Senate Calendar

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jun 19 2012

Senator Boxer: (9:44 PM)
  • Performed Wrap Up --
  • Tomorrow --
    • The Senate will convene at 9:30 AM and Majority Leader Reid will be recognized. The Senate will resume consideration of the Motion to Proceed to S. J. Res. 37, the Utility MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval. The time until 11:30 AM will be equally divided, with the Republicans controlling the first 15 minutes and the Majority controlling the second 15 minutes.
    • At 11:30 AM, the Senate will conduct a ROLL CALL VOTE on the Motion to Proceed to S. J. Res. 37.
      • If the Motion to Proceed is Agreed to, 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 Senate will conduct a ROLL CALL VOTE on passage of S. J. Res. 37.
    • Thereafter, the Senate will conduct a series of ROLL CALL VOTES on the amendments listed below, alternating between Republican and Democratic sponsored amendments. There will 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 will be two minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to each vote and all votes after the first vote will be ten minute votes. NOTE: The Senate is not expected to conduct ROLL CALL VOTES on all of the amendments. Upon disposition of all amendments, the Senate will conduct a ROLL CALL VOTE on passage of the bill, as amended (60 votes required).
      1. Bennet-Crapo amendment #2202;
      2. Manchin amendment #2345 (dietary study);
      3. Merkley amendment #2382 (organic crop insurance);
      4. Schumer amendment #2427 (ACRE);
      5. Stabenow amendment #2453 (NAP);
      6. Udall-CO amendment #2295 (bark beetle);
      7. Warner amendment #2457 (rural broadband);
      8. Wyden amendment #2442 (microloans);
      9. Wyden amendment #2388 (farm to school);
      10. Leahy amendment #2204 (rural development);
      11. Nelson-NE amendment #2242 (rural housing);
      12. Klobuchar amendment #2299 (transportation study);
      13. Carper amendment #2287 (poultry feed research);
      14. Sanders amendment #2254 (biomass);
      15. Thune amendment #2437 (crop insurance);
      16. Durbin/Coburn amendment #2439 (crop insurance);
      17. DeMint amendment #2273 (broadband);
      18. Coburn amendment #2289 (MAP);
      19. Coburn amendment #2293 (limit millionaires);
      20. Kerry amendment #2454 (North Korea);
      21. Kyl amendment #2354 (North Korea);
      22. Lee amendment #233 (Forest Legacy);
      23. Lee amendment #2314 (CSP/CRP cut);
      24. Boozman amendment #2355 (Ag research, law info);
      25. Boozman amendment #2360 (TEFAP).
      26. Toomey amendment #2226 (energy title);
      27. Toomey amendment #2433 (sugar);
      28. Lee Motion to Recommit (FY 2008 levels);
      29. Johnson-WI Motion to Recommit (Nutrition and Agriculture titles);
      30. Chambliss amendment #2438 (conservation crop insurance);
      31. Chambliss amendment #2340 (sugar);
      32. Chambliss amendment #2432 (FMPP);
      33. Ayotte amendment #2195 (GAO crop insurance fraud report);
      34. Blunt amendment #2246 (veterans);
      35. Moran amendment #2403 (food aid);
      36. Moran amendment #2443 (beginning farmers);
      37. Vitter amendment #2363 (pets);
      38. Toomey amendment #2247 (paperwork);
      39. Sanders amendment #2310 (genetically engineered food) (60 votes required);
      40. Coburn amendment #2214 (convention funding) (60 votes required);
      41. Boxer amendment #2456 (aerial inspections) (60 votes required);
      42. Johanns amendment #2372 (aerial inspections) (60 votes required);
      43. Murray amendment #2455 (sequestration) to (60 votes required);
      44. McCain amendment #2162 (sequestration report re: DoD) (60 votes required); and
      45. Rubio amendment #2166 (RAISE Act) to S. 3240, the Farm bill (60 votes required).
The Senate stands adjourned until 9:30 AM Wednesday, June 20th.

Boxer, Lautenberg, Whitehouse

Utility MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval (S. J. Res. 37)

Jun 19 2012

Senator Boxer: (9:00 PM)
  • Spoke on the Utility MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "Under this president, we've seen more domestic energy production than we've seen probably in decades and decades and decades. More domestic energy production and less reliance on foreign imported oil than we've seen in decades and decades. So let's not attack President Obama for not working to ensure that we have the domestic capacity here at home to produce energy, because we're producing it from all sources, from all sources. The other point i want to make is that my friends on the other side are ignoring the facts, and the facts are that for every $1 to $3 that will be invested in clean utilities here - clean utilities - we get back $9 in benefits ... The other point i want to make which is very, very important is that one half of our coal-fired power plants have already made these important technology upgrades. And that is wonderful news. Well, why would we reward companies that haven't done what these others have done, that are continuing to spew forth the most dangerous chemicals? The list of them goes on and on. But we're talking about mercury. We're talking about arsenic, lead, formaldehyde. And i'll get into that. So why are we rewarding, if we allow this congressional resolution to pass, why would we be rewarding the most recalcitrant utilities that are not cleaning up when the technology is clearly there? There's a cost-benefit ratio. Our kids will breathe better."

