Thursday, Jun. 7, 2018

Monday, June 11 -

  • The Senate will convene at 3:00 p.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R. 5515, the NDAA.
  • At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will VOTE on the motion to proceed to H.R. 5515, the NDAA.


Senator Sullivan: (3:41 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to the Alaskan of the Week.
    • "Right now in Alaska where I give this speech every week, I like to talk about what's going on in Alaska. It's certainly the most beautiful state. It's the biggest state, we all know that, in the country. And the state's fully in bloom. Its tourists are flocking north by the tens of thousands to view the wildlife and the glaciers and the mountains. They'll eat our delicious seafood, take in amazing views, do hikes, have an adventure. By the way, I want to make sure everybody's watching in the gallery, on TV or C-SPAN. You've got to come up to Alaska. You'll have the trip of a lifetime, guaranteed. Guaranteed. Come on up. But what's truly impressive about my state is the people who live there and the sense of the community that we have there."
  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "This is physics and location, location, location. If there's going to be a threat either from Iran or North Korea or anywhere else with regard to the United States of America, that threat is almost always going to fly over Alaska. So we have our radar systems there, we have long-range discrimination radar there, we have the missile fields protecting every city from New York to L.A. to Miami all based in the great state of Alaska. So what are we doing this year? Well, we have an entire new section in the NDAA builds on what we did last year to dramatically increase our nation's missile defense even more because you can never be too sure on this."

Wicker, Cassidy, Brown

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

Jun 07 2018

Senator Wicker: (2:19 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Republican economic policy.
    • "We passed 16 Congressional Review Act regulations, put them on the president's desk that first day to repeal harmful, burdensome, well-intended, but job-killing regulations that had come forward in the last days of the Obama administration. We passed the economic growth regulatory relief and consumer protection act to provide relief for our small businesses, for our community banks so we're not treating them like some New York bank or some of the largest banks in the country. We freed up the small banks to have a little more ability to loan money to job creators, to small business people seeking to borrow funds and expand their workforce, to allow families to get a loan just a little bit easier with a little bit less regulation so that they can lead the kind of lives that they have wanted to."


Senator Cassidy: (2:51 p.m.)

  • Spoke on prescription drug prices.
    • "One of the reasons why college tuitions have risen so much and along with it the amount of money that college students have to borrow to get through state universities is that the amount of state general fund dollars going for state university support has declined, as Medicaid expenditures have risen. So whether it is Medicare, Medicaid, or the individual family, risings health care costs are significant. One more thing. From 200 to 2014, if you look at middle-income families, the amount they've had to spend on health care has risen by 25%, even the though the amount they've spent on other things has fallen. So, Mr. President, we have to decrease the cost of - we have to decrease the cost of drugs and the cost of health care."


Senator Brown: (3:03 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Z.T.E.
    • "So, Mr. President, it's pretty galling to learn that early this morning, the Commerce Department announced yet another agreement with this Chinese telecommunications giant to enable it to interact with U.S. companies. So they committed that kind of offense. Then they lied about that kind of offense. And now we're saying it's okay. You can come back into our country. You can do business with us. What gives here? We can't allow a Chinese company or a company anywhere - I'm not picking on China in this case. But China is a country we've had, have difficulty with, that is habitually breaking international trade laws and has trouble with the truth like some people in the White House have."


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

Jun 07 2018

Senator Fischer: (1:24 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to Sergeant First Class Tricia Jameson, Nebraska Army National Guard.
    • "Her name and reputation live on as soldiers save lives, just as she did on the battlefield. For her service to our nation, Sergeant First Class Tricia Jameson earned many military decorations including the Purple Heart and Bronze Star posthumously. Today I ask that we take a minute to remember Tricia for her selfless spirit. I want to thank her family, her mother, Pat, and her brother, Rob, who share their own heroic burden. Sergeant First Class Tricia Jameson loved her family. She embodied the pride of her state and the values of her nation. I am honored to tell her story."

