Thursday, Mar. 1, 2018

Monday, March 5 -

  • The Senate will convene at 3:00 p.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #438, Karen Gren Scholer, of Texas, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas.
  • At 5:30 p.m, the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #438, Karen Gren Scholer, of Texas, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas.
  • Following disposition of the Scholer nomination, the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #439, Tilman Eugene Self III, of Georgia, to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Georgia.
  • Following disposition of the Self nomination, the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #536, Terry A. Doughty, of Louisiana, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Louisiana.
  • Note: on Thursday, March 1, cloture was filed on the motion to proceed to S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.

 

Senator Markey: (4:27 p.m)

  • Spoke on North Korea.
    • "And the Kim regime's thugs made no efforts to scale back rampant human rights abuses. Many smiled as the North Korean regime won a gold medal in propaganda at the Olympics all the while it got ever closer to its ultimate goal of perfecting a nuclear weapon that could reach the United States of America. And we missed an opportunity to engage in talks with North Korea because we did that at our own peril. While we must continue to ratchet up pressure on North Korea, other elements of president trump's approach threatened to make an already bad situation even worse. First, we are all too familiar with the president's reckless rhetoric, promising, quote, fire and fury does not minimize tensions."

Wicker, Klobuchar, Smith

Executive Session (Doughty Nomination)

Mar 01 2018

Senator Wicker: (1:01 p.m)

  • Spoke on Iran sanctions.
    • "In January, the president waived sanctions for the last time, calling on Congress to either fix the disastrous flaws or he will withdraw. We have a period where bipartisan consensus on the issue of Iran is absolutely necessary. To re-impose sanctions would effectively signal the end of America's participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the JCPOA, an agreement better known as the Iran nuclear deal. The plan is flawed and we cannot fix it without action. I ask my colleagues for cooperation and collaboration so we can act in the national interest and prevent the nefarious aims of the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. When it comes to Iran, we must put aside our differences and work together on a bipartisan bill."

 

Senator Klobuchar: (1:23 p.m)

  • Spoke on the 2018 Winter Olympics.
    • "That is because we had an all-time incredible Olympics with Minnesota really leading the way when it came to the gold medals. Now, of course our state is no stranger to the Olympics. We sent athletes to compete in women's basketball and cycling, but it shouldn't be a surprise that it is the Winter Olympics where the bold north state really shines. We have a couple of things going for us. Mr. President, the weather, you know it's kind of cold. There is snow, so people are able to practice. And also we have a great athletic program at our high schools, and we have got a lot of team spirit, which is especially helpful in the teams that we were part of that won the gold, including curling, men's curling and women's hockey."

 

Senator Smith: (1:27 p.m)

  • Spoke on the 2018 Winter Olympics.
    • "Minnesotans brought home gold medals in women's hockey, women's cross country skiing, and men's curling, and a bronze medal in the women's downhill. I do want to talk about Afton, Minnesota, own Jessie Diggins who carried the Olympic torch for team U.S.A at the closing ceremony. Jessie began skiing at 4 years old and started racing against high schoolers at age 11. She earned her spot on the Olympic cross country team and was the only woman to compete in all six women's cross country events, and compete she did."

Sanders, Gillibrand, Rubio

Executive Session (Quattlebaum Nomination)

Mar 01 2018

Senator Sanders: (11:17 a.m)

  • Spoke on war powers.
    • "Congress shall have the power to declare war. The Founding Fathers gave the power to declare war to Congress because Congress is that body most accountable to the people. For far too long Congress on the Democratic and Republican administrations has abdicated its constitutional role in authorizing war. The time is long overdue for congress to reassert its constitutional authority. If you think that a military intervention makes sense, then let us have that debate here on the floor of the Senate and in the House and cast a vote. But that is not what we have been seeing for a number of years. And what Senator Lee and Senator Murphy and I are doing with privileged resolution S.J 54 is demanding that Congress once again takes its constitutional responsibility for war and peace seriously."

 

Senator Gillibrand: (11:27 a.m)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "Or will Congress continue to give the lip service of thoughts and prayers and then do absolutely nothing? We have to act because once again, there was a massacre on American soil. Once again it was inside a school. Once again American children were gunned down. We keep living through a nightmare of gun violence that repeats itself in schools, movie theaters, churches, nightclubs, concerts, and every single day on the streets of the cities in every state around this country. Sandy Hook, Aurora, Charleston, San Bernardino, Orlando, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, and most recently Parkland, Florida. Mr. President, we can help stop this."

 

Senator Rubio: (11:41 a.m)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "And I imagine that those debates and those differences will not be easily resolved and will continue. But I also know that there is widespread support and agreement that we must act now as soon as possible to do everything we can to prevent another tragedy like Parkland from happening anywhere else ever again. That is a consensus position. No matter where you fall on this debate, no matter how far or how restricted restrictions on gun sales in America should be, no matter what your views are on that, I don't know of anyone who is in favor of school shootings and I don't know of anyone who is in favor of seeing another one happen."