Senator Lautenberg: (9:03 PM)
  • Spoke on the Utility MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "Under our friend from Oklahoma, Senator Inhofe, his proposal would say that companies should be free to spew toxic air pollution out of their smoke stacks. Regardless of whether it goes into neighborhoods where our children play or in the path of their exercise and games. This is the picture that you would see. We've all seen it at different times in our lives. But we've learned something over the years. We've learned that we can reduce this threat that comes out of these smoke stacks. We have a devil of a time in the state of New Jersey because it's from states to the west of us that we get much of the pollution in our communities. And even if we had a state's option fully, we couldn't do much about it if our neighbors to the west permitted to let their companies to emit the poisonous air. The standards that Senator Inhofe wants to overturn, the Clean Air Act amendments that were approved by Republicans and Democrats over 20 years ago, in 1990, most Americans would be disappointed to learn that power plants have been free to put unlimited amounts of mercury into the air that our children breathe. After years of delay and dirty air, the new standards will finally require power plants to cut mercury pollution. Mercury is a highly toxic brain poison. It's a brain poison, even in low doses mercury can cause damage to fetuses and infants that would permanently affect a child's development. Every year 630,000 babies are born with unsafe levels of mercury in their blood. Let's be clear about this, what this means. Mercury is poison and children are being born with it coursing through their veins. Now these children suffer from brain damage, learning disabilities, hearing loss. The mercury that they're born with can damage their kidneys, their livers, nervous systems. The power plants that spew mercury also emit pollutants that trigger asthma attacks ... For every dollar we spend to reduce pollution, we get $3 to $9 in health benefits. A child born with pollution in her body is setback from day one and is going to carry that disability for her full life. The polluters just ignore the cost to American families. These companies think that their right to pollute is more important than our kid's right to breathe. And I can't believe that they're willing to risk the health of a baby in their home or their grandchildren's home. They say they're cleaning up their act, that cleaning up their act will cut into their profits. But we know clean air isn't just good for other help. It is good for business. We get no proof than when we look no farther than our state of New Jersey and our largest utility public service electric and gas. They invested $1.5 billion to upgrade their power plants. They cut emissions of mercury and acid gases by 90% or more. And they created more than 1,600 new jobs in the process. And that's what happens. That's the real picture, because it's clear about what this resolution as proposed would do. It would effectively kill any EPA action to reduce mercury now or in the future. And it's just unacceptable."

Senator Whitehouse: (9:17 PM)
  • Spoke on the Utility MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "One of my colleagues said that this rule which will for the first time require our power plants to meet mercury emission standards that other industries have had to meet and have successfully met for years, that that is now coming on, to use his words, too far and too fast, too far and too fast. The Clean Air Act was passed 30 years ago, and specific to this, in the year 2000, EPA began the process that has culminated in this rule, determining that it would be "appropriate and necessary to have a rule on this kind of hazardous air pollution being emitted by power plants. So here we are in 2012 and we're being told that it is too fast that utilities are obliged to comply with a program that was first announced as appropriate and necessary in the year 2000. It would seem to me that a dozen years' notice is enough, and particularly where other industries have already met these standards. On that note, the same colleagues said compliance with these standards is - quote - nearly impossible. Well, it's obviously not nearly impossible if other industries have already complied with the standard that the electric utility industry is being asked to comply with, but more specifically, this rule sets the mark at a level where the highest performing 12% of emitters already are. They're already there. Although it's not a question of compliance being nearly impossible. Compliance is actually already achieved by the good-behaving and responsible utilities that have put the technology to work to clean up their exhausts. In a letter that ... 16 of my colleagues ... wrote to the president supporting this rule, we described for one thing a utility called Constellation which has invested to add environmental controls and a new scrubber to its Brandon Shores facility in Maryland, cutting mercury emissions by 90%, and also in addition creating 1,385 jobs at peak construction, not counting the many more jobs manufacturing those clean air technologies. So this is not nearly impossible. This is being done regularly."

Senator Boxer: (9:32 PM)
  • Spoke on the Utility MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "What does this resolution do? Because I know people may be following this, say what exactly does Senator Inhofe and his colleagues want to do. They want to repeal a rule that's about to go into place. It would block the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing the first-ever national mercury and air toxics standards for power plants. These power plants are giving off these poisons, and these poisons are going into the air ... So poisons are being spewed into the air by these power plants, and in 1990, in a vote of 89-10 and in the House 401-25, we passed the Clean Air Act. And those were the amendments. And it was signed by George Herbert Walker Bush. And more than 20 years later, we have a court order here because we didn't do what we were supposed to do. And now the president, President Obama, is doing the right thing to protect the people by moving forward with this first-ever national standard. So we have to defeat this push to stop the Obama administration from doing what we wanted them to do since 1990, we wanted the then EPA to do, and it's taken this much time to get it done. And just as we're on the brink of getting this protective rule, which is so cost efficient that for every $1 to $3 we save $9, they want to turn it around. Now, what's at stake? 4,200 to 11,000 additional premature deaths. So when people say what we do doesn't matter, I say look at this. If this rule is repealed, more people will die prematurely - we'll have 4,700 heart attacks, 130,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms, 6,300 cases of acute bronchitis, 5,700 emergency room visits and hospital admissions, 540,000 days of missed work due to respiratory illness. And, again, $3 to $9 in benefits for every $1 invested in these power plants, one half of which have already done the right thing. Half of the coal powered plants have done this already. We're talking about ensuring that the rest of them do the same. Many companies have addressed their mercury and air toxic emissions. We should thank the coal companies who have already cleaned up their act, not reward those who have delayed installing the pollution control equipment. Anyone on the other side who says there is no pollution control equipment available and this can't be done and it's going to result in increased electric utility rates should listen to the facts. Talk to the people who already installed these important mechanisms. They created jobs doing it and electric prices really, there was no impact. Okay. I talked about the jobs that are provided when we clean up these utilities. 8,000 long-term jobs and 46,000 short-term jobs. It's actually a jobs bill when we clean up to current standards."

Carper, Johanns, Chambliss, Enzi, Shaheen, Hoeven, Sessions, Inhofe

Utility MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval (S. J. Res. 37)

