Wednesday, Jun. 27, 2018

Tomorrow -

  • The Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 2, the farm bill.
  • Note: the following amendment is pending to H.R. 2, the farm bill: Roberts Amendment #3224.
  • Note: the following amendment is pending to Roberts Amendment #3224 to H.R. 2, the farm bill: Thune Amendment #3134.
  • Note: on Wednesday, June 27, cloture was filed on Roberts Amendment #3224 to H.R. 2, the farm bill.
  • Note: on Wednesday, June 27, cloture was filed on H.R. 2, the farm bill.

 

Senator Moran: (6:27 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "So you end up with the worse of bots circumstances, low commodity prices and not much production. So it is important that we are able to pass a farm bill. It is important that we provide certainty. It's important that we provide a safety net to those who struggle every day to feed, clothes, and provide energy to us and the rest of the world. A primary motivation for which I ask Kansans to represent them here in the United States senate, to represent them in Congress, was a belief that rural America is a place worthy of keeping around for a while longer."

 

Senator Blumenthal: (6:43 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "Make no mistake. They have been deprived of basic access to the outside world and of access by that outside world to them. The deprivation of liberty is the core definition of incarceration, and the potential detainment of tens of thousands of families in exactly that kind of tent city located on our military bases throughout the country should frighten and alarm every American because we are seeing repeated at a different age in black - in color rather than black and white the images of those internment camps where thousands of people of Japanese descent were sent during World War II."

Smith, Bennet, Boozman, Udall

The farm bill (H.R. 2)

Jun 27 2018

Senator Smith: (5:23 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.
    • "The court found that this fundamental right cannot be unduly burdened with regulatory restrictions and requirements by the state or federal governments. This was just one in a long line of Supreme Court decisions that affirm a woman's right to make personal private decisions about her health care and family planning. Whole women's health recognized that in order to protect women's constitutional rights, it is not enough that abortion services are theoretically available. They must also be practically accessible. It is especially important to recognize the anniversary of this important decision today because just yesterday the Supreme Court issued another decision, one that unfortunately threatens to make it harder for women to receive reliable and accurate information about the full range of their reproductive health care options."

 

Senator Bennet: (5:35 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "Feed shortages are even forcing ranchers in southwest Colorado to sell off their cattle. Besides deficit reduction our farmers and ranchers - besides drought, our farmers are dealing with a broken immigration system that is actually putting some of them out of business because they can't find workers. And uncertainty over trade because of the administration's unusual approach to our foreign policy. All of this has made it harder for them to plan for the next five months, let alone the next five years. This farm bill cannot come soon enough. Mr. President, the agriculture committee has put together an excellent piece of legislation."

 

Senator Boozman: (5:47 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "While we work to ensure passage of bills that fund vital federal programs, we must also continue to pass the important bills that authorize them. We have a chance this week to add to our list of bipartisan achievements by passing the farm bill which was recently approved by the Ag Committee with overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle. If you have ever been to Arkansas, I don't need to tell you how important the farm bill is to our state. You've seen it. You've seen the cotton fields, the rice silos, the chicken farms, the cattle ranches. We have it all in the natural state. In fact, 95% of Arkansas' land resources are devoted to agriculture and forestry."

 

Senator Udall: (5:56 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "I rise today to talk about the immigration crisis that this president has generated. The nation has seen images of children trapped behind wire fencing, children sleeping on concrete floors. We've seen the tents hurriedly set up to house children separated from their parents. And we've seen the video of Jessica, who doesn't know where her mother is and wants to talk to her. We've heard the audio of young children crying out for their mothers and fathers. And we've heard the audio of a detention facility staff person telling the kids not to talk to the press, claiming it will hurt their immigration case. As of June 12, on American soil, over 100 babies under the age of one year are being held in detention by the American government."

