Senate Calendar

Monday, June 18, 2012

Jun 18 2012

Senator Stabenow: (9:00 PM)
  • Performed Wrap Up --
  • Tomorrow -
    • The Senate will convene at 10:00 AM and Majority Leader Reid will be recognized. The first 2 hours will be equally divided, with the Majority controlling the first hour and the Republicans controlling the second hour.
    • At 12:30 PM, the Senate will recess until 2:15 PM for the weekly caucus lunches.
    • At 2:15 PM, the Senate will resume consideration of S. 3240, the Farm bill. The pending motion to recommit will be withdrawn; amendment #2390 will be withdrawn; the Stabenow-Roberts amendment #2389 will be Agreed to; the bill, as amended, be considered original text for the purposes of further amendment; and the following amendments and motions be the only first degree amendments and motions in order to the bill:
      1. Akaka amendment #2440 (highly fractionated tribal lands);
      2. Akaka amendment #2396 (tribal relations office);
      3. Baucus amendment #2429 (Livestock);
      4. Bingaman amendment #2364 (multi-state aquifers);
      5. Brown-OH amendment #2445 (rural development);
      6. Cantwell amendment #2370 (pulse pilot);
      7. Casey amendment #2238 (technical/study -federal milk marketing)
      8. Coons amendment #2426 (poultry insurance study);
      9. Feinstein amendment #2422 (conservation innovation grants);
      10. Feinstein amendment #2309 (insurance recall);
      11. Gillibrand amendment #2156 (SNAP);
      12. Hagan amendment #2366 (crop insurance â€" plain language);
      13. Kerry amendment #2187 (commercial fishermen);
      14. Landrieu amendment #2321 (rural development loans);
      15. Manchin amendment #2345 (dietary study);
      16. Merkley amendment #2382 (organic crop insurance);
      17. Schumer amendment #2427 (acer);
      18. Stabenow amendment #2453 (NAP);
      19. Udall-CO amendment #2295 (bark beetle);
      20. Warner amendment #2457 (rural broadband);
      21. Wyden amendment #2442 (microloans);
      22. Wyden amendment #2388 (farm to school);
      23. Leahy amendment #2204 (rural development);
      24. Nelson-NE amendment #2242 (rural housing);
      25. Klobuchar amendment #2299 (transportation study);
      26. Carper amendment #2287 (poultry feed research);
      27. Sanders amendment #2254 (biomass);
      28. Thune amendment #2437 (crop insurance);
      29. Durbin-Coburn amendment #2439 (crop insurance);
      30. Snowe amendment #2190 (milk marketing order reform);
      31. Ayotte amendment #2192 (value added grants);
      32. Collins amendment #2444 (dairy);
      33. Grassley amendment #2167 (pay cap marketing loans);
      34. Sessions amendment #2174 (SNAP);
      35. Nelson-NE amendment #2243 (SNAP);
      36. Sessions amendment #2172 (SNAP);
      37. Paul amendment #2181 ($250,000 income limit);
      38. Alexander amendment #2191 (wind loans);
      39. McCain amendment #2199 (catfish);
      40. Toomey amendment #2217 (organic/AMA);
      41. DeMint amendment #2263 (broadband funding);
      42. DeMint amendment #2262 (SoS Free MKT);
      43. DeMint amendment #2268 (Loan guarantees);
      44. DeMint amendment #2276 (checkoffs);
      45. DeMint amendment #2273 (broadband);
      46. Coburn amendment #2289 (MAP);
      47. Coburn amendment #2293 (Limit Millionaires);
      48. Kerry amendment #2454 (North Korea);
      49. Kyl amendment #2354 (North Korea);
      50. Lee amendment #233 (Forest Legacy);
      51. Lee amendment #2314 (CSP/CRP cut);
      52. Boozman amendment #2355 (Ag research, law info);
      53. Boozman amendment #2360 (TEFAP);
      54. Toomey amendment #2226 (energy title);
      55. Toomey amendment #2433 (sugar);
      56. Lee Motion to Recommit (FY 2008 levels);
      57. Johnson-WI Motion to Recommit;
      58. Chambliss amendment #2438 (conservation crop insurance);
      59. Chambliss amendment #2340 (sugar);
      60. Chambliss amendment #2432 (FMPP);
      61. Ayotte amendment #2195 (GAO crop insurance fraud report);
      62. Blunt amendment #2246 (veterans);
      63. Moran amendment #2403 (food aid);
      64. Moran amendment #2443 (beginning farmers)
      65. Vitter amendment #2363 (pets)
      66. Toomey amendment #2247 (paperwork);
      67. Sanders amendment #2310 (genetically engineered food);
      68. Coburn amendment #2214 (convention funding);
      69. Boxer amendment #2456 (aerial inspections);
      70. Johanns amendment #2372 (aerial inspections);Murray amendment #2455 (sequestration);
      71. McCain amendment #2162 (Sequestration report DoD); and
      72. Rubio amendment #2166 (RAISE Act).
    • At 2:15 PM, the Senate will proceed to a series of ROLL CALL VOTES in relation to the amendments in the order listed alternating between Republican and Democratic sponsored amendments.There be no amendments or motions in order to the amendments prior to the votes other than motions to waive points of order and motions to table. There be two minutes of debate equally divided in the usual form in between the votes and all after the first vote be ten minute votes.
    • The Toomey amendment #2247 (paperwork); Sanders amendment #2310 (genetically engineered food); Coburn amendment #2214 (convention funding); Boxer amendment #2456 (aerial inspections); Johanns amendment #2372 (aerial inspections); Murray amendment # 2455 (sequestration); McCain amendment #2162 (Sequestration report DoD); and Rubio amendment #2166 (RAISE Act) will be subject to a 60 affirmative vote threshold. Upon disposition of the amendments, the bill, as amended, will be read a third time. There be up to ten minutes equally divided in the usual form prior to a ROLL CALL VOTE on passage of the bill, as amended, if amended. (60-vote required).
    • At a time to be determined by the Majority leader after consultation with the Republican leader, the Republican leader or his designee be recognized to move to proceed to the consideration of S. J. Res. 37, the Inhofe Utility MACT Resolution of Disapproval. There will be up to 4 hours of debate on the Motion to Proceed with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees. Further, that two hours of debate, equally divided, occur on Tuesday, June 19, and the Senate resume consideration of the Motion to Proceed at 10:30 AM Wednesday, June 20, for the remaining two hours of debate.
  • Wednesday, June 20 --
    • At 12:30 PM, Wednesday, June 20, the Senate will proceed to a ROLL CALL VOTE on the Motion to Proceed to S. J. Res. 37, the Inhofe Utility MACT Resolution of Disapproval.
      • If the Motion to Proceed is successful, the time for debate with respect to the Joint Resolution will be equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. Upon the use or yielding back of time, the Joint Resolution will be read a third time, the Senate proceed to a ROLL CALL VOTE on passage of the Joint Resolution. Finally, all other provisions of the statute governing consideration of the Joint Resolution remain in effect.
The Senate stands adjourned until 10:00 AM Tuesday, June 19th.

