I rise to oppose the Central American Free Trade Agreement, known as CAFTA, the latest expression of the disastrous trade policies of this administration which are, unfortunately, a continuation of the disastrous trade policies of previous administrations.
I have long believed that Israel should seek to give up the so-called Occupied Territories in return for security, and that a Palestinian state should be established. I have felt that way all my life. I think it is unreasonable to ask the Israelis to do this in a context where there is no guarantee at all that suicide bombers will be controlled.
I've done what I've always wanted to do. But as one Senator said, just because you're doing what you've always wanted to do, it doesn't mean you have to do it forever. And it's very taxing in terms of the travel, the running around.
People whose terms go for five years or longer, like FCC commissioners. That's a higher standard. Then district judges, who are appointed for a lifetime but can be overruled. Then Court of Appeals judges. They're not the highest level, but they're almost the final word. And then, of course, the Supreme Court.
Make no mistake, our military readiness is already suffering, ... According to a recent RAND study, the Army has been stretched so thin that active-duty soldiers are now spending one of every two years abroad, leaving little of the Army left in any appropriate condition to respond to crises that may emerge elsewhere in the world. In an era in which we confront a globally networked enemy, and at a time when nuclear weapons proliferation is an urgent threat, continuing on our present course is irresponsible at best.
I don't worry too much about what people think about my image, but I think I am pretty polite. My colleagues say I am a gentleman in my dealings with them, even when I disagree. I am difficult because I won't back off on things like the pay raise and the anti-terrorism bill. I'm not a go-along kind of guy. I do respect the institution. I do respect my colleagues. But I didn't go to Washington to make friends. That's not where my friends are.
I do think there would be a receptivity to somebody who campaigned in a straightforward, cohesive way, supporting an increase in the minimum wage, being for universal health care for all Americans, and opposing trade agreements like NAFTA.