Thune, Portman, Smith

The farm bill (H.R. 2)

Jun 27 2018

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

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "Mr. President, I rise today in support of my amendment number 3134. Mr. President, by providing haying and grazing flexibility, this amendment would offer common sense and effective land management options for land enrolled in the land conservation control program or what we refer to as C.R.P. Today there are C.R.P. contracts that are 10 to 15 years in duration. As it stands, some C.R.P. contracts only allow for vegetative cover to be removed once or twice during the life of the contract, a practice referred to as mid-contract management. Even in areas that have experienced a drought or feed shortage, C.R.P. mid-contract management rules have required vegetative cover on C.R.P. land to be destroyed, a practice I have never understood and one that I get a lot of feedback from farmers across South Dakota who don't understand it either."

 

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

  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "First the international part. Second is what you're doing in how it affects people. Ed third one is direct tax relief to individuals because that's part of this one, too. And if you hear people talk about this bill sometimes on the other side of the aisle, you would think that's not in there. But it's very much in there T people are able to keep more of their hard-earned money and it goes directly to the middle-class constituents that I represent. They're the once ones that get the biggest bang for the buck. Why? Because we double the standard deduction, taking it from $12,000 to $24,000 for a family. Because we doubled the child tax credit, including increasing the part that's refundable, even if you don't have income tax liability, you get it."
  • Spoke on the opioid epidemic.
    • "It's actually getting worse. In most areas of the rate you see now higher rates of addiction and more overdoses almost all due to one thing. The increase is almost due to one thing and that's fentanyl, the synthetic form of opioid coming in and taking over, pushing out heroin, prescription drugs, other drugs. Fentanyl incredibly powerful, 50 times more powerful than heroin. Incredibly inexpensive. Most of it's coming we're told by the experts from China. Not Overland from Mexico but from China through our united States mail system. Unbelievable." 

 

Senator Smith: (5:23 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.
    • "The court found that this fundamental right cannot be unduly burdened with regulatory restrictions and requirements by the state or federal governments. This was just one in a long line of Supreme Court decisions that affirm a woman's right to make personal private decisions about her health care and family planning. Whole women's health recognized that in order to protect women's constitutional rights, it is not enough that abortion services are theoretically available. They must also be practically accessible. It is especially important to recognize the anniversary of this important decision today because just yesterday the Supreme Court issued another decision, one that unfortunately threatens to make it harder for women to receive reliable and accurate information about the full range of their reproductive health care options."

Wyden, Murray, Hirono, Hassan

The farm bill (H.R. 2)

Jun 27 2018

Senator Wyden: (4:00 p.m.)

  • Spoke on healthcare reform.
    • "It is those protections that is now law that the Trump administration seeks to roll back. Mr. President, it's not widely known that it is not just men and women in the individual health care market that the president's reckless approach on preexisting conditions is actually threatening. If the Trump administration is successful, protections for the 167 million Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance will also lose the affordable care act's airtight loophole-free preexisting condition protections. That means that America would be turning back the clock on health care and an employer could once again put their bottom line over the health of the American people."

 

Senator Murray: (4:09 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.
    • "He was talking about an extreme nominee, Robert Bork, and he said, I want to quote him. Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizen's doors in midnight raids, school children could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists would be censored at the whim of the federal government and the door would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens where the judiciary is often the only proctor of the individual rights that are at the heart of our democracy. "

 

Senator Hirono: (4:20 p.m.)

  • Spoke on healthcare reform.
    • "West Virginia enacted legislation that would prohibit the state's Medicaid program from covering abortion services for low-income residents. Indiana passed an onerous new law requiring physicians to report confidential -- confidential patient information to the state if a woman experienced complications from an abortion. And Louisiana recently passed a law establishing a 15-week abortion ban that includes criminal penalties for any physician who performs the procedure after that time with only a very narrow exception, to save the life of the mother."

 

Senator Hassan: (4:28 p.m.)

  • Spoke on healthcare reform.
    • "Mr. President, no matter their zip code, women deserve equal access to care, but it is clear that there will continue to be attempts from politicians to violate women's rights. With all of these relentless attacks, it's evident that what we need is federal legislation that protects women's access to care in every state throughout our nation. That's why last year I was proud to join with dozens of my Democratic colleagues to introduce the Women's Health Protection Act. This legislation is vital because it protects women from the burdensome requirements that states are enacting. It would validate laws for women to endure unnecessary test and procedures and prevent doctors from prescribing and dispensing medication that is medley appropriate."
  • Spoke in tribute to a New Hampshire resident.
    • "At that funeral he stood alongside a New Hampshire National Guard member named Corporal Scott Diamond. A year later after Corporal Diamond was killed in Afghanistan, master sergeant sounded taps at his funeral. As Master Sergeant Hurdle said, all service members deserve the live version of taps. We can never repay those who have served or made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom, but we must commit ourselves to honoring those sacrifices. Master Sergeant Hurdle was a true embodiment of that commitment. I am so proud to rig him as Granite Stater of the Month."