Cardin, Cornyn, Kaine

Executive Session (Quattlebaum Nomination)

Mar 01 2018

Senator Cardin: (10:24 a.m)

  • Spoke on gun violence.
    • "It's movie theaters, it's concerts, it's nightclubs. This kind of stuff can't just happen. You know, we are marching for our lives. We are marching for the 17 lives we have lost. We are marching for our children's lives. We're marching for our children's children and their children. So what can we do? There are several pieces of legislation that are ready to go. Democrats and some Republicans have been willing and ready to act. Leader McConnell could move any one of these bills right now. Let me start by making it clear that weapons of war are not needed by civilians of any age."

 

Senator Cornyn: (10:43 a.m)

  • Spoke on Texas Independence Day.
    • "On February 24 of that year with his position under siege, an important figure named William Barrett Travis wrote a letter which I'd like to read. He was a lieutenant colonel in the Texas army and during the battle his fellow soldiers were outnumbered nearly 10-1. By the forces of the Mexican dictator Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Both Democrats and Republicans have had the honor of reading the fable Travis letter since 1961 when then-Texas Senator John Tower started that tradition. The letter was addressed to the people of Texas and all Americans in the world."
  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "I'd like to mention briefly two iconic companies that are showing their devotion to Texas in a much different but important manner. Based Tyler, they are spreading the good news of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the law that we passed in December that overhauled the tax code. For those not familiar of where Tyler is, it is in East Texas, sometimes referred to as behind the pine curtain. But the tax cuts and jobs act has affected communities all across the country for the past two months and Tyler is no exception. The first company I'd like to mention is Greenberg Turkeys, a family-owned operation that sells the Thanksgiving bird to around 200,000 customers each holiday season. Four generations of the Greenberg family have worked for the company for decades and it has been featured as Oprah Winfrey's favorite things twice."
  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "It is rare in my experience, Mr. President, to see a piece of legislation enjoy such broad bipartisan support - 50 cosponsors. I've been saying all week that we need to pass this bill now. We should not wait. We should not go home empty handed. And we should not have to face the grieving families who lost a child or a loved one as a result of a future shooting that might have been averted had we acted. America's tired of the government response to these catastrophes which rip families apart, take lives, and pit people against each other. And the response of the - of their government has been largely either silence or bickering with no outcome, no result."

 

Senator Kaine: (11:02 a.m)

  • Spoke on gun control.
    • "And I'm going to talk very personally about my own experience in confronting gun violence as a mayor of an urban area, Richmond, Virginia, and as a governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. I will start by saying I'm a gun owner. I'm a Second Amendment supporter. When I was an attorney in private practice, I was the lawyer who worked with an effort to amend the Virginia Constitution to guarantee Virginians the right to hunt and fish. The Second Amendment and private gun ownership is an important part of our framework, I support it, but I obviously believe that we can do things consistent with the Constitution that will make our nation safer, and I ask my colleagues to join in that effort."

McConnell

Opening Remarks

Mar 01 2018

Today -

  • The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #437, A. Marvin Quattlebaum, of South Carolina, to be United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina.
  • At 11:45 a.m, the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #437, A. Marvin Quattlebaum, of South Carolina, to be United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina.
  • Following disposition of the Quattlebaum nomination, the Senate will VOTE on cloture on Executive Calendar #438, Karen Gren Scholer, of Texas, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas and then Executive Calendar #439, Tilman Eugene Self III, of Georgia, to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Georgia.
  • Following the cloture vote on the Self nomination, the time until 1:00 p.m will be equally divided and following the use or yielding back of that time the Senate will VOTE on cloture on Executive Calendar #536, Terry A. Doughty, of Louisiana, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Louisiana.
  • Note: the confirmation votes on the Scholer, Self, and Doughty nominations will take place at 5:30 p.m on Monday, March 5.

 

Senator McConnell: (10:03 a.m)

  • Spoke in tribute to Rev. Billy Graham.
    • "His historical revivals brought so many closer to god because his work was not ultimately about him. The secret of my work, he explained, is god. I would be nothing without him. His personal strengths and talents were mighty, but it was his kindness, his humility and his faith to his family that defined his faith and his ministry. I'm glad that congress could honor the great reverend graham in this way. Yesterday thousands - thousands of Americans packed the rotunda down the hall to pay their respects. And all across the country people are giving thanks for the extraordinary contributions of this good and faithful servant."
  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "Now, Mr. President, on another matter, it's been just over two months since the united Republican government delivered historic tax reform to middle-class families all across the country. So how is it would working? -- How is it working? We've all seen the national news. Wal-Mart is giving raises or new benefits to more than a million - a million hourly workers. Boeing is investing $300 million in workforce development and corporate giving. Apple is bringing hundreds of billions of dollars back home. But no less important are the stories making front page news in hometown newspapers all across our country."