Jun 18 2012


Senator Stabenow: (9:00 PM)
  • Performed Wrap Up --
  • Tomorrow --
    • The Senate will convene at 10:00 AM and Majority Leader Reid will be recognized. The first 2 hours will be equally divided, with the Majority controlling the first hour and the Republicans controlling the second hour.
    • At 12:30 PM, the Senate will recess until 2:15 PM for the weekly caucus lunches.
    • At 2:15 PM, the Senate will resume consideration of S. 3240, the Farm bill. The pending motion to recommit be withdrawn; that amendment #2390 be withdrawn; that the Stabenow-Roberts amendment #2389 be Agreed to; the bill, as amended, be considered original text for the purposes of further amendment; that the following amendments and motions be the only first degree amendments and motions in order to the bill:
      1. Akaka amendment #2440 (highly fractionated tribal lands);
      2. Akaka amendment #2396 (tribal relations office);
      3. Baucus amendment #2429 (Livestock);
      4. Bingaman amendment #2364 (multi-state aquifers);
      5. Brown-OH amendment #2445 (rural development);
      6. Cantwell amendment #2370 (pulse pilot);
      7. Casey amendment #2238 (technical/study -federal milk marketing)
      8. Coons amendment #2426 (poultry insurance study);
      9. Feinstein amendment #2422 (conservation innovation grants);
      10. Feinstein amendment #2309 (insurance recall);
      11. Gillibrand amendment #2156 (SNAP);
      12. Hagan amendment #2366 (crop insurance â€" plain language);
      13. Kerry amendment #2187 (commercial fishermen);
      14. Landrieu amendment #2321 (rural development loans);
      15. Manchin amendment #2345 (dietary study);
      16. Merkley amendment #2382 (organic crop insurance);
      17. Schumer amendment #2427 (acer);
      18. Stabenow amendment #2453 (NAP);
      19. Udall-CO amendment #2295 (bark beetle);
      20. Warner amendment #2457 (rural broadband);
      21. Wyden amendment #2442 (microloans);
      22. Wyden amendment #2388 (farm to school);
      23. Leahy amendment #2204 (rural development);
      24. Nelson-NE amendment #2242 (rural housing);
      25. Klobuchar amendment #2299 (transportation study);
      26. Carper amendment #2287 (poultry feed research);
      27. Sanders amendment #2254 (biomass);
      28. Thune amendment #2437 (crop insurance);
      29. Durbin-Coburn amendment #2439 (crop insurance);
      30. Snowe amendment #2190 (milk marketing order reform);
      31. Ayotte amendment #2192 (value added grants);
      32. Collins amendment #2444 (dairy);
      33. Grassley amendment #2167 (pay cap marketing loans);
      34. Sessions amendment #2174 (SNAP);
      35. Nelson-NE amendment #2243 (SNAP);
      36. Sessions amendment #2172 (SNAP);
      37. Paul amendment #2181 ($250,000 income limit);
      38. Alexander amendment #2191 (wind loans);
      39. McCain amendment #2199 (catfish);
      40. Toomey amendment #2217 (organic/AMA);
      41. DeMint amendment #2263 (broadband funding);
      42. DeMint amendment #2262 (SoS Free MKT);
      43. DeMint amendment #2268 (Loan guarantees);
      44. DeMint amendment #2276 (checkoffs);
      45. DeMint amendment #2273 (broadband);
      46. Coburn amendment #2289 (MAP);
      47. Coburn amendment #2293 (Limit Millionaires);
      48. Kerry amendment #2454 (North Korea);
      49. Kyl amendment #2354 (North Korea);
      50. Lee amendment #2313 (Forest Legacy);
      51. Lee amendment #2314 (CSP/CRP cut);
      52. Boozman amendment #2355 (Ag research, law info);
      53. Boozman amendment #2360 (TEFAP);
      54. Toomey amendment #2226 (energy title);
      55. Toomey amendment #2433 (sugar);
      56. Lee Motion to Recommit (FY 2008 levels);
      57. Johnson-WI Motion to Recommit;
      58. Chambliss amendment #2438 (conservation crop insurance);
      59. Chambliss amendment #2340 (sugar);
      60. Chambliss amendment #2432 (FMPP);
      61. Ayotte amendment #2195 (GAO crop insurance fraud report);
      62. Blunt amendment #2246 (veterans);
      63. Moran amendment #2403 (food aid);
      64. Moran amendment #2443 (beginning farmers)
      65. Vitter amendment #2363 (pets)
      66. Toomey amendment #2247 (paperwork);
      67. Sanders amendment #2310 (genetically engineered food);
      68. Coburn amendment #2214 (convention funding);
      69. Boxer amendment #2456 (aerial inspections);
      70. Johanns amendment #2372 (aerial inspections);
      71. Murray amendment # 2455(sequestration);
      72. McCain amendment #2162 (Sequestration report â€" DoD); and
      73. Rubio amendment #2166 (RAISE Act).
    • At 2:15 PM, the Senate will proceed to a series of ROLL CALL VOTES in relation to the amendments in the order listed alternating between Republican and Democratic sponsored amendments; There be no amendments or motions in order to the amendments prior to the votes other than motions to waive points of order and motions to table; There be two minutes of debate equally divided in the usual form in between the votes and all after the first vote be ten minute votes.
    • The Toomey amendment #2247 (paperwork); Sanders amendment #2310 (genetically engineered food); Coburn amendment #2214 (convention funding); Boxer amendment #2456 (aerial inspections); Johanns amendment #2372 (aerial inspections); Murray amendment # 2455 (sequestration); McCain amendment #2162 (Sequestration report â€" DoD); and Rubio amendment #2166 (RAISE Act) be subject to a 60 affirmative vote threshold.
    • Upon disposition of the amendments, the bill, as amended, be read a third time; that there be up to ten minutes equally divided in the usual form prior to a ROLL CALL VOTE on passage of the bill, as amended, if amended. (60-vote required).
    • At a time to be determined by the Majority leader after consultation with the Republican leader, the Republican leader or his designee be recognized to move to proceed to the consideration of S. J. Res. 37, the Inhofe Utility MACT Resolution of Disapproval. There will be up to 4 hours of debate on the Motion to Proceed with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees. Further, that two hours of debate, equally divided, occur on Tuesday, June 19, and the Senate resume consideration of the Motion to Proceed at 10:30 AM Wednesday, June 20, for the remaining two hours of debate.
  • Wednesday, June 20 --
    • At 12:30 PM, Wednesday, June 20, the Senate will proceed to a ROLL CALL VOTE on the Motion to Proceed to S. J. Res. 37, the Inhofe Utility MACT Resolution of Disapproval.
      • If the Motion to Proceed is successful, the time for debate with respect to the Joint Resolution will be equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. Upon the use or yielding back of time, the Joint Resolution will be read a third time, the Senate proceed to a ROLL CALL VOTE on passage of the Joint Resolution. Finally, all other provisions of the statute governing consideration of the Joint Resolution remain in effect.
The Senate stands adjourned until 10:00 AM Tuesday, June 19th.

