Durbin, Cornyn, Murray

Executive Session (Kaplan Nomination)

Senator Durbin: (10:32 a.m)

  • Spoke on DACA.
    • "It enabled approximately 790,000 talented young people to contribute more fully to this country. They're teachers, they're nurses, engineers, small business owners and more. DACA, this executive order by President Obama, provides temporary - temporary - legal status to immigrant students who arrived in the United States as infants and toddlers and children. They have to come forward under this executive order and register with our government. They have to pay a substantial fee for processing, and then they have to submit themselves to a criminal and national security background check. If they are successful, they are given two years of temporary relief from deportation. This program is based on the dream act. It's a bill that I first introduced in the United States Senate 16 years ago, 2001. That bill would give undocumented students who grew up in this country a chance to become legal. To earn their way to citizenship. These young people have come to be known as dreamers. They came to the United States under the age of 16, some of them a year or two old. They grew up in the United States, going to our public singing "The Star Spangled Banner," pledging allegiance to the only flag they've ever known, the American flag."


Senator Cornyn: (10:44 a.m)

  • Spoke on health care reform.
    • "Since 2013 we've seen the nationwide average of premiums go up 105%. That's before this latest announcement. We know that in 2017 the national average increase in premiums was 25% and in Arizona, for example, it was 145%. So why, why did all of the Senate Democrats vote against getting a - making progress on a solution toward these runaway premiums? I've talked about ad nauseum here on the Senate floor. We've almost become numb to the pain the people are experiencing because of the skyrocketing rate of their insurance premiums and we know that 28 million roughly have dropped out and are uninsured in my state alone because of the individual mandate, the penalty that the government imposes for failing to buy a government-approved health insurance plan. As the presiding officer knows because I got the figures from him, more than 400,000 Texans who earn less than $25,000 a year paid the penalty because they couldn't afford to buy the insurance. All in all, about a million Texans paid the penalty because of the individual mandate. So when we tried to do something about that last week working with our house colleagues, what was the response from the other side? It was crickets, silence"
  • Spoke on the upcoming legislative agenda.
    • "So, Mr. President, we've got a lot of other nominations backlogged due to the unfortunate obstruction and foot dragging of our Democratic colleagues. And I for one don't think we ought to leave in August, this month, without a big, robust package of confirmations of these noncontroversial nominees. It's time to get over the election. That was November 8. We used to see a difference between elections and then the responsibility of governing regardless of who won the election. We still have the responsibility to govern. Some people seem to have forgotten that. So again, I hope we have a big robust package of noncontroversial nominations approved before we leave for the rest of the month of August. I think it's too important to leave town without that. We need our president to succeed so the country can succeed. This is what every American who voted for President Trump hope for and they trusted him to choose men and women to lead and guide our country in his cabinet. And I have to say he's done a remarkably good job in the people he has chosen for his cabinet. So let's come together and confirm these appointees so the administration can better serve our nation and all Americans.


Senator Murray: (10:58 a.m)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Marvin Kaplan to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board.
    • "On the campaign trail, President Trump promised to put workers first, but instead President Trump's administration has rolled back worker protections and prioritized corporate interests at the expense of workers. So it is critical, now more than ever, that the NLRB remains independent and is committed to advocating for workers and their right to organize. But I'm deeply concerned that President Trump's nominee, Mr. Kaplan, does not have a record of supporting the rights of workers and unions. And at his nomination hearing, Mr. Kaplan confused basic labor issues and decision further proving he lacks the knowledge and experience to serve on this important board."