Floor Updates

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Apr 24 2012 10:00 AM

The Senate Convened.

Reid, McConnell

Opening Remarks

Apr 24 2012 10:22 AM

Senator Reid: (10:02 AM)
  • Today --
    • The Senate will resume consideration of the Motion to Proceed to S. 1925, the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization bill.
    • At 10:30 AM, the Senate will resume consideration of the Motion to Proceed to S. J. Res. 36, the NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval, with the time until 12:30 PM equally divided.
    • At 12:30 PM, the Senate will resume consideration of the Motion to Proceed to S. 1925, the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization bill.
    • At 12:50 PM, the Senate will recess until 2:15 PM for the weekly caucus lunches.
    • At 2:15 PM, the Senate will proceed to a ROLL CALL VOTE on the Motion to Proceed to S.J. Res. 36, the NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
      • If the Motion to Proceed is Agreed to, the time for debate on S.J. Res. 36, the NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval, will be equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. Upon the use or yielding back of that time, the Senate will proceed to a ROLL CALL VOTE on passage of S.J. Res. 36, the NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
      • If the Motion to Proceed is Not Agreed to, the Senate will resume consideration of S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill, and will conduct a series of ROLL CALL VOTES on the amendments listed below. All amendments will be subject to a 60-vote threshold and budget points of order and applicable motions to waive are in order. Upon disposition of the amendments, the substitute amendment, as amended, if amended, will be Agreed to, and the Senate will conduct a ROLL CALL VOTE on passage of S. 1789, as amended, the Postal Reform bill (60 votes required).
        1. McCain substitute amendment #2001;
        2. Tester amendment #2056 (closing/consolidation process);
        3. Coburn amendment #2060 (government-sponsored conferences);
        4. McCain amendment #2033 (Commission on Postal Reorganization);
        5. Wyden amendment #2020 (voting by mail);
        6. Coburn amendment #2058 (access to Postal Services);
        7. McCaskill amendment #2031 (rural post offices);
        8. Coburn amendment #2061 (postal employee retirements);
        9. Snowe amendment #2080 (area mail processing studies);
        10. Udall (NM) amendment #2043 (mail delivery schedule);
        11. Durbin amendment #2082 (preventing certain closures and consolidations);
        12. Akaka amendment #2034 (workers compensation);
        13. Bennet amendment #2047 (citizen's service protection advocates);
        14. Corker amendment #2083 (delivery frequency, rate regulation, reduction-in-force procedures, and post offices);
        15. Mikulski amendment #2003 (post office closing to require state governor's certification);
        16. Akaka amendment #2049 (supervisory and managerial organizations);
        17. Paul amendment #2025 (mailbox use);
        18. Manchin amendment #2079 (extend closing/consolidation moratorium);
        19. Paul amendment #2026 (performance-based pay);
        20. Bingaman amendment #2076 (state liaisons);
        21. Paul amendment #2027 (close all Capitol Complex post offices except one);
        22. Cardin amendment #2040 (prohibit closing of facility if nearest facility is more than 50 miles away);
        23. Paul amendment #2028 (alternative Postal Service delivery pilot program);
        24. Carper amendment #2065 (first-class stamp rate);
        25. Paul amendment #2029 (impact of regulations on Postal Service profitability plan);
        26. Carper amendment #2066 (limit Postal Service executive compensation);
        27. Paul amendment #2039 (collective bargaining prohibition);
        28. Casey amendment #2042 (maintain current delivery time for market-dominant products);
        29. Paul amendment #2038 (first-class mail and mailbox use);
        30. Landrieu amendment #2072 (small business impact of closures/consolidations);
        31. DeMint amendment #2046 (employee authorization re: using dues for union non-representational activities);
        32. McCaskill amendment #2030 (workers compensation);
        33. Coburn amendment #2059 (require closure of unprofitable post office facilities);
        34. Pryor amendment #2036 (sense of Senate re: closings and consolidations);
        35. Rockefeller amendment #2073 (Medicare enrollment);
        36. Rockefeller amendment #2074 (Postal Service Health Benefits Program);
        37. Schumer amendment #2050 (maintain all current door delivery point services);
        38. Tester amendment #2032 (limit pay of Postal Service executives); and
        39. Warner amendment #2071, as modified (retirement reporting).
    • Majority Leader Reid has indicated that he wants to complete action on the bill today but it's possible that ROLL CALL VOTES will continue tomorrow. Please note not all of the amendments listed above will require ROLL CALL VOTES.
    • Upon disposition of S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill, but no earlier than Wednesday, April 25th, the Senate will adopt the Motion to Proceed to S. 1925, the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization bill.
  • Spoke on the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization bill.
    • SUMMARY "Every day in America three less fortunate women die at the hands of their abusers. Three women die every day in America by being abused by their spouses. And in addition to those three that die, there are nine that are abused very, very much. They have very serious injuries. Some have been made paralyzed as a result of the beatings. It's hard to believe these beatings take place, but they do. It's in our power, 100 of us, to protect them, to help them. So reauthorizing the violence against women act would help law enforcement continue to develop effective strategies to prosecute cases involving crimes against women. But also, in addition to the criminal aspect of it, it allows these women a place to go. As i just said. It would provide funding for shelters and transitional housing programs for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to help victims get back on their feet. It would make legal assistance available to victims of violence and help children made victims by dating violence and stalking. This reauthorization would enact important portions of the law gleaned from 18 years of fighting violence against women. It would extend help for Native American women, the most significant spousal abuse, abuse of children, takes place in Indian reservations. This legislation will enlarge the breadth of this bill to protect these people who are so badly in need of help. This legislation also includes nondiscrimination protection for all victims regardless of what they look like or where they're from. It reduces bureaucracy and implements new accountability measures to ensure federal investments are properly spent and it places greater emphasis on training police to respond to reports of sexual assault which has among the lowest conviction of rate of any violent crime. And for police officers, it's one of the most dangerous things they do We know that the tools and training this legislation provides are effective. Just consider this legislation's record, successful record of reducing domestic violence by 53% and helping police punish these abusers. We need to do better ... We reauthorized this law in 2005 on a 95-0 vote. 95-0 vote. That's pretty good. In 2005, we did it unanimously. In 2000 we did it by a 95-0 vote. Both times unanimously. I hope we can do it again. I look forward to a similar bipartisan vote this year as Democrats and Republicans join together to renew our national commitment to end domestic violence."

