Whitehouse, Murphy, Cassidy, Collins, Barrasso

National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1735)

Senator Whitehouse: (5:08 PM)

  • Spoke on the Gaspee.
    • I would like to thank the Gaspee Days Committee for their continuing efforts to host this annual celebration and to my friend, State Representative Joe McNamara for his work each year in making this event so special. I come to the floor every year at this time to speak about the burning of the Gaspee because as proud as I am of what those brave Rhode islanders did back in 1772, I'm also disappointed that their story has largely been lost to history outside our little state. I hope these speeches will help new generations to learn about this important American event. In Rhode Island, of course, we will never forget. As Mr. Harrington wrote in his piece in "The Providence Journal," through the ages, noble Rhode Islanders have named their daughters Hannah in honor of the ship that long ago led a fledgling young country toward independence and helped create the finest nation ever born of man."


Senator Murphy: (5:21 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • "You can't just reassemble the ability to make that particular good, complicated tubing that goes inside one of the most complicated pieces of machinery in the United States Navy, a submarine, you can't just do that overnight. And so at the very least we should be getting all of the information that we need to do proper oversight on this process of granting waivers. And so I've been pleased at the willingness of Chairman McCain and his staff, along with the ranking member, Senator Reed, to work with us on this amendment, this sunlight amendment, this disclosure amendment. Hopefully over the course of today or tomorrow we'll be able to include this in one of the managers' packages that we adopt here on the Senate floor and will allow us to have a more robust conversation on how why on earth we spent U.S. taxpayer dollars on this van when $3 million at the height of the auto crisis could have gone to an American company making a similar vehicle."


Senator Cassidy: (5:49 PM)

  • Spoke on the Patient Freedom Act.
    • "Continuous coverage protects those with preexisting conditions, and we mentioned the price transparency. In this way, Republicans will give states the option to choose. Again, they can stay on ObamaCare if they want. They have that option now. They can do nothing and it goes away because if the Supreme Court rules that the subsidies have been implemented illegally, or they can go with the Patient Freedom Act. The Patient Freedom Act which gives patients the power by lowering costs, lowering the costs by eliminating mandates, returning power over insurance back to the commissioners who govern closest to those who actually will be using the insurance and then giving the patient the power of portability, protection against preexisting conditions and the power of price transparency."


Senator Collins: (6:05 PM)

  • Spoke on the Patient Freedom Act.
    • "Here's how it would work. The federal government would provide funding directly into the health savings accounts of individuals insured through the Patient Freedom Act. These funds would be phased out for higher income individuals. The aggregate funding for these per-patient, per-capita grants would be determined based on the total amount of funding that the federal government would have provided in the form of ObamaCare subsidies in each state, plus any funding each state would have received had they chosen to expand their Medicaid program, even if like the state of Maine they had chosen not to do so. In addition to federal funds, individuals and employers could make tax-advantaged contributions to these health savings accounts. The bill even provides for a partial tax credit for very low-income individuals who do receive employer-based coverage, but it would help these workers pay for their deductibles and co-pays. Individuals who are insured under the Patient Freedom Act would receive debit cards tied to their health savings accounts, which they could use to purchase a high-deductible health plan, to pay directly for medical expenses or pay premiums for a more generous health insurance policy."


Senator Barrasso: (6:24 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • "The President's economic advisors said that LNG exports would "create tens of thousands of jobs in the United States. Jobs that, "Would arise in natural gas production, manufacturing, and a range of sectors including infrastructure investment, and transportation." The president's economic advisors also stated that U.S. L.N.G. exports would have, "a positive geopolitical impact for the United States." Specifically they explained that U.S. L.N.G., "Builds liquidity in the global natural gas market and reduces European dependence on the current primary suppliers, Russia and Iran." Again, these aren't my words, this is from the White House. Congress has a choice. We can continue to watch Putin use natural gas as a weapon against our allies and partners, or we can take a meaningful step to help our friends. My amendment boosts the security of our NATO allies and friends around the world."