Jun 19 2012

Senator Carper: (8:10 PM)
  • Spoke on the Utility MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "All uncontrolled coal fire utilities are the largest source of mercury in this country. Fortunately, current control technology can dramatically reduce mercury emissions and mercury in our local environments. This is why Senator Alexander, several of our colleagues and I have been trying for years to reduce emissions through legislation. It's also why 18 states have their own power plant mercury standards. Yet until recently we lacked a federal standard. Last December after years of delay, the EPA finally implemented under court order clean air act protections to require dirty coal plants to clean up their mercury and air toxic emissions. The EPA did so through something called the mercury and air toxic standard rule. This regulation requires dirty coal reduce mercury this will reduce mercury that pollutes our fish and harms our children's health. Implementing these long overdue regulations, the EPA provided a reasonable and achievable schedule for our power plants to reduce these harmful emissions. EPA's new standard gives utilities until 2016 to comply and EPA has also made it clear in its ruling to give companies two additional years to address reliability concerns if needed. Delaware power plants have already met these standards and so do half the power plants throughout America. Most communities will see great benefits from these rules. I'm told nationally we'll see up to $90 billion in public health benefits. As someone who tried for years to work across the aisle to find a way to clean up our nation's power plants I welcome EPA's decision to act to finally address harmful emissions. Regretfully some of our colleagues don't share the appreciation many feel for EPA's efforts to protect public health. They want to prevent these efforts from moving forward despite court orders requiring the EPA to do that. I find it remarkable some in congress would seek to prevent the EPA from following through on a law passed overwhelmingly by congress 22 years ago and signed by a Republican president. The EPA is doing what congress told them to do over two decades ago. If we let them do their job, their effort will reduce harmful pollution, improve the health of generations for children to come. As much as I hate to say it, a vote for this Congressional Review Act would delay any real hope we have of cleaning up our largest source of mercury. A vote for the congressional review act signals uncertainty and a lack of commitment, a commitment to make good on the law we passed overwhelmingly 22 years ago to protect public health in this country. We cannot afford to delay the mercury and air toxics rule. This is the time to modernize our energy fleet. This is the time to clean up our dirtiest most inefficient plants and clean up our rivers and lakes and streams. Today I rise in strong opposition to this last ditch effort to prevent the EPA from doing its job, a job we should have done in reducing these deadly emissions."

Senator Johanns: (8:18 PM)
  • Spoke on the Utility MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "In Nebraska's case, the rule would require the addition of expensive new equipment to control particulate matter in certain exhaust gases. How expensive would the utilities be? One of our state's largest utilities estimated they would need to spend about $900 million to $1.3 billion over the next three years to get in compliance. So one might ask: where is that money going to come from? Well, in our state, every single penny of these capital expenditures comes directly from users, essentially every Nebraskan. You see, in our state, the state of Nebraska, we are 100% public power. That means no stockholders, no shareholder equity, no profits to draw down. And how quickly would they need to come up with that money? The compliance period is just three years. And these are major projects, so three years is not an adequate time line. Now three years may sound plenty to some, but the actual process that needs to occur all in a specific sequence makes a three-year time line especially challenging. Preliminary engineering comes first. Then financing. Then open the projects for bidding and then determining whether compliance with bidding has occurred before you can even start the project. For public power, there are rules and procedures that control each one of these steps. In other words, there is no shortcut. And normally our utilities try to get these projects done in the periods known as soldier months. In Nebraska these months are between early spring and early fall before summer heat hits the Midwest and before the winds of winter knock at our door and take temperatures down. If the compliance schedule precludes the power plant from using these months, then the project costs go up because of the need to buy power from outside of the system. So what does that mean? It means that we are faced with compliance that is nearly impossible and the compliance state keep changing. The cross state air pollution rule, another rule EPA has finalized just in the last several months was put on hold after many states affected by the rule challenged the EPA and we may hear any day now as to whether the court will tell EPA to go back to the drawing board, rewrite that rule. But the main point is that the stream of rules coming out of EPA is huge, and compliance is nearly impossible It is also important to note what this vote is not. Number one and most significantly, this is not a vote against clean air. Everybody in my state wants clean air. Everybody wants to comply. They just want some clear, achievable rules on a time line that's reasonable. The agency needs to go back to the drawing board. Number two, the resolution does not strip EPA of its power. If the resolution passes, EPA would not be barred from trying another rule."

Senator Chambliss: (8:25 PM)
  • Spoke on the Utility MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "This set of standards one of the most expensive of its kind issued by EPA will cause a rise in electric bills for my constituents across Georgia and American citizens across this country. As our economy continues to stagnate we can hardly afford to increase the cost of electricity which will be an economic burden for individuals and businesses and will hamper economic recovery. However, electric bills are especially unwarranted when the regulations that will cause the electricity cost increase are expected to provide negligible benefits for the American public. The poor and individuals on fixed incomes such as the elderly can hardly afford higher electricity bills. These are precisely the groups disproportionately affected by Utility MACT. EPA estimates compliance with this rule will cost $9.6 billion annually in 2015, which is more conservative than many industry figures. One electric company in my home state estimates that by 2014, Utility MACT could cost them up to $250 million annually to implement. This doesn't take into account the hundreds of millions of additional dollars that the company expects to spend on complying with existing environmental statutes and regulations. Even going by EPA's own conservative $9.6 billion cost estimate, studies have shown that the costs will lead to job loss both directly at utilities and indirectly through industries and manufacturers affected. I hear every day from businesses of every size in my home state who say that the regulatory overreach of this administration threatens the very well-being of their particular business. Utility MACT is yet another example of this overreach. Instead of promulgating a limited rule to regulate mercury and air toxics known as hazardous air pollutants, as the title mercury and air toxics standards implies, EPA has extended its reach by focusing a great deal of attention on particulate matter in these standards. Particulate matter emissions not characterized as hazardous air pollutants are already subject to other EPA regulations. So with Utility MACT, EPA is going beyond what congress directed the agency to do. The extra regulations tacked on to the mercury standard adds significantly to the expected cost of this rule. Furthermore, the standards for new facilities as set forth by Utility MACT might very well prove to be unattainable. Due to the methodology employed by EPA to gather the data used to set the standards, even certain manufacturers of the emissions control equipment say that they cannot guarantee that their technology will be able to achieve the standards and practice. How can we require utilities to reduce emissions to such level that can't even be guaranteed achievable with current technology? It makes no sense. That will spell the end of any new coal-fired plants in the United States, drastically reducing our ability to use one of our most abundant domestic energy resources, even in more environmentally friendly ways."

