Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018

Tuesday, November 13 -

  • The Senate stands adjourned pursuant to the provisions of S. Res. 684, and does so as a further mark of respect for the late former Sen. Ben Tidings of Maryland.
  • The Senate will next convene for legislative business at 3:00 p.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the House message accompanying S. 140, the vehicle for the Coast Guard reauthorization bill.
  • At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will VOTE on cloture on the motion to concur in the House amendment to S. 140, the vehicle for the Coast Guard reauthorization bill.
  • Note: if cloture is invoked on the motion to concur, the post-cloture time will expire at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14, and the Senate will VOTE on the motion to concur in the House amendment to S. 140, the vehicle for the Coast Guard reauthorization bill.
  • Note: following disposition of the motion to concur, the cloture motion with respect to the Bowman nomination will ripen and the Senate will VOTE on cloture on Executive Calendar #909, Michelle Bowman, of Kansas, to be a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for the unexpired term of fourteen years from February 1, 2006.
  • Note: on Thursday, October 11, cloture was filed on the motion to concur in the House amendment to S. 140, the vehicle for the Coast Guard reauthorization bill.
  • Note: on Thursday, October 11, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #909, Michelle Bowman, of Kansas, to be a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for the unexpired term of fourteen years from February 1, 2006.

Vote Results (Confirmation)

Executive Session (Porter Nomination)

Oct 11 2018

Confirmed, 50-45:

Executive Calendar #1007, David James Porter, of Pennsylvania, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit.

The vote results will be posted here within one hour.

Portman, Brown

Morning Business

Oct 11 2018

Senator Portman: (3:40 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Republican economic policy.
    • "In fact, the Congressional Budget Office which is the nonpartisan group up here that tells us what our growth numbers are likely to look like and tells us what they actually are, the Congressional Budget Office said last year that they believed economic growth this year, calendar year 2018 would be 2%. Pretty discouraging really. With 2% growth you're not going to see the growth and wage increase we all want. That was before the tax legislation was passed. They also predicted that employment would increase by an average of 107,000 jobs per month. Again, not bad but not something to write home about. Now our economy is up and going and it's moving toward its full potential. Shortly after tax reform passed, C.B.O. changed its estimate."
  • Spoke on the opioid crisis.
    • "And that's the next step that we must take. Back in 2016 Congress started to get more engaged in this issue. We called the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and I were the coauthors. Today we're able to announce grants to Ohio to ensure some of the gaps are filled where people get addicted, overdosed, NARCAN is applied, the miracle drug that reverses the effects of that overdose and yet they go back to the community. We don't want that. We want to get them into treatment. These grants will help."


Senator Brown: (4:19 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to Ohio's Blue Ribbon schools.
    • "The school reopened as a public magnet school a decade ago with a class of 11 kindergarteners under the leadership of our neighbor Jody Nash. Over the past ten years under Principal Nash and now under current principal Dave Costa, there are 250 students. The school expanded to add seventh and eighth grade. Core subjects are taught in Spanish, helping the students learn a second language from a young age many these students don't just excel in Spanish, it is consistently ranked a top school and got high marks for serving students from diverse backgrounds."

Isakson (UC), Casey, Kennedy

Morning Business

Oct 11 2018

Senator Isakson: (2:53 a.m.)

  • Unanimous Consent –
    • That the Senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each.
    • (Without objection)
    • Note: the cloture motion with respect to the Stewart nomination has been withdrawn, and the Senate just confirmed Executive Calendar #866, James M. Stewart, of North Carolina, to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense, by voice vote.


Senator Casey: (2:54 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to Matthew Shepard.
    • "She has relived the horror of his death so that others may never know such pain. I had the opportunity in 2005 to meet Judy Shepard here in Washington, and I was impressed and inspired by her strength. The foundation that the Shepard family has organized has worked to end hate in all forms around the country, starting dialogues at schools, corporations, and communities to promote human dignity for all individuals. They have also provided an online resource center for LGBT youth, help to provide a dialogue for hate crimes and help to advocate for legislation to end hate crimes."


Senator Kennedy: (3:00 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the Affordable Care Act.
    • "The Affordable Care Act has not worked for the American people. I wish it had. I'm disappointed that it didn't. We were promised upon the passage of the affordable care act that our lives would be better. Our lives are worse. We were promised upon passage of the Affordable Care Act that health insurance would be cheaper and more accessible. It's been neither. As you know, Mr. President, the United States Senate has tried to come up with a health insurance reform effort to replace the Affordable care act. We have not been able to do that. But we didn't quit, Mr. President, as you well know."

