Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2018

Senate Opening

Senate Opening

Sep 25 2018 10:00 AM

The Senate convened.  

McConnell

Opening Remarks

Sep 25 2018 10:21 AM

Today -

  • The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #938, Peter A. Feldman, of the District of Columbia, to be a Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission for the remainder of the term expiring October 26, 2019.
  • The Senate will recess from 12:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. to accommodate the weekly policy lunches.
  • At 2:15 p.m., all post-cloture time on the Feldman nomination will expire and the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #938, Peter A. Feldman, of the District of Columbia, to be a Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission for the remainder of the term expiring October 26, 2019.
  • Note, on Tuesday September 18, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #941, Peter A. Feldman, of the District of Columbia, to be a Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission for a term of seven years from October 27, 2019.

 

Senator McConnell: (10:08 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "They've seen an accuser's request for privacy disregarded and seen ordinary standards of fairness completely discarded. They've seen a disturbing pattern play out on two separate occasions already. It goes like this. Number one, our Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee get wind of or maybe even go looking for a sensitive allegation. Second, they decline to share it with the majority meaning the committee cannot promptly take appropriate action. And third, they allow the allegation to leak to the press at the last moment. Fortunately in stark contrast to this malpractice, the American people have also seen the exemplary manner in which Chairman Grassley has led the Judiciary Committee throughout the entire process."
  • Spoke on the Senate's current agenda.
    • "We're restoring the regular order appropriations process, we're securing commonsense reforms to infrastructure policy and the longest authorization of F.A.A. in over 35 years. And this week, we're confirming more of the president's well-qualified nominees. Yesterday, the Senate voted to confirm Jackie Wolcott as U.S. representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency and to the United Nations in Vienna. Today we turn to consider the nomination of Peter A. Feldman to be a commissioner of the Consumer Products Safety Commission. I would urge each of my colleagues to join me in voting to confirm Mr. Feldman and to continue to process nominations for vital roles in the executive branch."
  • Spoke on Republican economic policy.
    • "We have heard from small and medium-sized business owners who have been able to make larger investments in their workers, facilities, and products, thanks to increased regulatory certainty. And with every new job created, every pay raise passed along, we have seen that these stories are not disconnected anecdotes. Rather, they are part of a larger trespassed in an American economy that is reaching new heights. For example, here on the floor, I have highlighted small businesses in Montana and the ways they are using tax reform savings to drive their local economies forward."

Durbin, Schumer

Executive Session (Feldman Nomination)

Sep 25 2018 11:13 AM

Senator Durbin: (10:19 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "It doesn't sound to me like a recipe for fairness, and it certainly doesn't sound like a recipe for getting to the truth. Plow through. That was what the Republican majority leader said the Republican majority would do. I was surprised when this all started by a spokesman for President Trump, Kellyanne Conway. Not noted for her moderation made a very, I thought, moderate and thoughtful statement at the beginning of the consideration of Dr. Ford's charges. She said we are neither going to ignore or insult Dr. Ford. I thought that was a good standard. Unfortunately, since she said that, neither the president nor many Republican leaders have lived up to it."

 

Senator Schumer: (10:40 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "But realizing they had an obligation to the country, they did so anyway. Dr. Ford came forward and shared her story voluntarily on her own initiative. She wasn't put up by a Democrat, a Republican, or anyone else. It came from her heart. The idea that these allegations were cooked up or instigated or encouraged by Democrats in Congress is patently absurd and a real insult to the members of the Judiciary Committee and the members of this chamber. It is against the spirit, if not the letter of our Senate rules. Addressing the second part of McConnell's claim, that's even worse. Democrats and Republicans are always throwing charges at each other, but the idea that this is a smear job?"

Cornyn, Thune

Executive Session (Feldman Nomination)

Sep 25 2018 12:36 PM

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

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Unfortunately, none of that happened here because we now know that the ranking member, our friend Senator Feinstein, sat on this letter for some six weeks, and then after the hearing, after all of the questions for the record, after being examine the nominee for two days over a long period of time, having gone through an F.B.I. background investigation as well as a bipartisan background investigation of the Judiciary Committee staff, this letter comes out in a way that, frankly, puts Dr. Ford in an uncomfortable position but also has consequences in terms of the nominee and many of us saw last night Judge Kavanaugh talk about the impact of this accusation that he denies ever occurring, it's impact on his children, on his marriage, and on his reputation."