Senator Enzi: (8:31 PM)
  • Spoke on the Utility MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "Today we have a chance to stop one of those regulations. In February, the EPA finalized the standard that requires a strict reduction in air emissions from electric generating utilities. It's known as the utility MACT rule. Like many of the rules coming from the EPA the costs of this regulation are great and the benefits are limited. EPA estimates the rule would create between $500,000 and $6 million in benefits related to mercury reductions at a cost of nearly $10 billion annually for implementation of the rule. The cost-benefit ratio, assuming the EPA's best-case scenario, is 1,600-1. These costs would be passed on to consumers and will result in higher electricity prices. According to the Industrial Energy Consumers of America, a nonpartisan association of manufacturing companies with more than 650,000 employees, these increased costs will lessen competitiveness, threaten U.S. manufacturing jobs and make our electric grid less reliable. It's everything not to like in a policy. All costs, no benefits. National Economic Research Associates have studied the Utility MACT rule and found that it will cause between 180,000 and 215,000 job losses by 2015. Further, it found the Utility MACT rule would increase electricity rates by 6.5% on the average, as much as 19% in some areas of the country. An average household can see their electricity bills go up by at least $400 per year, a cost which will disproportionately impact those with lower fixed incomes like many older Americans. This resolution is the best opportunity to begin fighting back against President Obama's war on coal."

Senator Shaheen: (8:36 PM)
  • Spoke on the Utility MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "Despite the success of the clean air act, we now face efforts to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating toxic air pollutants. At issue are the new mercury and air toxic standards which will require power plants to control the pollution For the first time, the standards set federal limits on the amount of mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel and acid gases that power plants can release into our air. These standards will eliminate emissions of these poisonous chemicals from the power plants by 90% by 2015. These new nationwide standards are based on widely available pollution control technologies that are already in place at power plants across the country. They represent a realistic, achievable goal, yet opponents of MACT argue the environmental regulations will hurt the economy. That's simply not true. These standards will benefit our health, our economy and our environment. By removing the largest source of many of these toxins, the new standards will prevent an estimated 17,000 premature deaths and 11,000 heart attacks each year. America's children will be spared 120,000 asthma incidents and 11,000 cases of acute bronchitis. That's particularly important for us in the northeast. The presiding officer knows what this is because we're in the tailpipe of the nation, in New England and the Northeast. We get all of the pollution that's coming out of the Midwest from those dirty power plants. In New Hampshire, we have one of the highest children's asthma rates in the country because of that pollution. And far from being job killers, these regulations will mean new work for the innovative American companies that supply the equipment needed for plants to comply with the law. In fact, a study by the Economic Policy Institute found that enactment of these standards would create a net gain of 117,000 jobs. Of course, clean air is vital to the tourism and outdoor recreation economy, which in my state, New Hampshire, is the second largest industry. All the beautiful sites of our state, from the White Mountains to the great bay, can only be enjoyed if our air is free of smog and clean to breathe. So as we consider whether or not to keep the clean air act in place, we don't have to choose between helping people or helping our economy. We can and we must do both."

Senator Hoeven: (8:41 PM)
  • Spoke on the Utility MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "The EPA's Utility MACT rule is a clear example of how overzealous regulations, how the lack of a sensible energy policy are derailing investment and costing Americans jobs. Let me say at the outset that I support good, responsible policies to protect human health and to safeguard our environment. These rules, however, need to bear the qualities of all good rules. They need to be simple, efficient, achievable and affordable. In short, they need to make sense from both an environmental and an economic perspective. Unfortunately, as written, the Utility MACT rule and others like it that the EPA is proposing fail to find that proper balance. To the contrary, burdensome and complex new rules for the coal industry will not only discourage responsible energy growth but will prompt the complete shutdown of dozens of power plants. That will increase energy costs for consumers and businesses and sadly force thousands of hard-working Americans onto the unemployment rolls. Utility MACT alone will require power plants to install costly emissions controls by 2015 with a price tag for compliance of nearly $10 billion annually, $10 billion annually. Moreover, the EPA has made it clear that there will only be limited extensions to give utilities the time they need to make the changes. Now, we will have an opportunity to vote either to retain or to reject the Utility MACT rule under the Congressional Review Act. In fact, it is exactly this kind of rule that the Congressional Review Act was designed to address by allowing Congress to review a new regulation and overrule it if that regulation is unfair or overreaching, which is exactly the case in this instance. So we can send the EPA back to the drawing board come up with a plan that is simpler, more affordable and most importantly that is fairer by taking into account the livelihoods of hard-working Americans and their families."

Senator Sessions: (8:46 PM)
  • Spoke on the Utility MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "This is a $90 billion rule, the most expensive environmental rule in our nation's history. $90 billion is the amount that the EPA acknowledges that this rule will cost. The review act that Senator Inhofe has triggered, this review act says you can have this vote, this review of any regulation over $100 million. $90 billion is 900 times larger than $100 million. It's the largest rule in American history. It changes the course of our economy. It's the kind of thing that members who are elected to answer to the American people should be voting on, not having it done in a basically bureaucratic process without having elected individuals engaged in it. The Congressional Review Act has a fundamental weakness. That weakness is that if the Congress votes to overturn an act, the president can veto it. You have this odd situation where the president, you have to know, appoints the bureaucrats, and he appoints the head of the EPA and the people all work throughout the executive branch and for the president, directly or indirectly. Directly, really. And they produce regulations the president desires that they produce. And they don't produce regulations he does not desire they produce. So the result is that Congress has an awfully difficult time overturning it because the president can veto the thing that we pass. We need something like the REINS Act will actually replaces this unconstitutional, nontraditional procedure of impacting our economy with a monumental regulations and putting that back in the congress so Congress is required to vote on these regulations ... The regulations if not changed will drive up the cost of energy for every single American, for all businesses in America. It will achieve only a modest improvement in mercury reductions over what president bush proposed, and I think it is so extreme that it hammers the coal processing and energy production in America, basically making coal no longer a realistic way to produce electricity in America. That is a huge event that impacts the economy. Fundamentally this regulation would say that yes, we've reduced mercury emissions by 50%. Yes, President Bush proposed a very effective, sophisticated plan to further reduce those emissions by 75%, 75% more. But there were problems with it, the courts found a problem with it. Instead of pursuing the matter in the fashion President Bush did, the new regulations call for this dramatic 90% reduction of mercury emissions, far more than we are able to do technologically and financially."

