Wednesday, Jun. 6, 2018

Tomorrow -

  • The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and begin consideration of Executive Calendar #603, Kenneth L. Marcus, of Virginia, to be Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Department of Education, with the time until 12:30 p.m. equally divided between the leaders or their designees.
  • At 12:30 p.m., the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #603, Kenneth L. Marcus, of Virginia, to be Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Department of Education.
  • Note: on Wednesday, June 6, cloture was filed on the motion to proceed to H.R. 5515, the NDAA.


Senator Brown: (5:57 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the CFPB.
    • "Not ever until Mulvaney replaces all the members with his handpicked cronies. So he is saying - even though federal law says you've got to meet with them, required by law to meet twice a year, Mulvaney says I'm not meeting with them until you all quit and I get my handpicked friends of payday lenders, friends of Wall Street, friends of big banks, friends of financial services that think about politics and government and regulation the way Mulvaney thinks."


Senator Portman: (6:14 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the Iran deal.
    • "At the same time, because of the nonnuclear concerns with Iran, including ballistic missile development and destabilization of the region, U.S. sanctions against Iran remained in place. So our primary sanctions stayed in place. This means Iran was banned from directly accessing the U.S. financial system and banks and other private institutions will still banned from accessing U.S. financial systems on behalf of Iran. This is a big deal. That's sort of the one thing that any country that sanctions really wants is access to our financial system because it is so intertwined with the rest of the world. They were still banned from accessing our U.S. financial system."

Toomey, Merkley

Motion to Proceed to the NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 06 2018

Senator Toomey: (4:22 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "So, earlier today, I objected to a consent request to get on the bill because I wanted an opportunity to offer an amendment I had based on the efforts of our chairman and his confidence that I will be able to offer this amendment, I'm prepared to agree to allow us to get on the bill and I look forward to doing that. I want to address two amendments that I am hopeful will be included, mine and one other. One of them has to do with the tariffs on - especially on steel and aluminum that come under Section 323 of our trade laws and another is an amendment that I intend to offer with respect to the CFIUS reform."


Senator Merkley: (4:51 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to the late Senator Robert Kennedy.
    • "Speaking at his younger brother's funeral, our former colleague, senator Ted Kennedy, said Robert Kennedy, quote, need not be idolized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life. That he can be remembered simply as a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. I was inspired by his efforts to right wrong and heal suffering and stop war. Inspired enough that when I became a U.S. Senator and was assigned an office that happened to be the former office of Robert Kennedy, I pointed that out to visitors, that here in my office once sat the great Robert Kennedy who did, in fact, see wrong and try to right it and suffering and heal it and war and stop it."

Barrasso, Wyden, Lankford, Cardin

Motion to Proceed to the NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 06 2018

Senator Barrasso: (2:29 p.m.)

  • Spoke on congressional Republican's accomplishments.
    • "We have just seen new numbers on Friday showing that the American economy has created more than one million new jobs since we passed the tax relief and jobs act in December. Since president trump was elected, we've actually gotten more understand that 3 million more Americans working. Unemployment is now at 3%. That matches the lowest rate in 50 years. Even "The New York Times" ran a headline saying, "We ran out of words to describe how good the jobs numbers are." Think about that. "The New York Times," "We ran out of words to describe how good the jobs numbers are." Well, Mr. President, every month we've been adding thousands of new jobs in construction, manufacturing, health care, and mining."


Senator Wyden: (2:45 p.m.)

  • Spoke on hemp.
    • "Our original sponsors were Senator Merkley and Senator Paul and since then we have added as cosponsors 28 additional a members of the United States Senate on as cosponsors. So what I'm going to do this afternoon for just a few minutes is talk about why it is so important that our bipartisan legislation now cosponsored by almost a third of this body get enacted and be included as part of the farm bill. Now, Mr. President, it is Hemp History Week again, and that is why I am back on the Senate floor to talk about the only schedule one controlled substance that you can sew into a t-shirt and where through T.S.A. And here as we start is the real head scratcher."


Senator Lankford: (3:05 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the cancelation of August recess.
    • "And will slow down government just as much. That doesn't help us long term. We have got to be able to get out of this cycle, and we're in a downward cycle of trying to be able to deal with nominees. We need to be here in August to work through nominees because we have not had enough time because 100 days have been lost just sitting on a cloture vote waiting on that to happen. The second aspect of this I want to remind people of is this -- we need to be here in August to be able to work through this time period because appropriations need to be done. 18 of the last 20 years, this Congress has done an omnibus bill."


Senator Cardin: (3:13 p.m.)

  • Spoke on North Korea.
    • "Mr. President, next month will be the 65th anniversary of the armistice that ended the battles and bloodshed of the Korean War. As I am sure my colleagues know, the Korean War was never officially ended. Over the last 65 years, we have seen hostility on the Korean peninsula. We have seen North Korea develop nuclear weapons, raising security concerns, active and cyberattacks, human rights violations, and the list goes on and on and on. In the context of a formal state of war between the north and the south. The United States has made major investments in this region as a result of our security concerns and our national interests."

Nelson, Blunt

Motion to Proceed to the NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 06 2018

Senator Nelson: (1:03 p.m.)

