Wednesday, Jun. 13, 2018

Tomorrow -

  • The Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 5515, the NDAA, with the time until the cloture vote equally divided between the bill managers or their designees.
  • At approximately 10:30 a.m., the Senate will VOTE on cloture on Toomey Amendment #2700 in relation to H.R. 5515, the NDAA.
  • Note: on Tuesday, June 12, cloture was filed on Inhofe Amendment #2282, as modified, to H.R. 5515, the NDAA.
  • Note: on Tuesday, June 12, cloture was filed on H.R. 5515, the NDAA.

 

Senator Tillis: (5:38 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to Pastor Andrew Brunson.
    • " I went to Turkey about two months ago, visited him in a Turkish prison after almost 17 months of being in prison without any charges. They brought charges against him that are some of the most bogus excuses for evidence that you could possibly imagine. And I am certain that if it was somebody with these charges in the United States jail system or prison system that they'd be released the day the charges were filed. This is Pastor Brunson. He's a little over 50 years old. Since he's been in prison he lost 50 pounds and spent almost 17 months in a prison cell designed for eight people that had 21 people in it, that entire time without a single formal charge levied against him."

 

Senator Shaheen: (5:45 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Turkey.
    • "Yet, supporting Turkey and the Turkish people should not mean appeasing the Turkish president. It is clear that the less we push back as a nation against Turkish President Erdogan, the more emboldened he becomes. Five years ago if you asked any diplomat or American official if Turkey would stoop so low to take an American hostage and leverage them for political gain, no one would say that's a possibility, yet, that's where we are today. Turkey not only joined the ranks of Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Venezuela as a hostage take he but it has shifted its orientation away from NATO and toward Russia for no other reason except for Erdogan's financial and electoral gain."

 

Senator Ernst: (6:02 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "I'm disappointed that we were not able to come together and work through a robust bipartisan amendment process this year on the floor. We had a great markup, and I'm thankful my colleagues across the aisle were so willing to work together in a bipartisan manner on this piece of legislation. As the chair of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, I worked hard with my ranking member, Senator Heinrich of New Mexico, to ensure the NDAA invests additional funding in innovative technologies so that we can maintain U.S. technological superiority over near peer adversaries, particularly in the areas of hypersonics, unmanned systems, directed energy, and artificial intelligence."

 

Senator Merkley: (6:09 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "What the attorney general put forward was that should you flee oppression overseas and find yourself washed up on the shores of the United States of America, we will not greet you with a fair chance to present your case and thrive. We will instead grab you, treat you as a criminal, rip your children outer your arms, and lock you up. That's the new policy. That's the Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump, John Kelly policy of the United States of America. When I heard about this, I didn't really believe it was possible that we could adopt, any administration could adopt a policy of inflicting deliberate trauma onto children. There is no moral code in the world that supports such an action."

 

Senator Sasse: (6:32 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Unfortunately, this call has fallen on deaf ears in both the legislature and the executive branch, both Democratic and Republican administrations. There is far too little urgency and when you speak with generals, when you speak with C.I.A. station chiefs around the world, nobody disputes this. Everyone knows we're unprepared and we're underinvested in this domain, and yet no one is really in charge. Fortunately, we are talking a major step in this NDAA to address this deficit in our war planning. While no one piece of legislation and no single proposal can possibly address all of our cyber deficits, there is nonetheless some very good news in this NDAA for both the public as a whole and for those of us who are losing sleep about our cyber under-preparedness."

Cotton, Van Hollen, Perdue, Donnelly

The NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 13 2018

Senator Cotton: (4:58 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "I hope those up in the gallery aren't using a Huawei or Z.T.E. product. If you are, you might want to buy a different one. That's because these companies are dangerous to our national security and to your privacy. Huawei and Z.T.E. are part of the Chinese Party. It was an engineer for the People's Liberation Army. The company's livelihood consists of largely a steady stream of government contracts and its greatest claim to fame is stealing the secrets of American companies. That's why it's under investigation by the Department of Justice and for violating sanctions against Iran. And Z.T.E. is no better. They broke our laws by doing business with North Korea and Iran and then it lied about it to U.S. investigators."

