Opening Remarks

Today –

  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will be in morning business until 3:00 PM.
  • Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 1314, the legislative vehicle for the Trade Promotion Authority bill.
  • At 5:30 PM, the Senate conduct two VOTES on amendments to H.R. 1314:

1.Brown #1242 (60-vote affirmative threshold); and

2.Lankford #1237 (60-vote affirmative threshold).


Senator Reid: (2:02 PM)

  • Spoke on nominations.
    • "We know there are judicial emergencies and vacancies throughout the country but we've only considered two judges in this entire Congress. When this year started we had 12 emergencies. Now there are 25, more than double even the beginning of this year alone. In Texas alone there are seven judicial emergencies. Most of any state in the nation. Judge Alvera has been nominated to fill the vacancy in the Southern District of Texas. He was reported out of the committee at a voice vote in February. At his hearing, the assistant majority leader said he wanted to move these judges expeditiously. Well, if this is expeditiously, I don't know what the term means. Why is this noncontroversial nomination being delayed for months? It's a type of swift confirmation Texans can expect from their leaders? Our Republican colleagues, if they would make good on their public statements and confirm these qualified judicial nominations before the Memorial Day holiday that would be great but they're not going to."
  • Spoke on the highway trust fund.
    • "The way it is now, two-month extension, six-month extension, it just doesn't work. It's inefficient and very, very expensive. The highway trust fund runs out of money in about eight or ten weeks. The authorization for the federal highway expires later this month. Later this month if we haven't extended the highway bill there can be no money spent on highways. My Republican colleagues are have known about this deadline for months and months. Yet here we are at the end of May and Republicans are no closer to crafting an investment in our roads and railways. The Republicans are trying to do just the opposite. They're going to the extreme of gutting our already inadequate transportation. Look what happened with Amtrak. House Republicans chose to cut Amtrak hours just after the derailment by a quarter of a billion dollars. Who could help being astonished by this act of carelessness?"