In an interview with Chris Ryan, Senator Maggie Hassan discusses whether President Biden will need bipartisan support for an infrastructure bill; addresses the immigration issue; calls for a reform of the Senate’s filibuster rule; and talks about her participation in a hearing of the Homeland Security Committee with the CEO of the Colonial Pipeline about their recent shutdown due to a ransomware attack.
Senator Hassan remains hopeful that a compromise between Democratic and Republican lawmakers can be reached. She is encouraged by the ongoing discussions between President Biden and Republican West Virginia Senator Shelley Capito. In addition, Senator Hassan’s conversations with Republican lawmakers, like Senator Capito, indicate that they share a desire to improve America’s infrastructure.
In the interview, the Senator points out where the differences of opinion occur. Some senators want to limit spending only to traditional infrastructure projects, like roads and bridges. Other senators want to include affordable housing, childcare or family care, and paid leave.
Senator Hassan says that in her conversations with Granite Staters there is a need for an infrastructure bill that includes traditional infrastructure, affordable housing, childcare, and addresses the problem of climate change.
In support of Vice President Harris’s admonition to the people of Central America to not go to the United States, Senator Hassan says that we need to secure our borders and the northern triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras need to work on the internal problems which are driving their people to migrate to the United States.
In addition, Senator Hassan calls for a comprehensive bipartisan immigration reform legislation.
The rules of the US Senate currently allow one or more senators to block legislation by speaking against a bill for as long as they want. This filibuster can only be ended by a cloture vote, when 3/5’s or 60 senators vote to end the filibuster. Since the 1970s, the filibuster doesn’t involve the senator or senators speaking endlessly in the well of the Senate.
Senator Hassan believes that the filibuster rule has been abused and that it has paralyzed the Senate from passing needed legislation. She favors a return to the old rules of the Senate which would require a senator to hold the floor if he or she wants to block a bill.
The Senator also believes that the pending voting bill--SR 1 or the For the People Act--needs to be passed because it will prevent billionaires from interfering in our elections and will allow eligible voters to conveniently cast their ballots without barriers to their participation in the election process. Senator Hassan is concerned that the filibuster has blocked legislation to address climate change and bring about sensible gun safety laws.
Senator Hassan believes that the filibuster prevents the senators from working harder to find common ground and coming up with bi-partisan solutions.
In the final segment of the interview, Senator Hassan outlines what she wants to find out from this afternoon’s Hearing by the Senate Homeland Security Committee when they question the CEO of the Continental Pipeline, Joseph Blount.
The Senator wants to know about how this critical source of oil and gasoline for the east coast of our country was cyberattacked and forced to pay millions of dollars in ransom. Senator Hassan is concerned that paying ransoms to cybercriminals will only embolden them and bring about more attacks.
Senator Hassan has sponsored legislation to improve our defenses against cyberattacks. There will be federal government cybersecurity coordinators to work with state and local governments and private corporations against future attacks on vital aspects of our infrastructure.