Ernst, Nelson, McConnell, Hirono

Morning Business

Senator Ernst: (2:49 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • "This bill and my amendment are quite different than the House NDAA language. My amendment provides a three-year authorization to reduce delays and inefficiencies in arming Peshmerga forces to fight ISIS while ensuring the Iraqi government is an integral part of the process. The amendment continues to promote a unified Iraq and enhances the ability to fight our common enemy, an enemy who ultimately seeks to bring their terror here to our shores. Furthermore, the amendment preserves the president's ability to notify the Iraqi government before weapons, equipment, defense services, or related training is provided to Iraqi, Kurdish, and Peshmerga forces. It ensures it does not provide direct support to other nations other than a country or international organization. Most importantly to remember, it does not require the president to act. It provides him the authorization to do so if he feels the situation warrants it."


Senator Nelson: (3:05 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • "I think it was a sad day in the Senate Appropriations Committee when the committee turned down by a very narrow vote of 14-12 Senator Mikulski's amendment to restore the cut from $900 million to $1.24 billion. Now, sooner or later that appropriations bills is going to come out here. It's got a lot of other problems, as every appropriations bills has, as the Senate is finding out as we are on this defense authorization bill right now. All the funny money that is baked into it because of this so-called sequester. But when it comes out here, I'm going to ask the senators, you think it's wise policy that we continue our reliance on Vladimir Putin? As we have been doing in the defense bill, John McCain, our chairman, has been on a rampage against giving money to Vladimir Putin by virtue of us buying the Russian engine."


Senator McConnell: (3:52 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • "I'm asking every senator to remember all the ways that our troops and our military enrich our states and local communities. I'm asking every senator to consider the serious times we live in too. And I'm asking every senator to keep those things in mind when casting votes on the defense bill. We may be Republicans, we may be Democrats, but in the end, we should all be able to come together to support the people who support us. Let's stand together in rejecting partisan games in favor of a bipartisan bill that contains good ideas from both parties and gives President Obama the exact funding level he asks for. This bill gives President Obama the exact funding level he asks for. Let's worry less about the demands of one party's political base and more about supporting the brave men and women who live on the base."


Senator Hirono: (4:08 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.
    • "My amendment would fix this problem by establishing a legal requirement that any federally mandated reporter with credible evidence or suspicion of child abuse notify both the D.O.D.'s family advocacy program as well as the appropriate state child welfare department. This amendment would eliminate the bottleneck of having only one reporting point of contact. Instead, mandatory reporters which include teachers, doctors, law enforcement and others, must directly, must directly report such evidence or suspicion, both of the chain of command and also over to the appropriate state authorities. I am hopeful that requiring such dual reporting, no military connected children will remain in abusive homes because information never made it to the right person."
  • Spoke on immigration.
    • "Quite simply, DACA works. And the American public stands with our dreamers, immigrant families and smart are immigration policies like DACA. Over 70% of Americans reject the mass deportation approach favored by some and instead support the president's executive actions. However, DACA is only a temporary solution to address one part of our broken immigration system. It is not a substitute for comprehensive immigration reform and it has been roughly two years since the senate passed immigration reform bill with strong bipartisan support. President Obama built on the success of DACA who use his authority to expand the DACA program and create a new program for the parents of children born as U.S. Citizens. I strongly support the president's actions."