Tuesday, Apr. 10, 2018

Tomorrow -

  • The Senate will convene at 10:30 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #728, John F. Ring, of the District of Columbia, to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board.
  • At 12:20 p.m., the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #728, John F. Ring, of the District of Columbia, to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board.

 

Senator Brown: (5:39 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nominations of John Ring to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board and Patrick Pizzella to be Deputy Secretary of Labor.
    • "Isn't there enough of that in this country without the government siding with the richest, most privileged people in the country, the largest corporations in the country against workers who simply don't have much of a voice and we're going to put government on the side of those corporations against those workers? John ring's nomination May be even worse. He's been nominated to be on the national labor relations board, supposed to be someone in both of these jobs. Mr. Pizzella, Mr. Ring, the department of labor and NLRB, we need someone in both of these jobs who wakes up every day thinking how do I help American workers?"

 

Senator Whitehouse: (5:45 p.m.)

  • Spoke on climate change.
    • "I point out that this network is funded by the fossil fuel industry in a deliberate and systematic effort to misdirect public discussion and to distort public understanding of climate change and climate science. I point out that it's actually working. It has been so effective at infiltrating our political system that the          head of the United States Environmental Protection Agency is a full-on fossil fuel flunky. I discussed the fossil fuel industry's parallel web that directs rivers of dark money into our political system and deploys related but more clandestine threats and promises to work the industry's will in Congress. Like I said, it's working. The web of denial and political enforcement organizations has so far achieved its purpose to prevent Congress from carrying out its responsibility to rein in carbon pollution."

Murray

Executive Session (Ring Nomination)

Apr 10 2018

Senator Murray: (4:03 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the gender pay gap.
    • "It's wrong. It's harmful. And it has to change. And what's even more unacceptable is women of color the pay gap is even worse. African American women working full time only make 63 cents for every dollar their white male colleagues make. And Latinas on average earn 54 cents for every dollar their white male colleagues make. The wage gap doesn't just hurt women. It hurts families and our economy. Women actually are the sole or co-breadwinner in two-thirds of families with children."
  • Spoke on the nomination of John Ring to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board.
    • "Mr. President, I want to turn to the unprecedented nature in which we are jamming this nominee through. It is standard practice that board nominees are always confirmed in pairs, one Democrat, one Republican. We do this so we keep the board as fair and balanced as possible in hopes that workers have a fair hearing when corporations violate their rights or bargain in bad faith. Because the board is the only place workers can turn to to enforce their rights under the National Labor Relations Act, workers cannot sue in court."

Daines, Warren

Executive Session (Boom Nomination)

Apr 10 2018

Senator Daines: (11:19 a.m.)

  • Spoke on schoolchildren's data safety.
    • "Now, as someone who personally spent over a decade in the technology business in cloud computing, I know how important tech jobs are. I know how important internet connectivity is and how important social media is to our growing economy. But I'm also the father of four children, and I know the importance of ensuring that as technology continues to rapidly evolve, our children's security and privacy must be protected. In fact, recently in Montana, we had a breach of our children's data at Calispel Middle School. That is why today I'm reintroducing the Safe Kids Act."

 

Senator Warren: (11:32 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nominations of John Ring to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board and Patrick Pizzella to be Deputy Secretary of Labor.
    • "I'm here to urge my colleagues to oppose the nomination of two Trump nominees. John Ring nominated to the National Labor Relations Board and Patrick Pizzella who has been nominated deputy secretary of labor. These two nominees have been selected to hold critical jobs to protect workers. That's what these jobs are about. And I'll be blunt. I start with a pretty high bar here, since despite his campaign rhetoric from two years ago, the president's track record on standing up for workers has been absolutely miserable. From the day he nominated Andrew Pudzer, an executive who delighted in mocking and belittling his own low-wage workers to run the Department of Labor, this administration has delivered one gut punch after another to America's working people."

Durbin, Schumer, Cornyn

Executive Session (Boom Nomination)

Apr 10 2018

Senator Durbin: (10:09 a.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to Senator Daniel Akaka.
    • "I first met him in 1983. I was a newly elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives. And then we sat together on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, the two of us next to one another, down at the far end of the table. Danny had six years seniority on me. We served together, worked together, laughed together, traveled together, and came to be friends. Here was a man, a great politician, who didn't have a personal ego. Politics was always about someone else, about helping other people. In fact, he went out of his way to avoid the spotlight. But don't think for a minute that he was weak. I have memories seared in my mind."
  • Spoke on DACA.
    • "The deadline for DACA ended. Protection under DACA started disappearing. There were court suits that were brought. Two federal courts stepped in and issued injunctions and said to the president stop the threat of deportation against these DACA-protected young people. Two of those injunctions now stand and under those, our federal government, the department of homeland security, is allowing those who were once protected by DACA to renew their status. Now, of course, those who are newly eligible, for instance, reaching the age of 15, which is the age of eligibility, can't sign up, but if you were protected, the 790,000 protected, you can renew your DACA protection by these court orders."

