Executive Session (Baiocco Nomination)
May 21 2018 04:20 PM
Senator Hatch: (3:10 p.m.)
- Spoke on NAFTA.
- "While speculation about time lines is natural, let me be clear, as I've said from the beginning of these talks, the most important thing for determining when and how Congress will vote on an eventual North American Free Trade Agreement outcome is the quality of the agreement. I understand that the current negotiations are about an existing agreement that American businesses and workers rely on in dealing with two of our largest trading partners. I understand that continuing negotiations means a level of uncertainty about these important relationships will continue to persist. Nevertheless, it is critical that the administration takes the time necessary to get these negotiations right. I believe the administration understands that."
- Spoke on the situation in Puerto Rico.
- "These and other provisions in the bill follow recommendations of the bipartisan congressional task force on economic growth in Puerto Rico. I had the opportunity of chairing that task force with four members from the House and four members from the Senate. We also made sure that the task force was evenly split with regard to political affiliation. I know such evenhanded bipartisanship and compromise is rare around here, but we were able to do it. We came up with a 125-page report that made many different suggestions. Not wanting that work to go to waste, Senator Rubio and I have been working hard to craft those proposals into this bill, and I am confident it truly embodies the purpose and bipartisan spirit of that bicameral task force."
Senator Schumer: (3:40 p.m.)
- Spoke on the recent shooting in Texas.
- "Mr. President, on Friday morning there was yet another shooting in a school in America. Another community torn apart by senseless violence. Another week when parents must bury their children. We're still learning the tragic details of what happened in Santa Fe, but the basic reality remains unchanged, far too many people are dying from gun violence. What we need now more than ever is substantive debate on gun violence. A real debate about universal background checks, a real debate about productive orders and a real debate on assault weapons."
- Spoke on China.
- "When it comes to being tough on crime to China's trading practice, I'm closer to President Trump than either President Obama or President Bush. When President Trump threatened tariffs on extortion of our intellectual property, I gave the president a pat on the back. We ought to be able to sell goods and services without turning over intellectual property. G.E. employs thousands in Schenectady, they know how to make turbines spin fast and not overheat. What did the Chinese did? They blackmailed G.E."
- Spoke on the Mueller investigation.
- "The Department of Justice is required to follow the law, not the political bidding of the president particularly when they're investigating him. The president's demand is a blatant abuse of executive power and an ill-informed sloppy attempt to discredit the dually constituted investigation led by the special counsel. As we speak, the president is reportedly meeting with justice department officials to press his case. Even after they've already called on the inspector general to look into this matter. The president's behavior is the kind of grossly autocratic behavior we'd expect in a banana republic, not a mature democracy."
Senator Cornyn: (4:06 p.m.)
- Spoke on the recent shooting in Texas.
- "He engaged in a killing spree. The dead included eight students and two teachers. A brave police officer was among the 13 wounded. When I heard of the shooting, I made plans to immediately to go to Santa Fe where I met with Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Patrick, Senator Cruz and others. We spoke to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the F.B.I. representatives as well as Santa Fe independent school officials to find out what happened. Families there, of course, remain in shocked that something so terrible could happen in a small tucked away little community, one that was recently shaken by hurricane Harvey last fall and previously seemed far removed from the violence that has touched other parts of the country."