Floor Updates

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jul 30 2014 9:30 AM

The Senate convened. 

Reid, McConnell

Opening Remarks

Jul 30 2014 9:46 AM

Today -
  • Following the Leaders' remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of S. 2569, the outsourcing bill, for one hour of debate, equally divided.
  • At approximately 10:45 AM, the Senate will conduct up to five VOTES on:
  1. Motion to invoke cloture on S. 2569; 
  2. If cloture is not invoked on S. 2569, motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 2648, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2014; 
  3. Executive Calendar #535, Cynthia H. Akuetteh, to be U.S. Ambassador to the Gabonese Republic and to serve concurrently as U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe; 
  4. Executive Calendar #783, Erika Lizabeth Moritsugu, to be an Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; and 
  5. Executive Calendar #729, Richard A. Kennedy, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
  • Note: Executive Calendar #535, #783, and #729 are all expected to be voice votes. 
  • At 3:00 PM, Republicans will control the time until 4:00 PM.
  • At 4:00 PM, Democrats will control the time until 5:00 PM.
Senator Reid: (9:32 AM)
  • Spoke on the outsourcing bill.
    • SUMMARY "The bring jobs home act and senseless tax breaks for these outsources ends the ridiculous practice of American taxpayers funding the outsourcing of their own jobs. But the bring jobs home act doesn't just fight to keep jobs here in America. It also brings jobs back. This bill provides a 20% tax credit to help American companies with the cost of moving operations back to the United States. The bring jobs home act will protect 150,000 jobs in Nevada and could potentially save many times that of the presiding officer. All over the country it is the same thing, millions of jobs. Economically speaking what else could be more important than ensuring American jobs are protected regardless of what the republican leaders have said and what the republican leaders are implying, helping our constituents stay employed is our duty as a Senator. Frankly, a vote against this bill is a vote against American jobs."
Senator McConnell: (9:39 AM)
  • Spoke on coal.
    • SUMMARY "Coal keeps the bills paid, the clothes on the backs and the shoes on the feet. And that is true for so many in my state. I'll note the irony that the administration's so-called listening session in Atlanta had to switch locations due to a significant power outage. As one person put it, the power outage is either cruel irony or a glimpse of coming cruel reality. That's of course if the Obama and the EPA are successful in their quest to end the use of affordable, reliable coal. It's hard to disagree. The point is the President's extreme energy regulations are little more than a political turnout strategy masquerading a serious environmental policy. Not only could they end up making the environment worse rather than better, but they threaten to hurt countless middle-class families in the process while shipping American jobs overseas. So they need to be stopped. The administration needs to be stopped, and Kentuckians aren't going to take this lying down. We're going to keep, keep fighting back."

Durbin, Cornyn, Pryor, Reid (UC)

Outsourcing Bill (S. 2569)

Jul 30 2014 10:35 AM

Senator Durbin: (9:44 AM)
  • Spoke on the outsourcing bill.
    • SUMMARY "That's what we're trying to do with this bill: A fair shot for American companies so that they can bring jobs home and be incentivized and rewarded to do it and discouraging those companies that do just the opposite. I think this is a front and center issue. Good-paying jobs are the key to restoring the middle class in America, something that I think is long overdue, to create an incentive for people who are struggling to see at the end of that rainbow the chance to raise a family in a good neighborhood and a good church and parish and a good state that really helps America grow. I will be supporting this measure before the senate this morning."
Senator Cornyn: (9:59 AM)
  • Spoke on immigration.
    • SUMMARY "I would hope that the President would tell the Majority Leader that he believes this 2008 law is a problem, as he said a month ago on ABC news. And I would hope that he would offer support for his own Secretary of Homeland Security, who I know understands the nature of the problem but, unfortunately, I fear he's being outvoted by the political advisors at the White House - not the people making public policy. So the folks in my state, particularly in the region of south Texas and the Rio Grande Valley are watching and waiting and hoping that Washington will act to resolve this ongoing crisis. But we can't act unless the majority leader allows us to act. That's the nature of this institution. And he won't allow a vote unless President Obama steps up and leads."
Senator Pryor: (10:22 AM)
  • Spoke on the Medicare Protection Act. 
    • SUMMARY "That's why I've introduced the Medicare Protection Act. It's a responsible, commonsense solution that prevents budget schemes that would reduce Medicare benefits and restrict eligibility, and it sends a strong message that Medicare should not be dismantled, privatized or turned into a voucher system. The promise of Medicare is one that we must keep. The Senate should pass the Medicare Protection Act, and I would ask that we keep Medicare strong and affordable for today's seniors and for future generations."
Senator Reid: (10:25 AM)
  • Unanimous Consent -
    • Senators Coons, Sessions, Stabenow, and Walsh be permitted to speak for up to five minutes each prior to the vote on S. 2569, the outsourcing bill. 
  • (Without objection)

