Whitehouse, Hirono, Smith, Graham

Executive Session (Oldham Nomination)

Senator Whitehouse: (5:30 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
    • "And the way in which Mr. Kavanaugh comes to this nomination smells of all of that influence already. For starters, he was selected through a very private process that from all the information we have into it is moderated by a group called the Federalist Society but which checks in with all the big Republican funding special interests to make sure that they are all okay with the nominee. There is a preclearance by special interests that takes place for these judicial nominees. And obviously the most powerful and wealthy special interests, the biggest political force perhaps ever, is going to be a part of that checklist. There can be no doubt that if the fossil fuel industry wasn't checked off on Brett Kavanaugh he would not be the nominee."


Senator Hirono: (5:44 p.m.)

  • Spoke on judicial nominations.
    • "Cases making their way through the court include California v. E.P.A. which challenges California environmental regulations on vehicle emissions. Another case, West Virginia v. E.P.A., which challenges Obama's clean power plan. These cases raise crucial questions that would determine whether the government has the power to protect our environment. The answers to those questions may very welcome from the Supreme Court. The president's nominee to the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh raises serious concerns about whether he would be that fair arbiter on environmental issues on these kinds of cases that will surely come before the Supreme Court."


Senator Smith: (5:56 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
    • "Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated that he simply doesn't believe that existing law allows new environmental threats to be addressed by any sort of regulation. I'm talking about existing law designed to protect human health and our environment. When you take a look at Judge Kavanaugh's record, one thing becomes abundantly clear. Judge Kavanaugh has tried to weaken Clean Air Act protections, even though the act controls pollutants like smog and carbon dioxide which contribute to asthma, heart attacks, and even premature death. They put our health at risk. Judge Kavanaugh offered an opinion which found that the E.P.A. had exceeded its authority when the agency directed upwind states to literally stop blowing smoke onto their downwind neighbors."


Senator Graham: (6:03 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the meeting between President Trump and President Putin.
    • "The bottom line here is that we all owe it to every voter in the country and all those who are serving in the intelligence community and the military to secure our election the best we can. So I'm hoping that we'll become team America just for a few minutes. I'm not asking my Democrat friends to give President Trump a pass. I'm not asking my Republican colleagues to stop fighting for our agenda. I'm asking both parties to calm downing and focus on the common enemy. The common enemy is Russia and countries like Russia that want to undermine our democracy, pit us one against the other, and they did it in 2016. And if you believe Dan coats, they're going to do it again."