Durbin, Schumer, Cornyn

Executive Session (Boom Nomination)

Senator Durbin: (10:09 a.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senator Daniel Akaka.
    • "I first met him in 1983. I was a newly elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives. And then we sat together on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, the two of us next to one another, down at the far end of the table. Danny had six years seniority on me. We served together, worked together, laughed together, traveled together, and came to be friends. Here was a man, a great politician, who didn't have a personal ego. Politics was always about someone else, about helping other people. In fact, he went out of his way to avoid the spotlight. But don't think for a minute that he was weak. I have memories seared in my mind."
  • Spoke on DACA.
    • "The deadline for DACA ended. Protection under DACA started disappearing. There were court suits that were brought. Two federal courts stepped in and issued injunctions and said to the president stop the threat of deportation against these DACA-protected young people. Two of those injunctions now stand and under those, our federal government, the department of homeland security, is allowing those who were once protected by DACA to renew their status. Now, of course, those who are newly eligible, for instance, reaching the age of 15, which is the age of eligibility, can't sign up, but if you were protected, the 790,000 protected, you can renew your DACA protection by these court orders."


Senator Schumer: (10:42 a.m.)

  • Spoke on Special Counsel Mueller.
    • "Furthermore, the U.S. attorney's office in New York would have to be convinced that whatever information Mr. Mueller passed along was worth pursuing. And the U.S. attorney would have to convince an independent magistrate judge, nonpartisan, that there was probable cause to believe that seizing information from Mr. Cohen would yield evidence of a crime. That's a serious and high standard. -- That had to be met. I go through these details because it's important to understand that yesterday's events could only have been the result of a rigorous legal process with checks every step of the way and with a very high burden of proof."


Senator Cornyn: (10:57 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the Facebook hearing.
    • "The C.E.O. of Facebook will be testifying, and I believe that his company and other parties have some important explaining to do. One question is whether face -- what Facebook's priorities are and whether they are what they should be. Facebook of course is a publicly traded company and it has a fiduciary duty to his shareholders, that which is shares with every other shareholder enterprise. But its business model is unique. It collects information on billions of people and uses that data to help drive its profits. But one wonders whether it's -- at what point that profit motive can sometimes come at odds - be at odds with protecting the privacy of individual users. To me that's one of the fundamental questions that Mr. Zuckerberg is going to have to answer today."
  • Spoke on Democrat obstruction.
    • "The majority leader, Senator McConnell, has been forced to file cloture, a formal piece of paper on six important nominees, many of whom will be confirmed with strong bipartisan support, but because our colleagues on the other side refuse to consent to expedited consideration of these noncontroversial nominees, we'll have to burn up literally a week of the senate's time during which we could be doing other important work. In addition to the six nominees that we will confirm this week, I want to talk about two in particular, two outstanding individuals who have been nominated by the president to some of the most important positions in the federal government."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Gina Haspel to be Director of the CIA.
    • "She did not always seek out these difficult roles. She took them because she saw it as her duty. And that's the challenge honestly when it comes to somebody with an incredible career like Gina Haspel, because so much of what she has done, she has done in a classified setting. And we can't really talk about the details without jeopardizing the sources and methods of our intelligence gathering or revealing information which could undermine our national security. There has already been some attacks on Miss Haspel, which I think are honestly a caricature of her 30-plus years of service to the country, but we ought to applaud, not denigrate, people who are willing to sacrifice their safety, their comfort, and their security to make us safer and more secure as the American people."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "After graduating first in his class at West Point, and serving in the United States Army, Mike Pompeo attended Harvard Law School. He had a successful career in law and business before transitioning into public service as an elected official. He served in the House of Representatives as Kansas' - as the congressman from Kansas' Fourth Congressional District, and he served in the house on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He was, of course, named by President Trump to lead the C.I.A. After President Trump was elected. Director Pompeo is smart and well respected by all."