Senator Inhofe: (8:53 PM)
  • Spoke on the Utility MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "The points made by all the senators who spoke looking at the economy of this, looking how devastating this would be in terms of jobs in America, but if you look about the Utility MACT it's not about public health. It's about killing coal. And everybody knows that. Everybody knows that. And people from coal states are trying to act like that is not the case, and it is the case. I think we are all very much aware of that. According to EPA's own analysis, Utility MACT will cost the $10 billion but others have it on up higher than that. However if $10 billion a year to implement it is correct, then it will only yield $6 million in projected benefits, health benefits. This is the EPA talking. This isn't me. It's the EPA and that's a 1,600 to one ratio. That's not a very good ratio to depend on. And I'd like to address the myth that the top EPA officials are perpetrating and that's the idea that coal is not being killed by the EPA regulations but by that cheaper price of natural gas. The EPA administrator Lisa Jackson said recently that is simply a coincidence, the EPA's rules are coming out at the same time that natural gas prices are low so utilities are naturally moving toward natural gas. Well, you know, her message was don't blame the EPA the truth is that the EPA itself has admitted that the agency deliberately and consciously made a decision to kill coal. The EPA region one administrator, Curt Spaulding was caught on tape saying Lisa Jackson has put together a powerful message to the country two days ago, quoting now, "the decision on greenhouse gas performance standard and saying basically gas plants are the performance standard which means if you want to build a coal plant, you've got a big problem." He also went on to say the decision by the EPA to kill coal was - quote - "painful, painful every step of the way because you got to remember, if you go to West Virginia, you go to Pennsylvania, he could have included the other states in there such as Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, but he said you have coal communities who depend on coal and it's going to put those people out." This is a very serious attack that's taking place right now."

Jun 19 2012

Not Agreed to, 20-79:
DeMint amendment #2276 (checkoffs) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Jun 19 2012

Agreed to by Voice Vote:
Landrieu amendment #2321 (rural development loans) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.

Jun 19 2012

Not Agreed to, 14-84:
DeMint amendment #2268 (loan guarantees) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Jun 19 2012

Agreed to by Voice Vote:
Hagan amendment #2366 (plain language re: crop insurance) to S. 3240, the Farm bill;
DeMint amendment #2262 (Sense of the Senate re: free market) to S. 3240, the Farm bill; and
Kerry amendment #2187 (commercial fishermen) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.

Jun 19 2012

Not Agreed to, 45-54:
DeMint amendment #2263 (broadband funding) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Jun 19 2012

Not Agreed to, 33-66:
Gillibrand amendment #2156, as modified (SNAP) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Jun 19 2012

Not Agreed to, 42-57:
Toomey amendment #2217 (organic/AMA) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Jun 19 2012

Agreed to, 76-23:
Feinstein amendment #2309 (insurance recall) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Jun 19 2012

Agreed to by Voice Vote:
Nelson-NE amendment #2243 (SNAP) to S. 3240, the Farm bill;
Coons amendment #2426 (poultry insurance study) to S. 3240, the Farm bill;
Feinstein amendment #2422 (conservation innovation grants) to S. 3240, the Farm bill; and
McCain/Kerry amendment #2199 (catfish) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.

Jun 19 2012

Not Agreed to, 33-66:
Alexander amendment #2191 (wind loans) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Jun 19 2012

Not Agreed to, 15-84:
Paul amendment #2181 ($250,000 income limit) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Jun 19 2012

Agreed to, 73-26:
Casey amendment #2238 (federal milk marketing) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Jun 19 2012

Not Agreed to, 41-58:
Sessions amendment #2172 (SNAP) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Jun 19 2012

Agreed to, 58-41:
Cantwell amendment #2370 (pulse pilot) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Jun 19 2012

Not Agreed to, 43-56:
Sessions amendment #2174 (SNAP) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Jun 19 2012

Agreed to, 55-44:
Brown-OH amendment #2445 (rural development) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Jun 19 2012

Agreed to, 75-24:
Grassley amendment #2167 (pay cap marketing loans) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Jun 19 2012

Agreed to, 66-33:
Snowe amendment #2190, as modified (milk marketing order reform) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Jun 19 2012

Agreed to by Voice Vote:
Tester/Baucus amendment #2429 (livestock) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.

Jun 19 2012

Not Agreed to, 38-61:
Ayotte amendment #2192 (value added grants) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.
The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Jun 19 2012

Agreed to by Voice Vote:
Akaka amendment #2440 (highly fractionated tribal lands) to S. 3240, the Farm bill; and
Akaka amendment #2396 (tribal relations office) to S. 3240, the Farm bill.

Jun 19 2012

Senator McCain: (11:09 AM)
  • Spoke on the recent intelligence leaks.
    • SUMMARY "Over the last two weeks several members of this body and I have raised serious concerns about a series of leaks that recently appeared in several publications concerning certain military and intelligence activities, activities that the authors themselves cite as among the nation's most highly classified and sensitive. These enormously troubling leaks have raised concerns amongst both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, including leaders of our Intelligence, Armed Services, Foreign Relations and Homeland Security Committees. According to Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and I quote, "These disclosures have seriously interfered with ongoing intelligence programs and have put at jeopardy our intelligence capability to act in the future. Each disclosure puts American lives at risk, makes it more difficult to recruit assets, strains the trust of our partners, and threatens imminent and irreparable damage to our national security in the face of you are urgent and rapidly changing threats worldwide." for these reasons and more, 26 other members and I filed a resolution that conveying the Sense of the Senate that sways the sense of the national that the attorney general should appoint special counsel to investigate these leaks. Now, I have been around for quite some time. I think there is no doubt that these leaks are almost unprecedented in that they are ongoing covert operations that are directly involved with the greatest threats to our nation's security. And I certainly understand that robust public debate about the nation's offensive use of cyber-related and unmanned strike capabilities is valuable and warranted. That debate and discussion is valuable and warranted. Use of these kinds of military capabilities is new and how these secretive war-fighting capabilities should be deployed by a modern democracy deserves careful and thoughtful discussion. And we will have discussions in the future about these new aspects of warfare and counterterrorism. But the detail with which these articles lay out particular counterterrorism activities and as one commentator recently described "the triumphalism tone of the leaks, the Tarzan-like chest beating of the various leakers greatly exceeded what is necessary or appropriate for that discussion." Something else - something very different is going on. Considering how closely in time these items were published and how favorable of an impression they left upon the president's approach to national security, it is not unreasonable to ask whether these leaks were part of a broader effort to paint President Obama in the midst of an election year as a strong leader on national security issues. That is the strong impression that is given. The most compelling evidence is the obvious participation of some of the administration's senior-most officials. Among the sources that New York Times journalist David Sanger cited in the passage of his recent book are "administration officials" and "senior officials." "Senior aides to the president." "Members of the president's national security team who were in the White House Situation Room during key discussions" and official "who requested anonymity to speak about what is still a classified program." "Current American officials who would not allow their names to be used because the effort remains highly classified and parts of it continue to this day" and several sources who would be fired if what they divulged presumably because what they divulge was classified or otherwise very sensitive. Some of the sources in recent publications specifically refused to be identified because what they were talking about related to classified or ongoing programs."