Moran, Cornyn, Murray

Executive Session (Marcus Nomination)

Jun 07 2018

Senator Moran: (12:04 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Both the Department of Defense and the Army fortunately are experiencing much-needed period of time in which there is growth, opportunities for us to spend additional dollars to defend our nation. Our armed forces are modernizing and increasing their readiness and lethality to be in a position to better deter, confront and defeat potential adversaries in a security environment more complex, more difficult, more volatile than probably any time in our country's history, certainly within recent time. During this moment of growth, the Army ought not miss the opportunity to conduct due diligence in all of their decisions and invest wisely to pay down the cost in the future."


Senator Cornyn: (12:09 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. visa policy.
    • "We hope to shed light on policies and procedures that are in place, what should be in place but which is not, and to address what has become a growing source of concern. That is foreign countries taking advantage of their international students studying in the United States and turning them into intelligence assets or otherwise using them to gain information that will help other countries grow their economy and their military in a way that undermines U.S. leadership in both of those areas. The issue relates primarily, though, to China's aggressive plan to surpass the United States on all fronts, militarily, economically and technologically and to do so by whatever means necessary."


Senator Murray: (12:22 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Kenneth Marcus to be Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights.
    • "Secondly, madam president, I want to thank this nominee, Kevin Marcus, for his service and his clear commitment for the goal of halting discrimination on college campuses, which is an issue the O.C.R. will face with hateful violence occurring on our campuses and in schools. Madam President, I respect Mr. Marcus' commitment, but right now in this administration, it's not enough. We are a bit more than 500 days into President Trump's term, and when it comes to his record and rhetoric on civil rights, I haven't been surprised once."

Inhofe, Flake, Nelson, Alexander- Correction

Executive Session (Marcus Nomination)

Jun 07 2018

Senator Inhofe: (11:13 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "We intend to do that. We were disappointed that there was objection to that yesterday. That's why we have been working on satisfying those objections. I think we have done this and I believe that by noon, or after the 12:30 p.m. vote, we're going to be in a position to go ahead and ask that the majority leader restate his motion to proceed and it will be passed without objection. I'm looking forward to that. I think we need to get started. I don't need to get into the arguments, others are waiting on the floor right now."


Senator Flake: (11:20 a.m.)

  • Spoke on tariffs.
    • "And if tariffs aimed at our adversaries produced disastrous results, what will happen when we target our allies. Imagine that imports from Canada represent a national security threat. Well, that's what we're doing. Canada is our largest trading partner, a partner with whom we have a trade surplus. Just yesterday we learned after phone call which Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau challenged the president's use of national security as a way of levying tariffs. These new tariffs imposed on our allies will not and are not going unanswered. A number of them have introduced retaliatory measures."


Senator Nelson: (11:37 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the Florida coastline.
    • "Now, the presiding officer represents the state that has the most coastline, Alaska, but next to Alaska, my state of Florida has more coastline than any other state, and I would venture to say that since Alaska has very few beaches, it ought to be very clear that the state of Florida has more beaches than any other state. And that of course is an attraction that becomes an economic engine because people from all over the world want to come to enjoy the sands of Florida's beaches and enjoy the bounty of nature that the lord has provided but we better watch out because we're starting to mess it up. Yesterday, NOAA, that's the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, released data that the contiguous United States had the warmest may on record."


Senator Alexander: (11:51 a.m.)

  • Spoke on tariffs.
    • "And already I'm hearing stories all across our state about the effect of tariffs, even before they're imposed. For example, not just auto parts. Electrolux, a big manufacturer plan ago new $250 million plant to make home appliances in Springfield, Tennessee, buys 100% of its steel in the United States but as soon as the steel tariffs were announced, it put that expansion on hold because when you raise the price of steel coming into the United States, then all the domestic suppliers raise their price and Electrolux said that even though it bought all of its steel from U.S. suppliers, it couldn't be competitive in the marketplace with tariffs on imported steel."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Kenneth Marcus to be Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights.
    • "Mr. President, if I may say one more thing about the vote that we will be having at 12:30, today the Senate is finally voting to confirm Ken Marcus, a well-qualified nominee to serve as assistant secretary for civil rights at the Department of Education. I worked to get a time agreement for this vote because Mr. Marcus did not deserve to be the subject to the Democrats' unreasonable and unnecessary obstructions and delays. One senator can do that or two senators. I want to thank Senator Murray from Washington and the Democratic leader, Senator Schumer, for helping to bring these delays to a conclusion today."