Senator McConnell: (10:12 AM)
  • Responded.
    • SUMMARY "I want to just say before the Majority Leader leaves the floor that with regard to the Violence Against Women Act, we'd be very happy to enter into a short time agreement. He's entirely correct. This law has passed the senate in the past on an overwhelming bipartisan basis. There's strong bipartisan support for it again this year. And we would be happy to work with him to expeditiously approve that bill in short order, and those discussions over some kind of a very short time agreement could begin as soon as now. So we'll be happy to work with you to facilitate passage of the Violence Against Women's Act."
  • Spoke on the Obama economy.
    • SUMMARY "The President who was supposed to change the direction of the country now wants to change the subject. He spends his days running around the country blaming whatever doesn't happen to poll well that day for the consequences of his own policies. He spent two years expanding government and constricting free enterprise and now that the results are in, he spends his time pointing the finger at others for problems that originated right in his white house. It's the millionaires, it's the banks, it's big oil, it's the weather, it's fox news, it's anything but him, and it's absurd. I mean, if you believe that a President who got everything he wanted for two years - two whole years - has nothing to do with the problems we face, then I've got a solar panel company to sell you. The President spent two years reshaping America in the image of Western Europe, and now he wants us to believe that the fact that our economy is performing like a western European economy has nothing to do with it. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the challenges facing the young people in America today. As we all know, one of the defining characteristics of western European economies is high unemployment rarity, particularly among - rate, particularly among young people, and recent college graduates, including growth, inflexible labor - sluggish growth, inflexible labor laws are two of the main reasons people have been locked out of the labor market in those countries literally for years. Today unemployment is above 20% in the European Union among young people. Some of this is no doubt a result of the European debt crisis, but the more fundamental problem is decades of policies rooted in the same big-government vision that the President has been busy imposing right here in the united states. It's hardly a coincidence that as President Obama has tried to reshape the United States in the image of Western Europe, ours own youth unemployment rate has been stubbornly high. That's what happens when you increase regulations on businesses that hire college graduates. That's what happens when you impose health care mandates on them. That's what happens when you impose new labor rules, like the one that Senator Enzi is leading the charge against this week that make it even cost litter for business - costlier for businesses to hire. And we see the long-term effect of this in Europe. Unless this President changes course, we'll see the same lack of opportunity for young people right here."

Boxer, Graham, Harkin, Enzi

Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization bill (S. 1925)/NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval (S. J. Res. 36)

Apr 24 2012 11:12 AM

Senator Boxer: (10:21 AM)
  • Spoke on the Highway bill.
    • SUMMARY "I'm very pleased with what just happened. I'm very pleased that we see the continuation over here of bipartisan support for a transportation bill. We have Senator Reid working together with Senator McConnell to name the conferees. And we had a unanimous vote in our committee last year on this bill, and it has been a very tortured path to get to where we are now because for some inexplicable reason the Republicans over on the House have insisted on just going to their own party to reach agreement rather than going to the democrats so we can have bipartisanship over there. I am very hopeful that with the naming of these conferees today the House will now do its job and name conferees, and I've been reading in the press perhaps tomorrow. So I am very hopeful for that . And there's no reason why we can't do that very soon when so much is at stake. The Senate bill is a reform bill. There are no earmarks in that bill. That bill is fully paid for. It doesn't add to the deficit. It protects two million jobs and creates another million jobs. What good news will it be for this economy to have this bill pass? And I know there are those who have predicted this could never happen. A, we'd never get a bipartisan bill out of our committee. We did it. B, we'd never get it to pass the floor. We did it with 74 votes. And then, c, the House will never act and the House actually did act to move to conference. It took them a long time, but we're there. And there is no reason why we cannot work together to get this done."
  • Spoke on the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization bill.
    • SUMMARY "The Violence Against Women Act is what we call a no brainer. It's a serious problem in our nation. Senator Reid said that three women are killed every day because of violence against women. The shelters in our states are doing incredible work. They take in women, children. They make sure that there's protection, crack down on the violators. And there's no reason to argue about that."
  • Spoke on the Obama economy.
    • SUMMARY "You know, I've noticed that almost every time Senator McConnell has a chance on the Senate floor, he comes and attacks President Obama, and he goes after President Obama and blames him for everything under the sun. I have to say I support Senator McConnell's right to say whatever he wants to say. He has every right to use his leadership power to attack the President and do it as much as he wants. So I'm not complaining about that. But I'm just saying it's very unfortunate for this country that the Republican leader in the Senate said - and I quote - I'm not quoting directly the word but this is what he said, that his mission in the United States Senate is to make President Obama a one-term President. The things he blames the President for are unbelievable. The way he attacks the President for being out around the country, he doesn't attack the republican candidates for President for traveling around the country. Let's face it, it's a few months until the election. Does he expect the President to stay in the White House? I'm glad the President is getting outside. I'm glad the President is making speeches. I'm glad the President is fighting for students. I'm glad the President is fighting for senior citizens. I'm glad the President is fighting for small business. I'm glad he's fighting for fairness. Why should a billionaire pay a lower tax rate than his secretary? I'm glad this President is doing all of that. And to hear him attacked day after day after day is absolutely discouraging, when we have so much work we can do here, that we can talk about in our leader time. But I've decided I'm going to follow this. And every time Senator McConnell does this, I'm going to use my privileges as a senator to come down. Let's never forget, this President inherited the worst economy since the great depression from a Republican President who left us bleeding 800,000 jobs a month, who left us with an auto industry flat on its back, who left us with a credit system that was frozen. And this President, through his leadership, stepped up and led us out of that mess. And the other voices, the naysayers said let Detroit go bankrupt. Just stay out of everything. And this President didn't listen because he's a fighter for change."