Senator Coburn: (11:25 AM)
  • Spoke on Coburn amendment #2289 (MAP) to the Farm bill.
    • SUMMARY "We spend $200 million a year through five separate programs of the government to promote agricultural products outside of this country. $200 million a year. That's $2 billion every ten years. Let's show how effective they have been. Whether you think it's constitutional or not, what kind of a job have they done since 1997? I don't think that trend line looks very good. So if we're going to spend $200 million paying for promotion of agricultural products outside of this country, maybe we ought to ask the question why are we on a declining slope as far as a percentage of the world's agricultural sales? At the same time when farm income in this country has never been higher. Why is it? Why is it is because the federal government's not very good at doing things that the private sector is very good at. This amendment does is say out of this one in five programs, let's cut it 20%. The Obama administration recommended doing that. The GAO says there is there's nothing to say that this is effective use of your tax dollars, and you would think that we're pulling toenails out. But to just to hear the people scream. I won't go into the details on this amendment because my time is limited, but that means we're still going to spend $160 million in this one program, which is one of five, to promote structural products that we're not being successful in spending that money anyway. So the question is why would you vote against it? Because there's a parochial interest somewhere that you are going to be beholding to that's greater than your interest and fidelity to the U.S. constitution or your interest and fidelity to the future of this country. That's why people will vote against this amendment."
  • Spoke on Durbin-Coburn amendment #2439 (crop insurance) to the Farm bill.
    • SUMMARY "The second amendment - and I have received a lot of criticism for it - is in conjunction with Senator Durbin for those people with adjusted gross incomes of greater than 3/4 of a million dollars a year, all this amendment does is decrease the subsidy that the middle-class, hard-working factory worker or service worker in this country pays with their taxes to subsidize a crop insurance program that guarantees a profit and yield. And instead of being 62% subsidy by the federal government, when they're making more than 3/4 of a million dollars per year, we take it to 47%. And what do you hear? Oh, you can't do that to us. If you're making $750,000 a year farming, your capital should be in pretty good shape and you should be able to afford to take on some of the risk - some more of the risk. We're going to hear that, well, this will be too hard to implement. There isn't another agriculture program that doesn't have an income payment limitation of some type associated with it, except this one, and when we're spending out of every dollar that's spent on crop insurance, the average hard-working American is paying 62% of it, it is not too much to ask those that are on the upper income stream in the agricultural community to participate a little bit more in helping pay for that subsidy by taking a reduced subsidy. So what we're doing is taking 15% out."
  • Spoke on Coburn amendment #2293 (limit millionaires) to the Farm bill.
    • SUMMARY "The third amendment is an amendment to end conservation payments to millionaires. Almost every other program we have in terms of our farm programs has some limitations on it, but the Department of Agriculture has an exception where they can exclude this limitation, and all this amendment would do would say you no longer can accept - if somebody has an adjusted gross million dollars a year, would that money not be better spent somewhere else in the farm conservation area, one, and number two is if it's in the best interests of the farm or production agricultural acreage and somebody - acreage and somebody has that kind of income, isn't it in their best interests to do these things? So it's a very simple amendment that just says you're - you're receiving or producing and making adjusted gross income of a million dollars or more a year, then we're going to put some limitations on how much money that we spend on your property and then go spend it on other properties where we might, in fact, have more effective resource conservation."
  • Spoke on Coburn amendment #2214 (convention funding) to the Farm bill.
    • SUMMARY "And then the final amendment that I have on the bill, which really has nothing to do with the Agricultural bill but it has everything to do with the problems in this country. This year, in February of this year, the U.S. Treasury wrote a check to the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention, each for $18.4 million. When the presidential checkoff system was created, the politicians in Washington wired it so that you thought you were giving money to a presidential campaign, but what, in fact, is that they took a percentage of it for a party for both parties. We don't have $18.4 million to spend on a Republican convention or a Democrat convention. The nominees of both parties are known. And so what we have done, besides spending $100 million in security for both of those events, $50 million apiece, we sent $18 million to both of those heads of those parties to spend it any way they want to spend it. What is wrong with us?"

Senator Pryor: (11:57 AM)
  • Spoke on catfish language in the Farm bill.
    • SUMMARY "We need to make sure that that fish that's coming in from overseas, we need to make sure it's properly labeled but also properly inspected. And I think that the way the bill is currently drafted is appropriate, and it's proper, and we should leave the language that Senator Stabenow and the Agriculture Committee have established. We should leave that language in the legislation as it currently is so that the catfish will be inspected here in the U.S. and imported fish that's marketed as catfish will also be inspected by is same standards that our domestic catfish is. In 2011 the FDA examined about 3% of all seafood entries and performed laboratory annual sis on less than 1% of those entries. We have to understand that this Asian fish is raised in places that quite honestly run a higher risk of contamination based on the growing conditions, based on the overall sanctity of their environment compared to ours Once we know that one-third of these imports that come from southeastern Asian nations, places like China and Vietnam, where food safety standards are just not as high in the U.S., once we understand that, it makes sense that they would be afforded the same inspection regime that we would have here in the U.S. these foreign countries are currently flooding the U.S. market with potentially harmful products, and those products could be putting U.S. consumers at risk. There has been several news reports about some of the growing conditions over there and some of the possible harmful side effects to human health if humans consume those, and here again we have the safeguards in the Farm bill to do the inspections as they should be done. The new inspection program would subject domestic catfish processors to daily USDA inspection and imported catfish, much of which is raised in the unsanitary conditions that I mentioned before, and it's also treated with antibiotics and other chemicals that are not deemed legal here in the united states, but that's the growing conditions that they're in over there, it would require that they would receive more rigorous inspection than they are currently subject to. And again, I don't see this as protectionist. I think this is truly to make sure that all the food supply, whether it comes from overseas or is grown here domestically, meets our U.S. standards, and our people, our American citizens understand that when they purchase fish, that they're going to get something that won't make them and make their families sick when they consume it."