Reid (UC), Stabenow

Flood Insurance bill (S. 1940)

Jun 18 2012

Senator Reid: (8:17 PM)
  • Unanimous Consent --
    • When the Senate resumes consideration of S. 3240, the Farm bill, the pending motion to recommit be withdrawn; that amendment #2390 be withdrawn; that the Stabenow-Roberts amendment #2389 be Agreed to; the bill, as amended, be considered original text for the purposes of further amendment; that the following amendments and motions be the only first degree amendments and motions in order to the bill:
      1. Akaka amendment #2440 (highly fractionated tribal lands);
      2. Akaka amendment #2396 (tribal relations office);
      3. Baucus amendment #2429 (Livestock);
      4. Bingaman amendment #2364 (multi-state aquifers);
      5. Brown-OH amendment #2445 (rural development);
      6. Cantwell amendment #2370 (pulse pilot);
      7. Casey amendment #2238 (technical/study -federal milk marketing)
      8. Coons amendment #2426 (poultry insurance study);
      9. Feinstein amendment #2422 (conservation innovation grants);
      10. Feinstein amendment #2309 (insurance recall);
      11. Gillibrand amendment #2156 (SNAP);
      12. Hagan amendment #2366 (crop insurance â€" plain language);
      13. Kerry amendment #2187 (commercial fishermen);
      14. Landrieu amendment #2321 (rural development loans);
      15. Manchin amendment #2345 (dietary study);
      16. Merkley amendment #2382 (organic crop insurance);
      17. Schumer amendment #2427 (acer);
      18. Stabenow amendment #2453 (NAP);
      19. Udall-CO amendment #2295 (bark beetle);
      20. Warner amendment #2457 (rural broadband);
      21. Wyden amendment #2442 (microloans);
      22. Wyden amendment #2388 (farm to school);
      23. Leahy amendment #2204 (rural development);
      24. Nelson-NE amendment #2242 (rural housing);
      25. Klobuchar amendment #2299 (transportation study);
      26. Carper amendment #2287 (poultry feed research);
      27. Sanders amendment #2254 (biomass);
      28. Thune amendment #2437 (crop insurance);
      29. Durbin-Coburn amendment #2439 (crop insurance);
      30. Snowe amendment #2190 (milk marketing order reform);
      31. Ayotte amendment #2192 (value added grants);
      32. Collins amendment #2444 (dairy);
      33. Grassley amendment #2167 (pay cap marketing loans);
      34. Sessions amendment #2174 (SNAP);
      35. Nelson-NE amendment #2243 (SNAP);
      36. Sessions amendment #2172 (SNAP);
      37. Paul amendment #2181 ($250,000 income limit);
      38. Alexander amendment #2191 (wind loans);
      39. McCain amendment #2199 (catfish);
      40. Toomey amendment #2217 (organic/AMA);
      41. DeMint amendment #2263 (broadband funding);
      42. DeMint amendment #2262 (SoS Free MKT);
      43. DeMint amendment #2268 (Loan guarantees);
      44. DeMint amendment #2276 (checkoffs);
      45. DeMint amendment #2273 (broadband);
      46. Coburn amendment #2289 (MAP);
      47. Coburn amendment #2293 (Limit Millionaires);
      48. Kerry amendment #2454 (North Korea);
      49. Kyl amendment #2354 (North Korea);
      50. Lee amendment #2313 (Forest Legacy);
      51. Lee amendment #2314 (CSP/CRP cut);
      52. Boozman amendment #2355 (Ag research, law info);
      53. Boozman amendment #2360 (TEFAP);
      54. Toomey amendment #2226 (energy title);
      55. Toomey amendment #2433 (sugar);
      56. Lee Motion to Recommit (FY 2008 levels);
      57. Johnson-WI Motion to Recommit;
      58. Chambliss amendment #2438 (conservation crop insurance);
      59. Chambliss amendment #2340 (sugar);
      60. Chambliss amendment #2432 (FMPP);
      61. Ayotte amendment #2195 (GAO crop insurance fraud report);
      62. Blunt amendment #2246 (veterans);
      63. Moran amendment #2403 (food aid);
      64. Moran amendment #2443 (beginning farmers)
