Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018

Graham, Merkley, Sullivan

Morning Business

Aug 01 2018

Senator Graham: (5:22 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "He has been willing to die and suffer for his country, like many others. But when it comes to explaining America, I've never anyone as articulate and sincere as John McCain. John, I hope you understand that the reason we named this bill after you is that we all love you. I hope you understand this bill, my friend, repairs a lot of the damage you've been talking about for the last six or seven years, and this is the best way I know to honor John McCain is to take care of those who are fighting and dying for this country and pushing the Pentagon to be more efficient."


Senator Merkley: (6:06 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "When you look at the history of the world, in the history of America, we realize that in many ways we're still a very young nation with less than three centuries behind us. And in that comparatively short time, we've accomplished great things. We've helped save the world from tyranny and fascism, while pushing the boundaries of science. We spread democracy and human rights, nations far and wide. We have broken down barriers of race and gender and sexual orientation here at home in a vision of equality and opportunity for all. Yet we cannot forget that along with those accomplishments, those great accomplishments, there's also been some dark chapters in our history."


Senator Sullivan: (6:39 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to the Alaskan of the Week.
    • "Mr. President, you know, I like to brag about my state. We all like to brag about our states here, you know, when it comes to size, beauty, grandeur, and majestic grandeur, I think that Alaska takes the cake. Others might disagree. I know the presiding officer loves his state. I know what I want is people to come to Alaska. See it for yourself. Spend some time up there. We're getting ready for a recess, some of my colleagues coming up to their great states. I guarantee if you come, you will absolutely love it. But it's really more important than anything it's truly the people of Alaska that make it such a special place."

Brown, Warren, Tillis, Durbin

Morning Business

Aug 01 2018

Senator Brown: (4:33 p.m.)

  • Spoke on pensions.
    • "What bothers me, it's the only agency in government that stands up against the huge - against Wall Street interests. We see the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, we know how close he is to Wall Street. We see the FDIC and the Federal Reserve and we see these nominees that come out of a white house that looks like it's a retreat for Wall Street executives and they're on one side protecting Wall Street and doing Wall Street's bidding. We have one agency, just one agency that my conservative pro-wall street, pro-corporate colleagues complain about every day, every week, every month, an agency that saved 29 million American consumers $12 billion."
  • Spoke on the First Amendment.
    • "And these important work that local Ohio journalists that do, I want to talk about them. Some I have met. Others I have not met but I've observed because I know how important they are to communities. I'll start doing this on a regular basis because in this town today and with this administration, with the president of the United States -- I still can't believe a president of the United States engages in talk like the Soviet Union calling American citizens who get up every day and do their job to the best of their ability, that he calls them enemies of the people and tries to get the crowds he speaks to the people he addresses to chime in and call them enemies of the people and start calling these reporters names."
  • Spoke in tribute to Sen. John McCain.
    • "On national security issues and on issues that my first year in the Senate I worked with Senator McCain on keeping down the cost of prescription drugs. He's been a critical partner in the fight for sanctions, told our - held other adversaries accountable. We worked with Senators Crapo and Schumer and Graham and Corker and Cardin to pass tough new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. He's always been clear that we don't only honor the rule of law or refrain from torture when it's easy or convenient. He authored his 2015 amendment to prohibit the use of torture as an interrogation method."


Senator Warren: (4:45 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "In one recent case, judge Kavanaugh ruled that the consumer protection bureau was unsteel calling independent agencies like the consumer bureau, quote, a significant threat to individual liberty. Really? That's the consumer agency that a bipartisan group of 60 senators and 237 representatives created after the most devastating financial crisis in generations. The agency that is a tough watchdog for American families. The agency that in just seven years has returned $12 billion directly to people who were cheated by big banks, credit card companies, and student loan servicers."


