Durbin, Nelson, Schumer, Blunt

Conference Report Accompanying the DoD/HHS minibus appropriations bill (H.R. 6157)

Senator Durbin: (10:13 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "It refers to the hearings for the approval of the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. Let me read to you a summary of what occurred. After Anita Hill alleged that Judge Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her, the full Senate on October 8, 1991, agreed by by unanimous vote, unanimous consent, to delay a vote on Thomas' nomination to the Supreme Court until October 15. Madam President, let me underline that. The full Senate agreed by unanimous consent to delay the vote after the allegations surfaced. Three days later, beginning on October 11, the Senate Judiciary Committee held public hearings over the course of three days enabling Clarence Thomas, Anita Hill, and other witnesses to testify in an open setting."

 

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

  • Spoke on WRDA.
    • "The smell is pungent. It's irritating. And I'm here to urge our colleagues to support the Water Resources Development Act, what we refer to as the WRDA bill, because it contains authorization for an important reservoir project that could help alleviate some of the discharges. When discharges come out of the big lake, Lake Okeechobee, already combined with local runoff and discharges of nutrient-laden water into the waters and Lakes of Florida, but particularly the Caloosahatchee on the west coast and St. Lucie on the east coast, then all of that nutrient-laden water is like throwing fertilizer into water, and since algae is already in the water and you throw fertilizer to it, the algae is going to grow."

 

Senator Schumer: (10:47 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "The minority has always been able to request a number of witnesses to provide context and expert opinion to the committee. In this case it certainly makes sense for one witness to be Mr. Mark Judge who was named in "The Washington Post" as present during the event in question. How could we want to get the truth and not have Mr. Judge come to the hearing? And be asked questions? And if the majority won't call him as a witness as they should, if they're really interested in getting the whole truth, the minority must be able to do so. The minority always has had a right to call witnesses. But the bigger issue is that the committee must be able to call more than two witnesses in total we must not repeat the mistake of the Anita Hill hearings."
  • Spoke on the investigation of President Donald Trump.
    • "On its face, just on its face alone, the action by President Trump is an abuse of power and a direct slap in the face of rule of law. And even more troubling because President Trump regularly abuses power but even more troubling law enforcement officials have informed congress that some of the disclosures will put at risk the most sensitive sources and methods of our nation's law enforcement and intelligence professionals. There are thousands of Americans risking their lives as informants in our intelligence services. If they can be exposed on the whim of a president for political purposes, what does that say to them?"

 

Senator Blunt: (11:01 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the appropriations process.
    • "That's 50% of all the discretionary spending. And then another 12% or so with the Labor-H bill. 62% of all the spending the government will do, that we've got a choice in, that's not the mandatory spending, happens in this bill, the bill that the Senate is voting on today. There's lots of push and pull in this bill. In fact, Mr. President, our committee got 6,164 requests from senators during the committee negotiations about things they cared for in this bill. There were 31 amendments that were offered on the debate on the bill on the floor. Today's bill reflects the priorities I think of both sides of the capitol and both sides of the aisle."