Floor Updates

Reid, McConnell (The Senate Stands Adjourned)

Morning Business

May 24 2012

07:30 PM

Senator Reid: (7:02 PM)
  • Unanimous Consent --
    • The Senate proceed to the consideration of H.R. 5652, that all after the enacting clause be stricken and the language of S. 1925, the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization, as passed by the Senate on April 26 by a vote of 68-31, be inserted in lieu thereof, that the Senate insist on its amendment, request a Conference with the house on the disagreeing votes of the two houses, and the chair be authorized to all conferees on the part of the Senate and all the above occurring with no intervening action or debate (McConnell objected).

Senator McConnell: (7:05 PM)
  • Responded.
    • SUMMARY "This is a problem that has been created by the majority and I'm sorry they won't accept our offer to fix their problem so we can move forward on this legislation. We've all known for literally years when the Violence Against Women Act was going to expire. We've known that for years. During this time, Democrats controlled the Senate, yet our friends on the other side waited until February of this year - nearly six months after the current authorization expired - before they even reported a bill out of committee. They chose to wait almost three months more to bring a bill to the floor. Now, I don't know why that decision was made. Press reports indicate that members of the democratic leadership thought they could use VAWA as a campaign issue. When they finally chose to bring this bill to the Senate floor, Republicans consented to going to the bill, Republicans consented to bring the debate to a close, and Republicans consented to limit ourself to just two amendments. Just two. Our Democratic colleagues also had an amendment. It was a complete substitute. They offered it at the last minute. This substitute was a couple a hundred pages long and it added new sections to the bill. One of those sections would generate revenue by assessing new fees on immigration visas. I gather our Democratic colleagues did this because their bill, unlike the Hutchison-Grassley bill, would add over $100 million to the debt. Including this provision is obviously a problem in that adding a revenue provision in a senate bill violates the origination clause of the U.S. constitution. If we sent the Senate bill to the house in its current form, it would trigger a blue-slip point of order, as it always does."
  • Unanimous Consent --
    • The Senate proceed to the consideration of H.R. 4970, the House-passed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. Provided further, that all after the enacting clause be stricken, the text of the Senate-passed Violence Against Women bill, S. 1925, with a modification that strikes sections 805 and 810 related to the immigration provisions, that the bill be read three times and passed, the Senate insist on its amendment, request a Conference with the house and the chair be authorized to appoint conferees on the part of the Senate with a ratio agreed to by both leaders (Reid objected).

Senator Reid: (7:08 PM)
  • Responded.
    • SUMMARY "The Republican leader has now proposed an amendment to the Senate-passed bill. The Senate-passed bill - we're very proud of this. It's been engineered and advocated by all Democratic senators but mainly by the 12 women that are part of our caucus. This is an important piece of legislation. We all feel very strongly about this. I haven't looked at all the details of this amendment. And my first response is the amendment is something that the conferees should be working on. We can't do that here without proper input from all the interested parties, and we have 52 other than me on my side of the capitol here. That's why I've sought to go to Conference with the product that the Senate passed. It may be that at some time in the future that, after we evaluate all these pieces that has been suggested by my friend, the Republican leader, that we may be able to - proceed along that route if, in fact, we get to Conference. We've got to get to Conference. But we would have to have a wider discussions airing the proposed amendment and we've had just a little bit to look at it at this stage."
  • Performed Wrap Up --
    • The Senate will conduct Pro Forma sessions during the following days:
      • Friday, May 25th at 2:30 PM;
      • Tuesday, May 29th at 11:00 AM; and
      • Thursday, May 31st at 12:00 PM.
  • Monday, June 4th --
    • The Senate will convene at 2:00 PM and Majority Leader Reid will be recognized. It is anticipated that the Senate will resume consideration of the Motion to Proceed to S. 3220, the Paycheck Fairness bill.
    • At 5:00 PM, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session for 30 minutes of debate, equally divided, on Executive Calendar #613, Timothy S. Hillman, of Massachusetts, to be United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts
    • At 5:30 PM, the Senate will conduct a ROLL CALL VOTE on the nomination.
  • Tuesday, June 5th --
    • At 2:15 PM, the Senate will conduct a ROLL CALL VOTE on the Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 3220, the Paycheck Fairness bill.
The Senate stands adjourned until 2:00 PM Monday, June 4th.