Whitehouse, Vitter (UC), Cardin, Leahy (UC), Lankford

MTP to Trade Promotion Authority Vehicle (H.R. 1314)

Senator Whitehouse: (3:54 PM)

  • Spoke on climate change.
    • "The fossil fuel industry is engaged in a massive effort to deny climate science and deceive the American public. They've been at it for years, and the clearer the science becomes, the harder the polluters fight. Gary Wills used to work for William F. Buckley at the "National Review" recently described this effort as, "their kept scientists, their rigged conferences, their bought publicists." Imagine what a little discovery into the beast would reveal about the schemes and mischief of the climate denial apparatus. About what they're telling each other in private while they scheme to deceive the public. The truth will eventually come to light. It always does. But here in the U.S. Senate, we shouldn't wait for a court case before taking action. The evidence is clear. We have a legislative responsibility to address climate change and to do that now."


Senator Vitter: (4:12 PM)

  • Unanimous Consent –
    • When the Senate resumes consideration of H.R. 1191, the legislative vehicle for the Iran nuclear agreement review act, Senator Vitter be allowed to modify Amendment #1186 to H.R. 1191 with the changes at the desk.
  • (Senator Cardin objects)
  • Spoke on Iran.
    • "This has been a determined, choreographed effort to close the door of an open amendment process and to demand leverage so that every amendment has to be worked out. You know what "worked out" means? That means they get a veto, we don't get a vote. That's unreasonable, and that's the exact opposite of an open amendment process. Not being blocked by Senator Cotton. I know that, everybody knows that. We're being blocked by the managers of this bill. I think it's highly, highly regrettable. And as I said, if the end game here is to work out amendments to Senator Cardin or anyone else's satisfaction, and they get a veto, they can stop their work on that right now because I am objecting, I will object, I want a vote."


Senator Cardin: (4:19 PM)

  • Spoke on Iran.
    • "Let me point out in response to Senator Vitter, we've had two record votes on the floor on this bill, both were amendments that were overwhelmingly rejected. They're not amendments that I wanted to be on the bill, I opposed both of those amendments, Senator Corker opposed both of those amendments. When the amendment was offered by Senator Cotton, we were in the process of scheduling another vote on the floor of an amendment that I equally opposed. And several of the other amendments that members have tried to make pending I've indicated I will oppose them. I did not object to votes on those amendments and I just want to respond to Senator Vitter. Senator Corker and I did not attempt to block votes on amendments that we don't agree with. We were seeking an orderly way to proceed because quite frankly this bill is critically important to our country."


Senator Leahy: (4:25 PM)

  • Spoke on bullet proof vests.
    • "It will help put vests on the backs of more than 200,000 police officers, it will save lives. Just ask the Chief of Woodway Texas Police Department, Chief Zachary received at the Senate Judiciary hearing last year. Brought this vest with him to the hearing. The officer wearing it was shot at almost point-blank range at a roadside stop. The officer lost a lot of blood, you can see it on the vest. But he didn't lose his life. Because the vest, purchased through this program, caught the bullet that was aiming for his heart. Officer Ann Cavales of Texas testified. She said because it recognized the obvious differences between male and female police officers, hers was uniquely fitted for her body, she was shot twice during a routine traffic stop. Her testimony is some of the most moving testimony I've heard in 40 years in the Senate."
  • Unanimous Consent –
    • The Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of S. 125, Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2015.
    • The Lee Amendment to S. 125 be agreed to.
    • The Senate pass S. 125, as amended.
  • (Without objection)


Senator Lankford: (4:32 PM)

  • Spoke on bullet proof vests.
    • "But we have two programs dealing with bulletproof vests, two different systems of actually distributing bulletproof vests from the federal government that are in many ways are complementary and in some ways competing. Two sets of applications, two different sets of personnel to approve those applications, two different processes to apply. My goal is that where we find duplication of effort, even if it is a good effort, that we do as a federal government, we find ways to be able to streamline that. Every dollar we spend on bureaucracy here on a duplicative program is a dollar less that we spend to buy a bulletproof vest and are able to get it out the door. So I've had multiple conversations. They have been very productive conversations with Senator Leahy and with Senator Graham to be able to talk about this particular issue of how we can combine the application process, how we can combine the administrative process to make sure a good program doesn't lose dollars."