Schumer, Donnelly, Rubio, Stabenow, Roberts

The farm bill (H.R. 2)

Jun 27 2018

Senator Schumer: (3:20 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
    • "Nothing less than the fate of our health care system, reproductive rights for women, and countless other protections for middle-class Americans are at stake. Will Republicans and President Trump nominate and vote for someone who will preserve protections for people with preexisting conditions, or will they support a justice who will put health insurance companies over patients or put the federal government between a woman and her doctor? The Senate should reject on a bipartisan basis any justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade or undermine key health care protections. The Senate should reject anyone who will instinctively side with powerful special interests over the interests of average Americans."

 

Senator Donnelly: (3:22 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "A farm bill that gives us the best opportunities to be successful will help farmers manage the risks outside of their control. But it's about much more than that. It's also about helping rural communities thrive and also about fighting food insecurity. It's about investing in tomorrow's farmers and the most advanced technologies. It's about ensuring that Hoosiers have the resources and the tools to develop new markets for their products anywhere in the world and it's about promoting conversation so that farms and natural habitats remain healthy generation after generation and doing the conservation work to make that possible."

 

Senator Rubio: (3:50 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "President Trump last year issued an executive order that prohibited American citizens who travel to Cuba from staying at hotels or frequenting businesses or anything of this nature that is controlled by a holding company controlled by the Cuban military, Guyesa. What I have proposed as a way forward on this is to basically say that's fine you can promote American agriculture in Cuba but while you're there and doing your activities you can promote it. You just can't spend any of these taxpayer dollars at any of the facilities or businesses owned or controlled by the Cuban military, the list of which is detailed and provided by the State Department via executive order."

 

Senator Stabenow: (3:52 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "There are multiple interests on various sides of this issue alone on Cuba that we're trying to work through so we can move forward on this as well as other amendments. As the chairman indicated, there are two amendments we're trying to get pending so that we can move forward and take the next steps to be able to come to a resolution, to be able to get to a final vote on the farm bill, which our farmers and ranchers and families in rural communities are very anxious to have us do."

 

Senator Roberts: (3:53 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "Many people, of course, are interested in opening up any Bill to amendments and having regular order and voting on their amendments. I understand that. I think we're about 146 amendments that we have agreed to, reaching out to people and urging them to come forward, and on a bipartisan basis agree on these amendments or modifying them and then agreeing to them. So it isn't as if we have not done that. But at some point, at some point, Mr. President, we have to pass this bill."

Blunt, McConnell

The farm bill (H.R. 2)

Jun 27 2018

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

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "The vast majority of spending is in the nutrition parts of the farm bill. And the truth is that if you don't have what people need to sustain themselves of nutrition policy really doesn't matter unless what we do in agriculture works. So a lot of the debate here is about that. In my state, in Missouri, we have nearly 100,000 farms. The vast majority of those farms are family owned. They cover two-thirds of the real estate, two-thirds of the total land of our state. Industry supports 400,000 jobs in a state of six million people, so it's a substantial impact on what we do. We're located, you and I both, Mr. President, the Mississippi river valley is the biggest piece of contiguous agriculture ground in the world."

 

Senator McConnell: (2:32 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
    • "He served on the federal bench for 43 years. In particular, we owe him a debt of thanks for his ardent defense of the First Amendment and the First Amendment's right to political speech. As Justice Kennedy concludes his tenure on the court, we wish him, his wife Mary and their family every happiness in the years ahead. The Senate stands ready to fulfill its constitutional role by offering advice and consent on President Trump's nominee to fill this vacancy. We will vote to confirm Justice Kennedy's successor this fall. As in the case of Justice Gorsuch, senators will have the opportunity to meet with President Trump's nominee, examine his or her qualifications, and debate the nomination."

