Thursday, Jul. 12, 2018

Monday, July 16 -

  • The Senate will convene at 3:00 p.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to begin consideration of Executive Calendar #936, Scott Stump, of Colorado, to be an Assistant Secretary of Education, with the time until 5:30 p.m. equally divided between the two leaders or their designees.
  • At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #936, Scott Stump, of Colorado, to be an Assistant Secretary of Education.
  • Note: on Thursday, July 12, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #595, Randall Quarles, of Colorado, to be a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.
  • Note: on Thursday, July 12, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #892, Andrew S. Oldham, of Texas, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit.
  • Note: on Thursday, July 12, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #903, Ryan Wesley Bounds, of Oregon, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.


Senator Rubio: (4:39 p.m.)

  • Spoke on American foreign policy.
    • "So I think because - this is the reason why other presidents have met with Putin or whoever the leader is of the Russian Federation and that's why those meetings are important and will continue. That said, it is important when we analyze these meetings and what we hope they're about and what we hope they produce to understand not just who you're meeting with and what they do but to understand why they're doing it. If you do not understand what the other side wants and what motivates them, then the meetings are not nearly as productive and neither is our analysis or the suggestions we make about our policy towards that country. First, it's understanding Vladimir Putin."

Flake, Portman, Sullivan

Morning Business

Jul 12 2018

Senator Flake: (2:07 p.m.)

  • Spoke on NATO.
    • "Lately, the president of the United States has been characterizing our most vital relationships around the world in purely transactional terms, asserting that America has been taken advantage of. He has gone so far as to suggest that when it comes to our relationship with our NATO partners, we get nothing for our troubles. Nothing for a stable and peaceful Europe? This is the danger in viewing these relationships as mere transactions, absent our shared values, absent values the world is nothing but a cruel and cold place of warring camps and territorial ambitions and no durable alliances whatsoever. To view the world this way requires a frightening unawareness of the post-war security order that we ourselves created."


Senator Portman: (3:49 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Brett Kavanaugh is the president's nominee to be a new justice on the United States Supreme Court. Yesterday I had the chance to sit down with Judge Kavanaugh in my office and talk about his judicial philosophy, his view of the role of the courts and how he would approach some of the tough issues that the court is likely to face. Frankly, I cannot think of anybody who's more qualified to serve as the next associate justice of the Supreme Court. This guy's background is incredibly impressive as is his record, which I will get to in a minute. But as important to me is Brett Kavanaugh the person. Let me speak briefly about Brett because I have known him for over 15 years. I have gotten to know him and his wife. I worked with him in the George W. Bush White House."
  • Spoke on national parks.
    • "You can see where these two Ohio brothers changed the world and otherwise, frankly, they lived a pretty ordinary life and preserving their home and that shop is really important to see that. Anybody can dream big and make a big difference. We have a responsibility to preserve that site and so many others that are important to our history for generations to come. The national park system includes more than 84 million acres of parks and historical sites that now attract more than 330 million visitors annually."


Senator Sullivan: (4:13 p.m.)

  • Spoke on NATO.
    • "But, Mr. President, what I want to do this afternoon was say a few words about the president's visit to NATO and the NATO meeting that we just had and talk about the importance of alliances and our allies. I think if you read in the press now, I think overall you see this trip, you see the meeting. The president met with all the NATO leaders in Brussels, that overall was a good trip. There's been this commitment by NATO members since at least 2014, but it really goes way earlier than 2014 for each country to spend 2% or more of their G.D.P. on defense spending. So we share the burdens of defense. Now, the United States has essentially always, always, met this target, easily met this target, but a lot of other countries haven't."
  • Spoke in tribute to the Alaskan of the Week.
    • "But I guarantee the young men and women who are doing a great job as our pages, they're going to start to view this as their favorite time, too, because you get to hear about Alaska, and you get to hear stories about example Arkansas, and you get to hear about great people, wonderful people. And the great state of Alaska has been doing great things for their community, their state, their country. We call that person our Alaskan of the Week. Now, from the on-set, we've tried to focus on people generally who are unsung heroes in their communities."

Markey, Gardner

Executive Session (Ney Nomination)

Jul 12 2018

Senator Markey: (12:32 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "The retirement of Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy has created one of the most consequential vacancies on the high court that this country has ever seen. There is a reason pundits have often referred to the Supreme Court as the Kennedy court. His influence on so many politically salient cases cannot be overstated. During his 30 years on the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy was often the swing vote in decisions decided 5-4 on a divided bench of the Supreme Court. These include some of the most historic cases in our nation's history. On a woman's right to choose, on environmental protections, on same-sex marriage."