Senator Graham: (10:35 AM)
  • Spoke on the NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "The National Labor Relations Board, seems to be hell-bent for changing process across the board more for political reason than substance reason. What brings us here today is the rule making proposal to change the time for union elections, for employees who vote on whether or not they want to be part of a union. It does away with the pre-election consultation, the idea of employer and the union setting, and the people who want to represent the employees, sitting down to see if they can work out a proposal or compromise. It shortens the election time to as little as ten days. So if you're in the company in question, you have a ten-day period before the election. The current mean average is 38 days. So I would argue this is being done not though make things more efficient but to change outcomes. Really, quite frankly, the outcome being desired here is to make the union position stronger, not to make the system more efficient. And that's what happens. I expect a Republican President to nominate people to the board like the NLRB with a business background. I expect a Democratic President to nominate people to the NLRB and like boards with maybe a more union background. But I expect the board not to take the agency and turn it into a political organization, and try to create by rule making what you can't create by legislating. And that's what brings us here today. The whole complaint filed by the machinists union in Washington, taking that complaint up, that the move to South Carolina was somehow in retaliation against the union in Washington when no one lost their job in the state of Washington, no one's pay was reduced, I think was taking the NLRB into an area it's never gone before. This is just a continuation of that pattern, and this is not good because the unelected aspect of our government, the NLRB and like agencies, have a lot of sway over our economy. At a time when we're trying to make sure we create jobs in America and make it easier for people to locate their companies here, proposals like this, I think, are undercutting what we need to be doing. And this is an unprecedented move. This kind of breathtaking change in the rules has only happened, I think, two or three times. And this is proposed, as Mr. Becker was on the way out. So Congress and their administrative review act has an opportunity here to stop this before it's too late. And what this is being called on our side is sort of an ambush election. The point we're trying to make is by changing this rule to a ten-day period, doing away with pre-election negotiations creates an environment where people are having to cast votes and not understanding who is going to be representing them or the nature of their decision. Why do you want to shorten an election? Why do you want to do away with the ability to negotiate between the employer and people that want to represent the employees? So I don't see that this is addressing a problem that exists. I think this is more motivated by getting an outcome rather than reforming a process."

Senator Harkin: (10:43 AM)
  • Spoke on the NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "The number of union representation elections has declined by an astounding 60% between 1997 and 2009. When workers do file for an NLRB election, 35% give up in the face of extreme employer intimidation and withdraw from the election before a vote is even held. That's after they've already signed - the card is signed - they've signed up to petition for the NLRB to have an election. One-third of them never get to an election. Now, the rule we're discussing today can't solve all of these problems, but as I said yesterday, it is a step in the right direction. It addresses some of the most abusive situations where unscrupulous companies are manipulating the process so they can intimidate workers. The primary way is to raise challenges at the pre-election hearing. Now, some of these disputes such as challenging the eligibility of an individual voter can certainly wait until after the election to be decided. That's what we do in elections across the country. If a voter's eligibility cannot be confirmed, they vote a provisional ballot until their eligibility can be verified. We don't stop an election from happening until every voters' eligibility can be confirmed. If there is a challenge, they vote a provisional ballot. After the election, you see whether or not they were qualified to vote or not. Now, some of these challenges are just downright silly. But they have their intended effect, and that is to delay. In 2002, one employer raise add challenge arguing that the international association of machinists was not a "labor organization" within the meaning of the statute. The NLRB actually held a hearing on this and found that the machinists who had been representing machinists since 1888 are indeed a labor union. But the election was delayed by a month just to address that one issue. Some anti-union consultants brag openly about their ability to abuse the process and create delays. One union-busting law firm boasted on its web site how a 27-day hearing contributed to a five-month delay between filing of a petition and the election at a Massachusetts hospital organizing drive. Now, why is delay so important to management, who do not want to bargain in good faith with workers? Well, by delaying an NLRB election, they give themselves more time to conduct an anti-union campaign and make it more likely that they will win."

Senator Enzi: (11:01 AM)
  • Spoke on the NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "This is rule is the second formal rule making that the National Labor Relations Board has pushed through in the last year, the third in the past 75 years. There was only one before this board decided they they'd take unusual action. The first rule has been struck down already by federal courts because it went far beyond the agency's authority of. This ambush election rule is also being challenged in court but it is set to go in effect in less than a week, Monday, April 30. That's why the Senate must act today to stop the National Labor Relations Board from stacking the odds against America's employees and small businesses. During yesterdays debate both sides got to air their concerns. I want to respond to some of what I heard. There was much talk about the 90% of elections that go forward under mutual agreement. The agreement that was that because both sides were able to come to an agreement and because the wide majority of elections occur in a timely fashion, parties should not mind losing their rights to raise issues prior to the election. This argument is turning the concept of coming to agreement on its head. Yes, it is true that 90% of elections occur under mutual agreement and occur in 38 to 56 days. But that's precisely because both sides have the ability to raise issues of concern, such as which employees belong in the bargaining unit and have them resolved. In other words, both sides have incentive to make fair requests because the other side has the leverage of exercising the right to contest. When all of these rights are taken away and an election is scheduled in as few as ten days, the result will be that less mutual agreement occurs. The National Labor Relations Board has taken a process that's working well and becoming swifter year after year and turning it into a contentious process where the small business employers side feels entirely ambushed. If the National Labor Relations Board was truly intending to address the small minority of cases where long delays do occur, they should have drafted a rule that addressed only those cases For the employees to learn more about the union they may join. This is fairness to the employee. In many cases the election petition is the first some employees have ever heard about the union. They want to know what the union's reputation is for honesty, for keeping their promises, treating members well, and working well with the employer to make sure the business stays in business. Once a union is certified, it's very difficult for employees to vote it out if they decide to. Employees are barred from petitioning for decertification for a full year after the election and barred as well throughout the term of the collective bargaining agreement. Employees should have a chance to understand that once they unionize, they will no longer be able to negotiate or raise individually with their employer exceptional performance will not be rewarded and grievances cannot be brought straight to the employer but will have to go through the filter of union officials. Chairman Harkin quoted former President Dwight Eisenhower. I haven't had a chance to look up the quote's context, but the gist of it was only a fool would oppose the right of an employee to join a union. My comment on that is that a vote for this resolution does absolutely nothing to diminish the right of any employee to form a union. This resolution will not change the law one bit. If we're able to stop the ambush elections rule, union elections will still occur in a median of 38 days, with nearly 92% occurring in 56 days, just as it is now. And I would even venture to guess that the unions will continue to win the majority of elections. Last year they set a new record by winning 71% of elections. That's under the old rule."

Blumenthal, Enzi, Harkin

NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval (S. J. Res. 36)

Apr 24 2012 11:48 AM

Senator Blumenthal: (11:10 AM)
  • Spoke on the NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "I consistently hear about problems that exist under the present process for choosing a union. This rule does not determine the outcome. It simply modernizes and improves the process. And it does it by a rule making process that is - rule-making process that is consistent with and pursuant to the administrative procedure act, which is the way that the congress has said it should be done. And in fact, it adopts the rule-making procedure rather than doing it by individual cases, which is the way that the United States Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeals have said to the board it should do more often. So far from raising constitutional questions or issues of procedural lack of process, the NLRB has acted in accordance with the will of the Congress and the constitution in formulating this rule. Why is it necessary? Well, for one thing, there are 34 regional offices of the national labor relations board, and each of them has different policies and practices for processing election petitions. We're talking about petitions that are submitted by workers who want to form a union and can do so by election when at least 30% of those employees send the petition to the NLRB. The gap in time is an opportunity for intimidation by unscrupulous employers. Fortunately they are a minority, small minority of employers, but they exist, that wish to discourage or deter workers from forming a union. That intimidation is unacceptable. We should do everything we can to stop it. Second, the delays themselves are intolerable. Some of those delays are years as long as 13 years in some instances. And the gap in time discourages or deters the exercise of rights that are guaranteed under the law. So this new rule is simply to modernize the process, end intimidation, make sure that rights are made real in real-time so employees can exercise those rights without any discouragement from employers. Are the employers free to communicate with workers? Of course they are. The rights of communication on the part of the employers are not eliminated by any means. Are they still part of the process? Yes, indeed, employers remain part of the process if they wish to do."