Heitkamp, Gardner, Tester, Tillis

The farm bill (H.R. 2)

Jun 27 2018

Senator Heitkamp: (1:01 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "In fact, it is important to note that net farm income since 2013 has been literally cut in half. And so when people say why do we need a farm bill? Why should we care? I would suggest that if we want food security in this country and if we want to make sure that we have farmers in this country, we need to care. And how many American families could really support or weather a 50% reduction in their income? When I first came to the United States Senate, I was fortunate enough to receive a committee assignment on the senate agricultural committee which for North Dakota is really, quite honestly, the highest and most important committee assignment. Passing a strong bipartisan farm bill has been my highest priority since coming to the Senate."

 

Senator Gardner: (1:14 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "Colorado is an incredibly diverse state when it comes to our economy. If you look at just per capita jobs, we have more aerospace jobs per capita than any state in the country. We have the second highest number of jobs outright, second only to California. Our tourism industry is world renowned. First-class ski resorts, gold medal trout fishing streams. It's incredible all that we have to offer. We're also one of the country's biggest agricultural producers. I grew up in a part of Colorado that looks like - that looks more like Kansas. This is my backyard. I live in town. This is a farm in ant pivot -- and pivot irrigation system that I grew up with. I said this so many times. I grew up selling farm equipment."

 

Senator Tester: (1:27 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "This is an important time for folks in production agriculture. Commodity prices are low pretty much across the board. We're seeing this administration engaging in tariffs that have potential - that have a potential trade war that is threatening Montana's number one industry, agriculture, and threatening the viability of the economy and Montana an rural America. And that is why it is important that this week, critically important this week that we pass a good farm bill that will work and give certainty for Montana's producers in rural communities across this country. In my travels around the state of Montana, I've had a number of listening sessions on the farm bill. I've heard from farmers and ranchers, visited with them, looked at them eyeball to eyeball and heard their concerns and heard their priorities."

 

Senator Tillis: (1:38 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Pastor Andrew Brunson.
    • "Four months ago I was in a meeting and overheard - this was about the time he was indicted after 17 months being held without charges, I heard he was afraid that after the indictment was released, that the American people would believe the indictment and just turn their backs on him and forget him. So it was important for me to go to Turkey. I requested a visa to get to Turkey. I went to the Turkish prison and told him that was the last thing that would happen. I knew I had the backing of the majority members of the senate and almost 200 members of the House now who believe that Pastor Brunson needs to be set free. It was important for me to be able to tell them that face to face."

Enzi, Booker, Kennedy

The farm bill (H.R. 2)

Jun 27 2018

Senator Enzi: (12:16 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the budget process.
    • "Today I rise to share some of my thoughts and experiences on this subject having led bipartisan efforts in the Senate Budget Committee to explore and reform the budget process. As my colleagues know, the Senate Budget Committee set, -- sets the top line spending levels cha the committee divides under various departments and accounts. The Appropriations Committee does the specific spending. While there are many potential improvements we could make in this process, I'll focus my remarks at this time on just three points. First, the annual spending process will never truly improve so long as we're willing to hold hostage to larger ideological or political battles. Both sides have been guilty of this in the past and until we're willing to say no more, no process reform will succeed."

 

Senator Booker: (12:27 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "I live in a community in Newark for the last two decades plus that most folks would not associate with the farm bill. But the truth is, the issues we are grappling with in this bill affect all of our American communities. Suburban, urban, rural alike. Folks in my community have borne the burden of horrific environmental injustices for decades. From toxins that have poisoned our river, to lead in our soil, to pollutants in the air. Families in my city cannot plant crops in their soil because huge swaths of my city and many areas are toxic. We also have food deserts that exist in communities like mine where people don't have healthy foods."

 

Senator Kennedy: (12:52 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "Each and every year, the federal government spends more than $68 billion. Not million. $68 billion to make sure that no American has to wonder where his or her next meal is going to come from, and it's the generosity of the American people that pays for those meals. If the food stamp program is going to continue to provide food to the 42.2 million Americans who use their benefits every month - and I want you to think about that. 42.2 million Americans out of a country of 320 million, including one in five Louisianans, and we have got to do our part to ensure the programs are intact. Right now, this is also a natural fact. The food stamp program is rife with fraud and criminal activity."

