Last week, after much debate and a lengthy amendment process, the Senate passed the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, 99-0. During the amendment process, I successfully championed legislation through the Senate that will close a loophole that has allowed sex offenders convicted under military courts to game the system and again victimize others. The Military Sex Offender Reporting amendment passed the Senate unanimously, 98-0.
In our own state of North Carolina, we’ve seen the devastating effects of this loophole. Closing this gap standardizes reporting for all sex offenders, regardless of whether they are military or civilian, so that no convicted offender can evade law enforcement and target new victims.
You can watch my floor remarks before the passage of the Military Sex Offender Reporting Amendment by clicking below.
Winston Salem’s WGHP, who has reported on the loophole previously, did a follow-up after the passage of my amendment. You can watch by clicking below.
On Thursday, Senators Bennet and Hatch joined me in introducing a bipartisan bill, the Advancing Breakthrough Devices for Patients Act, to help bring breakthrough devices to patients in as timely a manner as possible.
America is the world’s most innovative nation, especially in our medical research and development and America’s patients deserve access to the most cutting-edge life-saving therapies and devices. We need to advance these innovative medical products, including breakthrough devices, and FDA can be a key partner in this important endeavor. This legislation ensures that America’s patients are receiving the most innovative technologies in as timely a manner as possible by improving regulatory certainty and applying an all-hands-on-deck approach to the development and review of these devices. Read more about the Advancing Breakthrough Devices for Patients Act here.
In Congress last week, Senator Heitkamp and I introduced a resolution designating April 23rd as “Take our Daughters and Sons to Work” day. Opportunities to show our children what they are working toward while at school is important so they know the value and sense of purpose that comes with an education and career goals. Did you take your daughters or sons to work on Thursday? If so, share your story on my Facebook page.
Last week, the Senate Finance Committee worked on legislation to give the President Trade Promotion Authority. I was unable to support this legislation because I have concerns about whether this Administration is negotiating a trade deal thatwill benefit North Carolina, and unfortunately, we were unable to amend the bill. You can catch a portion of my concerns about currency manipulation below.
Did you catch McClatchy’s piece on my cybersecurity bill? From McClatchy: “I think anyone in business today would tell you that the status quo is a disaster. . . . I haven’t found a company yet in America that is not supportive of what we’re doing.” You can read the full story here.
While I was in North Carolina for the state work period two weeks ago, I was able to sit down with my alma mater’s newspaper, Old Gold & Black. You can read the two part story covering my thoughts on everything from the Presidential election, ISIL, and overseeing the Intelligence Committee here and here.
Finally, on Thursday we learned that two innocent hostages were killed in a drone attack in Pakistan. My prayers are with the families of Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto. In our grief, though, we should remember that al-Qaida is merciless in their capture and continued detainment of hostages who have selflessly sought to serve others, and they bear the ultimate responsibility for these deaths. Congress will continue to conduct vigorous oversight of our nation’s counterterrorism operations. I firmly believe the dedicated Americans engaged in those efforts take very seriously the need to prevent collateral damage and limit the risk to innocent people, and they, too, share in the grief being felt by the Weinstein and Lo Porto families.