Senator Gardner: (12:45 p.m.)

  • Spoke on forest fires.
    • "I hope that the work we do on healthy forest policies will continue in this congress that we have made great progress on. These fires certainly are devastating. These communities remain open. No matter where you are in the country, if you have a summer vacation in Colorado, I hope you will still come. These communities need you now more than ever. They need your dollars. They need your resources. They want you to come visit. In the meantime, we have to make sure we provide our firefighters, the great men and women on the front lines of these fires, the tools they need to protect our communities but also the tools our land managers need to make sure they can prevent these fires from happening."

Van Hollen, Cornyn, Grassley

Executive Session (Ney Nomination)

Jul 12 2018

Senator Van Hollen: (11:32 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the recent shooting in Annapolis.
    • "And I want to thank my friend and colleague, Senator Cardin for his remarks earlier today on this floor and thank the senate for taking up a resolution in memory of the victims. Our state of Maryland and the country were horrified by the tragic attacks on one of our great Maryland institutions, "The Capital Gazette" newspaper, the local newspaper of our state capitol in Annapolis that has been operating since 1827. It is your quintessential small-town newspaper that serves Annapolis, serves Anne Arundel County, but is also a newspaper read throughout the state of Maryland. In that awful shooting, we lost five members of "The Capital Gazette.""


Senator Cornyn: (11:46 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "So he's had a great judicial career over the last 12 years, written on a variety of topics. I would say that he's a pretty well known quantity. While you're going to hear a lot of demands for additional information, and I'm all for as much transparency as can be provided and senators certainly have a right to get their hands on as much information about the nominee and his qualifications, his background, how he might perform as a Supreme Court justice. I hope this doesn't turn into a delay of game tactic. He's had a long career in the government, worked at the white house as staff secretary, which for those who aren't familiar with that means he's the last person who sees a piece of paper before it's presented to the president for signature."
  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "As that bill suggests, there are two parts to it. One is treating families with compassion by allowing them to remain together. And also enforcing the immigration laws on our books. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. And our bill will ensure that they aren't. It will allow parents to stay with their children in a safe facility while awaiting their court proceedings. In other words, a number of these children and these adults are claiming asylum in the United States. That could only be finally decided by an immigration judge."


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

  • Spoke on the F.B.I.
    • "In its criminal work, the F.B.I. is held accountable primarily by the court system. But when the F.B.I. secretly gathers information for intelligence purposes, the risk of impropriety skyrockets. If the information is never going to be presented in the courts, like in a criminal matter, then who is going to be watching to make sure that the power together and use it is not being abused? That's why we need vigorous congressional oversight and strong inspector general scrutiny. Lots of people say that the F.B.I. should be independent. I disagree. The F.B.I. needs to be objective and nonpartisan. It should be insulated from undue political pressure. If you want to call that Independence, then I'll use that word."


Executive Session (Ney Nomination)

Jul 12 2018

Senator Cardin: (11:08 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the recent shooting in Annapolis.
    • "Madam President, I rise today to discuss a topic far too many of my colleagues also had to face, yet another fatal mass shooting in their state. This time, it was in Annapolis, Maryland, our state capital. Exactly two weeks ago on June 28 at about 2:30 p.m., a 38-year-old man who had a long-standing grudge against the "Capital Gazette" newspaper made good on his sworn threats. He entered the newspaper offices, headed to the newsroom, and by the time he was done, he had shot and killed five employees of this community newspaper. "The Capital Gazette" is the local paper of record in Annapolis. It is one of the oldest continuously published newspapers in the United States."


Opening Remarks

Jul 12 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 #686, Paul C. Ney, of Tennessee, to be Counsel of the Department of Defense, post-cloture.
  • At 1:30 p.m., the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Paul C. Ney, of Tennessee, to be Counsel of the Department of Defense.


Senator McConnell: (10:03 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Madam President, the president of the United States made a superb choice. He chose to fill a place on the nation's highest court with one of the nation's brightest legal minds. Judge Brett Kavanaugh brings unimpeachable academic credentials, as a student at Yale and a lecturer at Harvard. He carries over a decade of experience ruling from the nation's most consequential circuit court. Along the way he's earned the admiration and praise of his peers, legal professionals with all manner of judicial and political philosophies for his professional abilities and his experience as well as qualities that simply go beyond his resume."