Senator Tillis: (5:01 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Pastor Andrew Brunson.
    • "He has a small church in Izmir that only seats about 100 people, and that started long after he started his mission. And he was living peacefully with his wife Noreen until October of 2016. That was shortly after the coup attempt, an illegal coup attempt where anybody who was actually responsible for it should be in prison. It's not the appropriate way to change a regime in the United States or Turkey or any other western nation. But after the coup attempt, the president, President Erdogan, the president of Turkey, decided to implement emergency powers which gives him the power to basically put anyone in prison."


Senator Durbin: (5:07 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "They didn't have legal status. They weren't documented in the United States. They lived their whole lives here, gone through our schools and some of them have been amazing students. They planned to go on with their education and their lives and learn that they had an obstacle in their path. Well, President Obama created an opportunity for them to continue to live in the United States without fear of deportation and to be able to work here. 790,000 of them stepped up, paid a $500 filing fee, went through a criminal background check and were given on a temporary renewable basis this protection under President Obama's executive order."

Kennedy, Leahy, Blunt, Smith, Hatch

Morning Business

Aug 01 2018

Senator Kennedy: (3:24 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "I probably wouldn't finish. I probably would die first. That's how big a billion is. And this bill is about $860 billion. 75% of it deals with our food stamp program. Now, in the house version of the farm bill, there is a work requirement for food stamps. And this is what it says, that the American taxpayer will happily give you his or her hard earned money to help you get back on your feet. We don't want you to be hungry. But if you're between the ages of 18 and 59, the house bill says, and you're not disabled and you don't have a child under 6, then in return for those food stamps, we're going to require you to get a job."


Senator Leahy: (3:34 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "When I was in Vermont over the weekend, I was thinking back over this, and I don't think I've ever seen so much as stake with a single seat as with the current nomination of Judge Kavanaugh. Now, one thing we can all agree upon, Republicans and Democrats, like many Supreme Court nominees before him, Judge Kavanaugh has impressive academic credentials and judicial experience, but unlike most of his predecessors, Judge Kavanaugh also has a lengthy, partisan career. Prior to his time on the bench, Judge Kavanaugh was a political operative engaged in some of the most divisive fights in our nation's recent history, including Kenneth Starr's investigation of President Clinton, including Bush v. Gore, and five contentious years has a senior official in President George W. Bush's administration."


Senator Blunt: (3:51 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "It's the one job the federal government does that almost no American will argue that somebody else could do that better, either personally or at a different level of government. It's the number one priority I think of the federal government, and this bill addresses that priority. In our state, we have Lightman Air Force Base, we have Fort Leonard Wood, Rosecrans Air National Guard Base where people from all over the world come to train on how to use the C-130's, we have a National Guard facility in Springfield, Missouri, that repairs helicopters for the armed services and saves a lot of money in doing that. We're the home of the National Geospatial Agency's western headquarters, and proud to be."


Senator Smith: (4:04 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Unfortunately discriminatory voting laws like the one Judge Kavanaugh upheld have a long and shameful history in this country. When this country was founded, generally only property-owning white men had the right to vote. It took 80 years to expand the franchise to all male citizens regardless of their race or color. And it took another 50 years to grant women the right to vote, and another four years after that to grant that right to all Native Americans. But the expansion of the legal right to vote did not always translate into access at the polls. It took us over a century to pass the voting rights act of 1965, which outlawed discriminatory poll taxes, literacy tests and other voter intimidation tactics."


Senator Hatch: (4:09 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "He's also taught courses at Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown. None other than Elena Kagan in fact hired him to teach at Harvard. I'd like to take some time today to focus on a subject on which Judge Kavanaugh has really made his remark as a jurist. I want to talk about substance and I want to talk about what Judge Kavanaugh has written in his opinions and how he's been a true intellectual leader on the court. And I hope my colleagues on both sides listen to this because we haven't had a nominee like this in a long time. So much of the discussion about Judge Kavanaugh so far has been substance free."