Tillis, Flake, Boozman

Executive Session (Dreiband Nomination)

Oct 11 2018

Senator Tillis: (1:28 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Pastor Andrew Brunson.
    • "His name is Andrew Brunson. He's a Presbyterian minister from North Carolina that in 2016 under the emergency orders in Turkey, President Erdogan ended up ordering the arrest of many people, many of probably were involved in the illegal coup attempt. If evidence demonstrates they were, they should be held accountable for their actions. But unfortunately thousands of people, journalist, people of faith, a number of other people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time like a NASA scientist who already spent two and a half years in prison, they were also arrested. They were also put in prison."


Senator Flake: (1:34 p.m.)

  • Spoke on fake news.
    • "The rest of the world often has no such luxury. Another audience for presidential utterances is the despot, the strongman, the authoritarian, the dictator, and from this president, that horrible focus group has received a great deal of sustenance. In fact, the oppressors of the world have taken to parroting some of their favorite lines from the white house. Anything critical of their regimes has become fake news. The press is the enemy of the people. Just to name two of our president's greatest hits. As I mentioned in this chamber in January of this year, a state official in Myanmar recently said, there is no such thing as Rohingya. It is fake news."


Senator Boozman: (1:39 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to the new inductees of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame.
    • "Founded in 1992 by Charles Stewart and Patricia Goodwin to recognize the gifts of Africans with Arkansas routes, the first induction ceremony horned six individuals including acclaimed poet and activist Maya Angelou and civil rights advocate and Little Rock nine mentor Daisy Bates. We are probably all familiar with Arkansas' role in the movement for public integration. The African American students who were threatened and intimidated by fellow classmates and community members is as they tried to enter Little Rock Central School quickly became icons of the civil rights movement because of their courage in the face of overwhelming adversity."

Merkley, Cornyn, Durbin, Moran

Executive Session (Clark Nomination)

Oct 11 2018

Senator Merkley: (11:14 a.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "Now, you may think that this is something that is far-fetched. Of course the United States would not establish internment camps, but the fact is we already have three and we have the house having passed a bill to greatly expand those internment camps. We have 35 sponsors of a bill here in the senate to expand internment camps. We have the president issue an executive order asking Congress to expand internment camps, and most recently the president putting forward draft legislation to expand internment camps without Congress. Where does this story begin? It begins as far as public awareness on May 7, when the Attorney General Jeff Sessions, gave a speech."


Senator Cornyn: (11:33 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the Left's lack of civility.
    • "Do they choose to endorse threats, intimidation, and incitement or do they choose to treat everybody, no matter how much you disagree with them, with dignity and respect. That, I believe, those are our choices. I was very disappointed to hear the former secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton say you cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for and what you care about. She said that civility is only possible if Democrats were to win back both the House - or I should say win back the House or the Senate. In other words, her commitment to civility in our political discourse is contingent upon political outcomes."
  • Spoke on the Senate's legislative accomplishments.
    • "And all they need to do is look back at the last 22 months. Yesterday, for example, we passed a major water infrastructure bill that will keep our communities safe by maintaining dams and levees and addressing drinking water and wastewater systems across the country. It will also expedite in my part of the world an important coastal study and authorize flood mitigation projects back home. Then the president signed just two days before that - I'm sure most of this was lost in the furor over the Kavanaugh nomination but just two days before that, the president signed another bipartisan bill that I cosponsored called the Justice Served Act."


Senator Durbin: (11:53 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the Left's lack of civility.
    • "I've heard my friend from Texas, the senior senator, come to the floor repeatedly to talk about what happened last week during the Kavanaugh nomination. And I might add, in the weeks before during the committee hearing. And there were people who came to this Capitol because of their intense personal and political feelings about that nomination and what it meant to them personally and what they believed it meant to the country. And they brought their emotions to this place, and they did it because they are guaranteed the right to do it in this constitution. Each of us is guaranteed the right to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
  • Spoke on climate change.
    • "On Monday the united nations intergovernmental panel on climate change released a report stating that we have just over a decade, less than ten years, drastically reduce our carbon emissions if we want to maintain life on Earth as we know it did. It's an ominous warning but a serious one. The U.N. report states we must reduce global emissions by 45% by the year 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050 if we want to avoid a world where deadly storms, unbreathable air, widespread famine and multiyear droughts become the norm."


Senator Moran: (12:10 p.m.)

  • Spoke on FAA reauthorization.
    • "I'm here to speak on - once again highlight the importance of aviation to my state, to the country, and to the world but to point out the significance of a five-year F.A.A. reauthorization bill the Senate passed last week. I've come to this - to the floor many times on this topic. I'm pleased to be here today and tout the many wins that are included in this legislation, and they are beneficial to the country but they're certainly beneficial to home, my home state. And I'm most pleased to highlight the fact that this legislation does not include -- excluded from this legislation are any efforts to privatize our nation's air traffic control system."

Schumer, Blunt, Isakson

Executive Session (Clark Nomination)

Oct 11 2018

Senator Schumer: (10:22 a.m.)

