WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) delivered floor remarks regarding the ongoing protests in Cuba.
To watch Senator Blackburn’s speech, click below or here.
You can read the transcript below or in the Congressional Record.
Mr. President, now, one of the most important duties
we take on as Members of this Chamber is the confirmation of the
President's Cabinet and other top executive branch issues.
Mr. MERKLEY. Would my colleague yield for a question?
Mrs. BLACKBURN. Not until I finish my remarks, but I thank the
A Senate confirmation hearing is probably the world's worst job
interview, but there is a good reason for that. The various candidates
who come before our committees are asking to take on some of the most
important challenges that we face as a country. And so when the
President sends us these nominees for consideration, it is our job to
vet their resumes, to vet their records. To go through the motions is
not enough. We need to meet with them and review their history.
So imagine our shock when the Biden administration began to send us
candidates that made it clear the President expects the Senate to act
as a rubberstamp for some of the most controversial and unqualified
nominees in recent memory.
His choice for Health and Human Services, Secretary Xavier Becerra,
had no meaningful experience in healthcare before his very first day
serving as the country's chief healthcare officer. He did, however,
have quite a long history of weaponizing the full force of government
against people whose views differ from his own.
Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden's choice to lead the Department of Homeland
Security, boasted a proven record of corruption from his time serving
in the Obama administration. An investigation by the inspector general
for the Department of Homeland Security revealed that Mayorkas abused
his position as the Director of USCIS to help politically powerful
friends violate immigration laws.
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta's record as a radical,
liberal activist was so diametrically opposed to the beliefs of most
Americans that she tried to ``evolve'' her positions on drug crime and
defunding the police just to avoid scrutiny during her confirmation
hearing. Of course, by ``evolve,'' I mean she outright lied about her
position. And there have been many, many, who have stood on this floor
and have challenged her nomination.
Another, David Chipman--this is Biden's pick to lead the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He is so anti-Second
Amendment, he has endorsed policies that would effectively ban all
sporting rifles in the United States. He has no respect for the
constitutional right to bear arms, no respect for the nearly 20 million
Americans who hold a concealed carry permit, or the 15.5 million
Americans who hold hunting licenses. President Biden chose the anti-gun
lobby over the American people when he nominated Chipman for this post.
President Biden's parade of genuinely unacceptable nominees continued
this week. Today, the majority leader has decided to move forward with
the nomination of Donald Remy to be Deputy Secretary of Veterans
Affairs. If that name sounds familiar to you, it is because you have
heard about Mr. Remy's work in other controversial context. He served
as the NCAA's COO and chief legal officer and was the architect of that
organization's restrictive policy against name, image, and likeness
Between September 2018 and August 2019, the NCAA spent more than $26
million defending an NIL business model that the Supreme Court recently
described as ``patently and inexplicably stricter than . . .
necessary.'' It was a 9-to-0 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The $26 million, where does the NCAA get that money? From colleges,
from universities, from student athletes. That is where the money came
from, and it was used to defend this lawsuit.
But let's not focus on this one policy governing the NIL
compensation. We need to keep in mind that Mr. Remy was comfortable
using his training as a lawyer and his considerable power as a top NCAA
official to maintain the culture of exploitation that defines modern
college athletics. I am not sure what led President Biden to believe
that Mr. Remy could help lead an agency notorious for its own brand of
careless exploitation, but whatever the reason, we have a duty to get
in his way.
For our veterans, decisions can be life or death. I have objected to
his nomination since I came through the committee. And, quite frankly,
I think it is a shame that President Biden refused to nominate someone
who could demonstrate an ability to earn back the trust so many
veterans have lost in the VA system.
Our veterans who have served this Nation honorably deserve better
choices. They deserve at least that much from their Commander in Chief.
This nomination is just one more unserious shot in the dark from an
administration that is yet to focus its energy on any one of the long
list of problems they say they came to Washington to solve.
A quick scan of the morning newsletters on any given day show a
complete lack of direction on the part of the White House and the
Senate majority. Will we be working on infrastructure in the next few
weeks or are we just going to be handling nominations? Are the most
radical elements of the American Families Plan on the table or are we
going to pivot to election law? Well, we won't have to flip a coin on
that last one.
We know that over the next few weeks, we will waste time and energy
resurrecting the Democrats' failed election takeover bill. As most
everyone has seen, this week, Washington is playing host to a
delegation of Texas Democrats' intent on holding election integrity
legislation hostage in their very own State. They have come all the way
to Capitol Hill to try and convince their Federal counterparts to go
nuclear on behalf of a bill that has failed in various forms so many
times that the objections write themselves. This political stunt is
part of a larger movement within the radical American left to destroy
the concept of one person, one vote and replace it with an
unconstitutional, centralized election system that invites fraud and
encourages donor intimidation. This foolish attack on ballot integrity
has seized hold in Texas, Georgia, and other States attempting to
protect the vote for all eligible voters.
Ballot integrity is a foundational concept in our Republic. It should
be easy to vote. It should be hard to cheat. State and local officials
should feel empowered to grow and tailor elections in a way that meets
the needs of the community, not the demands of power-seeking
I think I speak for all of my Republican colleagues when I say that
we will not legitimize this hysteria that has gripped the Democratic
Party. Instead, we will defend the constitutional prerogative of one
person, one vote through however many objections it takes to relegate
this scheme that the Democrats have been trying for 20 years to
relegate this to the dustbin of history
I yield the floor.