Reed, Durbin, Grassley, Inhofe

Executive Session (Benczkowski Nomination)

Senator Reed: (4:13 p.m.)

  • Spoke on NATO.
    • "The motion to instruct provides important guidance at this critical juncture before the NATO summit in Brussels and the U.S.-Russia summit in Helsinki. The motion instructs the Senate conferees on the national defense authorization for fiscal year 2019 to ensure the final conference report on the NDAA reaffirms the ironclad U.S. commitment under Article 5 to the collective defense of the alliance. It reaffirms the United States commitment to NATO as a community of shared value, including liberty, human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The motion also calls for the United States to pursue an integrated approach to strengthen European defense as part of a long-term strategy that uses all elements of U.S. national power to deter Russian aggression."


Senator Durbin: (4:24 p.m.)

  • Spoke on NATO.
    • "In fact, I'm increasingly convinced that President Trump is so enamored by validation seeking autocrats and offended by our traditional allies, expressing disagreements that he's incapable of distinguishing friends from enemies. This is truly problematic and dangerous. Now our allies are just cause to worry that President Trump will give away concessions to Vladimir Putin just as he did with the North Korean dictator. Against all reason and international norms, Trump is considering recognizing Russia's illegal occupation of Crimea because, sadly, President Trump has no sense of history and little knowledge of Vladimir Putin's true agenda."


Senator Grassley: (4:38 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Last evening I joined many of my Senate colleagues at the White House as the president introduced Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve as the associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most widely respected judges in the country. I heard the president last night refer to him as a judge - as a judge's judge. He is an outstanding choice to serve as justice of the Supreme Court. Justice Kavanaugh - or Judge Kavanaugh is a former law clerk of the justice that he has been nominated to replace, and that is Justice Kennedy. And I talked about Justice Kennedy's service on the Supreme Court and to the people of this country in my speech yesterday. Judge Kavanaugh earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University."


Senator Inhofe: (4:54 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "I've already visited with ranking member, Senator Reed, Chairman Thornberry, Ranking Member Smith, and we have a commitment to finish this conference report by the end of July. It is very ambitious. It's something we're going to be able to do. The second vote we're going to be on is to instruct the conferees in terms of - the conferees in terms of the CFIUS issue. Personally having been recently to China and the South China Seas, I'm seeing what they're doing right now in North Africa and in Djibouti. We have a different China than we've had before."