Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2018

Senate Opening

Senate Opening

Mar 14 2018 09:30 AM

The Senate convened.  


Opening Remarks

Mar 14 2018 09:40 AM

Today -

  • The Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.
  • At 3:45 p.m., the Senate will VOTE on adoption of McConnell (for Crapo) Amendment #2151, as modified, to S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.
  • Following disposition of the McConnell (for Crapo) Amendment, the Senate will VOTE on cloture on S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.
  • Note: if cloture is invoked on S. 2155, the post-cloture time will count as if it was invoked at 12:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14.
  • Note: on Thursday, March 8, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #598, Kevin K. McAleenan, of Hawaii, to be Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.


Senator McConnell: (9:33 a.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to Office Scottie Hamilton.
    • "Mr. President, hearts are heavy in Kentucky this morning. Last night officer Scottie Hamilton, a 12 year veteran of the Pikeville Police Department was shot and killed in the line of duty. The investigation is ongoing. My Kentucky staff and I are monitoring the situation closely. But for now our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends, and colleagues at the Pikeville Police Department. Officer Hamilton leaves behind a wife, a young daughter, and a community that is safer for his service."
  • Spoke on the pending Senate business.
    • "And I hope this week's hearings along with the ongoing work of our colleagues on environment and public works, appropriations and other committees will keep building momentum. Bipartisan results are achievable this year starting with billions in added funding for infrastructure improvement in the budget agreement and extending to the work of many committees in the months ahead. So, Mr. President, today we'll also finish considering the bipartisan banking reform bill championed by Senator Crapo, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act is cosponsored by a quarter of the Senate, split down the middle between Republicans and Democrats and was advanced earlier this week by two-thirds of our colleagues."
  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "Raises and bonuses aren't the only ways tax reform will help hardworking families. Thanks to the efforts of Senator Heller and others in committee, tax reform doubled the child tax credit and extended it to more middle-class families. When they file their taxes next year, families will be able to take $2,000 off their tax bill for every qualifying child. My friend, the democratic leader, said repeatedly that tax reform would do nothing to help American workers. The democratic leader in the house said the law would bring about, quote, armageddon."

Schumer, Murphy, Cortez Masto, Murray, Cardin

McConnell (for Crapo) Amendment #2151, as modified, to the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155)

Mar 14 2018 10:17 AM

Senator Schumer: (10:00 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Mr. President, at this moment, all across the country, students are walking out of school for 17 minutes in memory of the 17 Americans who died at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School one month ago today. Here on the floor of the senate, I join with those students in remembering the fallen students and teachers of Stoneman Douglas. I join with them in remembering the beautiful children who died at the elementary school in Newtown. I join with them in remembering the long line of American children who have perished in the slow-moving tidal wave of gun violence that's consuming our country."


Senator Murphy: (10:05 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Mr. President, I'm joining my colleagues today to give the country a sense of the scope of this epidemic. We have tried every means to move our colleagues to action, but in remembering the names of people that have been lost, there is a reminder that there is a human face behind every single one of these numbers and behind that victim, there is a trail of trauma of family members, friends, classmates that is difficult to unwind. On December 14, 2012, a gunman armed with a tactical semiautomatic weapon with clips of 30 bullets walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and killed 20 children, six adults and himself. "


Senator Cortez Masto: (10:09 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Thank you. I rise along with my colleagues today to address what has become unfortunately the norm for our kids in schools and across this country. October 1 in Las Vegas, we saw the worst mass shooting in the history of this country. Innocent concertgoers attending an entertainment venue outdoors. 58 whether killed, 500 injured at the hands of a madman with an assault weapon. In the past five years, we have lost an average of ten children each year to gun violence in Nevada alone, and today I speak in memory of the 50 children from my home state who will never get the chance to grow up and graduate high school, pursue their dream job, or even have children of their own."


Senator Murray: (10:12 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Lyla Bush, Kara Goldman, Dana Klein, Tammy Keiser, Leroy Launch, Wayne Anderson, Judy Anderson, Scott Anderson, Erica Anderson, Olivia Anderson, Nathan Anderson, Paul Lee, Sara Williams, Maxine Harrison, Samantha Harrison, Jamie Harrison, Heather Harrison, James Harrison, George brown, Jeffrey hicks, Alex Kelly, Wesley Jennings, and the list goes on."


