Sen. Marco Rubio: “Democracies very rarely start wars”

Marco RubioWe look at the history of our hemisphere, here in the Western Hemisphere, and we see that up until about 25 years ago, most of the nations in the Western Hemisphere were governed by dictators and strongmen on both the left and the right, and few, if any, people in our hemisphere had a role to play in choosing their leaders.

Today, but for the exception of a handful of places–predominantly, Cuba and the Caribbean and some others–almost all of the people of the region get to choose their leaders, and that has been the story of Venezuela up until very recently.

Sometimes they choose leaders who agree with America, and sometimes they do not. But they choose their leaders.

In the end, we know that democracies very rarely start wars because their peoples do not tolerate it.

—Sen. Marco Rubio (R–FL)

Venezuela,  Senate Floor, July 11, 2017

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Sen. Mike Lee: We’ve lost sight of founder’s vision of federalism

Mike LeeSenator Lee made the comments below while discussing his new book, Written out of History. Historians Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg reviewed Lee’s book here.

What has been lost are the stories of our early forgotten founders, those who taught us about things like federalism, about separation of powers.

One of the things that we have lost today is the understanding that not all power is supposed to be vested in the federal government. Continue reading Sen. Mike Lee: We’ve lost sight of founder’s vision of federalism

Sen. Ben Sasse: Kids today are more “insulated from work” than any time in history

Ben SasseHow do we raise our kids better in an era of perpetual adolescence? Because that’s the new thing, right?

Adolescence is a gift, the idea that you have a kind of greenhouse stage as you transition from the dependency of early childhood to the independence of adulthood.

But perpetual adolescence is a danger. We should be able to distinguish between 10- and 15- and 20- and 25-year-olds. And it’s increasingly difficult to do that. It’s a very new thing. Continue reading Sen. Ben Sasse: Kids today are more “insulated from work” than any time in history

Sen. Patrick Leahy: Cold War Cuba restrictions treated people “as pawns in a political game”

Patrick Leahy

How well did restricting travel by Americans to Cuba work from 1961 until 2014, when President Obama relaxed those Cold War restrictions, decades after the Russians had abandoned the island and Cuba no longer posed any threat to us? It failed miserably. At the same time, it treated the Cuban and American people as pawns in a political game.

Throughout those many years, the Castro government had a ready excuse for its own failings and repressive policies. They could blame it on the United States, and for many years, the Cuban people believed it because we, with our embargo, wouldn’t let Americans travel to Cuba or do business there.

—Sen. Patrick Leahy (D–VT)

Trump Administration Cuba Policy,  Senate Floor, June 26, 2017

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Sen. Patrick Leahy: Shelby County v. Holder “has taken this country back to an era before the Civil Rights movement”

Patrick LeahyBut the Supreme Court’s decision [Shelby County v. Holder] has taken this country back to an era before the Civil Rights movement–a bad time in our history where some states openly discriminated against minority voters.

Just yesterday, we marked the 53rd anniversary of three civil rights activists who were killed in Mississippi for registering minorities to vote. Continue reading Sen. Patrick Leahy: Shelby County v. Holder “has taken this country back to an era before the Civil Rights movement”

Sen. Cory Booker: Unlike AHCA deliberations, Constitutional Convention was “public, open, transparent”

Cory BookerWhat is interesting is, if you think about the forming of our country in that debate–again, the Constitutional Convention was public, open, transparent–issues were debated.

In fact, through the process, the very Constitutional Convention of this country–perhaps some of the biggest issues of humanity–were debated in an open forum. We have records of those discussions, records of those deliberations. Everything from the representation that each State should have to issues as profound as slavery were right there, out in the open.

—Sen. Cory Booker (D–NJ)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Jeff Merkley: Affordable healthcare within scope of FDR’s and founders’ vision

Jeff MerkleyHonor the role and responsibility of representing all of the people of your State, not simply powerful companies and your richest constituents but all of your citizens. That was the vision on which our country was founded, and that is the spirit in which Franklin Roosevelt said: This test of our progress is not whether we give more of the abundance to those who have the most, but enough to those who have little. Enough means affordable, accessible healthcare for every single person in America.

—Sen. Jeff Merkley (D–OR)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Cory Booker: Tradition of the Senate is to “slow things down”

Cory BookerWe have seen this body, in the very short period of time I have been here, begin to undermine not just things that happened under the Obama administration but to undermine traditions that go back decades, if not more than a century.

The longest filibuster on this floor … It was actually almost exactly 60 years ago. Continue reading Sen. Cory Booker: Tradition of the Senate is to “slow things down”

Sen. Christopher Murphy: Senate not fulfilling role envisioned by Connecticut Compromise

Christopher MurphyThere is, right outside this Chamber, a picture of the authors of the Connecticut Compromise, two of the Connecticut delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

The idea of the House is that it is supposed to respond, perhaps, more quickly to the temporary passions of the public, which is ironic, given that the passion of the public today is in deep opposition to this piece of legislation.

This place [the Senate] is supposed to be able to step back and look at the long term and look at the long view.

—Sen. Christopher Murphy (D–CT)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Charles Schumer: Markup for Obamacare “one of the longest in history”

Charles SchumerThey considered nearly 300 amendments [to the Affordable Care Act] during the 13-day markup. That was one of the longest in history, as it should have been on such a major bill.

—Sen. Charles Schumer (D–NY)
Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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