Senate Agenda This Week to Focus on Trade, FISA and Highway Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor outlining the week ahead:

“Thursday’s vote to open this debate on trade was important for our country. It brought Middle Class families one step closer to the increased American exports and American trade jobs our economy needs.

“It took a lot of work to get us this far. It’s going to take a lot more to bring these American jobs over the finish line.

“Cooperation from both sides of the aisle will be critical to doing so.

“For instance, we were ready to be in session on Friday to get more of our work done on trade and allow Senators from both parties the chance to offer amendments.

“All the unnecessary delaying and filibustering we’ve seen has left us with less time for debate and amendments on this bill.

“It cost the Senate over a week in lost time.

“We’ve been hearing some interesting suggestions from our friends about their level of cooperation in the minority. I would certainly agree that putting those words into action would be really good news for our country. This week, our colleagues will have the perfect opportunity to prove they’re serious.

“They’ll have a chance to turn the page completely from the Far Left’s strategy of wasting time on trade for its own sake — on an issue that we all know is President Obama’s top domestic legislative priority.

“The Senate will finish its work on trade this week, and we will remain in session as long as it takes to do so.

“I know we became used to hearing these types of statements in the past. But Senators should know that I’m quite serious. I would advise against making any sort of travel arrangements until the path forward becomes clear.

“It’s also my intention this week to address the Highways issue and to responsibly extend the expiring provisions of FISA. The quickest way to get there would be to cooperate across the aisle so we can pass the trade bill in a thoughtful but efficient manner.

“I know that members on both sides are going to want a chance to offer amendments to this bill. They should. I encourage them to do so, both Republicans and Democrats. Now is the time for Senators from both parties to offer those amendments and work with the bill managers to set up votes.

“This is where our Democrat friends’ rhetoric about working cooperatively in the minority will be put to the test.

“The more our colleagues across the aisle try to throw sand in the gears this week, the less opportunity members — including members of their own party — will have for amendments. 

“So I hope they won’t. We have a lot to get done, and now one less week to do so.

“That’s why I encourage members of both parties to bring their amendments to the bill managers, and work to get them pending.

“Let’s process amendments from both sides.

“And then let’s pass this bill so we can boost American jobs and exports by knocking down unfair barriers to the things we make and grow right here, in America.”

Related Issues: Economy, Senate Democrats, Jobs, Trade Promotion Authority, Free Trade, Middle Class