Gardner, Nelson, Warner, McCain, Corker, Cardin

Iran Sanctions (S. 722)

Senator Gardner: (10:17 a.m.)

  • Spoke in support of Gardner Amendment #250.
    • "The amendment that I will be discussing today goes to the heart of our opportunities in space, our opportunities in innovation, our opportunities to assure we have the most reliable information as it results - as it relates to weather, to weather events, and this amendment today, a great partnership that we've had with the senator from Alabama who has been absolutely critical and instrumental in assuring a persistent, reliable space presence. I thank the senator from Alabama for helping us to make sure that we are able to reach space and continue our space mission, thank you, senator, for the leadership from Alabama provided to assure that constant presence and persistence. I, of course, rise today to speak in support of the bipartisan Gardner-Nelson-Warner Amendment, Amendment #250. To the Senate and my colleagues, I am rise today on behalf of the hard-working men and women who make our country's aerospace industry second to begun because over the past 70 years the United States has led the way in space exploration. From the Apollo mission to the space shuttle to the Orion Program, we are the great leaders in exploring space. That's what this country is. That's who we are, explorers, pioneers. We are the first to the moon. I hope we're the first to Mars. But we cannot give up that pioneer innovation that led this country to greatness."


Senator Nelson: (10:26 a.m.)

  • Spoke in support of Gardner Amendment #250.
    • "There's simply a problem in the bill that was passed. It's a technical problem, but it goes to heart of our military-civilian space program. It goes to the heart of the cooperation that we have had with Russia going back to the Soviet Union days when, in fact, in 1975 in the middle of the Cold War a crew from America had a rendezvous and docked with a crew from the Soviet Union - in the middle of the Cold War -- ever since that crew, led by General Tom Stafford of the United States and General Alexi since then we have had cooperation in space and that program continues today on the International Space Station. Now, before I get into talking about, as Senator Gardner has so well discussed already the details of the amendment, and it is and I hope the Senate will treat it as technical in nature because it corrects what was not intended, but unless corrected would be disastrous not only NASA but for all of our burgeoning commercial space industry of which we are bringing that back to America. In the meantime what has happened over the last four decades, a lot of that commercial space industry has flown the coop to other launchers to other nations."


Senator Warner: (10:36 a.m.)

  • Spoke in support of Gardner Amendment #250.
    • "And I stand here to join with Senator Nelson and my good friend, the senator from Colorado, Senator Gardner, on the support of his Amendment Number 250, which will allow civilian agencies to continue to launch crucial science, civil and commercial space missions, and that will continue to support NOAA and NASA that depend upon their research. So without this amendment - and I think this was an amendment that corrects a mistake in the original bill - billions of dollars and years of planning that have gone into missions like the senator mentioned the international space station, commercial cargo, Mars 2020 and the joint polar satellite systems just wouldn't be possible. In many ways without this amendment, we could even become more dependent upon Russian technology. As again I mentioned, the senator mentioned, I think the overwhelming majority of this body, we are very supportive of sanctions against Iran. We are very supportive, and I appreciate the opportunity to add stronger sanctions against Russia, and sanctions that this president cannot arbitrarily withdraw. But we have got to make sure that in this bill that we don't do unintentional harm to our space interests, space interests that are in Colorado, I know are in Florida."


Senator McCain: (10:43 a.m.)

  • Spoke against the Gardner Amendment #250.
    • "It was negotiated between senators of both parties on multiple committees, including foreign relations, banking, and armed services. It was designed to impose tough sanctions on the Russian military industrial complex and intelligence agencies that have made it possible for Russia to invade Ukraine, annex Crimea and attack America's election in 2016. Have no doubt about what this amendment is, my dear colleagues and friends. It is a giveaway to the Russian military industrial complex. There's always been a collection of - of lawmakers, executives and lobbyists who have accepted continuing, even deepening our compensation on Russian rocket engines. That's exactly what will happen if we allow this amendment to pass and the door will once again fly open for taxpayer dollars to be used to subsidize purchases of Russian rocket engines, purchases which line the pockets of Vladimir Putin's cronies. If you want to vote and buy more Russian rocket engines, just say it. Fine with me. But to cloak it in some kind of bipartisan agreement that somehow we're going to have to continue to buy these Russian rocket engines after we had an agreement last year 97-2. This undo that agreement. As a result of last year's bipartisan agreement in the NDAA, the Department of Defense is looking to have less dependence on Russia. NASA needs to do the same."


Senator Corker: (10:53 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the Iran sanctions bill.
    • "I want to say that today, to me, the United States Senate has -- is functioning in the way that our founders intended for it to function and it's been my goal since the beginning of my leadership on the Foreign Relations Committee for our committee and for this Senate to - to reaffirm its role in foreign policy issues. And today the United States Senate, in a time of uncertainty around our nation and uncertainty about some of our foreign policy issues, today the United States Senate is asserting its responsibilities as it relates to foreign polls country for the United States of America. And I want to thank senators on both sides of the aisle for the role that they have played in getting us here."


Senator Cardin: (10:56 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the Iran sanctions bill.
    • "There's a reason why members want to serve on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. We had a long list of members who wanted to join the committee. The reason they wanted to join is not only because of the issues we have globally, but this is a committee that is bipartisan and respects the views of every single member, both Democrat and Republican, that is on the Senate Foreign Relations committee. The bill we have before us reflects that in the best tradition of the United States senate and the foreign relations committee. That is due in large part pause of the - large part because of the chairman. This is an important moment in the United States senate to be able to vote on a bill that is consequential for America's national security. I believe this is the first major bill we've had on the floor of the United States Senate."