Coons, Sessions, Stabenow, Walsh

Outsourcing Bill (S. 2569)

Jul 30 2014 10:52 AM

Senator Coons: (10:27 AM)
  • Spoke on Africa. 
    • SUMMARY "This week we've had remarkable opportunities for our president, our Secretary of State, several of us from this chamber to meet with young African leaders as part of a program that brought 500 inspiring young African leaders to Washington. Next week we will welcome more than 40 heads of state from across the continent, a summit that I hope signals the next big step in building strong and sustainable partnerships throughout the continent. President Obama, leaders from this chamber, leaders from the cabinet and from across America's corporate community will join together for three days to allow us to refocus our efforts on the continent, to seize this moment and to move forward. It's my hope that this chamber, that this Congress will take advantage of the opportunity to enact the African Growth and Opportunity Act on a longer reauthorization and to open it to bipartisan, to truly balanced trade and to pass the bipartisan Power Africa Act, to significantly improve our investment in infrastructure. The opportunities are limitless."
Senator Sessions: (10:32 AM)
  • Spoke on immigration.
    • SUMMARY "The President said, "He would fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, congress." "Without Congress." I'll just use my pen. I'll just order my officers, who work for me, you know, the border, the ICE officers, they work for me. I'll just tell them to do A, B and C. We'll just not pay any attention to the fact that section 249 of the INA, I believe, says that a person in the country unlawfully is not entitled to work. He'll just do that on his own. So this legislation that we're discussing moving forward to provides us no opportunity to even get a vote on this issue and certainly in its text does not fix this problem."
Senator Stabenow: (10:38 AM)
  • Spoke on the outsourcing bill.
    • SUMMARY "The reality is that we have to start in the tax code by making it clear we're not going to incentivize moving your jobs overseas. We are not going to incentivize somebody packing up - and, by the way, oftentimes those workers end up having to train their replacement. We have many stories in Michigan where the replacement worker's in another country, flown in our country, trained by our people to take their jobs. And then to add insult to injury, they pay for the move through the tax code. It's very, very simple, and I'm going to turn things over to Senator Walsh to close out this debate. But we have a very simple message. You want to bring your jobs home? We're all in. You can write off the costs of that move and we'll give you an extra 20% tax cut. But if you want to ship your jobs overseas, you're on your own."
Senator Walsh: (10:44 AM)
  • Spoke on the outsourcing bill.
    • SUMMARY "My bill closes the loophole that some multinational corporations use to claim a tax deduction for the cost of moving jobs overseas. It also creates a new 20% tax credit for companies that bring jobs back to the United States. These two parts complement each other. The first ends the incentive for shipping jobs overseas. The second encourages the return of jobs we have already lost. Our tax code shouldn't reward outsourcing. What we need is more in-sourcing. Many companies are considering bringing jobs back home today. This is especially true in the manufacturing sector. The bring jobs home act could make the difference for some of those companies to reinvest in America and American workers. So today, I urge my colleagues to stand with America's workers to pass this bill."

Vote Results (Cloture)

Insourcing Bill (S. 2569)

Jul 30 2014 11:18 AM

Not invoked, 54-42:
Cloture on S. 2569, the insourcing bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Vote Results (Cloture on the MTP)

Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill (S. 2648)

Jul 30 2014 11:44 AM

Invoked, 63-33:
Cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 2648, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Mikulski, Blunt, Udall-CO