  • Spoke on social media data breaches.
    • "I rise to speak on the recent press reports on Facebook and how the social media giant partnered with at least 60 mobile device manufacturers and shared user information with the likes of apple, Amazon, blackberry, Microsoft, and Sam sung. And just today on the subject of China, "The New York Times" is reporting that Facebook also partnered with four Chinese electronic manufacturers including Huawei which is known to have close ties with the Chinese government and may pose a national security threat to the U.S. According to the times, these companies had access to vast amount of Facebook's user data, including the information of friends who may not have provided proper consent to access and share personal and their personally identifiable information."


Senator Blunt: (2:00 p.m.)

  • Spoke on congressional Republicans' accomplishments.
    • "One of the things that I thought was most surprising is how many employers stepped up in how many different ways to say we appreciate in this economy and want to reward our workforce, like we frankly didn't know that we could afford to do and knew that we didn't have to do, in a more stagnant economy in the past. The companies that gave bonuses, the companies that gave other benefits, the several companies that increased their minimum level of pay, whatever that was. One major national retailer said they were going to increase their minimum wage to $11 and over the next specific number of months they were going to increase that $11 minimum to a $14 minimum, not because the government told them they had to do that but because they wanted to be sure in a growing economy they kept their employees."

Inhofe, Reed

Motion to Proceed to the NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 06 2018

Senator Inhofe: (11:44 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "It's going to be putting this off for a period of time. Two likely, not unlikely but undesirable results could come up. One would be to ultimately deny the members from offering their amendments, whether they're germane or not germane. Because I would say this, and I want to say how much I appreciate the fact that Senator Reed and I in our committees have worked very closely together. We made a decision that we want to have an open amendment process. We've had discussion of this in our committees, and everyone agrees with this. This could have the effect of ultimately closing the door to everyone who has an amendment, and we don't want that."


Senator Reed: (11:48 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "But each and every year, people see this as the only train leaving town, and we have to be able to keep in balance that this is about the Department of Defense and related agencies, the Nuclear National Security Administration, for example, D.O.E., and other agencies. And we'd like to be able to open up the floor to amendments that are closely connected, have a clear nexus to the Department of Defense, the men and women in the Department of Defense, and then have votes. That's the ideal. And we hope we can do that. We might have to spend some time procedurally getting to the bill. We will get to the bill."

Daines, McConnell, Warren

Executive Session (Axon Nomination)

Jun 06 2018

Senator Daines: (10:32 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the V.A. Mission Act.
    • "It's not just hank, all across Montana, we heard about how the V. A. Choice Program has consistently fallen short. Payment delays that take up to eight months. In fact, sometimes we've got bill collectors coming after our veterans for something they should not be responsible for, hour's long wait to talk to representatives about claims and veterans getting the run around on receiving the most basic services. This is unacceptable. Our veterans deserve better, and that's why the bipartisan mission act is so vitally important."


Senator McConnell: (10:39 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the cancelation of the August recess.
    • "Yesterday I announced the Senate's regularly scheduled August recess will not occur this year. Members will be able to meet with our constituents during a standard one-week state work period and then we will get back here and get back to work. The reason is simple, we have too much to do for the American people. 16 months into President Trump's presidency, we have a wide array of executive and judicial positions not filled."
  • Spoke on the recent Kentucky honor flight.
    • "My father fought in World War II so I was particularly grateful to hear these veteran stories and share these special moments of remembrance. One man I talked to is 100 years old. He was in the initial invasion when we got on offense in North Africa and fought in every theater in Europe and was there when the Germans surrendered May 8, 1954. He landed at Omaha Beach, he said it was two days after the invasion.
  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Secretary Mattis' new national defense strategy spells out what our nation must do. Our landmark budget agreement set aside the funds our service members will require to put that plan into action. Now with this NDAA, Congress will take the next step toward getting those resources where they need to be. Its authorizations including quality of life improvements for service members and their families, improved capabilities for land, sea, and air weapons systems, and reforms to the acquisitions process to keep America's military on the cutting edge."


Senator Warren: (11:00 a.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to former Senator Robert Kennedy.
    • "Robert Kennedy lived his life with courage and conviction, never afraid to challenge a divided nation to face its moral failings. Bobby challenged us all to take a step back from the stale, cheap politics of the moment and to do better by each other. His service to this nation will never be forgotten. Today, 50 years after he was brutally assassinated, we pause to acknowledge the brilliance and beauty that rested in his vision of America, a vision that led him to seek the highest office in this land, a vision of love, wisdom, compassion, and justice. Bobby believed that we all have a shared responsibility to leave this world just a little bit better off than when we came."


Opening Remarks

Jun 06 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 #625, Annmarie Carney Axon, of Alabama, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Alabama.
  • At 11:00 a.m., the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #625, Annmarie Carney Axon, of Alabama, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Alabama.


Senator Schumer: (10:11 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the cancellation of the August recess.
    • "But I agree with the president on one thing. Canceling recess is a great opportunity to get something done. In fact, I have a suggestion for what Congress should do. How about this, Mr. President? Why don't we get something done on the issue that numerous polls say is the number-one priority of Americans: healthcare. We Democrats, our entire caucus believes this previously unscheduled session time can be put to good use to finally help Americans secure the affordable health care that President Trump and congressional Republicans have thus far failed to deliver."
  • Spoke on China.
    • "As I have said many times before, I am closer to President Trump on trade with China than I was to either President Obama or President Bush. I want our president to succeed in winning real concessions from the Chinese on long-standing issues like intellectual property theft and market access. I believed that unlike previous presidents, President Trump was serious about being tough on China to achieve our goals. But week after week, I keep reading reports that President Trump and his team are not being tough with China."