Senator Cardin: (10:14 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "I join my colleagues in recognizing that we must take action to protect safety in our community. Senator Van Hollen are on the floor, proud of Maryland students that are here today to speak in solidarity with the students from parkland, Florida, and recognizing and remembering the 17 victims of that tragic episode but also to point out many others who have lost their lives to gun violence. In the state of Maryland we have not been spared. Just Monday night ten people, including two teenage boys, were wounded in five separate shootings in Baltimore."

Sanders, Van Hollen, Klobuchar, Warren

McConnell (for Crapo) Amendment #2151, as modified, to the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155)

Mar 14 2018 10:27 AM

Senator Sanders: (10:16 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Mr. President, I want to thank the young people throughout this country who have the courage to do what the United States Congress is not doing, and that is to lead us forward in a way to lower the slaughter that we are seeing from coast to coast in terms of gun violence. The bad news is that people continue to be killed every day. The good news is that the American people have come together around commonsense solutions to lower the level of gun violence that we are experiencing. The American people know that we need to expand and improve background checks, that we need to do away with the gun show loophole, that we need to do away with the straw man provision."


Senator Van Hollen: (10:18 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Mr. President, today many of us will join with Maryland students and other students from throughout this region to demand that this Senate and the House of Representatives take commonsense action to reduce gun violence in America. Gun violence that has resulted in massacres at concerts, slaughters in churches, and of course mass deaths at schools throughout the country. And the death toll every day we see in the streets of America. Mr. President, I'm going to read the names of 17 Maryland young people, people under 20 who have died just in the last year as a result of gun violence in Maryland."


Senator Klobuchar: (10:22 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Mr. President, these are the names of 17 children who were killed with guns in my state. I read their first names only because it makes us remember they could be anyone's children. Lisa Marie, age 15. William Robert, age 15. Anthony, age 16. Jacob Alexander, age 14. Joseph Anthony, age 17. Terrell, age 3. Joshua Albert, age 15. Alyssa, age 17. Jesse, age 18. Cedric, age 18. Darion geoff, age 15. Justin Daniel, age 17. Jennifer Allen, age 17. David Andre, age 17. Tibeba Lee, age 16. Terrance, age 16. Anthony Michael, age 3. Thank you, Mr. President."


Senator Warren: (10:23 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Mr. President, Congress does not have the courage to act on gun violence, but young people across this country are showing the way. They are speaking up and they are demanding action. I honor them and I commit to fight alongside them. I'm going to read the names of some of those lost from Massachusetts. They didn't get a chance to join this fight before they died from gun violence, so I take this opportunity to join them to the young people who are fighting today for sensible gun reforms."

Blumenthal, Coons, Cantwell, Carper

McConnell (for Crapo) Amendment #2151, as modified, to the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155)

Mar 14 2018 11:30 AM

Senator Blumenthal: (10:24 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Today is a momentous one in the capitol because the students of America are giving us a real-life lesson in the American Constitution. Their energy and passion is a civics lesson for America, and what a proud and wonderful moment today is for our democracy. Sad, indeed tragic that this lesson must concern gun violence that has taken such a devastating toll, most recently in Parkland, Florida. But literally that toll is true of America in 90 deaths every day. We can never become numb to the costs, the catastrophic costs of gun violence in America today. I have the honor to read the names of some of those victims of gun violence. Indeed, the Sandy Hook victims."


Senator Coons: (10:50 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Today is one month to the day when 17 high school students lost their lives. As many of my colleagues have do I come to the floor to remember them, to honor their loss, to speak to their classmates, colleagues, and families, and to share from the experience of my own home state of Delaware. There are this morning today high school students across our country, across my home state of Delaware who are walking out of class to try and draw the attention of those of us here in Washington to the urgent need that we work across the aisle to tackle the plague of gun violence that affects families all over this country. That's why we see young people not just across the country but including in my home state of Delaware demanding we take action."