Legislative Session

Jul 30 2014 12:30 PM

Senator Mikulski: (11:46 AM)
  • Spoke on the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2014.
    • SUMMARY "The reason I want a supplemental that's urgent and meets that criteria is that we don't have to take the money from other important programs that do help America's family in education, in health, in job retraining in order to bring our jobs back home. I really do hope we pass this bill. Not spending money won't save money. It means that we'll just take out existing programs and the American people will pay for it doubly. They'll pay for it through inaction, which will ultimately cost more. They'll pay for it because they'll lose the programs that they thought they were going to have access to or there will be limited availability. We have the chance here now to help our neighbors in our western states. I know Wisconsin has been hit by it terribly and we're so sorry for the loss of property and the danger to that community. It will help a treasured ally, Israel, which we must help, and also we will help our own country."
Senator Blunt: (12:05 PM)
  • Spoke on the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2014.
    • SUMMARY "Doing this in this way, money without policy, acting like somehow it doesn't cost anything if it's an emergency and so we can continue to do everything that the chairman mentioned that needs to be done in the United States but we can also do this because it's a supplemental, it's an emergency, it's more money we borrow from somebody else. Life's full of choices and for our government we have choices. There are things that need to be done right now to send a message, do not leave your home country. The door is not wide open, no matter what the President's announcement in 2011 led people to believe. The law needs to be changed so that immigrants from all countries coming to our borders are treated just like immigrants from Mexico and Canada coming to our borders."
  • Spoke on Israel.
    • SUMMARY "Israel we see in looking at the Gaza situation today, during recent months uncertainty in Egypt, support from terrorist groups all over the world, weaponry, missiles taken into Gaza, money that could have been spent, the concrete that could have been used to build housing and schools and hospitals and places for jobs was used to build tunnels so people could come into Israel and attack Israel. Certainly the government of Israel and the citizens of Israel look at this moment and think no time to quit now with this job partially done. Some of the messages have been frequent our country have not been helpful and encouraging in that regard of what has to happen in the middle of this conflict. But this kind of legislation sends the message, a message we should send, I hope we can get to it this week. I'm pleased that three-quarters of our colleagues, I think that number is right now at 80, have cosponsored this legislation and, again, legislation just introduced this week."
Senator Udall-CO: (12:18 PM)
  • Spoke on wildfires.
    • SUMMARY "What this act would do, the Wildfire Prevention Act, it would help FEMA to provide hazard mitigation grants to state and localities to implement these mitigation projects. And these mitigation projects do, they put us on the offensive. We put our communities and our public land managers in front of the threat of mega-fires. We can head them off before they even start and it's an idea that came from Colorado, it's more than just a commonsense idea, it's a fiscally responsible approach to dealing with the threat of wildfire. Why do I say that? Studies show for every dollar you put on hazard mitigation up front it saves an average of four dollars down the line if you have to fight a fire. For that reason, and the others I mentioned I'm going to keep doing everything I can to move this bipartisan bill to the president's desk this year."
  • Spoke on the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2014.
    • SUMMARY "I chair the strategic forces subcommittee which has responsibility for iron dome and working with the Israeli defense forces and I heard today from an Israeli, who said the system is miraculous. As Hamas cons to rain rockets down, we need to ensure this system continues to protect our friends and allies in Israel. Finally, this frequently supplemental includes critical resources to help address the root causes that have led to the humanitarian crisis at our southern border. So in summary I'm glad that we've moved forward to debate debating this crucial supplemental appropriation bill. Let's move to an up-or-down vote as soon as we possibly can. This is a timely debate and passage of this bill is too important to allow partisan gridlock to interfere."

Thune, Cardin, Franken

MTP to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill (S. 2648)

Jul 30 2014 1:21 PM

Senator Thune: (12:28 PM)
  • Spoke on the Democrats' designed-to-fail legislation. 
    • SUMMARY "Nero may have fiddled while Rome burned. The President fundraises. "The Washington Post" reports, and I quote, in his two presidential terms combined, President Bush hosted 218 fundraisers. President Obama has already smashed that number with 393 events to date, end quote. And, he still has two and a half years to go in his administration. Instead of urging the President to focus on crises at home and abroad, Senate democrats have taken a lead from the President's book and spent the past several months focused on the elections. Rather than taking up legislation to provide real help for struggling middle-class families, Senate Democrats have spent months, months on political showboats and designed-to-fail-legislation that they hope will win them a few votes in November. Our country's facing challenges at home and abroad. Campaigning has its place, but here in Washington, members of Congress and the president should be focused on solving the problems facing our country, supporting middle-class families and restoring America's economic vitality. It's time for democrats and the President to stop focusing on politics and to start focusing on the policies that we need to create jobs, to grow the economy, and to support freedom and opportunity here at home and around the world."
Senator Cardin: (12:37 PM)
  • Spoke on Africa.
    • SUMMARY "By providing this aid in a more efficient and clearly measurable fashion and seeking more input from local cooperatives and groups, we could help foster more sustainable growth in sub-Sahara Africa. The time to develop consensus on AGOA improvements is now. I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting and strengthening the AGOA act so that we can maintain this important tool to increase the trade relations between the United States and Africa in fighting global poverty. I hope and look forward to seeing the results of next week's meetings with the African leaders. It's my sincere expectation that these meetings will produce concrete ways that we can improve the ties between Africa and the United States, and I certainly expect it will help us lead to the improvement and reauthorization of AGOA."
Senator Franken: (1:01 PM)
  • Spoke on the USA Freedom Act.
    • SUMMARY "Unless we pass these transparency provisions, Americans really have no way to know if the government is making good on those promises. Our transparency provisions will force the government to prove annually and publicly that bulk collection is over. This is an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability, and that will allow the American people to decide for themselves whether the government is striking the right balance between privacy and security. We should take this bill up as soon as possible so that Americans aren't in the dark a single day longer. We should take it up so that American companies stop losing business because of misperceptions about their role in domestic surveillance. We should take this bill up so that Americans can get the information that they need to hold their government to account."