      65. Vitter amendment #2363 (pets)
      66. Toomey amendment #2247 (paperwork);
      67. Sanders amendment #2310 (genetically engineered food);
      68. Coburn amendment #2214 (convention funding);
      69. Boxer amendment #2456 (aerial inspections);
      70. Johanns amendment #2372 (aerial inspections);
      71. Murray amendment # 2455(sequestration);
      72. McCain amendment #2162 (Sequestration report â€" DoD); and
      73. Rubio amendment #2166 (RAISE Act).
    • At 2:15 PM, Tuesday, June 19th, the Senate proceed to a series of ROLL CALL VOTES in relation to the amendments in the order listed alternating between Republican and Democratic sponsored amendments; There be no amendments or motions in order to the amendments prior to the votes other than motions to waive points of order and motions to table; There be two minutes of debate equally divided in the usual form in between the votes and all after the first vote be ten minute votes.
    • The Toomey amendment #2247 (paperwork); Sanders amendment #2310 (genetically engineered food); Coburn amendment #2214 (convention funding); Boxer amendment #2456 (aerial inspections); Johanns amendment #2372 (aerial inspections); Murray amendment # 2455 (sequestration); McCain amendment #2162 (Sequestration report â€" DoD); and Rubio amendment #2166 (RAISE Act) be subject to a 60 affirmative vote threshold.
    • Upon disposition of the amendments, the bill, as amended, be read a third time; that there be up to ten minutes equally divided in the usual form prior to a ROLL CALL VOTE on passage of the bill, as amended, if amended. Finally passage of the bill be subject to a 60-vote threshold (without objection).

Senator Stabenow: (8:28 PM)
  • Spoke on the Farm bill.

Brown-MA, Brown-OH, Inhofe, Durbin

Flood Insurance bill (S. 1940)

Jun 18 2012

Senator Brown-MA: (6:11 PM)
  • Spoke on the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force base in Massachusetts (Cybersecurity).
    • SUMMARY "Massachusetts has been a leader for many decades. Groundbreaking innovation in cybersecurity has taken place in Massachusetts, as we speak. Perhaps more than any other state in our entire nation, that innovation is happening at universities like the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies, in our defense sector. Our capabilities are second to none. The Electronics Systems Center has unlimited potential to take on future missions and threats in the realm of cybersecurity. The Air Force and MIT labs have upgrading our nation's ability to meet the cybersecurity requirements. The Department of Defense and the Air Force continues to depend on urge matched cyber expertise. To ensure our nation's crucial cyber defenses, I say again very firmly today that the air force must preserve the senior three-star Massachusetts in Massachusetts. It just does not make sense for our military cyber leadership, expertise, and talent to be based in a location where some of the world's most leadership is taking place. Placing the cyber team under a chain of command with a three-star general in another state with a number of other Air Force responsibilities diminishes our nation's a to deliver critical cyber tools and resources and impacts our ability to respond to ever-growing cyber threats. Congress has spoken in a bipartisan and bicameral way. We have stated our position clearly. The Air Force should not move forward with any force structure changes until Congress has had an opportunity to review what our appropriate force structure mix should be, particularly as it relates to cybersecurity. We absolutely, positively must be ready to meet this next-generation threat. The one that keeps secretary up at night. I will continue to fight to make sure we are prepared."

Senator Brown-OH: (6:17 PM)
  • Spoke on a Resolution to commemorate Juneteenth Independence Day.

