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Orrin H.
Republican UT

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  • Unanimous Consent Request—S. 1774

    by Senator Orrin G. Hatch

    Posted on 2015-12-09

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    HATCH. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, I want to say first that I appreciate what my colleague is trying to do with regard to Puerto Rico. I think it is fair to say that we all share his concerns, and I don't know of anyone in this Chamber who is indifferent to the issues facing our fellow American citizens in Puerto Rico. I agree with the senior Senator from New York that Congress should act to address these problems and we need to act very quickly. However, a number of Senators, myself included, have some concerns about the specific policy in the bill he has brought up today on the floor. Setting aside those concerns, there are a number of questions about whether this approach would effectively address Puerto Rico's problems.

    I want to work with my colleagues and especially my colleague from New York to find a path forward on this issue. Once again, there is bipartisan agreement that something needs to be done. I have been working closely with the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee on this issue. He has been a great help. I have also been in some pretty involved discussions with the chairs of the Judiciary and Energy and Natural Resources Committees, which also have jurisdiction in this matter, as we have been working to draft a legislative proposal to address a number of these concerns. In fact, we are planning to introduce our bill later today.

    I am sure I will have more to say on that piece of particular legislation in the coming days. For now I will say I would be happy to engage the senior Senator from New York on this matter as well and would hope that he would be willing to do the same with me. Going forward, I hope we can work together to make sure we have all the information we need about the situation in Puerto Rico in order to craft informed policies and effective solutions and do so in short order, in the interest of helping the people of Puerto Rico.

    As of right now, I think we need additional deliberation on this matter rather than simply deeming any piece of legislation to be the correct approach. For these reasons I must object to the good Senator's request at this time, but once again I will commit to working with him and others to address these important issues.

    I do object.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.

    The Senator from New York.

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