 

Senator Van Hollen: (5:05 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "That was the House Intelligence Committee report in the year 2012. And since then, the evidence has grown even stronger. We know that the government of China exercises significant control over its telecommunications firms and that Z.T.E. and Huawei have close and very long-standing ties to the government. We also know that China is one of the world's most active perpetrators of economic espionage and cyber attacks in the United States. In 2015, the F.B.I. issued a report on Huawei making it clear that the government of China relies on signals intelligence to spy on American citizens."

 

Senator Perdue: (5:27 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Now, Mr. President, that's not dissimilar to a commerce violation right here in the United States. If someone violates the rules and laws of our land, there are fines, penalties, and compliance measures that go along with that. In regards to these harsh penalties, Secretary Ross has just said, and I quote, the strictest and largest settlement fine that has ever been brought by the Commerce Department against a violator of export controls, end quote. The Commerce Department has leveled a harsh but justified penalty. I agree. We need to send a strong message, and I think this does just that. However, the current NDAA managers' package would trample on the separation of powers and undercut the Trump administration's authority to impose these penalties."

 

Senator Donnelly: (5:30 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "I'm told that next month the last foraging equipment will come to the facility for Hoosier workers to manufacture these components. Honeywell is planning to send the manufacturing work for the F-35 overseas to a plant in Turkey. While Turkey is a member of NATO, it is on a concerning path of crumbling Democratic norms, and it's in the process of purchasing a missile defense system from Russia. That's not the kind of place where we should be manufacturing critical components for one of the most advanced war-fighting machines in our arsenal, particularly when we have trained, experienced, talented, patriotic, devoted American workers in South Bend, Indiana, who want to continue doing this work, protecting our men and women, and keeping our nation safe."

Fischer, Flake, Inhofe, Paul

The NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 13 2018

Senator Fischer: (4:34 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "In Europe, a newly emboldened Russia, under the control of Putin, seeks every opportunity to exert its malign influence, undermine democracies, flaunt international law, and bully our NATO allies. In Asia, expansionist China is working to coerce its neighbors, invest millions in military modernization, construct illegal, artificial islands, and challenge American leadership across the globe. In short, we have reentered an era of great power competition. If we value our security and our prosperity, we must be prepared to support the men and women of our military so that they are able to win in this environment. Earlier this year Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis presented Congress with the national defense strategy. This blueprint for the nation's defense thoroughly emphasis is the fact that interstate competition is now the focus of our United States national security."

 

Senator Flake: (4:44 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senator John McCain.
    • "As we all know, Senator McCain has been a fixture in the Senate during every NDAA debate, wagging his finger and raising his voice, he mustered the rest of us to support and defend our troops. He made it a priority to reduce wasteful spending and crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse. Year after year under Senator McCain's leadership, the Senate Armed Services Committee has identified billions of dollars in unnecessary spending at the Department of Defense, and because of his efforts, we have reinvested savings in providing critical military capabilities for war fighters, meeting the unfunded priorities of our service chiefs, and our combatant commanders and supporting critical national security priorities."

 

Senator Inhofe: (4:52 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Mr. President, it was my intent - and I will be doing it but I wanted to give a chance for Senator Paul to be on the floor when I do this. As we have said over and over again. I have to say senator reed and I have worked very closely in trying to get these amendments in place. I can remember years in the past when there were people who objected to any amendments and we ended up without amendments and we had to pass a bill that didn't have an open amendment process on the floor. We wanted an open amendment process on the floor. I'm talking about we being the Democrats, Republicans, the leadership on both sides of the aisle. We have committed to that. We have tried to do that. Unfortunately under the Senate rules, one senator can stop and object to moving on an amendment."