Senator Inhofe: (6:21 PM)
  • Spoke on Senator Inhofe's Utility MACT Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "As you know, the Senate will take up a vote this week on the CRA that I have offered concerning Utility MACT. Utility MACT of course means maximum achievable control technology and one of the problems we're having have the overregulation we have on a lot of these regulations is there is no technology to . The case of Utility MACT, I think everyone understands now, this is an effort to kill coal. And I know there are a lot of reasons people have on this, but recently some things have happened, and I thought I would mention that as we look toward this vote, it looks like its real estate going to be on Wednesday. It looks like there's going to be some speaking time on Tuesday. Then on witness day we'll actually have the vote. As we all know, a CRA is an effort for the elected officials to reflect upon the overregulation's and to stop a regulation. We're the ones who are accountable to the people and not the environmental protection agency. The breaking news is that President Obama just issued a statementthis afternoon that he will veto my resolution if it passes."

Senator Durbin: (6:39 PM)
  • Spoke on the DREAM Act.
    • SUMMARY "President Barack Obama declared his administration will no longer deport immigrant students who grew up in America. This action will give these young immigrants the chance to come out of the shadows and be part of the only country they've ever called home. With that decisive executive decision, America took another step towards fulfilling the founders' promise of justice for all. It's been 11 years. 11 years since I first introduced the DREAM Act. Legislation that will would allow a select group of immigrant students with real potential to contribute more fully to America. The DREAM Act would give these students a chance to earn citizenship if they came to the United States as children, they've been long-term U.S. residents, they have good moral character, graduate from high school and either complete two years of military service or two years of college."

Jun 18 2012

Confirmed, 64-27:
Executive Calendar #612, Mary Geiger Lewis, of South Carolina, to be United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Leahy

Executive Session

Jun 18 2012

Senator Leahy: (5:04 PM)
  • Spoke on judicial nominations.
    • SUMMARY "The Senate Republicans announced last week they're going to shut down and block the confirmation process for qualified and consensus circuit nominees for the rest of the year. That's unfortunate. It does nothing to help the American people or our courts. The courts continue to be overburdened while consensus nominees for vacancies that could be filled are being stalled. We're talking about in some cases nominees where you have two Republican senators from the state supporting it, others where you've got a democratic and a Republican senator have gone through our committee, usually by voice vote, they're that noncontroversial. And it's hard to see this new application of the Thurman rule as anything more than stalling tactics. I have yet to hear any good reason why we should continue to vote on well qualified consensus nominees just as we did up until September of the last two presidential election years when we had a republican president. That was supported by both Democrats and Republicans, to vote through September. I have yet to hear a good explanation why we can't work to solve the problems of high vacancies for the American people. So I'll continue to work with the Senate leadership to try to confirm as many of President Obama's qualified judicial nominees as possible because I hear from judges all over the country how these judicial vacancies are burdening our courts and American taxpayers are unable to get a court to hear their cases. Now, it's heartening to see the senior senator from Maine said she will continue to work with the bipartisan Senate leadership in an effort to bring the Maine nominee to the first circuit before the Senate for a confirmation vote. And I trust that the many Republican senators will join Senator Kyl and Senator McCain in opposing the filibuster of justice Hurwitz will now join to oppose the filibusters of William Kayatta of Maine, Judge Robert Balk of Oklahoma, Judge Schwartz of New Jersey. And I hope that the senators from South Carolina whose state's nominee we consider today will aid this effort just as we worked with them throughout the process to assure they were consulted by the president. In fact, I personally requested the president to consult with Republican senators when they're going to have a nominee from their home state. I hope they're going to show that same courtesy to other senators."
  • Spoke on GOP obstructionism.
    • SUMMARY "I think this pattern of obstruction - I say this more out of sadness than anything else - has been as transparent as the Senate Republicans' leader's statement that the single most important thing Senate Republicans want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president. Now, I fully expect them of course to support their Republican nominee for president but as they obstruct his qualified judicial nominees, they've also rejected virtually every effort this president has made to improve the economy and to create jobs. And they've become the party of no. No help for the American people, no to jobs, no to economic recovery, no to police, firefighters, and teachers, no to students seeking help to pay for their education, no to consumer protection, no to assisting state and local governments, no to the Highway bill, no to any more judges. I think the obstruction of judicial nominations is just one more example of Republicans saying no or going slow as they have to the firefighters, the teachers, the students or the consumer protections or those 50 states that want to go forward with Highway bills. Now, I know Vermonters and I hear from Vermonters, Republicans and Democrats alike - they can't wait while politics trump sound policy efforts here in Washington. It's time for a reality check. Our economy is showing some signs of progress since the economic collapse of four years ago. There is no doubt domestic job growth has not been as strong as we had hoped, even though we have under 5% unemployment in Vermont, we still have too many Vermonters looking for work. We have to continue to look for ways to spur job growth and economic investment in this country. Efforts by Congress to increase jobs, to reduce our unemployment, support hard-working American families struggling to keep food on their table and roofs under their heads meet with partisan obstruction, too. While Congress delays, the clock is ticking down for millions of Americans struggling to afford college, those struggling to pay back student loans once they graduate. In less than two weeks millions of jobs will be put on hold when critical transportation programs including funding for the highway trust fund expire. Failing to pass a long-term Transportation bill jeopardizes thousands of construction development projects, impacting millions of jobs in every single state in this country. In a little over a month important legislation to extend the national flood insurance program will expire. Failure to reauthorize this important program puts at risk the sale of thousands of homes at a time when our housing market is still trying to recover. And meanwhile in this election year Republicans in Congress are more intent on extending the Bush era tax cuts that contributed to the financial crisis facing us today than working together to move toward reasonable policies."

