Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018

Senate Opening

Senate Opening

Oct 02 2018 10:00 AM

The Senate has reconvened.  


Opening Remarks

Oct 02 2018 10:18 AM

Today -

  • The Senate will reconvene at 10:00 a.m.
  • The Senate will recess from 12:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. to accommodate the weekly policy lunches.
  • Note: all time during leader time and recess will count post-cloture on the House message accompanying H.R. 302, the vehicle for the FAA reauthorization.


Senator McConnell: (10:04 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Remember, before Judge Kavanaugh was even named, several Democrats on the Judiciary Committee indicated they'd oppose whomever - whomever the nominee might turn out to be. The junior senator from California, for example, explained on television that whoever President Trump chose would bring about, quote, the destruction of the Constitution of the United States, as far as I can tell. That incredibly enough was a member of the Judiciary Committee. Of course, mere hours after Judge Kavanaugh was announced, my friend, the Democratic leader, made that announcement that has now become famous - I will oppose him with everything I've got, he said. And not long after that, another Democrat on the Judiciary Committee proclaimed that anyone supporting Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation was, quote, listen to this, complicit in the evil."
  • Spoke on Republican economic policy.
    • "More jobs for Kentuckians, more prosperity for local communities. I'd like to ask the men and women who will get one of these new jobs what they make of the fact that every single Democrat in Congress voted to block the tax reform that's helping this happen. Well, Republicans got it done anyway. We delivered sweeping tax cuts for workers and families, and now thanks in part to our policies, the economy is thriving. Just last month, consumer confidence reached its highest level in 18 years. In other words, American families are feeling better about spending and investing in their communities than they have since September of 2000."

Schumer, Durbin, Cornyn

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 02 2018 11:23 AM

Senator Schumer: (10:15 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Democrats are causing delay? First, to say Democrats are causing delay coming from the same man who delayed the nomination of Supreme Court justice Merrick Garland for over 300 days without a shrug of his shoulders? Give me a break. The leader would delay for ten months when he saw - when he thought it was right to do and can't wait for a week to get an honest report out of the F.B.I.? What a double standard. How galling. Accusing Democrats of needlessly delaying a Supreme Court nomination is galling, is hypocritical coming from a leader to delayed the nomination of a Supreme Court justice for over 300 days until his party had a chance to win the White House."


Senator Durbin: (10:32 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • " She was trying to do what she thought was the right thing first for this woman, this mother, this resident of her home state. And, second, for this country. I don't question in any way whatsoever, and no one should, her efforts and good faith to serve this nation in a very difficult process. But Dr. Ford came forward and told her story. I asked her a question point-blank, we are now being told that perhaps you are mistaken. Perhaps it wasn't Brett Kavanaugh who assaulted you in that bedroom in the Maryland suburbs. And I wanted to ask you with what degree of certainty do you believe that Brett Kavanaugh was the assailant. Her answer to me was very short and direct: 100%. 100% certain."


Senator Cornyn: (10:58 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the USMCA.
    • "As the presiding officer knows, this is important not only to border states like ours, this is important to the entire country. As a matter of fact, just with Mexico, about five million jobs in the United States depend on binational trade with Mexico. About eight million depend on binational trade with Canada. So this is really important to our country, and I think hopefully it will calm a lot of anxiety over some of the various trade disputes that we have had recently. Based on the deal reached Sunday, Canada will now join the pact that the United States and Mexico agreed to in August."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Never before have we seen a nominee to the Supreme Court or any court treated so badly, although we do know that starting with Robert Bork's confirmation hearing, that the gloves came off and these confirmation processes became unfortunately all too ugly. As we know now, there has been ordered a supplemental background investigation by the F.B.I. on allegations that were sprung on Judge Kavanaugh on the eve of his confirmation. There was never a whiff of these allegations during Judge Kavanaugh's six previous background investigations by the F.B.I. and by the Judiciary Committee and other committees, and I think it's telling that the aiders and abettors of this last-minute ambush include political operatives masquerading as disinterested lawyers with only their clients' best wishes at heart."