 

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

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "A few minutes ago on the Senate floor, 68 senators voted to give a vote on the Senate floor on whether or not anybody accused or captured and accused of a crime will get a trial by jury. It's in the Bill of Rights. Over two-thirds of the Senate voted for it, enough to pass a constitutional amendment voted for it, and one person is denying a vote on this. The senior senator from South Carolina does not believe the Bill of Rights applies to people accused of a crime."

Kaine, Murray, Manchin, Toomey

The NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 13 2018

Senator Kaine: (3:56 p.m.)

  • Spoke on healthcare reform.
    • "Because Senate colleagues joined together on the floor nearly a year ago to defeat efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, even as the sabotage has been going on, there has been an advance in my state that is very, very significant. Two weeks ago my state legislature, after a four-year debate, decided to become the 33rd state that accepted Medicaid expansion. Mr. President, and to my colleagues, if you want to know whether what you do in this chamber matters, that vote in August of last year that preserved the Affordable Care Act enabled my state to embrace Medicaid expansion, and in one stroke of one vote, for 100,000 - 400,000 Virginians have the ability now to have health insurance, many of them for the first time in their life."

 

Senator Murray: (4:02 p.m.)

  • Spoke on healthcare reform.
    • "As we've talked about, last week the Trump-Pence administration showed once again that there is no limit to how low and how baseless they will go to appeal to extreme Republican donors and their special interests. President Trump's Department of Justice announced it will ignore years of precedent and abandon its duty to defend our laws in court. It will abandon our laws that prevent insurers from denying people with preexisting condition coverage or charging people more because of their gender or raising premiums without limit for seniors."

 

Senator Manchin: (4:08 p.m.)

  • Spoke on healthcare reform.
    • "An insurance company faced with underwriting my daughter simply will not insure her ever unless mandated by government to cover preexisting conditions. She has had multiple trips to the emergency that would have bankrupted her and had she not been covered. Please do not forget her when you tell stories on the Senate floor. This is not Democrat or Republican. This is about all of us. We all face this in all of our states. And what we're saying is this, moving down this pathway because of not enforcing that part of the Affordable Care Act, when we have a fix, truly a Democrat-Republican fix, bipartisan, led by Lamar Alexander, our senator from Tennessee; Patty Murray, our senator from the state of Washington."

 

Senator Toomey: (4:17 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Let me start by reminding my colleagues something that I hope we all learned a long time ago, and that is the very, very first provision of the United States Constitution after the preamble, the very first operative portion of our Constitution, Article 1, Section 1, states, and I will quote, all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives. I can't think of a more clearer, succinct and straightforward and unambiguous way to make the point that writing laws is the domain, it is the responsibility of Congress."

 

 

Murphy, Merkley, Wyden

The NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 13 2018

Senator Murphy: (3:31 p.m.)

  • Spoke on healthcare reform.
    • "So if you were just passing along the costs to your consumers, the rate should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 5%, 6%, or 7%. Instead, in Virginia, it's 64%. Senator Merkley is going to speak about Oregon. But premiums in or going up by double digits, 14%. Washington State is looking at a premium increase of 30%. The Kaiser plan in Washington is asking for a 30% increase. The statewide average is right around 20%. Kaiser in Washington says the rate changes in our plan are primarily driven by claims experienced in the single risk pool, medical inflation and project the risks in the risk profile in membership due to the elimination of the individual mandate."

 

Senator Merkley: (3:41 p.m.)

  • Spoke on healthcare reform.
    • "The health care bill of rights that said that preventive testing is free because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. What did the team trump do? Well, they cut the enrollment period in half. They cut funding for outreach by up to 92%. They slashed the budget for tieing so that people would know that there was an open period and the opportunity to get the health care plan by 90%. Nine out of $10. They put up anti-marketplace propaganda. They periodically proceeded to shut down the website so that people would get frustrated trying to sign up for insurance. Well, that's a real winner. Make it hard for people to sign up for health care."