Leahy

Executive Session

Jun 18 2012

Senator Leahy: (5:04 PM)
  • Spoke on judicial nominations.
    • SUMMARY "The Senate Republicans announced last week they're going to shut down and block the confirmation process for qualified and consensus circuit nominees for the rest of the year. That's unfortunate. It does nothing to help the American people or our courts. The courts continue to be overburdened while consensus nominees for vacancies that could be filled are being stalled. We're talking about in some cases nominees where you have two Republican senators from the state supporting it, others where you've got a democratic and a Republican senator have gone through our committee, usually by voice vote, they're that noncontroversial. And it's hard to see this new application of the Thurman rule as anything more than stalling tactics. I have yet to hear any good reason why we should continue to vote on well qualified consensus nominees just as we did up until September of the last two presidential election years when we had a republican president. That was supported by both Democrats and Republicans, to vote through September. I have yet to hear a good explanation why we can't work to solve the problems of high vacancies for the American people. So I'll continue to work with the Senate leadership to try to confirm as many of President Obama's qualified judicial nominees as possible because I hear from judges all over the country how these judicial vacancies are burdening our courts and American taxpayers are unable to get a court to hear their cases. Now, it's heartening to see the senior senator from Maine said she will continue to work with the bipartisan Senate leadership in an effort to bring the Maine nominee to the first circuit before the Senate for a confirmation vote. And I trust that the many Republican senators will join Senator Kyl and Senator McCain in opposing the filibuster of justice Hurwitz will now join to oppose the filibusters of William Kayatta of Maine, Judge Robert Balk of Oklahoma, Judge Schwartz of New Jersey. And I hope that the senators from South Carolina whose state's nominee we consider today will aid this effort just as we worked with them throughout the process to assure they were consulted by the president. In fact, I personally requested the president to consult with Republican senators when they're going to have a nominee from their home state. I hope they're going to show that same courtesy to other senators".
  • Spoke on GOP obstructionism.
    • "I think this pattern of obstruction - I say this more out of sadness than anything else - has been as transparent as the Senate Republicans' leader's statement that the single most important thing Senate Republicans want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president. Now, I fully expect them of course to support their Republican nominee for president but as they obstruct his qualified judicial nominees, they've also rejected virtually every effort this president has made to improve the economy and to create jobs. And they've become the party of no. No help for the American people, no to jobs, no to economic recovery, no to police, firefighters, and teachers, no to students seeking help to pay for their education, no to consumer protection, no to assisting state and local governments, no to the Highway bill, no to any more judges. I think the obstruction of judicial nominations is just one more example of Republicans saying no or going slow as they have to the firefighters, the teachers, the students or the consumer protections or those 50 states that want to go forward with Highway bills. Now, I know Vermonters and I hear from Vermonters, Republicans and Democrats alike - they can't wait while politics trump sound policy efforts here in Washington. It's time for a reality check. Our economy is showing some signs of progress since the economic collapse of four years ago. There is no doubt domestic job growth has not been as strong as we had hoped, even though we have under 5% unemployment in Vermont, we still have too many Vermonters looking for work. We have to continue to look for ways to spur job growth and economic investment in this country. Efforts by Congress to increase jobs, to reduce our unemployment, support hard-working American families struggling to keep food on their table and roofs under their heads meet with partisan obstruction, too. While Congress delays, the clock is ticking down for millions of Americans struggling to afford college, those struggling to pay back student loans once they graduate. In less than two weeks millions of jobs will be put on hold when critical transportation programs including funding for the highway trust fund expire. Failing to pass a long-term Transportation bill jeopardizes thousands of construction development projects, impacting millions of jobs in every single state in this country. In a little over a month important legislation to extend the national flood insurance program will expire. Failure to reauthorize this important program puts at risk the sale of thousands of homes at a time when our housing market is still trying to recover. And meanwhile in this election year Republicans in Congress are more intent on extending the Bush era tax cuts that contributed to the financial crisis facing us today than working together to move toward reasonable policies."

Kyl, Johnson-SD, McCain

Flood Insurance bill (S. 1940)