  • Spoke on Hurricane Michael.
    • "First, let me say to the people of Florida, Georgia, and everyone else affected by Hurricane Michael that our thoughts and hearts are with you. Having lived and worked through the recovery from Hurricane Sandy in my home state of New York, remembering vividly the anguish of families who lost their homes and businesses the day or two after, and then realizing it took years for areas of New York and Long Island to recover, we're still in the process of recovering."
  • Spoke on the short-term insurance CRA.
    • "It's terrible, terrible thinking, once again siding with big, powerful special interests, not the average person. The only people who want these junk insurance plans are two groups - the insurance companies and the right-wing ideologues who believe that the government shouldn't be in health care at all. They want to cut Medicare, they want to cut Medicaid. They want to cut social security. That's who it is. So let us remember the junk insurance plans are hardly worth the paper they are printed on. They lower consumers in with low premiums, but the deductibles are so high, the co-pays are so high, the coverage so skimpy that the plans hardly offer any benefit to the consumer at all."


Senator Blunt: (10:31 a.m.)

  • Spoke on FAA reauthorization.
    • "So the traveling public, the F.A.A. itself, the Department of Transportation and the airlines, the carriers of both people and freight have an understanding of what the next five years should look like. Now, one of the things that will happen during the time that begins right now is that the Senate and the House listened, the president listened to the traveling public about their concerns about what happens on airplanes and in airports. This is a bill that I worked with, along with Senator Cantwell. We were the chairman of the subcommittee, the Aviation Subcommittee. Our chairman, Senator Thune, and our ranking member, Senator Nelson, worked almost two years to get this bill to where it was when the president signed it to address safety and security and, actually, the comfort of the traveling public."


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

  • Spoke on Hurricane Michael.
    • "Florida was hit worst last night but now it is going over South Carolina and now North Carolina who just came back from almost the worst storm in history. We had so much rain. They are recovering and doing it nicely. They are doing a good job with it. Everybody knows that the acts of nature and act of God, we have to do what we could to protect our citizens. I ask that everyone there pays close attention to what their emergency management people say, if they tell them to evacuate they should or hunker down, they should."
  • Spoke on veterans.
    • "First of all, starting two years ago, Senator Tester, who is the ranking member on the committee and myself, sat down and made a pledge that we want to work together from the beginning to address the tough issues that have been put behind the backdoor for a long time, hadn't been dealt with, and we've done that. In fact, we tackled every single one much them except one which we will tackle in a couple of weeks and in so doing we helped our veterans and the help of the president as well. President Trump embraced our committee's work from the beginning."


Opening Remarks

Oct 11 2018

Today -

  • The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of Executive Calendar #640, Jeffrey Bossert Clark, of Virginia, to be an Assistant Attorney General.
  • At 12:10 p.m., the post-cloture time will expire and the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #640, Jeffrey Bossert Clark, of Virginia, to be an Assistant Attorney General.
  • Note: on Saturday, October 6, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #641, Eric S. Dreiband, of Maryland, to be an Assistant Attorney General.
  • Note: on Saturday, October 6, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #866, James M. Stewart, of North Carolina, to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense.


Senator McConnell: (10:05 a.m.)

  • Spoke on Hurricane Michael.
    • "The storm has already claimed multiple lives and left Gulf Coast communities wounded by surging waters and high winds. As Michael continues inland, those left in its wake can count on the senate support for response and recovery efforts and trust in our continued prayers. We remain grateful for vigilance of first responders and emergency preparedness organizations as they work to keep residents of affected communities safe. And for all those who will help them rebuild after the storm has passed."
  • Spoke on the Left's lack of civility.
    • "It's hard to believe it was less than a week ago that far-left protesters were literally storming the steps of the Capitol and the Supreme Court, running my colleagues out of public places and attempting to shout over their voices right here in the Senate chamber. Of course it didn't work. The Senate stood tall and did the right thing. But the far left isn't done yet. If we take them at their word, this may have only been the warm up act. Here's the advice former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave to her fellow Democrats just a few days ago. This is what she said. If we're fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that's when civility can start again."
  • Spoke on the pending nominations.
    • "Mr. Clark's qualifications include several years of prior service as deputy assistant attorney general in that same division. He's also built a strong reputation in the private sector as the leading litigator with subject matter expertise in administrative law. Mr. Clark's legal colleagues describe him as one of the most capable lawyers with whom they've ever worked, and no fewer than seven former assistant attorneys general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division tell the senate that his well-rounded background and prior experience in the division make him an excellent choice for this position."
  • Spoke on Republican economic policy.
    • "Here are just a few of the economic headlines we have seen minutes it took effect. Consumer confidence at an 18-year high. Faster year-on-year wage growth than at any point since 2009. The lowest national unemployment since 1969, almost 50 years ago. Behind all these numbers are middle-class families whose lives are changing for the better, and the effects are reaching all kinds of communities, even the places most neglected for nearly a decade by the Obama administration's so-called recovery."