Senator Enzi: (11:18 AM)
  • Spoke on the NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "One of the things I've been checking on here is the statement earlier, one in five people get fired from working on organizing. Checking on it, that's based on a phone survey of union activists for their estimate of employees terminated during an organizing drive. It's not based on fact. And the fact is that unions only filed objections in approximately 1.5% of the elections and that number includes objections based on many issues other than employee terminations. Under the current law, it's illegal to terminate or discriminate in any way against an employee for their union activities. If this occurs during an organizing campaign, the National Labor Relations Board is required to - this occurs in about 1% of all elections and has been decreasing in recent years. I would expect that to increase in succeeding years in this rule passes because this is an attack on small businesses. And the small businesses will not have the necessary information to know what is legal and illegal, especially if they only have ten days to get their act together. The National Labor Relations Board can go even further if they believe a fair election is not possible. They can certify the union regardless of the vote and order the employer to bargain. So I have information on some of the studies that have been done on this, and the number doesn't come out nearly that high. Of course it's terrible if there's even one person that's fired for organizing activities. But there is recourse that can be done. I want to raise an important privacy issue that's come up as part of the National Labor Relations Board 's ambush election rule. One section of the initial proposed regulation concerned the private information of employees. It raised so much concern that it was dropped from the final rule. However, the National Labor Relations Board Chairman has publicly stated that he plans to push this and other dropped provisions into law later this year. Now, President Obama's so-called recess appoints have created a full board. Under the current law, employers are required to provide employees' names and addresses within seven days, once an election is set. The proposed rule would not only expand the type of personal information that an employer must turn over but would require that information to be turned over within two days of an election being set. Of course if we're moving it from 36 days down to 10 days, I would see why they'd want it in 2 days instead of the 7 that's been normal. The information includes all personal phone numbers, cell numbers, e-mail addresses that the employer has for each employee. It also would demand work location, shift information, and employment classification. Let's consider this for a moment, the National Labor Relations Board wants to give employers 48 hours of information to turn over information. Despite the employee's eligibility may not even be determined at that point. In essence, an employer will be forced to turn over personal information of employees who may not even be in the bargaining unit The threat of this new invasion of privacy is very alarming. The purpose of the information, if so - is so that the union organizers can come to your home, call you, e-mail you, find you outside your work location, catch you before and after a shift. There's no prohibition on how many times the organizers can contact you or at what times. There's no opt out for those employees who do not want to be contacted. While a large part of this debate circles around the shortened election time and what that means for employers, with good reason I do not want us to forget what this new rule could mean to the privacy of employees."

Senator Harkin: (11:25 AM)
  • Responded.
    • SUMMARY SUMMARY "I keep hearing it stated that ambush elections. I want to point out that there is no timetable set in these rules, none whatsoever. So I keep hearing ten days and seven days and all that. just not set. There are no timetables at all. 90% of NLRB elections are conducted under voluntary agreements between the parties and those procedures are unchanged. The current median time right now between when a petition is filed and when an election occurs is 37 to 38 days. Jackson Lewis, the nation's biggest law firm said their attorney told the Wall Street Journal that he thinks the time under these rules would be shaved to between 19 and 23 days. The Vice President of the National Association of Manufacturers said the elections would be held in 20 to 25 days under the new rules. Hardly an ambush election. I want to briefly mention what has to do with the contacting and right of privacy act. Right know the only way that a union can contact people is at their homes, at their homes. The only information that the union is allowed to get after the petition filed is the addresses of the workers, their home addresses. What the board was considered but has not yet implemented is allowing access to e-mail addresses. It seems to me that's a lot less intrusive than going to someone's home. Now, again, it's much harder obviously for a union organizer to go to a home. People are with their children, they're busy. That's more intrusive than e-mailing them. So I would hope that we would look upon a possibility that they might say that they should have their e-mail addresses as less intrusive as going to their home. But that is not part of these rules. They would still have to contact them at their home and the only information that the employer would have to give would be their home addresses. Again, just to keep in mind that what these rules are, they're very modest rules The proposed rules just simply say that we'll have elections and if there is challenges, if there are challenges by the management to who can vote in that election, then those challenges would be held until after the election, and then you see whether or not those individuals so challenged were really part of that unit and could vote or whether they couldn't and whether or not that would even make a difference. Again, if you had 100 people, let's say, that sign a petition to form a union and that was, let's say, 50% of the workers out of 200 and the employer was challenging five of those, well, as it is now, you could challenge those five, have a hearing, appeal the hearing, appeal that and just keep appealing it. Well, what the rules would say is okay, you can say that those five are not part of it. Their balance would be set aside. You have the election. If the election was, let's say, 150-20 that they wanted to form a union, then those five wouldn't make a difference one way or the other. If, however, the election was very close and those five would make a difference, then the election is held in abeyance until such time as it's determined whether or not those five so challenged were part of that bargaining unit or not. To me, this is a much more fair and decisive way of moving ahead rather than these constant delays and intimidations that go on right now in some of the places."
Senator Enzi: (11:34 AM)
  • Responded.
    • SUMMARY "While the other side portrays the changes as moderate, make no mistake about it, this new rule greatly alters the election system, especially should Chairman Pierce be able to finalize the more controversial provisions that were previously proposed. This entire rule took under one rule to complete. The National Labor Relations Board introduced the proposed rule on June 22, 2011, and published the final rule only six months later on December 22, 2011. Considering the scope of the rule and how much attention it garnered from stakeholders, it's absurd to think that a federal agency could promulgate a rule that would have such a major effect on all employers in only six months. As evidence of how critical this rules impact will be on stakeholders, the board received 65,957 comments. Let me repeat that. The board received 65,957 comments during the 60-day comment period. That's an astounding number. To compare, the board's previous rule making on its notice posting requirements garnered little more than 6,000 comments. On November 30, 2011, the board voted to finalizing a new, amended proposed rule. The reason for this new amended rule was clear - the board was going to lose its quorum at the end of the congressional session in late December 2011. What continues to astonish me is that the Chairman claimed his staff read each of the 65,957 comments twice in such a short period of time. In rushing to finalize the ambush elections rule, the board discarded several well-established internal procedural precedents as well. For example, until the ambush election rule, the board didn't advance a major policy change without three affirmative votes. This was a major policy change. Never did it without three affirmative votes, whether through rule making or on a case decision. This was not the case in the ambush elections rule where only two members voted in favor of finalizing the rule. Further, the board rejected the tradition of providing any dissenting member at least 90 days to produce an opinion. Instead, Chairman Pierce only offered to publish a dissent after the final rule was published. The process the board used to promulgate the ambush elections rule was rushed through for no good reason, yet in the process decided to discard years of board precedent."