 

Senator Wyden: (3:47 p.m.)

  • Spoke on healthcare reform.
    • "And now Senator Murphy, Senator Kaine, and my colleagues are here on the floor to talk about the Trump administration's effort to unravel the law, the current law that bars insurance companies from beating the stuffing out of people with preexisting conditions. That's the way it used to be, folks. If you had a preexisting, you know, condition and you weren't healthy or wealthy - and that's what you face if you have a preexisting condition - you were just really in bad shape. If you're healthy, you pay your bills. If you're wealthy, you pay the bills."

Blunt, Inhofe

The NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 13 2018

Senator Blunt: (2:10 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
    • "He used the skills of understanding the uniqueness of the Senate - there's no other legislative body designed as this body was to be sure the minority is heard and to be sure that the time we take is adequate for points of view to be put out there - but during that time in the past year, Senator McConnell has led our conference and the Senate in delivering the biggest tax overhaul in three decades, in confirming a record number of circuit court judges, overturning unnecessary regulations that were holding the economy back; and that's not easy to do."
  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "This requires us to be sure that we're always ready. The secretary of defense Mattis and senior leaders of the department of defense have spent a lot of time crafting the national defense strategy. This bill makes it possible for us to pursue that strategy. This is not a bill where the members of the senate pretend to be the master strategists of our defense. This is a bill that allows the members of senate with oversight, with responsibility of the people we work for to be sure that that plan not only makes sense but is supported. So the national defense authorization act, there's a total of $716 billion."

 

Senator Inhofe: (2:22 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Congress has already required to authorize the development of nuclear weapons in each year's authorization appropriations bill. So the debate really isn't about the authorization. It's about the Nuclear Posture Review. The Nuclear Posture Review calls for the United States to develop a low-yield nuclear capability which some in Congress are against. And that's fine. That's what this system, that's what this vote is all about. We should debate it. We have debated it in the past. Certainly in our committee we have, and that's the reason that it is on the committee and would have to be taken off here on the floor if that's the desire of the majority of members."

Flake, Cornyn, King, Rounds

The NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 13 2018

Senator Flake: (1:33 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Trump administration foreign policy.
    • "Or how Kim loves his country very much. While at the same time calling the Canadian prime minister obnoxious, weak, and dishonest for merely pushing back on proposed tariffs, or declaring that the European Union is, quote, solidly against the United States when it comes to trade policy. Consistently ridiculing our allies by suggesting that they are somehow abusing us while voicing admiration for despots and dictators represents a fundamental departure in behavior for American administrations. It represents a fundamental misunderstanding of our relationship with our allies. Now, it is understandable that we will have disagreements with our allies, but that does not justice offend upending the international framework painstakingly constructed and cultivated by previous generations of leaders."

 

Senator Cornyn: (1:39 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Earlier this month, the senate armed services committee voted overwhelmingly 25-2 to advance this important legislation to the floor. There are 1.8 million Americans around the world on active duty, according to the Department of Defense. The United States has 737 military installations worldwide. And the department of defense is the world's largest employer. Supporting all of these people and these facilities is a herculean task, and the defense authorization bill is one very important way that we do that. It's how we make sure that the men and women in uniform are paid, our alliances are strengthened and that military facilities are properly modernized and maintained."

 

Senator King: (1:49 p.m.)

  • Spoke on food labeling regulations.
    • "And it would actually undermine the good work that's been done by the maple syrup industry and the honey industry, honey business over the years, to explain to consumers the difference between pure honey, pure maple syrup and other products which have things in them and may have sugar added. This is where maple syrup comes from. This is a maple tree. The farmer is tapping it. These tubes all lead to a maple house. Making maple syrup is not easy. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. That's why we call it liquid gold. It's a wonderful product. It's a pure product. And there's nothing that's added between the tree and the jar that you buy in your grocery store, if, indeed, it is real maple syrup."

