Senate Continues Work on Foreign Policy Legislation, Natural Resources Bill Up Next
‘The Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act would renew our commitment to Israel’s security, expand cooperation with Jordan, and impose new consequences on the perpetrators of Assad’s brutality in Syria… Once we complete our work on S. 1, the Senate will turn to the Natural Resources Management Act. Thanks to the leadership of Chairman Murkowski and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, this legislation combines more than 100 individual lands bills.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act, the Natural Resources Management Act and America’s thriving economy:
“For the past week now, the Senate’s been considering a package of legislation to strengthen our nation’s diplomatic presence in the Middle East. The Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act would renew our commitment to Israel’s security, expand cooperation with Jordan, and impose new consequences on the perpetrators of Assad’s brutality in Syria.
“But when America’s national security and vital interests are at stake, some circumstances require not only the use of important diplomatic tools but also direct involvement from the United States. That’s why I introduced an amendment to S. 1 – so the Senate can speak clearly and directly about the importance of our nation’s ongoing missions in Afghanistan and Syria.
“I know that a broad consensus about American leadership in the world exists in this body. It is time to reaffirm our commitment to this vision and to the men and women fighting on the ground to uphold it. I was glad to see a big bipartisan majority of this body vote to advance my amendment on Thursday. I hope that a similar majority joins me in voting to approve this mainstream amendment today. And I look forward to passing this thoroughly bipartisan legislation later this week.
“Once we complete our work on S. 1, the Senate will turn to the Natural Resources Management Act. Thanks to the leadership of Chairman Murkowski and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, this legislation combines more than 100 individual lands bills. It will allow communities across America to responsibly develop their land and natural resources while maintaining a balance with locally-supported conservation.
“On a national scale, this legislation will achieve things like permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund and codifying sportsmen’s recreational access to Bureau of Land Management and National Forest areas nationwide. And on a local scale, communities across America are looking forward to specific provisions.
“I am particularly proud that the legislation will include two bills I introduced to safeguard historic Kentucky landmarks and designate Camp Nelson and Mill Springs Battlefield as National Monuments. I know virtually every one of my colleagues is enthusiastic about local achievements it will deliver in their states, as well. This bipartisan legislation is a major priority dating back to the last Congress, when nearly 90 Senators co-sponsored its components. I’m glad we’ll able to turn to it soon.
“Now, on one final matter, last week, our nation received yet another wave of good news about our strong economy and all the opportunities it’s creating for working Americans. Republicans’ pro-growth, pro-family economic policies have helped our nation’s job creators and small businesses hit the accelerator, and middle-class families across the country continue to reap the rewards.
“The Labor Department tracks the total amount that U.S. employers spend each year on wages and benefits for workers. Last quarter, the year-on-year increase was the highest it’s been in more than 10 years. And last month, the total percentage of Americans who are employed hit its highest mark since December 2008.
“Let me say that again: Following Republicans’ policies, we have now seen the largest annual jump in a decade in the amount spent on worker compensation. And a higher percentage of Americans working than we saw at any point under President Obama. Here’s how an expert described these data to the New York Times: ‘Employers are still actively looking for jobs, and with wages ticking up, it looks like workers are getting some more bargaining power.’
“Another expert put it this way: ‘The virtuous cycle continues… a virtuous cycle of a continuously growing U.S. labor market.’ So I’m confident we’ll hear more about this from the president in his address Tuesday evening. The state of our nation’s economy is thriving and working Americans are feeling the boost. This is what happens when Republican policies get Washington D.C. out of the way.”
Related Issues: National Security, America's Military, War on Terror, Obamacare, WOTUS, Energy, Syria, Economy