Senator Cantwell: (11:00 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "No student should fear for their live while attending school, and I will continue to work on solutions here to curb gun violence. We in Washington have been able to make progress by passing initiatives to close gun show loopholes and to move forward on extreme person legislation. I should say that was passed by the citizens of our state. We should look at the example of Washington's initiatives and the success we've made in our state in curbing gun violence as commonsense solutions that should be considered here in Washington, D.C."


Senator Carper: (11:03 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Big advocate for using common sense with respect to weapons. My dad was not only just a hunter, but he was also a gun collector. He would buy and sell guns to other people that he knew. My dad was from the time my sister and I were little kids, he would always say, just use some common sense. He said a lot to us growing up. He said it very often. My dad would say - somebody who has - shares mental health problems or somebody that is like a felony record, to be able to go into a gun show and buy a weapon, that doesn't make a lot of sense. The idea people who can't fly in an airplane because they are on a terrorist watch list, to be able to go and buy guns, my dad would say that didn't make a whole lot of sense."
  • Spoke on Dodd-Frank relief.
    • "Starting off with questions from Senator Jon Tester of Montana, who is a senior member of the banking committee. The first question he is asking is, it was asked last November and he asked the person who would be nominated to the Federal Reserve. It was James Powell. He was nominated with 80 or 90 votes. But he asked then governor -- not a governor of the state but within the Federal Reserve System. He asked Jay Powell, this bill is eliminating the Volcker Rule compliance for community banks that have less than $10 billion in assets as long as they have less than 5% in trading assets and liability."

Leahy, Murray, Shaheen, Wyden

McConnell (for Crapo) Amendment #2151, as modified, to the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155)

Mar 14 2018 12:15 PM

Senator Leahy: (11:29 a.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Some are just falling apart because of where they are, to do a search of papers. They're warehouses that would contain the amount of inform you can store on an iPhone and it can be found in any matter of seconds. They would take months if they could find it at all. But that's something that Congress has required them to do. We hear about the fact you can buy these magazines carrying 15, 20, 30 rounds, even those states like my own state of Vermont, the state with probably the least gun laws in the country, does limit the rounds you can have in your semiautomatic for deer season. A lot of states do that, limit it to six rounds. We want to give the deer a chance, but we don't limit the number of rounds that might give children in a school a chance."


Senator Murray: (11:52 a.m.)

  • Spoke on Director Scott Lloyd.
    • "In other words, Director Lloyd wasn't concerned with fulfilling his duty as the head of office of refugee resettlement. He wasn't concerned with the well-being of women. He wasn't concerned with their personal decisions or their freedoms. He was only concerned with furthering an extreme ideological agenda. Well, Mr. President, women and men across the country are not having it. They are standing up and standing against Scott Lloyd's extreme policies. Many have signed a petition calling for his removal, and they are just the latest addition it a growing outcry against Director Lloyd's willful disregard for women's rights."


Senator Shaheen: (11:59 a.m.)

  • Spoke on women's issues.
    • "What we've seen time and again is the trump administration has exhibited a dangerous on session with rolling back women's reproductive rights here in the United States and abroad. Just in the past 14 months in office, this administration has launched a multi-pronged and aggressive assault on women's rights. One of president trump's first acts in office was to reinstate and greatly expand the global gag rule, which prohibits U.S. funding for women's health organizations that so much mentioned abortion. What they did was say this is not just going to affect those organizations, but any health organization that the United States puts funding into."


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

  • Spoke on women's issues.
    • "In my view, this office ought to uphold its duty to provide all the care that these young women have a right to receive, and it ought to check the ideology at the door. But that's not how the office of refugee resettlements work under Mr. Lloyd. According to a recent report in a spread sheet every week containing information on every pregnant teen in their custody. He reportedly sought to interfere in a young woman's medical procedure that was actually already underway. In another case, the report says he put a young woman at further risk by directing staff to inform her parents against her wishes that she had an abortion."

Lankford, Sanders, Daines, Warren

McConnell (for Crapo) Amendment #2151, as modified, to the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155)

Mar 14 2018 01:23 PM

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

  • Spoke on the budget process.
    • "Where all of the appropriation bills are all looped together to try to simplify the process but to actually provide even less transparency. Why are we doing this and how did we get here? The short story is there is the Budget Control Act of 1974. It was created right after Watergate in a fight between Congress and President Nixon over the fact that President Nixon was told by Congress to be able to spend certain amounts of money in certain areas, and President Nixon basically didn't want to spend it, and so Congress pushed back and put additional requirements on him to actually do what Congress was compelling them to do."