 

Senator Rounds: (2:01 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "The federal government's number-one responsibility is to provide for the defense of our nation. This year's NDAA, the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act, honors our chairman who has dedicated his life to serving our country. Few people are more passionate about our troops and our military readiness than Chairman McCain and the courage he has exhibited during his years of service and in his current battle has inspired all of us. I'm pleased we were able to put together legislation bearing his name that I would say builds on last year's efforts to provide adequate tools so our forces can fully rebuild our military and adequately address the challenges which they face. But the most important capability we have is our people, the men and the women in uniform who defend our nation and the families who give them the strength to do so."

Barrasso, Warren, Markey, Reed

The NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 13 2018

Senator Barrasso: (12:50 p.m.)

  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "It's people who work at the Bachman Group in Sheridan, Wyoming. It is a local business that specializes in fencing and excavation. I had to chance to meet with all of those people. They said the employer - the employees would be getting raises for one reason and it's because of the tax law. The owner actually said that with this tax cut he would now move ahead with starting two new businesses this year, employing more people. That means more jobs, more economic opportunities for people in northeast Wyoming. Now, another thing, Madam President, that we had a chance to talk about when the tax law was passed was how this would affect people's utility bills. Well, it started happening right away. Americans noted their utility bills started going down. "

 

Senator Warren: (1:04 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "I rise today to speak in favor of the Reed-Warren amendment. For months I have been voicing concerns about the Trump administration's plans to use more low-yield nuclear weapons. This bill authorizes the Pentagon to begin developing a new low-yield warhead which the Trump administration wants to put on our nation's submarine-launched ballistic missiles. I think this decision is strategically unwise for many reasons. I am concerned about discrimination and the risk of rapid escalation into a nuclear conflict. As many experts have publicly suggested, Russia may not be able to distinguish between an incoming trident missile that poses an existential threat to their nation and a low-yield nuclear missile that is intended to serve more of a warning."

 

Senator Markey: (1:11 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "I strongly support this amendment, and I want to explain why. A nuclear weapon is a nuclear weapon, period. They are the only human-made force that could destroy all of humanity in a matter of minutes. They annihilate utterly and completely. The size of the bomb does not matter. Using any nuclear weapon is a step so grave that it is in and of itself an act of war. It also invites nuclear retaliation. That's why President Ronald Reagan was right when he said a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. Nuclear weapons are fundamentally different than any other military capability we possess. Congress must have a role in determining when these weapons are developed, how they are managed, and if, heaven forbid, we must ever use them again."

 

Senator Reed: (1:15 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "The loss of life and destruction was sobering. I recommend all of my colleagues participate in such a war game because it brings home the complexity and the essential role that Congress has in overseeing the development of nuclear weapons. I would like to convey one point made to me at the conclusion of the war game is that his number one job is to ensure that nuclear weapons never be used in the first place and they act as a deterrence to their use. With that, Mr. President, I will make a few observations on the amendment before us. The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review recommends that the United States undertake the deployment of a submarine low-yield nuclear weapon."

Nelson, Lankford, Jones

The NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 13 2018

Senator Nelson: (12:13 p.m.)

  • Spoke on health care reform.
    • "Let me give you some examples of preexisting conditions. Alzheimer's, cancer, acne. How about simply being a woman? Let me repeat - being a woman was a preexisting condition before these protections were put in law, that an insurance company could not have to cover you and that your rate had to be fair. So having faced multiple times the Republicans trying to dismantle this law, the Trump administration is now trying administratively and through the courts to take away the health coverage away."