Jun 18 2012

Senator Kyl: (3:25 PM)
  • Responded to President Obama's remarks on debt, spending, and taxes.
    • SUMMARY "Since he took office, the national debt has climbed by $5 trillion. It's now larger than the entire economy. If you take his entire four years and all of the presidents before him, he has incurred as much debt as all of the presidents from George Washington through George W. Bush, just in his time as president. Yearly deficits, which is the gap between revenues and spending, has grown substantially, despite a promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, the president has run annual deficits in excess of $1 trillion for four years in a row. None of this has been anything to do with what happened before he became president. So how about after he became president? According to the president's own budget numbers, in 2009, the first year of his presidency, the deficit was $1.4 trillion. In 2010, the deficit was $1.3 trillion. In 2011, again it was $1.3 trillion. And if the president's policies are followed, the deficit in this year is expected to top $1.3 trillion. Those are all in the years when he was president. The highest deficit under President Bush, his predecessor, $458 billion. That was in 2008. Every deficit under President Obama has been more than double that figure. But President Obama says he's blameless when it comes to the debt problem. Not hardly. He's never even submitted a plan that comes close to balancing the budget, even with the massive tax hike that he supports. As Washington Post columnist David Milbank wrote last week, "Despite the president's claim that both parties have laid out their policies on the table, President Obama has made no serious proposal to fix the runaway entitlement programs that threaten to swamp the government's finances." Let's like at the president's claims that spending has grown more slowly than during any presidency in the last 60 years. That claim does not pass the smell test The former director of the National Economic Council is one of many observers who has de debunked this claim. First, as Hennessy notes, the president's claim is bade on a discredited article that he isn't accountable for anything that happened before October 1, 2009. That's the start of the fiscal year, but of course he took office almost nine months before that time. In other words, that timetable excludes the auto bailouts, the first year of the stimulus bill ... Freddie Mac and a lot of other things. As Hennessey writes, this date was cherry picked to make President Obama's record look good. And i would just ask does President Obama also disclaim anything to do with bailing out the auto companies, for example, that occurred in that period of time? No, last time I checked he was bragging about that. That's the height of cherry picking. Things that make you look good, you take, the things that don't, you reject. You can't have it both ways. Second, the president actually proposed spending far higher than what was enacted into law. For example, his latest budget request proposed spending of $3.72 trillion in fiscal year 2013 but the president's taking credit for spending in the CBO baseline which is $3.58 trillion which is some what less than the $3.72 trillion that he proposed. So the president wanted to spend more but was restrained by the Republicans in the House of Representatives I want to address the President's claim that the tax relief that Congress enacted in 2001 and 2003 somehow played an outsized role in driving up the debt. You've heard him talk about this. If it weren't for the Bush tax cuts, he said, we'd be closer to having a balanced budget. Just not true. The reference for this, the nonpartisan referees at the Congressional Budget Office. These are not partisan people, not on one side or the other. And they have shown that what we have is a spending problem. Not a revenue problem. In many of 2011, CBO released an analysis showing that nearly 50% of the cumulative budget deficit since 2001 is due to increased government spending. 28% of it is due to economic and technical corrections, 11% is due to temporary surplus like tax provisions. The 2001 and 2003 tax relief to which President Obama refers, which, by the way, is the same tax relief he extended for two years, about a year and a half ago, that accounts for how much? Just 14% of the deficit since 2001 and 2003. So far from being the cause of the deficit, it only accounts for 14% of the deficit. It's inaccurate for the president to place the blame for his spending record on broad-based pro-growth tax leave that has helped to create jobs and economic growth in this country prior to the last downturn, and that he himself supported extending. Additionally, the recently released long-term budget outlook estimates that tax revenues will exceed the historical average in the next ten years if these same tax policies, the 2001 and 2003 tax relief is extended and if Congress prevents the alternative minimum tax from hitting millions of middle-class families. That's what republicans have been supporting all along. We'll get back to the historical average of revenues raised. We all know that robust economic growth is the most effective way to reduce our debt, and that raising taxes will not achieve that goal."

Senator Johnson-SD: (3:49 PM)
  • Spoke on the Farm bill.
    • SUMMARY "The bill as reported out of the Ag committee saves taxpayers more than $23 billion over the next ten years and will support millions of jobs. With this bill, we're taking several important steps in making our farm support system more responsive to actual need rather than sending payments to producers no matter what they grow. We are long past due in eliminating direct payments. At the same time, we're maintaining a strong crop insurance program and creating a new system that makes assistance available to producers when they actually experience loss. Another important area of reform in this bill is implementations in ensuring that actual farmers receive payments. Senators Grassley and I have worked for years to lower the caps on farm payments and direct payments to farmers. The new agricultural risk coverage program contains a cap of $50,000 and requires that program payment recipients contribute to the farm operation. Current law has enabled multiple farm managers in their operation to qualify for farm program payments with as little participation as one conference call a year. Not anymore under this bill. I'm disappointed that there have been amendments filed to weaken this language. I don't understand how anyone can stand before this body and just sending farm program payments to people who aren't engaged in agriculture. Our country faces serious physical challenges, and it seems to me that limiting farm payments to real farmers is a reasonable concept. I urge my colleagues to oppose efforts to weaken this language. With this bill, we are also taking important steps to combine and streamline our conservation programs while still allowing us to continue meeting the same water and wildlife goals."

Senator McCain: (4:36 PM)
  • Spoke on the Boxing Act of 2012.
    • SUMMARY "Legislation that Senator Reid and I are introducing would establish the United States Boxing Commission, the USBC to provide integrity within this profession through better reporting and disclosure, requiring that the sport avoid the conflict of interest which causes fans to question the outcome which utters the sport. If enacted, the commission would administer federal boxing land coordinate with other federal regulatory agencies to ensure that this law is enforced. Oversee all professional boxing matches in the United States, and work with the boxing industry and local commissions to improve the safety, integrity, and professionalism of professional boxing in the United States. More specifically, this legislation would require that all referees and judges participating in a championship or a professional bout lasting ten rounds or more be fully registered and licensed for the commission. Further, while a sanctioning organization could provide a list of judges and referees deemed qualified, only the boxing commission will appoint the judges and referees participating in these matches. Additionally, the commission would license boxers, promoters, managers, and sanctioning organizations. The commission would have the authority to revoke such a license for violations of federal boxing law to stop unethical or illegal conduct, to protect the health and safety of a boxer, or if the revocations otherwise in the public interest. The professional boxing amendments act would strengthen existing federal boxing law by improving the basic health and safety standards for professional boxers. Establishing a centralized medical registry to be used by local commissions to protect boxers, reducing the arbitrary practices of sanctioning organizations, and enhancing the uniformity and basic standards for professional boxing contracts. Most importantly, this legislation would establish a federal regulatory entity to oversee professional boxing and set basic uniform standards for certain aspects of the sport."