Sessions, Isakson, Harkin, Thune, Enzi

NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval (S. J. Res. 36)

Apr 24 2012 12:37 PM

Senator Sessions: (11:45 AM)
  • Spoke on the Postal Reform bill.
    • SUMMARY "I will later today offer a budget point of order on the Postal bill. It adds $34 billion to the debt. It violates the agreement we reached last august in which we said there would be limits to how much debt we would increase and how much spending we would increase, and now the first big bill coming down the pike, the first big one adds $34 billion. Every penny of the new spending is added to the debt. There is no offset to it. Those of us who supported the concept of a limitation on spending, I don't think it limited it enough last summer. Many thought it did. But agreeing to that limit, you have to know that when I raise that budget point of order, someone will probably raise and ask a vote to waive the budget, to waive the limitations on spending and debt we just passed last august. We need not to kill reform of Postal Service. We need to send this bill back to the committee, let them produce legislation that either spends not so much or doesn't spend money, or if they do spend money, pay for the money through cuts in spending that are perfectly available. GAO says there's over $400 million spend each year in duplicative programs. We've got GSA number of Las Vegas in hot tubs on taxpayers' money. We can pay for this bill if it's so important that we have to do it. If we don't and that's what the vote would be. So I just urge my colleagues to understand the importance of it. Those of you, our members, who believe that it was important to have a limit on spending in order to gain a debt increase last summer, increase the debt ceiling, should vote against the motion to waive because to do so, to vote for waiving the budget would undermine in the first real opportunity the agreement we reached."

Senator Isakson: (11:57 AM)
  • Spoke on the NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "All of a sudden, it seems like there's a perfect storm. From every corner, the NLRB seems to be making proposals to tilt the playing field away from fairness and away from equity, and it's just not right. Last year, 70% of the elections for unionization in the United States of America were successful. There is not a problem in terms of people being able to organize and negotiate collectively. The problem is that the regulatory bodies are attempting to circumvent the legislative branch of government and through rule and regulation do what they cannot pass on the floor of the senate. When Mr. Becker was appointed to the NLRB last year by the President over the objection of the senate, it was an example of where the President would use a recess appointment to go around the lack of approval of advice and consent by the United States Senate. This particular legislation that we're talking about today is just like the specialty health care bill. The specialty health care proposal was to allow unions to find - create micro-unions within the same working body where you could have a plethora of unions in one store all to fracture and assault on the free enterprise system and circumvents what the founding fathers intended us to do ... One of the reasons is the deployment of capital by business is not taking place because of the uncertainty of the workplace and what lies ahead. Whether it's health care, whether it's ambush elections, whether it's card check, whatever it might be. So I come to the floor to commend the senator from Wyoming for taking an initiative that's available to the United States Senate to bring a resolution of disapproval forward for a resolution of an executive branch body that circumvents the legislature itself. I hope he is successful in sending the message, it's time to take American politics and American justice and American legislation back to what our founding fathers intended. Let's stop trying to take a playing field that has been level for 75 years where we've had the greatest labor management relations of any history in the world, let's not put them into a situation where we're add adversaries like we were 75 years ago. Let's stop the ambush election, stop the specialized unionization, let's stop all of this and return to the laws that have worked for three quarters of a century. Three quarters of a century is a great test of time."

Senator Harkin: (12:04 PM)
  • Spoke on the NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "I want to make it very clear that the NLRB has followed all legal and procedural requirements for rule making under the administrative procedures act and by increasing the use of rule making has been the most inclusive and transparent board are in history. This process has given all sides abundant opportunities to provide input to the NLRB. There is opportunity for written comments, written responses to other comments and even a public hearing. Again, I want to point out there is no requirement in the administrative procedures act to facilitate a dissent, even though there isn't, the NLRB's traditional practices give member haste the opportunity to dissent and he was given that chance but these practices do not allow him to filibuster or run out the clock to thwart the actions of his colleagues. Again, the board filed a notice of proposed rule making on June 22, 2011, provided 60 days for filing public comments, received over 65,000 comments, of which I might note all but 200 were form letters. 65,000 comments, all but 200 were form letters. But still 200, considering a wide range of views, stakeholder input. The board arranged an opportunity for staff from member Hayes' office to brief congressional staff on his dissent from the notice of proposed rule making. And again although not required to do so the board provided an opportunity for oral public comments at a hearing conducted on July 18 and 19, 2011. In which over 60 labor and management lawyers, public interest groups and labor organizations, workers and other related constituents participated. The board provided an additional 14 days following the 60-day comment period in which to file written reply comments. Again, this is not required by the APA, the administrative procedures act or any other law. And then the NLRB held a public vote on a final rule on November 30, published the final rule in late December. Quite frankly under the administrative procedures act that all other agencies follow, the NLRB bent over backwards to be transparent and to allow dissent. Now, I've heard that member Hayes was not allowed enough time. He had his first dissent but from June the 22nd until November, Mr. Hayes had all that time to file dissent if he wanted to, to write a dissent. I mean that's not enough time to write a dissent? Seems to me that's more than enough time. But that was not done. So I just want to make it clear. I think Mr. Hayes was given more than enough time to write his dissent if he wanted to write one dissent over the proposed rules, he had the opportunity from June 22 until November. Again, the APA, the Administrative Procedures Act, under rule making not doesn't entitle him to have a dissent but the board allowed him to have a dissent if he wanted to. They had access to public comments on the proposed rules, were given summaries and copies of specific comments the other members found informative. His office had months to incorporate those comments and write a second dissent but chose not to. That was his own choice."