Tillis, Schumer, Booker

Executive Session (Marcus Nomination)

Jun 07 2018

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

  • Spoke on Pastor Andrew Brunson.
    • "I'm talking about Pastor Brunson who has been in prison in Turkey since 2016. The only thing he - he is guilty of is being a missionary, who spent 20 years of his life to bringing the word of God to Turkey. You can talk about all the trumped up charges after I spent in a courtroom in Turkey, or when I spoke to Pastor Brunson when I spoke to him in prison. This is relevant to the defense authorization to put Turkey on notice that this is unacceptable. Turkey has been an ally of the United States since 1952."


Senator Schumer: (10:41 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Later today the Senate will move to consideration of the John S. McCain Defense Authorization Act, the annual defense authorization is something our friend, Senator McCain, cared dearly about and talked to me and we wish he were here to shepherd on the floor. It is important for our national security and for Senator McCain and make sure this critical bill moves forward on a steady track."
  • Spoke on China.
    • "The president has talked tough on China. President Trump and I agree very strongly - we had agreed. I don't know where he is now. But in the past we've agreed. We just had a conversation a few weeks ago about the need to combat China's rapacious trade practices. Initially I was hopeful the president would follow through. He seemed to do this out of conviction. But it seems that even though President Trump roars like a lion on China, he behaves like a lamb. Instead of ramping up pressure on China, he tells them he's weak."
  • Spoke on the emoluments clause.
    • "They knew then what we know now. We don't want double-dealing by our elected officials. And when they have private interests, you never know are they acting in what they believe is the national interest or what will help make them a profit. With President Trump, we sincerely hope that no such self-enrichment is going on, but it remains a great concern to millions of Americans that president trump has maintained a stake in vast business empire withholdings all over the world."


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

  • Spoke on the nomination of Kenneth Marcus to be Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights.
    • "One of the most critical functions of the Department of Education is the role in enforcing federal civil rights and uphold the protection of student civil rights in schools. The Office of Civil Rights within the Department of Education is a particularly important instrument in enforcing civil rights in schools, protecting those precious rights of our children, ensuring that schools provide students with access to equal educational students and a nondiscriminatory environment in which to learn. It's this idea we have in our country that's fundamental that we have a level playing field and abundant opportunity for all kids, no matter what their background."


Opening Remarks

Jun 07 2018

Today -

  • 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 McConnell: (10:04 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Kenneth Marcus to be Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights.
    • "His resume includes degrees from Williams College and California Berkeley School of Law, and his career has spanned private practice and public service with considerable experience in government. I look forward to voting to confirm Mr. Marcus later today."
  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Our colleagues on the Armed Services Committee have engaged in candid discussions with our nation's top military leaders. They've heard about the pressing needs of the men and women who serve in harm's way. Greater readiness, enhanced weapons capability on the air on the seas, simple processes for acquisition, more support for military families. This week we've already discussed the array of global challenges that face our nation at this critical moment. This NDAA will help equip our troops with the latest training and the best technology to confront those challenges and to keep us safe. It's also important to reflect on all this legislation will do for our war fighters and their families here at home."
  • Spoke on congressional Republican's accomplishments.
    • "On another subject, 16 months ago President Trump and Republican majorities arrived in Washington with clear instructions from the American people, get the federal government out of the way. A decade of Democratic control meant that taxes were too high, regulations were too burdensome, and America was too difficult a place to start a small business or hire more workers. Republicans heard our marching orders loud and clear. We used the Congressional Review Act a record sixteen times to root out rules that hurt small businesses. We uprooted key pieces of Obamacare and Dodd-Frank that burdened the Middle Class, and we delivered a long overdue comprehensive overhaul of America's tax code."