 

Senator Lankford: (12:30 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the Republican economic policy.
    • "For the first time in 20 years there are more job openings than there are people looking for work. And that came from CNN. The strong economy that we're facing shows that we have a 44-year low right now of people pursuing unemployment insurance. People out there looking for a job that have lost a job. 44-year low nationwide. Three million new jobs have been created since November of 2016. There is a job opening for every jobless person in America right now. During the height of the recession just a few years ago, there were six people looking for work for every one job open. Now there is at least one job, at least one job open for every single person in America. Unemployment fell to 3.8%, the lowest in 17 years."
  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Since the air refueling tanker plays key component to our nation's overall military strategy and our worldwide reach including our readiness and operational capability, KC46a is a very welcome and long-awaited asset for the Air Force air refueling capability. They're scheduled to arrive later this year in just a few months at the air force base. So our men and women of the Air Force can step up and be ready to be trained. The Air Mobility Wing is responsible for that formal training for the KC46 aircraft for the active duty, guard, and reserve air crew while maintaining that global reach."

 

Senator Jones: (12:45 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "In Alabama, we know all too well about the need for national security and good economy. From Redstone arsenal, from maximum we will air force base and for all of our reserve and national guardsmen and women in the state of Alabama, they are on the front lines. In addition to the tens of thousands of civilians that support their work, Alabama is home to a first-class workforce that supports our national security mission every single day. So it only makes sense that this legislation continues to support the work of Alabamians to include a well-deserved 2.6% pay raise for our troops, and just as important, it also includes funds for the missile defense agency at Redstone arsenal in Huntsville."

Moran, Murphy, Blumenthal, Wicker

The NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 13 2018

Senator Moran: (10:39 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "These honors include an honor detail which presents an American flag to the family of the deceased and a bugler who ceremoniously plays taps and puts a lump in everyone's throat and a tear in our eyes. Unfortunately, an Army audit found that in 2014, 88 deserving veteran funerals did not receive those military honors as they should have. One service without deserved honors is one too many. Even more disappointing, we learned that the National Guard Bureau now has a plan to eliminate military funeral honors coordinating position in eight states based upon a recommendation from that audit."

 

Senator Murphy: (10:48 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Here in the United States we have about 20 times the number of people on a per capita basis who are being killed by a gun than the average OECD competitor nation. Something is going on here that's different than what is happening anywhere else. As my colleagues know, I try to come to the floor every few weeks to talk about who these victims are, so give you a little bit of sense of the lives that are cut short. All of the promise that is erased from this Earth every single day 93 times because of what is happening inside the epidemic of gun violence and try to relate to people how furious this mounting - we have done virtually nothing meaningful since the tragedy in my state in Sandy Hook."

 

Senator Blumenthal: (11:02 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "The Orlando nightclub attack remains the deadliest incident of violence against LGBTQ people in our history. And we ought to take particular time today to commemorate the national tragedy but also the epidemics of gun violence like sandy hook and hate crimes generally across the country, which may not involve gun violence, that plague our nation literally daily - in this nation, the greatest in the history of the world. This scourge of hate crime and gun violence - and often the two go together - is a continuing plague. In an average year, more than 10,300 hate crimes are committed involving a firearm. That's more than 28 every single day."

 

Senator Wicker: (11:36 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "I was just speaking, as a matter of fact, to a group of Hawaiians gathered together under the leadership of Senator Mazie Hirono, who happens to be the ranking member of the subcommittee which I chair, the Sea Power Subcommittee, and we were able to make the point -- and have been able to make the point at several forums, about what a bipartisan issue this is to protect our country through a strong Navy and through the provisions that we will enact in the sea power title. And of course this bipartisan exercise is a very important fulfillment of our constitutional responsibility."

Kennedy, Schumer, Hatch

The NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 13 2018

Senator Kennedy: (9:46 a.m.)

  • Spoke on North Korea.
    • "We also know that Kim Jong-un is not coming to the table out of the goodness of his heart. President Trump and the United States Congress has hit him with sanctions. We have hit him so hard, he is coughing up bones. I hate to do that to the people of North Korea, but we had no choice. I think Kim Jong-un is coming to the table also because he understands that for the first time in a long time, America means what it says and that a military option is on the table. He saw what happened to Assad in Syria, not once, but twice. So we enter into this discourse with North Korea as I see it with eyes wide open."

