Grassley, Sanders, Flake

Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill (H.R. 695)

Senator Grassley: (2:15 p.m)

  • Spoke on veterans' 2nd Amendment rights.
    • "And this bill is being introduced to solve a problem denying these rights to veterans. The legislation is about the fidelity of the Constitution and about the fidelity of the Bill of Rights. It is also about due process and fairness for veterans. What this is not, I want to make clear - what this is not about is allowing anyone to purchase a firearm who is prohibited under current law or regulations. I want that to be very clear. I want it to be very clear right after the bat so that no one misinterprets this as some effort to let people own firearms who would normally be prohibited. This legislation is needed because a very disturbing trend has occurred in the past decade."


Senator Sanders: (2:34 p.m)

  • Spoke on community health centers.
    • "In my own state of Vermont, one out of four Vermonters gets their primary health care through a community health center. But these centers do more than provide primary health care. They also provide dental care, an issue that is too often ignored when we talk about the health care crisis. They provide mental health counseling, which is more important now than perhaps it has ever been because of the opioid and heroin epidemic our country is experiencing. And equally important, they provide low-cost prescription drugs at a time when so many Americans cannot afford the medicine that they need. That is what community health centers do. And they do it well, and they do it cost-effectively."
  • Spoke on the opioid epidemic.
    • "There's been a lot of discussion, appropriately so, about the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the United States. We are losing some 63 - we have lost some 63,000 Americans as a result of opioid overdoses in 2016 alone."


Senator Flake: (3:00 p.m)

  • Spoke on the recent comments of President Trump.
    • "We must never allow ourselves to lapse into thinking that this is just the way things are now. We will get through this period. And when we do, we will look back at the destruction of our discourse and the attacks on our democratic values as nothing but a tragedy. May we also be able to say that they were an aberration, but that, my colleagues, is up to us. We must recognize that this is aberrant, destructive behavior, whatever rationale its defenders may offer. And we must never shrink from opposing it for it is in the opposing this behavior that we defend our norms, our ideals, and our values."