Senator Lee: (12:03 PM)
  • Spoke on the Boiler MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
    • SUMMARY "What this debate does expose is this administration's vigorous, unfettered attempts to severely limit the use of coal technology and a complete and utter disregard for the economic benefits of this industry and the economic effects of this kind of overall aggressive regulation. If implemented fully, the utility MACT rule would give utilities nationwide just three short years to fully complete very costly upgrades to their plants. Many industry experts believe that these standards are nearly impossible to meet in that time frame. Utilities will need closer to five or six years to make the necessary upgrades required by this regulatory scheme. Those who are unable to comply will have no choice but to shut down unless or until they can meet those standards. This inevitably, with absolute certainty, will result in sharp spikes to energy costs, increased power bills for all Americans, affecting the most vulnerable among us, the most severely. Higher energy costs will in turn have a direct impact on the family budget. The more we as Americans spend on higher energy costs, the less we have available for savings, for education and for other priorities. Although the president campaigns around the country by trying to convince Americans that he knows how to create jobs, this rule alone has been estimated by some industry experts as likely to kill 180,000 to 215,000 jobs by 2015. So one has to wonder why it is that this administration is nonetheless imposing rules that it knows cannot be met and that if they must be met will kill this many jobs and hurt this many Americans. Why are they ignoring the obvious economic consequences of shutting down an industry that produces about half of all the electricity we use in the United States of America today? It just doesn't make any sense. We can have sensible regulations that keep our air and our water and other aspects of our environment clean. We need those things, we want those things as Americans. We can also have a balanced approach that considers the economic cost of new rules and restrictions on small businesses and on consumers. That's what we need. Utility MACT is an example of a regulation that does neither of these things. It accomplishes none of these interests. I strongly urge my colleagues to support Senate Joint Resolution 37."
  • Spoke on the REINS Act.
    • SUMMARY "Two separate provisions of the constitution, Article 1, Section 1, and Article 1, Section 7, clearly place the legislative process, the power to make rules that carry the force of generally applicable, binding federal law in the hands of congress, not in an executive branch agency. The American people know this, they understand it, they expect it, they rely on it because they know that if we pass laws that the people don't like, that the people can't accept, that kills jobs, that hurts those most vulnerable among us, that we can be held politically accountable come election time. Every two years in the case of members of the House. Every six years in the case of members of this body. When we circumvent that process, when we allow that process, the law-making process to be carried out entirely within an executive branch agency, consisting of people who are perfectly well-intentioned and well-educated, do not stand accountable to the people, we insulate the lawmakers from those governed by those same laws. This is exactly why we need to exercise our authority under the Congressional Review Act by passing these resolutions of disapproval from time to time. But it's all the more reason why we need more lasting, significant reform, reform that can be had through the REINS Act proposal. This is a proposal that has already passed through the House favorably and needs to be passed in this body. It's a bill that would require that for any new regulation promulgated at the administrative level, any new regulation that qualifies as a major rule because it costs American consumers and small business interests, individuals and families and all others in America more than $100 million in a year, that it would take effect if and only if it were first passed into law in the House and in the Senate and signed into law by the president. This is how our law-making process is supposed to operate. This is a system that our founding fathers carefully put in place. Assuring that those who make the laws and thereby have the capacity to affect the rights of individual Americans can and will be held accountable to the people for the very laws that they pass. Now, I tried to get the REINS Act up for consideration in connection with the Ag bill. We were not successful in doing that. Apparently, some in this body, some in control of this body were unwilling to have a vote on the REINS Act proposal as an amendment to the Ag bill. Sooner or later, we need to have a vote on the REINS Act. We need to have this debate and discussion to assure that the laws that are passed in this country are passed by men and women chosen by the people accountable to the people, that we may yet still have that guarantee in our country, a guarantee of government of the people, by the people and for the people."
The Senate stands in recess until 2:15 PM for the weekly caucus lunches.

Udall-CO, Kerry

Flood Insurance bill (S. 1940)

Jun 19 2012

Senator Udall-CO: (10:09 AM)
  • Spoke on the Wind Production Tax Credit.
    • SUMMARY "Today I want to focus on a wind giant in our country, Texas. Texas leads the nation in wind energy production. The lone star state has more turbines than all but five countries. You can see this on this chart that outlines all the installed wind projects in Texas. From the state - the south and the west, El Paso, from Galveston in southern Texas, the wind industry has created thousands of jobs. The town of Sweetwater, 11,000 people, has become the new spindle top. You drive past it and there are a forest of joined wind turbines among the fields of this city. Even oil-rich Houston has become something of a they say that everything is bigger in Texas and that certainly applies when it comes to their energy resource. Texas has it all, from oil and go to renewable energy like wind Thanks to smart state policies including a renewable standard that was amended in 2009 as long as strong support for the PTC. Texas has an all-of-the-above energy strategy ... Texas embodies this. They have shown great promise when it comes to renewable resources. So if you look at what's happening in Texas, 7,000 jobs, more energy from wind than any other state in our country and it powers - wind power over 2.7 million Texas homes and almost 7% of Texas's overall electric power comes from the wind. It was the first state to reach 10,000 megawatts. That wind power has helped avoid greenhouse gas emissions. As well, the supply chain, the manufacturing opportunities in Texas stand out. It is home to wind turbine manufacturers ... So this is an example of why we have to act, why we have got to extend the PTC without certainty, wind energy companies are not able to grow and they frankly will shed jobs and halt projects. In the Senate, we have a bipartisan coalition."

