, that was sad, in my view. A big disappointment. We have principled differences here in the senate, but on this we had been working hard. We had been working really hard across the aisle. I chair the committee, the subcommittee on the coast guard to try and make sure we had plenty of senators who would support this. So my team and I worked for months on accommodating my colleagues' concerns about the bill. Pretty much every request for an amendment, every request for fixing the bill, in certain ways we accommodated."
  • Spoke on Democrat obstructionism.
    • "The American people should care. Whether you voted for this president or not, once somebody wins an election and they start putting forward people, good Americans to serve in their government, what we should be doing here is holding hearings, seeing if they're qualified and then voting on whether or not to confirm them. Unfortunately what's happened -- and it's all out there, by any historical measure, my colleagues on the other side have filibustered and obstructed this administration's nominees to serve their country at a higher rate than has ever happened in U.S. History."