Senator Thune: (12:13 PM)
  • Spoke on the NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "In 2011, the technically independent National Labor Relations Board published the final rule on representation case procedures better known as the ambush elections rule. This new rule could allow a union to organize an election in as little as 10 days. This new rule is the most drastic and sweeping modification to the union election process in more than 60 years. According to the national labor relations board, the median time in which an election is held is 38 days. In 92% of all elections occur within 56 days. In fiscal year 2011, the national labor relations board reports that 71.4% of unions won their elections, which is up 3.5% from fiscal year 2010. It is hard for one to claim that union elections are being held up scarily with these sorts of track records. The changes put forth by the NLRB will radically change the process of union organizations and limit employers' ability to respond to union claims before an election. Thereby stifling debate and ambushing an employer and employees. Employers use the time after an election petition has been received to ensure compliance with the national labor relations act, to consult with human resources professionals and to inform their employees about the benefits and short comings of unionizing. It's nearly impossible for a small business owner navigate the regulations of the national labor relations act without the assistance of outside counsel which will be hard to find in ten days or less ... It appears that rushing elections is exactly what the NLRB and big labor are hoping for. After all, unions win 87% of elections held 11 to 15 days after an elections request is made. The rate falls to 58% when the vote takes place after 36 to 40 days. Now, on a decision as important as whether or not to form a union, workers should have the opportunity, to hear whether from both sides free from pressure one way or the other an opportunity that the NLRB's recent decision would take away. In addition to ambushing employers with union elections, the NLRB has now decided to recognize micro-unions. The NLRB ruled so long as a unit consists of an identifiable group of employees the NLRB will it is appropriate. What does this mean for small businesses? This means your local grocery store, there could be a cashiers union, a produce union, a bakers union, and the list goes on and on. Micro-unions coupled with ambush elections could cause one small business to deal with several bargaining units in the workplace and little time to no time to raise concerns against such actions ... The recent actions of the NLRB have all but silenced any freedom of speech once enjoyed by employers. For the state of South Dakota, increased unionization will mean higher costs for the health care industry, driving up health costs for hospitals and consumers. It would also mean higher costs for hotels, tourism, small businesses and other service industries. The federal government should not be acting to slow or hinder job growth in our current economy but should instead be looking for ways to foster job growth."

Senator Harkin: (12:26 PM)
  • Spoke on the NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "I just again want to point out that this ruling by the NLRB is eminently reasonable. They went through rule making. As I've said before, one of the most transparent boards we've ever had in history. Rather than going through the adjudicative process, they went through rule making, comment period. People were allowed to come in, which isn't even required by the administrative procedures. Mr. Hayes was allowed due time for filing dissents and he chose not to do so for whatever reason. So everything was complied with. In fact, they bent over backwards to do more than what the administrative procedures act requires under rule making. So that's number one. Number two, the essence of the rule is eminently fair. It applies both to certification and decertification. There is no ten-day - I keep hearing this ten-day thing. Hayes put that in his dissent, but there's nothing in the rule that requires a ten-day election. Nothing. Period. Lastly, again, what is this all about? Mr. Leavitt, who wrote a book, "Confessions of a Union Buster." He was a consultant to businesses who wanted to bust unions or didn't want to have unions formed and here's what he said in his book. Here's the way that they should do things if they don't want to have a union. "Challenge everything, then take every challenge to a full hearing. Prolong each hearing. Appeal every unfavorable decision. If you make the union fight drag on long enough, workers lose faith, lose interest, lose hope." That's what it's about, it's about establishing a level playing field now so that workers do, indeed, have their full right, not a paper right but a really full, viable right to form a union and to have an election within a reasonable period of time."

Senator Enzi: (12:28 PM)
  • Spoke on the NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "This did not go through a process that was open and transparent. In fact, there was only one person that voted for this that was confirmed by the Senate. There were two people that voted for it. The other one was lost in a bipartisan way. The ability to be on that committee so it was the one person that was confirmed by the Senate is making this rule. And there was also one person confirmed by the Senate that was against it, so it was a one-to-one tie. That would normally defeat anything. And the biggest thing that's being taken away in this, the biggest thing that collapse the time down to a potential ten days, the biggest thing is eliminating the pre-election hearing. That's when the employees, the employees get their fairness of finding out exactly who's going to be represented, who's going to be part of their unit and get any of their questions answered about this organization that's about to receive their dues. It seems like the employees, for fairness, ought to have that right. It also ought to for the employers to have that right small business men, to have the time to get it together so they're not violently any of the National Labor Relations Board's rules that they can easily step into and be in big trouble during one of these elections This vote will send a message to the national labor relations board that their job is not to stack the odds in favor of one party or another. Under this Administration or another. But to fairly resolve disputes and conduct secret ballot elections - elections. We've heard from several speakers on the other side of the aisle that this debate and vote are a waste of time. Debating the merits of this regulation is not a waste of time for the millions of small business people and millions of employees that are going to be negatively impacted by it. In fact, once it goes into effect next week, next week, I believe that all of us will be hearing from unhappy constituents and asked what we did to stop this legislation, and we will be asked. The contention that we should not be able to raise concerns about the National Labor Relations Board's ambush election regulation before it goes into effect sounds a lot like the National Labor Relations Board, what they are trying to do to small businesses and employees who have questions about a certification election. This regulation will take away the right to question whether the appropriate employees are in the bargaining unit or whether it includes supervisors and managers that should not be in the union or whether it leaves out a group of employees that should be in the union, because they have similar jobs and if they are . they will probably lose jobs against the newly unionized employees. This regulation takes away the right to present evidence and testimony at a pre-election hearing and to file briefs supporting a position. Because of the Congressional Review Act, we senators have had the opportunity to present evidence and have debate. That's a privilege the NLRB is taking away from many small employers and employees, and that will lead to some suffering of the employees."