Toomey, Corker, Brown

The farm bill (H.R. 2)

Jun 27 2018

Senator Toomey: (11:47 a.m.)

  • Spoke on tariffs.
    • "Then there was relief but then that expired. Now the tariffs are back. We've gone too far down the road. This has become very disruptive. This is bad for our economy. It's bad for my constituents. And fundamentally, it's a responsibility that we have. It's in the Constitution. It says so. And so what this amendment does, it simply says, look, the president can invoke 232. The president can invoke national security if he sees fit, but he has to come back to Congress for an expedited up-or-down vote. And, frankly, that's exactly what our responsibility is. This bill is relevant. The ag community is more adversely affected by the retaliation against these ill-conceived tariffs than any other sector of the economy I can think of."

 

Senator Corker: (11:54 a.m.)

  • Spoke on tariffs.
    • "Some of my friends on the other side of the aisle who, by the way, we have many people on the other side of the aisle supporting this legislation, this amendment. Some of them have said, well, but we don't want to hurt our ability to impose tariffs on China. This has nothing to do with that. As the senator from Pennsylvania mentioned, the president has used the Section 201 of the Trade Act to put in place tariffs on solar panels and on washing machines. He did that in January. The additional tariffs that he's putting in place on China are under Section 301. What this amendment narrowly focuses on is the abuse of authority that the administration is utilizing to put tariffs in place on Canada, Mexico, and many of our allies, especially in Europe."

 

Senator Brown: (11:56 a.m.)

  • Spoke on tariffs.
    • "I would say to my colleagues today, to Senator Toomey and Senator Corker, I understand they have some bipartisan support on this. I'd say that probably the worst thing you do for America's farmers is jeopardize passage of the farm bill today. I've spoken with Senator Roberts and Senator Stabenow about that. That's exactly what this amendment would do. The amendment would gut most importantly, it would gut one of our trade enforcement tools, a tool Congress passed and enhanced in the finance committee just in the last couple of years, passed to ensure we protect the industries necessary to defend our country."

Schumer, Lankford, Capito

The farm bill (H.R. 2)

Jun 27 2018

Senator Schumer: (10:51 a.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "Now, yesterday a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to immediately reunify the families who were separated by the administration's policy. It certifies what we in the Congress already expect - that the administration will expend all resources at its disposal to immediately reunite the over 2,000 families who have been separated. This should be the president's first order of business, to undo the harm he's caused through his chaotic and cruel family separation policy."
  • Spoke on China.
    • "Every time I think he is going down the right path, he turns around and gives them a pass on something. Take the Chinese telecom giant Z.T.E. Out of the blue President Trump relaxed penalties on Z.T.E. and reduced - and loosened restrictions on its sale in the U.S. despite the fact it's been labeled a national security threat by the our military. Why the? It seems to no end other than to placate President Xi, hardly our friend on economic issues. This morning after threatening a tough, new approach to limit China's ability to invest in the United States where national security was concerned, the Trump administration has once again backed off, it seems."
  • Spoke on the Supreme Court.
    • "Now, unfortunately, both cases were decided 5-4. Five conservative judges ruling against California law and the travel ban. Anyone watching the bench at the moment ought to be shaking their heads at the political polarization of the court. And the abortion case makes it even worse. As Justice Breyer pointed out in his dissent in the 1992 California case where the Supreme Court upheld a Pennsylvania law requiring a doctor to provide information about adoption services, in other words, clinics performing abortions, helping women, had to provide alternative information, but now the shoe on the other foot. California passed a law that said that clinics that tried to dissuade women from abortions, which is their right, also had to provide them information about abortion."

