Thune, Flake, Cortez Masto

Executive Session (Pompeo Nomination)

Senator Thune: (4:29 p.m.)

  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "Mr. President, ask any business owner in the country and he or she will tell you it's a competitive labor market. Unemployment is at a 17-year low and in a tight, competitive labor market, employers have to work to keep their employees. Mr. President, our focus with last fall's tax reform was on making life better for ordinary Americans. So we set out to put more money in their pockets right away by cutting tax rates across the board nearly doubling the standard deduction, and doubling the child tax credit. As a result, for 2018, a family of four making $73,000 will see a tax cut of more than $2,000. But we knew that tax cuts, as helpful as they are, weren't enough. Americans also needed access to profitable careers, to the good jobs, the good wages, and the good opportunities. And we knew that the only way to guarantee access to good jobs, wages and opportunities, was to make sure that businesses were prosperous enough to create and maintain them. "
  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "I don't need to tell anyone how incredibly qualified he is for this job. First in his class at West Point, five years of active duty service in the Army achieving the rank of captain. Editor of the Harvard Law Review, elected to Congress four times by Kansas' Fourth Congressional District and serving on the House Intelligence Committee. And finally, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Clearly he has proven his dedication as a public servant and is an outstanding candidate for secretary of state. His nomination should be sailing through the Senate and normally it would be."


Senator Flake: (4:41 p.m.)

  • Spoke on North Korea.
    • "However, I am concerned by the language used by the president today when discussing the North Korean regime. To say that Kim Jong-un has been very open or very honorable, as the president did, surpasses understanding. If this description of one of the world's strong man dictators was a singular event, a one-off statement, it could perhaps be excused as an aberration but unfortunately it's not. It's part of a larger pattern of excusing dictatorial behavior that we should not countenance. Mr. President, we need not sacrifice the truth and reject objective reality in pursuit of our goals. We cannot pretend that Kim Jong-un of today is somehow different from the authoritarian dictator who has ruled over one of the most violent and repressive regimes on Earth."


Senator Cortez Masto: (4:51 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the Koch brothers.
    • "Koch industry is one of the largest privately held companies in the nation with estimated annual revenues of over $100 billion. What does all this mean? It means that the Koch brothers are two very, very rich men, and there's nothing wrong with that. But what is wrong is the way the Koch brothers use their money -- to hijack our democracy for their own benefit. They are self-described radicals that believe that the government should play no role in Americans' lives. The Koch brothers leave in a world with no Medicare, no Social Security, no federal minimum wage, no public programs that support families when they fall on hard times, and no rules preventing Koch industries from polluting our air, drinking water, or our public lands."