McCain, Lieberman, Collins (The Senate Stands in Recess)

Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization bill (S. 1925)

Apr 24 2012 1:04 PM

Senator McCain: (12:33 PM)
  • Spoke on the Postal Reform bill.
    • SUMMARY "The services announcement that it lost $5.1 billion in the most recent fiscal year was billed as good years. That's how dire the situation is. The fact that they only lost $5.1 billion. The Collins-Lieberman bill transfers $7 billion from the federal employee retirement system to the USPS to be used for offering buyouts to its workers and paying down debts can stave off collapse for a short time at best. Nor do the other measures in the bill offer much hope. The bill extends the payment schedule for the Postal Service to prefund its employee retirement benefits from 10 to 40 years. Yes, the funding requirement is onerous, but if the USPS cannot afford to pay for these benefits now, what makes it likely they will be able to pay later when mail volumes most likely have plummeted further? The bill also requires two more years of studies to determine whether a switch to five-day delivery would be viable. These studies would be performed by a regulatory body that has already completed a laborious inquiry into the subject of process that required almost a year. The Washington Post goes on to say this seems a pointless delay, especially given that a majority of Americans support the switch to five-day delivery. Finally, they go on to say there is an alternative, a bill proposed by represented Darrell Issa that would create a supervisory body to oversee the Postal Service finances and if necessary negotiate new labor contracts. The bill is not perfect but offers a serious solution that does not leave taxpayers on the hook. So we now have a legislation before us that makes it harder if not impossible for the Postal Service to close post offices and mail processing plants by placing new regulations and limitations on processes for closing or consolidating mail processing facilities, a move in the wrong direction. It puts in place significant and absolutely unprecedented new process steps and procedural hurdles designed to restrict USPS's ability to manage its mail processing network. Additionally, the requirement to redo completed but not implemented mail processing consolidation studies will ultimately prevent any consolidations from occurring this calendar year The Postal Service has a massive retail network of more than 32,000 post offices, branches and stations. It has remained largely unchanged despite the declining mail volume and population shifts. The Postal Service has more full-time retail facilities in the United States of America than Starbucks, McDonald's, UPS and FedEx combined, and according to the chief government accountability office, approximately 80% of these retail facilities do not generate sufficient revenue to cover their costs. That's what this debate is all about, and I hope that my colleagues understand, we are looking at basically a dying part of America's economy because of technological advances, and we basically in this legislation are not recognizing that problem. When 80% of their facilities don't generate sufficient revenue to cover their costs, then any business in the world, in the United States of America, would right size that business to accommodate for changed positions. This bill does not do that. It continues to put up political roadblocks that prevent tough but essential closings and consolidations."

Senator Lieberman: (12:50 PM)
  • Responded.
    • SUMMARY "I want to respond to the statement my friend from Arizona made. Very briefly, a couple of big points, the first is that Senator McCain I think has declared the Postal Service of the United States dead much too prematurely Today every day the Postal Service delivers 563 million pieces of mail, every day. There are businesses and individuals all over our country that depend on the mail. The estimate is that there are approximately eight million jobs in our country, most of them of course, almost all of them in the private sector, that depend in one way or another on the functioning of the U.S. Postal Service. So it's not fair, it's not realistic to speak as if the Postal Service is dead and gone and come to essentially bury it with the McCain substitute. I cannot resist saying that Senator Collins and I come not to bury the U.S. Postal Service but to change it but to keep it alive and well forever really because it's that important to our country. Secondly, Senator McCain speaks as if the substitute legislation, 1789, that we're proposing, bipartisan legislation, does nothing, that it's a status quo piece of legislation. It's not even a band-aid on the problem. We all know, we've talked about it incessantly since we went on this bill that the Postal Service is in financial difficulty. Incidentally, I want to say, there's not a dime of taxpayer money in the Postal Service. Ever since the Postal Service reforms occurred, it's totally supported by ratepayers, basically people who buy the services of the Postal Service with very two small exceptions which are small, one to pay for overseas ballots for members of the military so they can vote and another, a special program to facilitate the use of the mail by blind Americans. But it's got a problem. $13 billion lost over the last two years. This proposal of ours it's not a status quo proposal. It makes significant changes. There are going to be about 100,000 fewer people working for the Postal Service as a result of this bill being passed. There will be mail processing facilities that close. There will be post offices that will be closed and/or consolidated. There will be new sources of revenue for the Postal Service. Bottom line, the U.S. Postal Service itself estimates that our legislation if enacted as it is now will, as it's phased in over the next three to four years, by 2016 will save the Postal Service $19 billion a year. This isn't a band-aid. This is a real reform. A real transformation of the Postal Service to keep it alive. $19 billion. And let me put it another way."

Senator Collins: (12:56 PM)
  • Responded.
    • SUMMARY "I want to shine a spotlight on a provision of Senator McCain's substitute that has not yet been discussed that actually raises constitutional issues. Now, all of us believe that the labor force of the Postal Service is too large, and, unfortunately, will have to be reduced, and we do that through a system of buyouts and retirement incentives, through a compassionate means, very similar to the way that a large corporation would handle the downsizing of its employees. But Senator McCain's alternative takes a very different approach. It would have this new control board that would be created to impose on the Postal Service an obligation to renegotiate existing contracts to get rid of the no layoff provision. I will say that I was very are surprised when the Postmaster General signed the kinds of contracts that did he this spring, but the fact is that senator campaign's amendment, section 304, which amends section 1206 of existing law, requires existing contracts to be renegotiated. That creates constitutional questions. The potential constitutional issue derives from the contracts clause of article 1, which prohibits states from passing laws impairing the obligation of contracts. Well, of course this provision does not apply to the federal government, the congressional research service has explained in a memorandum to me on this topic in July of 2011 that the due process clause of the fifth amendment has been held to provide some measure of protection against the federal government impairing its own contracts There is also a Supreme Court case, Lynch versus the United States, that makes clear that the due process clause prohibits the federal government from annulling its contracts and the United States is as much bound by its contracts as are private individuals ... Bottom line, I'm concerned if the Postal Service is forced by the McCain substitute to reopen and current collective bargaining agreements, that the courts would find the Postal Service in breach of those agreements and force it to pay damages and also that it would be found to be unconstitutional. The approach that we have taken does not raise those continual concerns. It does not raise those constitutional concerns. It does not have Congress stepping in to abrogate contracts, which is a very serious and potentially unconstitutional step for us to take. Finally, I would say I would agree with everything my Chairman has said. Senator McCain's amendment does not address the true problems of the Postal Service. Instead, it assumes that the Postal Service is obsolete, that they cannot be saved and that we should just preside over its demise. I reject that approach."

Vote Results (Motion to Proceed)

NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval (S. J. Res. 36)

Apr 24 2012 2:39 PM

Not Agreed to, 45-54:
The Motion to Proceed to S. J. Res. 36, the NLRB Ambush Union Elections Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Vote Results (Motion to Waive)

Postal Reform bill (S. 1789)

Apr 24 2012 3:24 PM

Agreed to, 62-37:
The Motion to Waive the Budget Act with respect to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Apr 24 2012 3:40 PM

Agreed to by Voice Vote:
Tester amendment #2056, as modified (closing/consolidation process) to Reid (for Lieberman/Collins) substitute amendment #2000 to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill; and
Coburn amendment #2060 (government-sponsored conferences) to Reid (for Lieberman/Collins) substitute amendment #2000 to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill.

