Portman, Sessions, Reid, Moran (UC), Isakson, Bennet (UC), Gardner

Vehicle for Trade Promotion Authority (H.R. 1314)

Senator Portman: (3:14 PM)

  • Spoke on trade.
    • "One, that the presiding officer is very well aware of is a strong interest of mine is ensuring other countries don't manipulate their currency so their exports are less expensive to us and our imports that we send to them are more expensive. That's not fair. When they intervene deliberately in their currency for that purpose and do it in a large-scale, protracted way, that's called currency manipulation. There are rules against it. The International Monetary Fund has rules against it. As an example, every one of the partners in the trade agreement that is being negotiated now with the pacific countries, every one of those countries, the Trans-Pacific Partnership countries has signed up to these obligations already. So the amendment that we'll be voting on today simply says here is the standard you've already agreed to, let's say that when you're negotiating a trade agreement with us, to lower barriers both here in the United States to give them more access to our market and us access to their market which is something we have to be doing to help our farmers and workers, let's be sure those benefits can't be undone by going in and manipulating their currency which is a market distortion."

 

Senator Sessions: (3:45 PM)

  • Spoke on the PATRIOT Act.
    • "Being able to quickly review telephone connections to assess whether a network exists is critical to that effort. Close quote. And I think the president is right about that. We don't have super human abilities in this country. We don't monitor everybody's phone calls. There's no way humanly possible federal agents can be doing that. But once you identify someone who is being connected to a terrorist group, you could at least follow their phone numbers, who they may be calling. So passing the House bill, I believe is not the right thing. That bill would eliminate entirely the data base through which our intelligence analysts are able to quickly access information to connect the dots."

 

Senator Reid: (4:20 PM)

  • Spoke on bipartisanship.
    • "There are many things we can do in the Senate to help boost the middle class. We could pass the highway bill that immediately injects jobs into our economy while ensuring our businesses and families have safe roadways, rails and bridges to navigate. We can give American workers a livable wage and ensure no full-time employee is living in poverty. We can address a mounting burden of student loan debt which is worse than any other debt, more than credit card debts, more than anything else. And many, many other things we can do for American families that haven't been done. It's clear that Republicans aren't accomplishing much on their own so why not work with us? Democrats are willing. Together we can all keep our word to our constituents, follow through on our commitment to help middle-class Americans and get them the help they need and deserve."

 

Senator Moran: (4:33 PM)

  • Spoke on the Veterans Administration.
    • "Yesterday in the appropriations subcommittee markup of veterans and military construction where I'm a member, and many times on this Senate floor. The issue is the Department of Veterans Affairs and its interpretation of the CHOICE Act. My colleagues will remember we passed the CHOICE Act in August of last year. The important provision for today's conversation is what that law says is if a veteran lives more than 40 miles from a V.A. facility, the Department of Veterans Affairs must provide services that the veteran chooses a location in his or her home community. Unfortunately, the department of veterans services has interpreted it in a way for a veteran that lives within 40 miles. Senate bill 1463 corrects that problem, indicates that the 40-mile rule applies only in the circumstance where a veteran facility provides the service the veteran needs."
  • Unanimous Consent –
    • The Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of S. 1463, a bill to amend the veterans access choice and accountability act of 2014.
    • The Senate pass S. 1463.
  • (Without objection)

 

Senator Isakson: (4:37 PM)

  • Spoke on the Veterans Administration.
    • "His language is precisely the language introduced by the committee here in the Senate, which we were going to send to the House, which got lost in the negotiations. The technical lift is the only reason it wasn't already a part of it. I wholeheartedly endorse everything the senator said and pledge to him that if the House does not adopt the language when it goes to the House, we will take it up immediately in the Senate when we have our next markup meeting in the Veterans' Affairs committee and take care of it."

 

Senator Bennet: (4:39 PM)

  • Unanimous Consent –
    • The Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of H.R. 2496, an act to extend the authorization for the replacement of the existing department of veterans affairs medical center in Denver, Colorado.
    • The Senate pass H.R. 2496.
  • (Without objection)

 

Senator Gardner: (4:41 PM)

  • Spoke on the Veterans Administration.
    • "And I too want to reiterate the thanks that my colleague from Colorado has given to Chairman Isakson as well as to the senator from Kansas who worked with us to make sure we could all get behind two measures that we support, both of which would provide greater care, greater support four our veterans and to my colleague, Senator Bennet from Colorado, thank you for the work that we have been able to do. This has been a tireless effort, in the hours leading up to memorial day to make sure that we provide the resources necessary to continue a hospital project in Denver."