 

Senator Schumer: (10:42 a.m.)

  • Spoke on Special Counsel Mueller.
    • "Furthermore, the U.S. attorney's office in New York would have to be convinced that whatever information Mr. Mueller passed along was worth pursuing. And the U.S. attorney would have to convince an independent magistrate judge, nonpartisan, that there was probable cause to believe that seizing information from Mr. Cohen would yield evidence of a crime. That's a serious and high standard. -- That had to be met. I go through these details because it's important to understand that yesterday's events could only have been the result of a rigorous legal process with checks every step of the way and with a very high burden of proof."

 

Senator Cornyn: (10:57 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the Facebook hearing.
    • "The C.E.O. of Facebook will be testifying, and I believe that his company and other parties have some important explaining to do. One question is whether face -- what Facebook's priorities are and whether they are what they should be. Facebook of course is a publicly traded company and it has a fiduciary duty to his shareholders, that which is shares with every other shareholder enterprise. But its business model is unique. It collects information on billions of people and uses that data to help drive its profits. But one wonders whether it's -- at what point that profit motive can sometimes come at odds - be at odds with protecting the privacy of individual users. To me that's one of the fundamental questions that Mr. Zuckerberg is going to have to answer today."
  • Spoke on Democrat obstruction.
    • "The majority leader, Senator McConnell, has been forced to file cloture, a formal piece of paper on six important nominees, many of whom will be confirmed with strong bipartisan support, but because our colleagues on the other side refuse to consent to expedited consideration of these noncontroversial nominees, we'll have to burn up literally a week of the senate's time during which we could be doing other important work. In addition to the six nominees that we will confirm this week, I want to talk about two in particular, two outstanding individuals who have been nominated by the president to some of the most important positions in the federal government."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Gina Haspel to be Director of the CIA.
    • "She did not always seek out these difficult roles. She took them because she saw it as her duty. And that's the challenge honestly when it comes to somebody with an incredible career like Gina Haspel, because so much of what she has done, she has done in a classified setting. And we can't really talk about the details without jeopardizing the sources and methods of our intelligence gathering or revealing information which could undermine our national security. There has already been some attacks on Miss Haspel, which I think are honestly a caricature of her 30-plus years of service to the country, but we ought to applaud, not denigrate, people who are willing to sacrifice their safety, their comfort, and their security to make us safer and more secure as the American people."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "After graduating first in his class at West Point, and serving in the United States Army, Mike Pompeo attended Harvard Law School. He had a successful career in law and business before transitioning into public service as an elected official. He served in the House of Representatives as Kansas' - as the congressman from Kansas' Fourth Congressional District, and he served in the house on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He was, of course, named by President Trump to lead the C.I.A. After President Trump was elected. Director Pompeo is smart and well respected by all."

McConnell

Opening Remarks

Apr 10 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 #539, Claria Horn Boom, of Kentucky, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky.
  • At 12:10 p.m., the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #539, Claria Horn Boom, of Kentucky, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky.
  • At 2:15 p.m., the Senate will VOTE on cloture on Executive Calendar #728, John F. Ring, of the District of Columbia, to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board.
  • The Senate will recess from 12:30 p.m. until 2:15 p.m. to accommodate the weekly policy lunches.
  • Note: on Friday, March 23, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #605, John Patrick Pizzella, of Virginia, to be Deputy Secretary of Labor.
  • Note: on Friday, March 23, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #666, Andrew Wheeler, of Virginia, to be Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Note: on Friday, March 23, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #540, John W. Broomes, of Kansas, to be United States District Judge for the District of Kansas.
  • Note: on Friday, March 23, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #541, Rebecca Grady Jennings, of Kentucky, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky.

 

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

  • Spoke on the pending nominations.
    • "Their nominations have been vetted. Their expertise is well known. Their positions sit empty waiting to be filled. The American people are waiting for their president to have his full team and for their federal government to be appropriately staffed. Now, if last evening's vote to advance Claria Horn Boom's district court nomination were any indication, we'd be in for a productive week. 96 of our colleagues voted in support, 96. With such broad bipartisan support, you might think that filing cloture should not have been necessary in the first place. With nominees as uncontroversial as these, you might think the Senate would roll quickly through them and move on to other business."
  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "We cut taxes for middle-class families and small businesses. We repealed one burdensome job-killing regulation after another. We're grabbing every tool we can find to make life a little easier for middle-class families who were neglected by the previous administration's policies. One prime example is our colleague senator Scott's provision in last year's historic tax reform. His legislation let's economic depressed communities across the country be designated as opportunity Zones, earning special tax treatment to make investment and job creation more attractive."