Reid

Opening Remarks

Jun 18 2012

  • Today --
    • The Senate will resume consideration of the Motion to Proceed to S. 1940, the Flood Insurance bill.
    • At 5:00 PM, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and begin up to 30 minutes of debate, equally divided, on Executive Calendar #612, Mary Geiger Lewis, of South Carolina, to be U.S. District Judge for the District of South Carolina.
    • At 5:30 PM, the Senate will conduct a ROLL CALL VOTE on the nomination.
    • Pending is S. 3240, the Farm bill. The following amendments are pending to the bill:
      1. Reid (for Stabenow/Roberts) amendment #2389 (managers amendment);
      2. Reid 2nd-degree amendment #2390 (date change) to Reid (for Stabenow/Roberts) amendment #2389;
      3. Reid Motion to Recommit and report back with Reid amendment #2391 (instructions);
      4. Reid amendment #2406 (text of Coburn amendment #2353 re: working lands conservation programs) to Reid amendment #2391; and
      5. Reid 2nd-degree amendment #2407 (text of DeMint amendment #2285 re: discretionary spending) to Reid amendment #2406.

Senator Reid: (3:02 PM)
  • Spoke on the Farm bill.
    • SUMMARY "I have spoken to Senator Stabenow several times in the last couple of days. In fact, we got back today at about 2:00 and she indicated to me they have made progress on the bill. There was one amendment she was concerned about. I told her we could have that as part of the consent agreement. So I have worked very hard to try to make life for Senators Stabenow and Roberts easier and work through some of the problems that my people had. But, the issues on this bill overwhelmingly are on the other side, and I hope that we can work something out. They have worked so hard, Stabenow and Roberts, and I hope we can find a path forward. It's important. I commend them for their dedication to this measure. It shuts subsidies and protects 16 million American jobs. We have spent so much precious time on this bill, precious time that we don't have. We need to move forward on it. We're going to move forward or off this bill. I hope we will be able to move forward today with this. Otherwise, we're going to have to file cloture on the bill as we have had too much - this is the third week of jockeying around on this bill."
  • Spoke on the DREAM Act.
    • SUMMARY "The DREAM Act would create a pathway to citizenship for outstanding young people who were brought to this country through no fault of their own who want to attend college or serve our nation in the armed services. The DREAM Act is not amnesty. It rewards responsibility and opportunity ... Unfortunately, Republican opposition stalled this legislation. I was stunned listening to the Republican nominee for president say why doesn't Congress do this? We have tried. We can't get republican votes. We have tried. Thanks to President Obama, Astrid and 800,000 other young people just like her who are American all but paperwork no longer need to live in fear of deportation. President Obama's order to suspend deportation of the people comes after a year-long review. It removes the specter of deportation that has hovered over deserving young men and women are we better off saying stay in the shadows, or are we better off letting them get an education and serve our country in the military? The answer is so easy. To remove the aspect of deportation that is hovering over young men and women. That's what President Obama did. So I congratulate him for this greatest decision, a decision that benefits both the dreamers and our nation as a whole. Like Astrid, these young people share our language, share our culture, share our love for America, the only country they know. They are talented, patriotic men and women who want to defend our nation in the military, get a college education, work hard, contribute to their communities in this country. When they pledge allegiance, it's the United States of America. Unfortunately, President Obama's directive is temporary. The onus is now on Congress to protect the dreamers and fix our broken immigration system once and for all. For all these people who are saying why didn't he do it in Congress, we tried. We invite them here. If they want to make it permanent, it could be done very easily. Comprehensive immigration reform should be tough, fair and practical. We should continue to secure our borders, require 11 million undocumented people to pay taxes, fine, learn English. Then they don't go to the front of the line. They go to the back of the line and work their way up. Some Republicans have suggested a solution to the dreamers' terrible dilemma is from Congress, not president, as I have talked about here today already. I repeat. It's Republican opposition that has prevented Congress from acting blocked the DREAM Act twice. Many Republicans who once said they favor a long-term fix for America's broken immigration system are now banning efforts to find common ground. And it was interesting to note the former governor of Massachusetts on one of the Sunday shows yesterday refused to answer the question being asked four times by Bob Schaffer. What's your proposal? He couldn't answer it four times. We all know he said if the DREAM Act passed, he would veto it. Essaying why don't you work it out in Congress? But saying if you do, I'm going to veto it. So obviously, efforts to find common ground have been abandoned. So the president took decisive action in offering this directive, but he can only do so much by himself. So for Astrid's sake and the sake of every American, it's time for Congress to become part of the solution. I hope my republican colleagues will finally join Democrats to find a bipartisan way to mend this nation's flawed immigration system instead of just complaining about the system being broken. The pathway is there. We know what needs to be done. We just need a little help from our Republican colleagues."

Jun 18 2012

The Senate Convened.

Jun 18 2012

The Senate is considering S. 3240, the farm bill, and the nomination of Mary Lewis Geiger, of South Carolina, to be U.S. district judge for the District of South Carolina.  Republican senators continue to focus on creating jobs, lowering the deficit, reducing gas prices, and replacing the Democrats' health care bill with reforms that will actually lower costs.