Murphy, Casey, Thune

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 02 2018 12:37 PM

Senator Murphy: (11:50 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "As we came out of that shooting a year ago, it seemed that we all at the very least agreed that these things called bump stocks, these things that are manufactured to turn a semiautomatic weapon essentially into an automatic weapon where you can fire multiple rounds with one pull of the trigger, that these things shouldn't be legal, that they shouldn't be allowed to be sold because we all had made a decision a long time ago that notwithstanding our differences as to whether these semiautomatic tactical weapons should be sold in the commercial space, we at least knew that automatic weapons should not be available to consumers and now this modification was being allowed to turn semiautomatic weapons into automatic weapons."


Senator Casey: (12:06 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "These concerns, I think, permeate every aspect of the nomination process and the nominee himself. When Judge Kavanaugh's name came forward because of the nomination by President Trump, he came from a list of 25 names. These names were assembled by the White House in consultation with the record indicates just two groups, the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society. Both are far-right organizations that have a view of public policy that on most issues I don't agree with, but I think that's true with most Pennsylvanians. I can't speak for the whole country, but I would guess not in agreement with many people around the country."


Senator Thune: (12:25 p.m.)

  • Spoke on FAA reauthorization.
    • "Mr. President, obviously, security is a massive priority for the airline industry and the flying public and for the federal government. Terrorist groups continue to target passenger aircraft and the aviation sector. But security measures, of course, can also lead to frustration. Who hasn't been caught in a long T.S.A. line desperately hoping to make it through in time to catch a flight. The bill before us today will both boost security and help reduce some of the delays associated with security checks. For starters, the bill represents the first ever reauthorization of the Transportation Security Administration in the history of the agency."

Klobuchar, Markey, Peters, Cantwell

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 02 2018 02:59 PM

Senator Klobuchar: (2:19 p.m.)

  • Spoke on FAA reauthorization.
    • "This five-year reauthorization bill will provide the long-term stability needed to encourage investments and help maintain American leadership in the global aviation marketplace. We know a lot about that in our state, being a major delta hub as well as the home of sun country airlines. So we know the kind of global competition that we are up against all the time, and that is a very important reason that America be a leader in aviation and not a follower. Changes in the airline industry in recent years have drastically altered the way consumers travel. New fees and complicated itineraries can make even routine travel confusing and expensive. Thankfully, this F.A.A. bill builds on important work we've done in past reauthorizations to strengthen protections for consumers while shopping, booking, and traveling."


Senator Markey: (2:27 p.m.)

  • Spoke on FAA reauthorization.
    • "With this bill, Congress has missed an historic, months-in-a-generation opportunity to stop gargantuan airlines from gouging Americans with exorbitant fees. Last year Senator Roger Wicker, a Republican from Mississippi, and I secured a provision in the senate F.A.A. reauthorization bill that would protect passengers from ridiculous, sky-high airline fees. Our fair fees provision directed the Department of Transportation to, one, assess whether change and cancellation and baggage and other fees are reasonable and proportional to the costs of the services which are being provided and, secondly, to ensure that change and cancellation fees are reasonable."


Senator Peters: (2:37 p.m.)

  • Spoke on FAA reauthorization.
    • "I'm a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and I'm proud of all of our committee's work that made this long-term reauthorization possible, but I am especially thankful to our committee chairman, John Thune, and ranking member Bill Nelson for their leadership throughout this process. This bill makes critical investments in airport infrastructure. It promotes U.S. competition and leadership in aviation, increases safety in the national airspace system and strengthens consumer service practices across the commercial aviation sector. The legislation also delivers very strong support to rural communities in Michigan and across the nation by continuing the Essential Air Service or E.A.S. Program."


Senator Cantwell: (2:46 p.m.)