Vote Results (McCain amendment #2033)

Postal Reform bill (S. 1789)

Apr 24 2012 3:56 PM

Not Agreed to, 30-69:
McCain amendment #2033 (Commission on Postal Reorganization) to Reid (for Lieberman/Collins) substitute amendment #2000 to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill (60 votes required).
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Apr 24 2012 4:09 PM

Agreed to by Voice Vote:
Wyden amendment #2020, as modified (voting by mail) to Reid (for Lieberman/Collins) substitute amendment #2000 to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill; and
Coburn amendment #2058, as modified (access to postal services) to Reid (for Lieberman/Collins) substitute amendment #2000 to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill.

Vote Results (Coburn amendment #2061)

Postal Reform bill (S. 1789)

Apr 24 2012 4:25 PM

Not Agreed to, 33-65:
Coburn amendment #2061, as modified (postal employee retirements) to Reid (for Lieberman/Collins) substitute amendment #2000 to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill (60 votes required).
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Apr 24 2012 4:38 PM

Agreed to by Voice Vote:
McCaskill amendment #2031, as modified (rural post offices) to Reid (for Lieberman/Collins) substitute amendment #2000 to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill; and
Snowe amendment #2080, as modified (area mail processing studies) to Reid (for Lieberman/Collins) substitute amendment #2000 to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill.

Vote Results (Udall-NM amendment #2043)

Postal Reform bill (S. 1789)

Apr 24 2012 4:56 PM

Not Agreed to, 43-56:
Udall-NM amendment #2043, as modified (mail delivery schedule) to Reid (for Lieberman/Collins) substitute amendment #2000 to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill (60 votes required).
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Vote Results (Durbin amendment #2082)

Postal Reform bill (S. 1789)

Apr 24 2012 5:04 PM

Agreed to by Voice Vote:
Durbin amendment #2082, as modified (preventing certain closures and consolidations) to Reid (for Lieberman/Collins) substitute amendment #2000 to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill.

Vote Results (Akaka amendment #2034)

Postal Reform bill (S. 1789)

Apr 24 2012 5:21 PM

Not Agreed to, 46-53:
Akaka amendment #2034 (workers compensation) to Reid (for Lieberman/Collins) substitute amendment #2000 to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill (60 votes required).
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Vote Results (Bennet amendment #2047)

Postal Reform bill (S. 1789)

Apr 24 2012 5:29 PM

Agreed to by Voice Vote:
Bennet amendment #2047, as modified, (citizen's service protection advocates) to Reid (for Lieberman/Collins) substitute amendment #2000 to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill.

Vote Results (Corker amendment #2083)

Postal Reform bill (S. 1789)

Apr 24 2012 5:45 PM

Not Agreed to, 29-70:
Corker amendment #2083 (delivery frequency, rate regulation, reduction-in-force procedures, and post offices) to Reid (for Lieberman/Collins) substitute amendment #2000 to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill (60 votes required).
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Vote Results (Akaka amendment #2049)

Postal Reform bill (S. 1789)

Apr 24 2012 6:05 PM

Not Agreed to, 57-42:
Akaka amendment #2049 (supervisory and managerial organizations) to Reid (for Lieberman/Collins) substitute amendment #2000 to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill (60 votes required).
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Vote Results (Paul amendment #2025)

Postal Reform bill (S. 1789)

Apr 24 2012 6:32 PM

Not Agreed to, 35-64:
Paul amendment #2025 (mailbox use) to Reid (for Lieberman/Collins) substitute amendment #2000 to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill (60 votes required).
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Apr 24 2012 7:14 PM

Senator Reid: (7:01 PM)
  • Performed Wrap Up --
  • Tomorrow --
    • The Senate will convene at 9:30 AM and resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 1925, the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization bill. The time until 2:00 PM will be equally divided, with the Republicans controlling the first 30 minutes and the Majority controlling the second 30 minutes. The time from 11:30 AM-12:30 PM, will be controlled by the Republicans and the time from 12:30 PM-1:30 PM will be controlled by the Majority.
    • At 2:00 PM, the Senate will resume consideration of S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill, and conduct a series of ROLL CALL VOTES on the amendments listed below. All amendments will be subject to a 60-vote threshold and budget points of order and applicable motions to waive are in order. Upon disposition of the amendments, the substitute amendment, as amended, if amended, will be Agreed to, and the Senate will conduct a ROLL CALL VOTE on passage of S. 1789, as amended, the Postal Reform bill (60 votes required).
      1. Manchin amendment #2079 (extend closing/consolidation moratorium);
      2. Paul amendment #2026 (performance-based pay);
      3. Bingaman amendment #2076 (state liaisons);
      4. Paul amendment #2027 (close all Capitol Complex post offices except one);
      5. Cardin amendment #2040 (prohibit closing of facility if nearest facility is more than 50 miles away);
      6. Paul amendment #2028 (alternative postal service delivery pilot program);
      7. Carper amendment #2065 (first-class stamp rate);
      8. Paul amendment #2029 (impact of regulations on Postal Service profitability plan);
      9. Carper amendment #2066 (limit Postal Service executive compensation);
      10. Paul amendment #2039 (collective bargaining prohibition);
      11. Casey amendment #2042 (maintain current delivery time for market-dominant products);
      12. Paul amendment #2038 (first-class mail and mailbox use);
      13. Landrieu amendment #2072 (small business impact of closures/consolidations);
      14. DeMint amendment #2046 (employee authorization re: using dues for union non-representational activities);
      15. McCaskill amendment #2030 (workers compensation);
      16. Coburn amendment #2059 (require closure of unprofitable post office facilities);
      17. Pryor amendment #2036 (sense of Senate re: closings and consolidations);
      18. Rockefeller amendment #2073 (Medicare enrollment);
      19. Rockefeller amendment #2074 (Postal Service Health Benefits Program);
      20. Schumer amendment #2050 (maintain all current door delivery point services);
      21. Tester amendment #2032 (limit pay of Postal Service executives); and
      22. Warner amendment #2071, as modified (retirement reporting).
    • Upon disposition of S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill, the Motion to Proceed to S. 1925, the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization bill, will be Agreed to and the Senate will begin consideration of the bill.
The Senate stands adjourned until 9:30 AM Wednesday, April 25th.