Senator Kerry: (10:14 AM)
  • Spoke on climate change.
    • SUMMARY "The truth is that scientists have known since the 1800's that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases trap heat in our atmosphere. With the right amount of those gases, the earth is a hospitable place for us to live. It is indeed the greenhouse effect that makes life possible on earth. But if you add too much, which is what we're doing now, at a record pace, temperatures inevitably rise to record-breaking levels. It's not rocket science. Every major national science academy in the world has reported that global warming is real. It is nothing less than shocking when people in a position of authority can just stand up and say, without documentation, without accepted scientific research, without peer-reviewed analysis; just stand up and say, oh, there isn't enough evidence. And they say it because it suits their political purposes to serve some interest that doesn't want to change the status quo. Facts that beg for an unprecedented public response are met with unsubstantiated, even totally contradicted denial. And those who deny have never ever met their responsibility to provide some scientific answer to what, if not human behavior, is causing the increase in greenhouse gas particulates and how, if not by curbing greenhouse gases, we will address this crisis. In fact, when one measures the effect of taking action versus not taking action, the naysayers' case is even more con founding. Just think about it. If the proponents of action were somehow incorrect, contrary to all that science declares, but nevertheless if they were incorrect and we proceeded to reduce carbon and other gases released in the atmosphere, what is the worst that would happen? Well, under that scenario, the worst would be more jobs as we move to the new energy economy. The opening of a whole new $6 trillion energy market with a more sustainable policy. A healthier population because of cleaner air and reduced pollution, reduced expenditure on health care because of environmentally induced disease. An improved outlook for the oceans and the ecosystems that are affected by pollution falling into the earth and the sea. And surely greater security for the united states because of less dependence on foreign sources of energy, and a stronger economy. That is the worst that would occur if the proponents were wrong. But what if the naysayers are in fact wrong, as all the science says they are? What if because of their ignorance we fail to take the action that we should? What is the worse then? The worse then is sheer, utter disaster for the planet and for all who inhabit it. So who's worst would most thinking people rather endure? The level of dissembling false actions is so far removed from legitimate analysis that it confounds for its devilishly simple appeal to the lowest common denominator of misinformation. In the face of massive and growing body of scientific evidence that says catastrophic climate change is knocking at our door, the naysayers just happily tell us climate change doesn't exist. In the face of melting glaciers and ice caps in the arctic, Greenland and the Antarctica, they say "we need to warm up the truth" and in the face of animals disappearing at alarming rates, species being destroyed, they would have us adopt an ostrich policy and just bury our sands in the sand and pretend it can go away."

Reid

Opening Remarks

Jun 19 2012

  • Today --
    • The Senate will resume consideration of S. 1940, the Flood Insurance bill. 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 Stabenow-Roberts amendment #2389 will be Agreed to. The bill, as amended, will be considered original text for the purposes of further amendment and the Senate will proceed to multiple ROLL CALL VOTES on the amendments listed below, alternating between Republican and Democratic sponsored amendments. There will 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 will be two minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to each vote and all votes after the first vote will be ten minute votes. NOTE: The Senate is not expected to conduct ROLL CALL VOTES on all of the amendments. Upon disposition of all the amendments, the Senate will conduct a ROLL CALL VOTE on passage of the bill, as amended (60 votes required).
      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) (60 votes required);
      67. Sanders amendment #2310 (genetically engineered food) (60 votes required);
      68. Coburn amendment #2214 (convention funding) (60 votes required);
      69. Boxer amendment #2456 (aerial inspections) (60 votes required);
      70. Johanns amendment #2372 (aerial inspections) (60 votes required);
      71. Murray amendment #2455 (sequestration) (60 votes required);
      72. McCain amendment #2162 (Sequestration report re: DoD) (60 votes required); and
      73. Rubio amendment #2166 (RAISE Act) (60 votes required).
    • At a time to be determined, the Senate will begin consideration of the Motion to Proceed to S. J. Res. 37, the Boiler MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval, for 2 hours of debate, equally divided.
  • Wednesday, June 20th --
    • At 10:30 AM, the Senate will resume consideration of the Motion to Proceed to S. J. Res. 37, the Boiler MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval, for a further 2 hours of debate, equally divided.
    • Circa 12:30 PM, the Senate will conduct a ROLL CALL VOTE on the Motion to Proceed to S. J. Res. 37, the Boiler MACT Rule Resolution of Disapproval.
      • If the Motion to Proceed is Agreed to, the time for debate with respect to S. J. Res. 37, will be equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. Upon the use or yielding back of time, the Senate will conduct a ROLL CALL VOTE on passage of S. J. Res. 37.

Senator Reid: (10:03 AM)
  • Spoke on the DREAM Act.
    • SUMMARY "I remind my colleagues in both houses of Congress, the next move is yours. This reprieve for dreamers shouldn't be seen as a free pass for Congress. There are lots of other issue that we have to deal with dealing with immigration. Instead we should see it as a chance for Democrats and Republicans to work together on lasting answer to the serious shortfalls of our broken immigration system. As we work we'll have the benefit of knowing the specter of deportation no longer hangs over the heads of hundreds of thousands of young people. So now is hardly the time to walk away from the DREAM Act which would have created a pathway for young people brought to the country through no fault of their own. It is no time to ban done calls for comprehensive immigration reform. That's exactly what the republicans are doing, they're taking their marbles and sayings, okay we'll just go home. Quite frankly, they've never been here anyway to go home. They haven't helped us any way. So since last Friday, the leading voices on immigration reform all but ceded the debate until after the election. The Republicans are now abandoning efforts to find common ground. The same Republicans who complained they weren't involved enough in the president's decision are now giving up any involvement in the broader immigration conversation. It really makes you wonder whether they were committed to passing the DREAM Act or passing immigration reform at all, because Senate Republicans have twice had a chance to vote for the dream act. Both times they've filibustered the measure to a legislative death. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that my Republican colleagues are more interested in complaining about a system that's broken than working with Democrats to fix it."

Jun 19 2012

The Senate Convened.

Jun 19 2012

The Senate is considering S. 3240, the farm bill, and S. J. Res. 37, the Boiler MACT rule resolution of disapproval.  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.