Today, Democrats and Republicans spoke with one voice to tell the ISIS terrorists: we will find you and destroy you. The Senate has passed a strong bill to arm and train vetted Syrian opposition fighters as part of the President’s strategy to destroy ISIS without repeating the mistakes of the past in the Middle East.
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For those students that are out there trying to learn what goes on in the Senate, and for those professors who teach what goes on in the Senate, this is not totally new but it’s in the category of being fairly new. This is an example of Republicans filibustering not one of our bills, but their own bill. How about that? Twenty-six Republican cosponsors and they filibustered their own bill. We have asked on a number of occasions what we’ve done around this body for decades, you come up with a list of amendments and we’ll work through those amendments. You know why we don’t do that anymore? The Republicans can’t agree among themselves what they want as amendments. They can’t come up with a list. They’re so tangled up with the tea party here, the tea party there, the people running for President. You know, they can’t decide on a list of amendments to bring before the body.
It’s no secret that the Senate, as of late, has been beset by partisan rancor and obstructionism. That is why the legislation that is before us today represents rare opportunity for the Senate – a chance for this body to complete work on a bill that enjoys broad bipartisan support.
This afternoon the Senate will consider the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. While the unemployment rate has steadily declined since the recession, and more than nine million private sector jobs have been created, too many Americans are still unemployed or lack the tools necessary to compete for today’s jobs.That is why this legislation, which updates and streamlines our nation’s job training and local workforce development programs, is so vital.
“Today, the Senate acted to ensure that our nation’s veterans receive the care they deserve. This bipartisan legislation starts the process of fixing the VA by holding officials manipulating the system accountable, expanding access to quality health care, and giving the VA the authority to hire more doctors and nurses to decrease wait times…”
There is important work taking place here in the Senate this week. Tonight for example, Senator Whitehouse will lead a group of Senate Democrats in highlighting the need for Congressional action to fight climate change. I applaud Sen. Whitehouse’s work on this issue. I wish there were more members of Congress as concerned about climate change as Sheldon Whitehouse.
This morning marks 321 days since the Senate passed a bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform bill. For 321 days, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has done absolutely nothing to address our nation’s broken immigration system. And to the extremists in the House, the time went by just like that. So to House Republicans, 321 days doesn’t seem like a big deal. Outside of the Capitol, though, those 321 days have felt like a lifetime. To families forced to live in the shadows, each of those days brings the dread of discovery and being torn away from their loved ones. Undocumented immigrants have lived in fear for the last 46 weeks, worrying that they will have to leave the country they call ‘home.’
Henry Ford once said that: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Those are wise words from a man who knew a thing or two about overcoming logjams. The legislation before us today is an opportunity for Senators to intelligently reconsider energy efficiency. And the consequences of this opportunity loom very large for the Senate. Shaheen-Portman is a good bill. It was a good bill last year when it was blocked by Republicans, and it’s even better now.
“Wildfire season is upon us and with the severe drought conditions in the western United States, we must do everything possible to prevent wildfires…
“I was pleased to join with numerous colleagues of mine from both sides of the aisle to introduce legislation…