Morning Business

Aug 01 2018

Senator Cornyn: (2:39 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "We already set the record with the most judges confirmed in the president's first two years and we still have five months to go. That's unprecedented. That's huge. It speaks volumes as to the responsibility this administration takes to fill the benches on the judiciary and with which this chamber's duty to provide advice and consent. We confirmed another nominee this morning, Britt Grant and we have 24 circuit court or intermediate-level judges. But some people don't like to focus on that record of accomplishment so much. They like to dwell on Judge Kavanaugh, the nominee to succeed Anthony Kennedy. I understand why the Supreme Court vacancy is a very big deal. But it doesn't give license to engage in hysterical attacks."

Rubio, Van Hollen, Reed, Inhofe

The Conference Report Accompanying the NDAA (H.R. 5155)

Aug 01 2018

Senator Rubio: (1:32 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Madam president, this - we are now halfway through my eighth year in the United States Senate and in my time year, I have never once spoken against, voted against, or opposed in any way any of the national defense authorization acts that have come before the Senate. And the reason being that despite whatever flaws one might find on most occasions in any piece of legislation, the defense of our country is the fundamental obligation of our federal government. It comes before anything else. State governments run schools and build roads and do all sorts of activities at the state level. Communities do all sorts of things at the local level. But nothing is more important than the defense of our country in terms of a federal obligation. And so I had never opposed an NDAA, and I have supported every single one of them, despite the fact that they didn't have everything I wanted or everything I liked - until today."


Senator Van Hollen: (1:44 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "All of them have said it would be a great danger to our national security and the privacy of millions of Americans to let them anywhere near our telecommunications networks. So first they steal our technology. Second, they plan to use a lot of that, they stole from us to spy on us. And then they went about violating U.S. sanctions on North Korea and on Iran. And not just once. Twice, and then they were caught again. Each time they were warned but they continued to flagrantly violate our sanctions. And that is why the secretary of commerce, Wilbur Ross, finally got fed up with everything they were doing, and he imposed sanctions on Z.T.E., including what's called a denial order saying that U.S. companies should not be transferring technology to Z.T.E. Which was then using that technology both to get market advantages but also to potentially spy on the United States."


Senator Reed: (1:55 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "And we understand also that there are some Chinese companies in the video surveillance equipment business that also are threats. They also have been banned going forward with respect to government acquisition or government contractor acquisitions. So we have recognized this issue and we have done, I think, what we could do to ensure that our national security is not compromised in the future by Z.T.E. or Huawei equipment, and with that, madam president, I would suggest we move forward and pass this legislation which does a remarkable job helping the men and women of our armed forces."


Senator Inhofe: (1:57 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "This is the 58th consecutive year we had a defense authorization bill. This is dedicated, this one is named after Senator McCain, John S. McCain defense authorization bill. We're very proud of the input that we had from his staff and from him, and it went through in record time. So I thank all - I certainly thank my counterpart here, senator reed. He and I worked very, very close together for many, many years."

Vote Results (Passage)

The minibus appropriations bill, as amended (H.R. 6147)

Aug 01 2018

Passed, 92-6:

H.R. 6147, the minibus appropriations bill, as amended.

The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Murkowski, Udall, Merkley, Schumer

The minibus appropriations bill (H.R. 6147)

Aug 01 2018

Senator Murkowski: (10:25 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "Mr. President, we are beginning to wrap up, beginning to wrap up the appropriation package which includes the FY2019 bills for the Subcommittee on Interior and Environment and Related Agencies, the Financial Services and General Government, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, as well as Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development and Related Agencies. Or THUD, Interior, Financial Services, and Ag. This is really quite an accomplishment this morning. Perhaps not necessarily noted in the - in the trade press out there, but the fact of the matter is, Mr. President, we're doing our business here."