  • Spoke on FAA reauthorization.
    • "Now, Mr. President, turning to the F.A.A. bill which I hope we are going to be considering very shortly here, I'm pleased that the Senate is looking at a five-year reauthorization. It wasn't that long ago that we were talking about short-term extensions and didn't know if we could get to this point of clearing the rest of these issues. So I'd like to thank my colleagues, Chairman Thune, Ranking Member Nelson, and my colleague on the Aviation Subcommittee, Chairman Blunt, for helping get us to this point. The work we've done in this legislation is so important because it's helping commercial aviation remain the safest and most secure in the world and to improve the traveling public's experience. "

Portman, Shaheen

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 02 2018 04:04 PM

Senator Portman: (3:10 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the USMCA.
    • "One, it will encourage for production here in North America, things like automobiles. You have to have a higher content of American content, U.S. and Canadian than in the old agreement. So you will have more cars built in America and North America as well as auto parts. I think that's good. There are some other things in the agreement that will help encourage production in the United States because it levels the playing field more with our country."
  • Spoke on opioid legislation.
    • "I've known him and his family for a long time, and it strikes close to home for pretty much everybody in this chamber, I'm sure, and pretty much everybody listening. When we have our town hall meetings, and I asked this question, which I do regularly at two teletown hall meetings where I asked this question, have you been affected by the opioid issue? Most people say yes. In parts of our state, where we had a teletown hall, it was two-thirds of the people on the call who said yes. Sadly, this issue has grown to the point that 72,000 Americans lost their lives last year to the opioid epidemic. That's more people than we lost in the entire Vietnam War in one year."


Senator Shaheen: (3:53 p.m.)

  • Spoke on FAA reauthorization.
    • "The F.A.A. reauthorization with broad bipartisan support. And I hope the Senate is going to act quickly so that we can get this bill to the president's desk for signature. The F.A.A. has not received a long-term reauthorization since February of 2012. Short-term reauthorizations fail to give the F.A.A. the certainty and the necessary resources they need to make to invest, to improve our nation's airports and make commercial air travel safer for all passengers. I think it's particularly an issue right now as we're switching over to the next gen system of air traffic control. Last month I had a chance to visit with air traffic controllers in New Hampshire at the terminal radar approach control facility in Merrimack."
  • Spoke on opioid legislation.
    • "Now, second, Mr. President, I also want to point out that I hope the Senate will be moving soon to advance the Support for Patients in Communities Act, which is comprehensive legislation to address the opioid epidemic. And it's legislation that's the product of real bipartisan collaboration not only across multiple committees within the senate, but multiple committees within both chambers of Congress. And it really shows that we can work together across the aisle to help combat a crisis that has such a devastating impact on so many of our communities across the country. And in my state of New Hampshire, we have the second highest rate of deaths from opioids than any state in the country."

Tomorrow -

  • The Senate stands in recess until 10:00 a.m.
  • At 12:00 p.m. all post-cloture time on the House message accompanying H.R. 302, the vehicle for the FAA reauthorization, will expire and the Senate will VOTE on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 302, the vehicle for the FAA reauthorization.


Senator Risch: (4:04 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to Micron Technology.
    • "As one of the top four semiconductor companies in the world, it works with the most trusted brands and is the only one hemisphere in the Western Hemisphere. Micron has contributed to more than 40,000 patents and continues to advance memory and storage technologies that enable innovations in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and autonomous vehicles. Micron's advancements have made the United States a leader in technology and give the nation a competitive edge in data storage, security, and supercomputing."


Senator Brown: (5:13 p.m.)

  • Spoke on opioid legislation.
    • "Residential pediatric recovery facilities like Brigette's Path can give these infants specialized care as well as bringing the mothers and families in for counseling in a setting outside the chaos of a hospital. So while they're treating the newborn baby, they also have opportunities with some wraparound services to treat at I deducted mother so mother and child and others in the family can have a normal, healthy life. These unique venues are relatively new. They - the CRIB Act will allow them to bill Medicaid for the services they offer."