 

Senator Schumer: (9:50 a.m.)

  • Spoke on North Korea.
    • "Mr. President, talks between President Trump and Chairman Kim in Singapore, as we all know, concluded yesterday. Certainly, we are all heartened to see the two leaders engage in a dialogue. We feel much better when both President Trump and Chairman Kim are talking rather than trading insults and military threats. We all want this diplomacy to succeed. But now that the dust is settling after the Singapore summit, three things are clear. First, Chairman Kim achieved far more than President Trump did."
  • Spoke on health care reform.
    • "The days when hardworking Americans who fall on hard times are made to suffer, deny health care coverage precisely because they need it so desperately. How wrong, how backward, how immoral that system was. That's where President Trump wants to take us again. So we Democrats are going to spend the next few months, including the August work period, focusing on the nation's health care system, the critical issue, trying to get premiums down, costs down, better health care, not the deterioration we have seen under President Trump and the Republican congressional leadership."
  • Spoke on the Mueller Investigation.
    • "Now, we hope our Republican colleagues don't take the cynical track of trying to spin the report's contents to somehow sully the completely separate and ongoing investigation into Putin's meddling in the 2016 election. The D.O.J. inspector general report is likely to focus on the conduct of the Justice Department and the F.B.I. In handling the Clinton e-mail investigation in the run-up to 2016. Mueller was not appointed at that point. He wasn't a gleam in anyone's eye."

 

Senator Hatch: (10:22 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the LGBT suicide epidemic.
    • "That's why today, in honor of pride month, I wish to devote a significant portion of my remarks to them, my young friends in the LGBT. Mr. President, the prevalence of suicide, especially among LGBT teens, is a serious problem that requires national attention. No one should feel less because of their orientation. They deserve our unwavering love and support. They deserve our validation and the assurance that not only is there a place for them in this society but that it is far better off because of them. These young people need us and we desperately need them. We need their light to illuminate the richness of God's creations."

McConnell

Opening Remarks

Jun 13 2018

Today -

  • The Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 5515, the NDAA.
  • Note: on Tuesday, June 12, cloture was filed on McConnell (for Toomey) Amendment #2700 to Inhofe Amendment #2282, as modified, to H.R. 5515, the NDAA.
  • Note: on Tuesday, June 12, cloture was filed on Inhofe Amendment #2282, as modified, to H.R. 5515, the NDAA.
  • Note: on Tuesday, June 12, cloture was filed on H.R. 5515, the NDAA.

 

Senator McConnell: (9:33 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "It's a landmark piece of legislation that will benefit farmers and communities throughout our country. I'll have much more to say on the subject in the days and weeks ahead, particularly when it arrives here on the floor. I'm particularly excited that the legislation being considered today includes provision from the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 of which the occupant of the chair is an original cosponsor which I introduced earlier this year. This will empower farmers to realize the potential for industrial hemp. I thank Chairman Roberts for his leadership and congratulate him and all of our colleagues on the committee for their bipartisan collaboration and the impressive bill that it has produced."
  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "This year's NDAA is rightly named for our friend and colleague, Senator McCain. It would authorize $716 billion to equip and train America's 21st century forces to meet and overcome today's challenges. As the Iranian regime continues its aggressive efforts to expand its influence through -- throughout the Middle East this power will help us in the region. As China continues to test the boundaries of its power in the pacific region the NDAA will extend the authority of the Indo-Pacific security mission and extend the reach of naval and air forces within the U.S. Pacific Command."
  • Spoke on Republican economic policy.
    • "It's good news, plain and simple. It is not so simple for our friends across the aisle. While Republicans and the rest of the country are cheering on this new prosperity for working families, our Democratic friends are trying to pretend that the facts don't matter and things aren't actually getting better. Here's how the leader of the house Democrats from San Francisco tried to sarcastically brush away the facts a few days ago."