Senator Udall: (10:38 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "Senator Murkowski, Chairman Murkowski, thanks for those kind works. It's always a pleasure to say we work with each other. There are issue sometimes we 
      disagree on. We listen to each other and always come back to try to reach a final result, and I think that's what the American people and what Alaskans and New Mexicans want us to do. As the ranking member of the interior department appropriations subcommittee, I want to thank my colleagues for being part of a remarkable process on the floor this last week, and I want to again thank my chairman, Senator Lisa Murkowski and commend her for managing the bill and the way she's managed it and the leadership she has shown in this."


Senator Merkley: (10:45 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "I'm delighted to be here following my colleague who's a the ranking member of the subcommittee has done such excellent work with the senator from Alaska in undertaking, really bringing together a vision for their subcommittee that we needed on this floor for a long time. And so well done. I stand here as the ranking member of the agriculture appropriations subcommittee. I'm very pleased we were able to pass this bill today, or we will hopefully soon do so."


Senator Schumer: (10:49 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Now, for several weeks our Republican colleagues have been stonewalling our efforts to gain access to Judge Kavanaugh's full record on behalf of the senate and, more importantly, on behalf of the American people. In doing so, they've discarded a tradition of bipartisan cooperation when it comes to requesting a nominee's record. Whether you've been for a nominee or not, we used to all agree that the Senate should be able to review their full record. For the sake of transparency and openness for a vote, advice and consent on one of the most important jobs in the country and in the world - a lifetime job of tremendous power, not an be a tract power, but the decisions the Supreme Court makes affect the daily lives of Americans."
  • Spoke on health care reform.
    • "Now, on health care -- today the Trump administration has finalized a plan for a type of health insurance that will essentially repeal protections on preexisting conditions and allow insurance companies to cover fewer benefits, not more. These so-called short-term plans are the very definition of a bait and switch. Under the guise of lower premiums, these plans lure Americans in, but they hardly cover anything. The insurance company will tell you, oh, this plan will cover you for this and that."


Opening Remarks

Aug 01 2018

Today -

  • The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 6147, the minibus appropriations bill.
  • At 11:00 a.m., the Senate will VOTE in relation to the following amendments in relation to H.R. 6147, the minibus appropriations bill, in the order listed: Leahy Amendment 3464, with a 60-vote threshold required for adoption; Lee Amendment #3522, with a 60-vote threshold required for adoption; Baldwin Amendment #3524, with a 60-vote threshold required for adoption; and Cruz Amendment #3402.
  • Following disposition of the Cruz Amendment, the Senate will VOTE on passage of H.R. 6147, the minibus appropriations bill, as amended.
  • Note: on Thursday, July 26th, cloture was filed on the conference report to accompany H.R. 5515, the NDAA.
  • Note: the cloture motion with respect to H.R. 6147, the minibus appropriations bill, has been withdrawn.


Senator McConnell: (10:04 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "For for than a week, the Senate has carefully considered a set of four appropriations bills. Together they'll account for about one-eighth of the discretionary spending for the next fiscal year. They allocate funds for a variety of pressing neat needs in communities around the country, and they represent four more steps towards the goal this Senate has set to fund the government through regular appropriations and steer clear of another omnibus. A lot of of attention has been paid to two huge priorities where this legislation will bring major progress."
  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Representing the Commonwealth of Kentucky, I know just how significant an impact this legislation had will have on some of our Nation's finest. At Fort Campbell, members of the 101st Airborne Division and a number of special operation divisions will benefit from the authorization of new investments in their training facilities. At Fort Knox, the Army's Human Resources Command and Recruiting Command will receive the support they need to modernize officer personnel management and the post will receive much-needed certainty and authority for its energy savings program."
  • Spoke on Republican economic policy.
    • "That's the fastest employers have increased what they spend on employee pay and benefits in any 12-month period since the one that ended in September of 2008. Given what we know about the labor market, this is hardly surprising. From main street businesses to manufacturers, job creators are faced with heightened demand. That means more Americans can come off the sidelines and find a quality job and that means that businesses compete to hire and retain workers."