 

Senator Thune: (12:20 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Republican economic policy.
    • "And so instead of giving up on the economy, we decided that we were going to get the economy going again by removing obstacles to economic growth and job creation. Over the past 21 months that's exactly what we've done. We've removed burdensome regulations, and last December we passed an historic comprehensive reform of our tax code. Now the tax code isn't necessarily the first thing that people think of when they think of economic growth, but in actual fact, Mr. President, the tax code has a huge effect on our economy. A small business owner facing a huge tax bill is unlikely to hire a new employee. If her tax burden is heavy enough, she may not able to keep her business open."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "It doesn't matter how mainstream you are, how widely respected, how fair and impartial, if you're nominated by a Republican president, you're out. So, as I said, it came as no surprise that Democrats were determined to fight Judge Kavanaugh's nomination. The ink on the nomination was scarcely dry before the Democratic leader announced that he was going to, quote, fight this nomination with everything I've got. End quote. Mr. President, while I expected Democrats to fight Judge Kavanaugh's nomination, I expected them to do so honorably. I expected them to make their objections known, grill Judge Kavanaugh in the hearing, and then cast their votes against the judge. But that's not what happened."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Peter Feldman to be a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    • "Peter has been an exceptional member of my staff throughout my time as a member of the Commerce Committee. Serving as senior counsel for over seven years, Peter has been instrumental in drafting and negotiating bipartisan legislation and conducting meaningful oversight of federal agencies related to consumer product safety, unfair and deceptive trade practices and sports policy. Those who have had privilege of working with Peter would attest to his well-earned reputation for building consensus and forming coalitions to improve consumer safety."

Hatch, Alexander, Duckworth

Executive Session (Feldman Nomination)

Sep 25 2018 03:54 PM

Senator Hatch: (3:09 p.m.)

  • Spoke on music copyright law.
    • "The name of the bill which passed this body by unanimous vote last week is the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act. As the Senate was considering the bill, my good friend from Tennessee, Senator Alexander, asked to rename the bill in my honor. I was touched by this kind gesture from my good friend, by the willingness of my colleagues to agree to this suggestion. Also, it wasn't necessary, though. But we're also adding to the bill the name of retiring House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, in recognition of all he has done to get get this bill across the finish line and to improve our nation's copyright laws."

 

Senator Alexander: (3:31 p.m.)

  • Spoke on music copyright law.
    • "Well, the Tennessee Waltz sold 5 million copies. It became the most recorded song ever by a female artist. It is in many ways the mag magna carta of country music. How did that happen? What is the mystery that causes a waltz that just kicked around for a long time to have a few words placed on it by two songwriters driving from Memphis to Nashville to suddenly five million copies? None of us really knows. It is just a magnificent form of art. All over my state of Tennessee there are thousands and thousands and thousands of teachers, taxi drivers, waitresses, people thinking of songs, getting together, writing songs, writing - hoping to have the next number one hit."

 

Senator Duckworth: (3:49 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to John Abrams.
    • "I'm here to honor the life of Johnny Abrams, a father, husband, soldier, friend, and to so many a hero. He passed away last month at the age of 71 after spending more than half of his life in the United States Army. Rising from the son of a general to become himself a four-star general, John Abrams embodied the spirit of selflessness, of sacrifice that our military is known for. He spent his life fighting to defend the freedoms that we all too often take for granted. He was wounded in battle, returned to duty, then wounded again, but he refused to let any injury deter him."

Wrap Up (The Senate Stands Adjourned), Markey

Wrap Up

Sep 25 2018 05:12 PM

Tomorrow -

  • The Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #941, Peter A. Feldman, of the District of Columbia, to be a Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission for a term of seven years from October 27, 2019.
  • At 1:45 p.m., all post-cloture time on the Feldman nomination will expire and the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #941, Peter A. Feldman, of the District of Columbia, to be a Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission for a term of seven years from October 27, 2019.

 

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

  • Spoke on airline fees.
    • "Mr. President, I rise today to express my frustration, my outrage that this body is poised to miss an historic once-in-a-generation opportunity to stop a major airlines from gouging Americans with exorbitant fees every time they fly. In the dark of night early Saturday morning House and Senate committee leadership released a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that does not include a commonsense bipartisan provision to protect passengers from having to pay $200 to change a ticket that cost $250, a provision that would have protected a family from paying $200 to cancel a flight because another family member has fallen seriously ill and a vacation had to be canceled."