Senator Sanders: (12:35 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Dodd-Frank reform.
    • "This month, Madam President, marks the tenth anniversary of the collapse of bear Stearns, one of the largest investment banks in America, whose greed, recklessness and illegal behavior triggered the worst economic crisis since the great depression ten years ago. And what is the response of the United States Senate to that? Well, are we talking about breaking up the large banks which have become much larger? Is that what we're talking about? Are we talking about protecting consumers who are paying 20%, 25% interest rates on products that they buy at a department store? Are we talking about taking on the payday lenders who are squeezing the lifeblood out of poor people who in debt - in desperation have to borrow money from them?"


Senator Daines: (1:09 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Dodd-Frank relief.
    • "Small local banks and credit unions are uniquely capable of knowing their customers and providing tailored financial services to meet customers' individual circumstances. Dodd-frank stripped this customer advantage away by making prohibitively difficult any loans that don't comply with the cookie cutter regulations. You know, back in 2010, many of our colleagues warned our colleagues on the democratic side about this. But virtually every democratic senator then voted for Dodd-Frank. This difficulty fell particularly hard on Montana's entrepreneurs who are self-employed and don't typically have wage income. And entrepreneurship runs deep in Montana. These banks, these credit unions are truly part of our community."


Senator Warren: (1:13 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Dodd-Frank relief.
    • "The bill guts protections for families that buy traditional and mobile homes and it undermines our ability to enforce civil rights laws. And for what? So that banks that are already making record profits can tack on a little more to their bottom line? If the senate is going to spend two weeks dealing with the big banks, we should be making the rules tougher, not easier. Today I introduce the ending too big to jail act, which would help make sure big bank executives are hauled out of their corner offices in handcuffs the next time they break the law. That would do more for America's working families than anything in this bill, and I'm going to fight to help make it law."

Hassan, Barrasso, Hoeven

McConnell (for Crapo) Amendment #2151, as modified, to the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155)

Mar 14 2018 02:10 PM

Senator Hassan: (1:27 p.m.)

  • Spoke on climate change.
    • "I rise to discuss the devastating effects of climate change in my home state and across the country. I want to commend our colleague, Senator Whitehouse, who has been a fierce advocate for this issue. And as of yesterday he had taken to the floor 200 times to call on Congress to wake up and protect our environment. Mr. President, I am proud to represent a state whose beautiful natural resources strengthen our economy, create jobs, and support our high quality of life. But we are already seeing the real impacts of climate change in New Hampshire, impacts with major consequences."
  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "In the days that followed, students passed around buckets to collect donations with each student giving what he or she could. In an enthusiastic show of support, the Spaulding community raised $3,271 in just two days. Students want to do more so they also presented the Spaulding high school music department class eco leadership award to the Stoneman Douglas music department as that's also the mascot of their school. The junior ROTC group also sent one of its challenge coins to acknowledge the Parkland students' bravery and resolve. Two of the school's music teachers, Joanne Houston and Cheryl Richardson recently flew to Florida to present the gifts to Stoneman Douglas' principal and vice principal."


Senator Barrasso: (1:48 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the economy.
    • "But the American people realize we have now beaten back eight years of bad policies from Democrats in Washington, and as soon as Trump took office, we saw the confidence soar. I don't know that it's ever been higher. Americans are feeling better about the U.S. economy. They're feeling better also about their own personal situation. That's the key, people's own personal situation. That's certainly the case in my home state of Wyoming. The polling company Gallup looked at overall economic confidence state by state. They found that Wyoming is the most confident state in the country when it comes to America's economy. Attitudes about the economy turned positive immediately after Donald Trump was elected president in 2016. You could feel it. You could feel the confidence. You could feel the optimism."


Senator Hoeven: (1:57 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Dodd-Frank relief.
    • "I rise today, however, to talk about the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act and the important reforms we're making to spur economic development, facilitate more lending, and reduce burdensome regulations on our community banks and credit unions. The Dodd-Frank act, as you know, was enacted in 2010 following the financial crisis. In an attempt to reduce systemic risk the financial sector posed to the economy. This far-reaching law touched nearly every aspect of the financial system, including many small community banks and credit unions around the country in my home state of North Dakota and across this nation. North Carolina, every state in the union."

