Cantwell, Lankford, McConnell (UC), Hatch, Peters

Executive Session (Duncan Nomination)

Senator Cantwell: (11:17 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Stuart Kyle Duncan to be U.S. Circuit Court Judge for the Fifth Circuit.
    • "Mr. Duncan has, in many cases, tried to take away these very important reproductive rights. From 2012 to 2014 he was the lead counsel on the Hobby Lobby case. That flawed decision allowed closely held corporations to deny F.D.A. Contraceptive coverage if the company owners were against it. More than half the women in Washington State get their health coverage through their employers. They earn it through hard-worked wages and their employers should not be able to cherry pick what benefits they get because their owners have a self-professed religious objection. He tried to go after birth control access, and thanks to Washington pharmacist Jennifer Erickson, Washington State has a law on the books that all lawfully prescribed drugs be permitted."


Senator Lankford: (11:31 a.m.)

  • Spoke on Democrat obstructionism.
    • "Mr. President, earlier today, the minority leader came to the floor to talk about multiple issues. During that conversation, he called me out by name and a rules proposal that I have in front of the Rules Committee this week saying he vehemently disagrees with the rules proposal and mentioned even that he knows I came here in 2014 and I should study the history of the Senate a little bit more before I bring up a rules proposal. Well, I would only tell you I have studied the history a little bit and would like to get a little bit of context around those comments. The rules proposal that the minority leader is opposing is the exact same rules proposal that he actually voted for in 2013 when he was on the Rules Committee and then voted for again when it came to the floor of the Senate."


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

  • Unanimous Consent –
    • That notwithstanding Rule XXII, the post-cloture time on the Duncan nomination expire at 3:00 p.m. today.
    • (Without Objection)


Senator Hatch: (11:55 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "Frankly, I am embarrassed by the naked partisanship that was on display during Director Pompeo's confirmation hearing. The director deserves better than this. That his nomination was nearly sent to the floor without recommendation is an utter disgrace. This is a graduate of West Point, a man who served our nation honorably as a cavalry officer in the United States Army. This is a talented litigator who graduated from Harvard Law School, where he served as editor of the law review. This is an accomplished businessman, a former member of Congress, and a current director of the Central Intelligence Agency. This is a man who is qualified to serve in every respect. And yet some of my colleagues wanted to block Director Pompeo's nomination on the grounds that he supports our president."


Senator Peters: (12:05 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Stuart Kyle Duncan to be U.S. Circuit Court Judge for the Fifth Circuit.
    • "Mr. President, it completely baffles me that this administration continues to put forth nominees who are either clearly unqualified or intensely partisan and controversial. This body has historically worked together to confirm consensus nominees to serve on the appellate bench. Unfortunately, that has not been the case over this past year. We have seen contentious nominee after contentious nominee. Unfortunately, the Republican majority has abdicated its responsibility to instead choose a judicial person of integrity who is willing to find common ground. This afternoon's vote to confirm Stuart Kyle Duncan to the fifth circuit court is a perfect example of a divisive candidate. Mr. Duncan is an extreme nominee."