tv Senate Majority Leader Mc Connell News Conference CSPAN June 17, 2018 12:07pm-12:20pm EDT
>> on tuesday, there was reaction to the president's announcement at the end of the summit in singapore by the republican and democratic leaders in the senate. we will hear first from the majority leader mitch mcconnell of kentucky, followed by minority leader chuck schumer of new york. this is about 35 minutes. >> good afternoon, everyone. i know there are a lot of things going on in the other part of the world like here in the senate, we are trying to finish up the national defense authorization t. --s week, i have invited
managing the bill for us. thank you. first of all, let's make this very c. bill,s the john mccain and he has been very active in it. he has not been here, but his provisions are in there, and consequently this is one of those -- that is the reason we namebille fter in the. i think it is important for people to understand, the bill is going to pass. i don't know if it is this week or next week, but it has passed for 57 consecutive years, it is going to pass again. , is different this time have spent the last 10 years not building up the military, keeping up with our competition. we have clear competition out there and it is serious. general dunford said, these are his words, he said we are more quantitative and qualitative. we are losing that as you heard
our president say, to rusher and the china. sea, they arehina building these islands illegally, something they should not be doing. but they are showing atrgth so that our allies in that area think that they are preparing for world war iii. it is a very serious thing. we are not ahead -- most of like to go out back, or the real how weare and talk about have the very best of everything. we have been able to say that until fairly recently. we don't anymore. -- measured majored by rapidfire and rain. of the russia and china are ahead of us. type of weapon that operates at five times the speed of sound, right now, we are making progress on it. china and russia are both ahead of us. the same thing is true of the
triad. we are not number one anymore and we are going to get there, though i think it is very imrtant and i think we want more amendments. we want an open amendment process, we are hoping to get to open amendments but we have to say that we actually considered 300 amendments in our bill during the markup. we have been that route and we have a manager package that we are -- 45 bipartisan amendments in. i just came back from visiting afghanistan, and all around the world, and these guys are depending on us to get the most significant, most important bill every year and to get it passed soon. we delay it, the more they are going to put a negative spin on that, and we don't want that to happen. i consider this to be the most important bill this year and we are going to get it passed.
addition to pointing out taking care of ourilar republicans continue to stay focused on our progrowth, pro-worker agenda and there is more evidence that that is succding from this morning's headline on cnbc. small business optimism jumps the second-highest ever, tax cuts cited. according to a national federation of independent business survey that came out today, small business optimism rose to its highest level in more than 30 years due to tax reform. compensation increases say the 45 year high, and when it comes to jobs, definitely a buyers market for the first time since the bureau of labor statistics began tracking the data nearly two decades ago, job openings outnumber jobseekers. and since as president was elected, 3.6 million new jobs have been created. there is a lot of evidence out there that the agenda that we are pursuing here continues to have positive results for the
american people but we are not going to stop there, there is a lot more that needs to be done and as you heard, national security is a high priority. we are going to be voting in the senate finance committee today on a series of opioid fields that will address the challenges of the epidemic and we will continue to work on an agenda that will improve the american peoples lives. we have just gotten off the phone with the president of the united states from air force one. upbeatded confident and as he should because in my opinion, he encompassed more than many thought was going to be possible at this summit. they have signed an agreement for north korea to give up nuclear weapons. still working out all of the details there. certainly those who have been held hostage our home. no ransom has been paid. this agreement has occurred with no release for sanctions. the president did push the pause
exercisesmilitary with south korea but he can change that at any time and go back to active exercises. the president continues to be very clear eyed about the relationship with north korea. allptns continue to be on the table in terms of political, economic, military, and diplomatic. the world is much more safe now in terms of safety and security than it was just a couple of months ago. over the last 24 hours, the eyes of the world have been on singapore. a continued cap for denuclearization, kim jong-un giving that to president trump and in writing tha we will continue down the path toward complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the north korean regime. this is obviously one of many steps that will be taken. the korean regime has made promises, kim and his family
have made promises like this before, but the inclusion of the declaration within the agreement is a sign that they have recommitted to previous promises and through the course of the ral meetings, we will see whether or not they are serious about their efforts. we continue to have concerns about the human rights conditions facing the north korean people and we will continue to press for dignity of all people. on a state of colorado note, we have some significant fires that are now occurring. we have one of the driest years on record, particularly in southwestern colorado although we have a number of fires have also started in summit county, montezuma county, and other places. we have reports that there are ithnes interfering wt firefighting operations and the ability of fires fighters. i hope everyone of you will urge your readers and your viewers, if you are flying an unauthorized drone in one of these areas were a tanker is
trying to fight a fire, stop it, you are putting people in harm way, it is irresponsible, let these men and women do their job without interference. [indiscernible] >> the question about korea -- you are an expert on that. >> could you repeat the question? [indiscernible] i think what the vice president said today we will continue to clarify what the president talked about. exercises will continue with south korea and i look forward to further clarification with the president when he gets it. we have an agreement from the north korean leader on denuclearization. maximumthe result of
pressure, the doctrine will continue. we would not be here but for the abandonment of strategic patience. remember what strategic patience was, it was eight years of looking the other way. we had a summit that wasn't successful in terms of pushing us down the path for denuclearization. obviously our exercises are important at the men and women on the korean peninsula remained important and i look forward to testing the result of kim jong-un and what he means to the promise laid out in singapore. >> i know the information we have -- what sort of structure do you think would be to adjudicate, have to make sure-- that there are these terms of this agreement that are enforced? >> i think there would be widespread interest in congress for having and involvement in this if the president can reach significant agreement and i
hope it takes the form of a treaty. what the founders of our country anticipated and that is why it is in the constitution. we obviously have a president who thinks less than that, but which were the ministration takes will be up to them, but i do believe they will need to come to congress in some form and we will wait and see what form that takes. the administration -- do you agree with that decision? if the court agreed, what republicans do about it? >> we had a solution, we thought agreed to. at the end of last year. when senator murray, senator alexander, and senator collins came up with what they viewed as the way forward. obama care, the president had theed to sign it and then
democrats backed away, i think hoping that there would be some kind of health care crisis in the fall. we expect the department of labor to go forward with association health plans on their own. there is a chance that may address part of it. everybody i know in the senate, everybody is in favor of maintaining coverage for pre-existing conditions. there is no difference of opinion about that whatsoever. make no mistake about it, whatever massacres could have been avoided by the bipartisan agreement we had reached. we thought that would've gotten a presidential signature late last year. first of all, let's go cap's. second of all, what is your reaction to the g-7 summit and the president's decision not to sign the communique with allies including canada? >> i don't have any particular
reaction to the g-7 meeting other than to say i am among that we don't end up in a full-scale trade war ich i think would certainly juste good for our country looking at it from a kentucky point of view. -- i hoped bourbon this will all be avoided and i am optimistic that it may be avoided. i sure hope so. >> what do you think are some of the positive comments president trump has about the north korean leader? >> on north korea, we all hope this will lead to something, we all know for sure that the approach is tried in the past, the clinton administration, bush, obama, they did not achieve the desirable result which is to have a denuclearize
korean peninsula. president has been able to take another look at a different approach and we will see what we can work out. that ifption is something has worked out, congress will have a role to play in proving either a treaty or an agreement that is ultimately reached. [indiscernible] >> ok, thank you, everybody. i want to thank senators menendez and kunz for being here with me. tension is obviously on north korea and that is what my colleagues will discuss.