 

Senator Lankford: (11:00 a.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "Quite frankly, that opinion is agreed upon by President Obama and by President Trump. Over 70 members of this body back in February voted for a bill that allowed for naturalization of individuals in the DACA program. We have four bills that we voted on. None of them got 60 votes. But if you count up each of the people that voted for them on a bill that included naturalization for those kids, over 70 people voted for that in this body. Of some level. We have common agreement we should do that. We can't seem to finish the work to actually do it, though. We should be able to resolve it. We should be able to fix the issues of family separation. We should be able to solve basic border security issues. This is doable stuff, but we need this body to focus and to be able to actually get it done."

 

Senator Capito: (11:37 a.m.)

  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "There is a real hop in the step of our small businesses because of their increased business and because of their ability to expand things, things that they wanted to do for years. It has been an incredible transformation. Days ago, a CNBC news survey said that 54% of Americans think that the economy is good or excellent. That's the highest percentage ever recorded in the ten years that CNBC has been doing this story. Even more is the number of stories I heard that transpired since we passed tax reform. I have heard many about this tax reform. Our small businesses have been able to expand and hire new employees and give back to their employees, whether in the form of bonuses or to their communities with more charitable donations."

Roberts, Durbin, Cornyn

The farm bill (H.R. 2)

Jun 27 2018

Senator Roberts: (10:16 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "The bill that passed the agriculture committee with a strong 20-1 vote earlier this vote addresses many of those concerns. In fact, the Ag Committee passed product including portions of 65 stand-alone bills and an additional 73 amendments were adopted in the committee. And we have also included 18 amendments in today's substitute amendment. Needless to say, we have worked to include as many priorities from members both on and off the Ag Committee, and we want to continue to work with members to address their concerns. That's why we're here. We are endeavoring to craft a farm bill that meets the needs of producers all across -- across all regions and all crops."

 

Senator Durbin: (10:29 a.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "Late last week President Trump issued an executive order saying he was ending this family separation, but that order didn't contain one word about what was going to happen to these children. No resolution of the whole question of reuniting these children with their parents. I learned about this matter months ago. Well, several weeks ago at least, when we learned that a mother from the Congo had made it through South America and Central America to our border in California, presenting herself with her six-year-old daughter, asking for asylum because of fear of persecution and death back in her home country. That happened six months ago, and they removed her six-year-old daughter from her custody and flew the girl 2,000 miles to Chicago."

 

Senator Cornyn: (10:41 a.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "We all remember 2014 when the vast wave of unaccompanied children coming across the border from Central America was called a humanitarian crisis by President Obama. And it was because we simply were not prepared to deal with the medical and other needs -- feed, house, and take care of these tens of thousands of children that were streaming across the border, because Central America basically has some very serious problems which are resulting in people fleeing from those countries and seeking in many cases asylum here in the United States. But the idea that President Trump started something new when he decided to enforce the law, or that this phenomenon of children coming across the border is something new is simply not the case."

McConnell

Opening Remarks

Jun 27 2018

Today -

  • The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R. 2, the farm bill, with all post-cloture time considered expired.

 

Senator McConnell: (10:03 a.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to an honor flight.
    • "More Kentucky veterans are touching down today in our nation's capital. They're coming to remember fallen comrades and visit the memorials dedicated to their own service. Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to spend time with a flight of World War II veterans who arrived in time for the 74th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Today's flight includes veterans of World War II along with Korea and Vietnam. On behalf of the commonwealth and all Americans, I'm proud to thank them for their service."
  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "Now we start the amendment process. Ideas from many of our colleagues have already been included in the Roberts' substitute amendment but they're open to considering additional amendments. We'll start with the Conservation Reserve Program and go on from there. But it remains our intention to finish consideration of the bill this week. This bill is too important to let it languish. This is our chance to support the farm families, producers, and rural communities on whom our nation depends. And make no mistake about it, they need that support. American farmers are staring down falling commodity prices and living under the constant threat of droughts or floods or other natural disasters."
  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "On one final matter, this week I've been discussing how the tax cuts and jobs act is creating breathing room in family budgets. Yesterday I focused on the tax cuts themselves. Lower rates, double standard deduction, a bigger child tax credit. It adds up to serious savings for middle-class families. Today I want to discuss the permanent pay raises, bonuses and new benefits that tax reform has enabled U.S. businesses to provide for their workers. Remember, this is exactly what our democratic colleagues insisted tax reform would not -- would not bring about."