Shelby, Toomey, Durbin

McConnell (for Crapo) Amendment #2151, as modified, to the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155)

Mar 14 2018 03:20 PM

Senator Shelby: (2:09 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Dodd-Frank relief.
    • "In a time, Mr. President, when partisan politics have derailed many efforts, the bill before us moved through regular order out of the Banking Committee where a lengthy and robust amendment debate occurred. Many of us in this body have spent hours, including the presiding officer, negotiating since the enactment of Dodd-Frank to get to this point today. This is a bipartisan bill. This is a good product. Time and again I have advocated for conducting a thorough confident-benefit analysis on financial regulations. I believe this is congress' role when tasked with oversight authority to ensure that the cost of rules from Washington do not outweigh the benefits for consumers."


Senator Toomey: (2:41 p.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Many of our Democratic colleagues have come down to speak of and then I want to speak about the financial services regulatory reform bill we'll be voting on later today. First, on the former topic, Mr. President. A number of our Democratic colleagues have been down here and we've heard passion and concern about the victims of gun violence in our country. I certainly understand and respect their passion. I spent a lot of time of working to try to find sensible measures that will help address this in ways that do not infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens."
  • Spoke on Dodd-Frank relief.
    • "I hope we're going to make some progress in this space, and those would be candidates for doing so. Let me shift to Senate bill 2155, legislation we're going to be voting on later today. This legislation is long overdue. Let me be very clear about this. The financial crisis that we experienced is a decade behind us now. The Dodd-Frank financial services regulatory bill, massive, massive construct that wildly overregulates financial services, that was signed into law eight years ago. We have done nothing really meaningful to roll that back over these last eight years. This bill is the result of years of bipartisan work, untold number of hearings, an extraordinary amount of testimony, and now we have a product that we're going to, I hope, pass later today and begin to roll back some of this excessive regulation."


Senator Durbin: (2:58 p.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Most people cannot remember what happened in the first grade. I have vague memories of being a first grader. But there are certain things that may happen even at that young stage in your life that will be remembered. My six-year-old granddaughter who attends first grade in Brooklyn, New York, a few weeks ago was told by her teacher what to do if a shooter, if a gunman came into the first grade of her classroom. My little granddaughter was told don't get by - stand by the windows. You could get shot. If they enter the classroom with a gun, get down to the floor."

Cornyn, Brown

McConnell (for Crapo) Amendment #2151, as modified, to the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155)

Mar 14 2018 03:49 PM

Senator Cornyn: (3:13 p.m.)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Because current law prohibits it. We've already passed those laws, but as we saw in Sutherland Springs, Texas, 26 people lost their lives one Sunday morning not long ago and 20 more lives were forever changed when they were shot by a gunman who had lied and obtained firearms when he was disqualified under the law from purchasing them. Now, the F.B.I. maintains the background check system, and it wasn't their fault because the background check system is only as good as the information that is uploaded into the background check system. That's where you get a hit. That's when somebody goes into a store and tries to purchase a firearm and lies, the background check system catches them and they're denied that purchase."


Senator Brown: (3:30 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Dodd-Frank.
    • "Despite its 85-year history, despite its relationship with nearly every bank on Wall Street, the bank suddenly found itself on the brink. On this very day, March 14, Bear Stearns lost $3.5 billion in market value. The bank was in the midst of a freefall. In the course of one week, Bear Stearns went from trading for $65 per share to being bought for $2 a share in a sweetheart deal orchestrated by the fed over the course of the weekend. Nearly overnight, one of Wall Street's most prestigious almost 100-year-old banks fell apart. Across the country, families sat at kitchen tables, started to wonder will one of us lose our job, will we have to move, will we be able to retire, will we lose our house, will we be able to send our kids to college?"

Wrap Up (The Senate Stands Adjourned)

Wrap Up

Mar 14 2018 07:12 PM

Tomorrow -

  • The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act.
  • Note: on Wednesday, March 14, cloture was filed on the motion to proceed to H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act.