Warren, Inhofe, Kaine, Mikulski

MTP to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill (S. 2648)

Jul 30 2014 2:27 PM

Senator Warren: (1:40 PM)
  • Spoke on taxes. 
    • SUMMARY "According to a paper published this week by Steve Shea, a Harvard Law School professor and former senior tax policy official at the Treasury Department, the administration could take action today to reduce the tax benefits of corporate inversions. It could use its authority under section 385 of the tax code to prevent companies that renounce their citizenship from using any other loopholes to shield themselves from additional taxes that they would otherwise be required to pay. Now, this won't totally solve the problem, but it would significantly reduce the benefits of corporate inversions, and it would be an important first step toward treating companies that renounce America the same way we treat people who renounce America: As freeloaders who get cut off from other benefits."
Senator Inhofe: (1:48 PM)
  • Spoke on Israel.
    • SUMMARY "We've got to get out of that system and stand by Israel and hang tough with our best friend. We can't survive without it. I often look back and say that I look back wistfully at the days of the cold war. That was back when they had two superpowers in the world, the USSR and the United States. They knew what they had, we knew their capacities, they had M.A.D., mutual assured destruction. That doesn't work anymore. Now have you these rogue elements out there that are developing weapons that can wipe out an entire United States city and I'm talking about not just in the Middle East but North Korea also. So we're looking at the Middle East, we're looking at our only way of defending our allies there and of working to stop the capabilities of countries like Iran to have a weapon that would reach the United States of America. So we've got to hang tough with our best friend, Israel, and I pray that we do."
Senator Kaine: (2:01 PM)
  • Spoke on Medicare.
    • SUMMARY "The social security trust fund will be exhausted in 2033 and that is no change from last year. The solve vacancy of the trust fund was not changed at all in the interim year but in the area of social security disability income that insurance program at current projections will be depleted by 2016. Secretary Lew indicated this week that measures need to be taken to make sure that that program, which is of critical importance to millions of Americans who are on disability, we've got to take action to fix that program so that they can count on it. So what we see is when Congress and the Affordable Care Act, it acted in a smart way to deal with Medicare, we have improved the area of Medicare costs and we're saving money, Congress has not acted with respect to social security and the social security disability insurance program which is critical to folks with disabilities is going to need some quick fix."
Senator Mikulski: (2:10 PM)
  • Spoke on Israel.
    • SUMMARY "During this conflict, Israel has discovered 31 tunnels, extremely disturbing. And they are big. These aren't like, you know, when you think of a tunnel, this isn't like a little pipe, you know, for water. This is a tunnel where as many as two people could cross themselves side by side going through, and in some instances actually weapons being able to be carried through. These tunnels are the very threat to Israel's existence, and in addition to the tunnels, the rockets that are pummeling Israel continue to be fired every single day. We believe that for our allies, the right to self-defense."
  • Spoke on immigration.
    • SUMMARY "If you're willing to trade in drugs, you're also willing to view everything like a commodity. So they view drugs as a commodity and they view women and children, girls and boys as a commodity, and they are then moved into human trafficking and the most vile, repugnant sexual trafficking. We need to get some of our darker appetites under control, and we need to be able to fight - if you want to fight with guns, join with Central America and fight against the narco-traffickers."