Thursday, Jun. 14, 2018

Monday, June 18 -

  • The Senate will convene at 3:00 p.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 5515, the NDAA, as amended, post-cloture.
  • Senator Sanders or his designee will be recognized to offer a budget point of order against Inhofe Amendment #2282, with a motion to waive the Budget Act having been considered made.
  • The Senate will then VOTE on the motion to waive the Budget Act with respect to the Sanders point of order, if offered.
  • At 5:30 p.m. the post-cloture time on H.R. 5515 will be considered expired, and after disposition of the motion to waive the Senate will VOTE on passage of H.R. 5515, the NDAA, as amended.
  • Following disposition of H.R. 5515, the Senate will VOTE on cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 5895, the minibus appropriations bill.
  • Note: on Thursday, June 14, cloture was filed on the motion to proceed to H.R. 5895, the minibus appropriations bill.


Senator Portman: (4:02 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the opioid epidemic.
    • "I also want to report that here in the Senate we've had a breakthrough in the last week. Not only have we negotiated something with the house that is, in my view, an improvement from the legislation that had passed the House Ways, and Means Committee, but also in the Senate Finance Committee this week, we had a markup and had a commitment from the chairman and ranking member of that committee that the Finance Committee will mark up the identical legislation that will is likely to pass the House of Representatives today. I want to thank Orrin Hatch and Ranking Member Ron Wyden for working with us to ensure that we could get this legislation marked up in committee and on to the floor of the United States Senate as part of whatever we do in terms of the opioid crisis here in the coming days and weeks."

Murray, Cassidy

Morning Business

Jun 14 2018

Senator Murray: (2:35 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to Steve Gleason.
    • "I have to say as a fellow Cougar sponsoring this legislation to recognize Steve's legacy of excellence from Martin Stadium in Pullman to the NFL to his avid work as an advocate in the health world was a no-brainer for me. But, Mr. President, our bill to award Steve the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor Congress can bestow on an American citizen, has been embraced and cosponsored by more than 70 members of this chamber from both sides of the aisle is a testament, not just to the incredible respect Steve has garnered across our nation as a standout athlete, but to his inspiring leadership and tireless advocacy that has made an indelible impact on our nation and our culture."


Senator Cassidy: (2:53 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to Steve Gleason.
    • "In recognition of Steve's work, in April I introduced legislation with Senators Murray, Kennedy, and Cantwell to honor Steve Gleason with the Congressional Gold Medal. Steve's story is so compelling that in less than two months over 70 of our colleagues joined to affirm Steve's inspiring story and impact upon - and impact upon his fellow Americans to make him worthy of the highest honor congress can bestow. He is an example of what makes our country great. He has given hope to many. He gives hope to all those who have ever received a devastating diagnosis, and his message is simple - your life still has meaning. Your best years can still be ahead of you."

Cantwell, Lee, Daines, Hoeven

The NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 14 2018

Senator Cantwell: (12:57 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to Steve Gleeson.
    • "For Steve to go from the Seahawks instead signing with the New Orleans Saints - I mean, that is we wanted him to be at the Seahawks and he went to the Saints - he quickly became a fan for his work, his ethic and the joy he brought to the game. In his first game under the Superdome, he blocked a punt. It is a play that fans still remembered fondly. But it is not Steve's athletic feats at the university or in the super-dome that make him recognition. It is his perseverance, his determination, and his unbreakable spirit in the face of A.L.S. and his advocacy, his dogged advocacy for people who have been impacted by this disease. That is why Steve is such an inspiration to the people of Spokane, throughout the state of Washington, and across the United States."


Senator Lee: (1:01 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "I wish to speak concerning the purpose for my making this request. And I do so with great respect for this body, for its customs, its traditions, its rules and for each of its members. At the same time it's imperative that we point out here what's happening. We've got a bill, one of the most consequential pieces of legislation we vote on each year, the national defense authorization act. And we've been effectively shut out of a meaningful amendment process, one that has historically marked this body is one of its distinguishing characteristics, one that has historically helped this body refer to itself as the world's greatest deliberative legislative body."


Senator Daines: (1:11 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Flag Day.
    • "Beginning with those Founding Fathers the American flag represents the patriotism and dedication of men and women who fought to defend our nation's freedom from when our country was founded more than 200 years ago today. Thousands of brave and selfless men and women have given their lives in sacrifice and service to our country and in defense of our flag. And that's why I've introduced this constitutional amendment to provide congress with the authority to prohibit burning of the American flag. Our flag should be protected in honor of the countless American service members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend it."


Senator Hoeven: (1:16 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Those documents rightly point out that we face emerging challenges from Russia and China. And while we hope to avoid confrontation with these nations, there's no question that we are in competition with them, and this year's NDAA helps align our forces to make sure that we maintain our competitive advantage. This legislation also authorizes significant numbers of fighter aircraft and additional numbers of submarine and surface ships. And the reason we're able to do that is because we, in the budget agreement this year, provided more funding authority for our military."

Cornyn, Blumenthal, Peters

The NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 14 2018

Senator Cornyn: (11:50 a.m.)

  • Spoke on North Korea.
    • "President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo, National Security Advisor Bolton and the rest of the American delegation are to be congratulated for having this meeting. It was an historic first step, and I applaud president trump for taking it. But I reiterate, it was a first step. To me, it reminds me of boxers entering the ring and touching gloves before the fight begins. It's a warmup for something longer and much more difficult. We need to remain clear-eyed about who we're dealing with and not assume that there isn't hard work to be done. As one commentator recently put it, North Korean duplicity is normal. We need to remind ourselves of our own history of negotiating with North Korea and our counterpart's record of saying one thing and simply doing another."


Senator Blumenthal: (12:01 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "On this Flag Day, and at the beginning of the Father's Day Weekend, I ask that this body approve an amendment that very simply would issue and direct the postmaster to deliver a forever stamp commemorating the sacrifice and loss of our Gold Star families. All of us in this body have attended funerals. We have seen firsthand the losses suffered by the brave Americans - their families, their loved ones, their friends, their dads, and their moms. And all of us ought to be joining in paying tribute to those families by directing the Postmaster General to issue a forever stamp that will be valid for whatever time it is used."


Senator Peters: (12:21 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "The Detroit Arsenal in Warren will be the home of the Army's cross-functional team for the next generation combat vehicle reporting to the Army's Futures Command. This important work on developing the future of the Army's ground vehicle will continue to occur in southeast Michigan, taking advantage of many of the automotive manufacturers and suppliers that are shaping the future of mobility. Just as the commercial auto motive industry is developing connected and autonomous vehicles which will change the future of transportation forever, the next generation combat vehicle and other concepts developed by the Army's Tank Automotive Research and Development and Engineering Center will change the future of warfare."

Schumer, Inhofe

The NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 14 2018

Senator Schumer: (9:44 a.m.)

  • Spoke on North Korea.
    • "President Trump says we're no longer on the brink of war with North Korea after President Trump himself was the one who brought us there in the first place, through bellicose rhetoric and brinkmanship on Twitter. Now the president takes a victory lap for undoing a problem he created in the first place. He pats himself on the back, saying we're now at peace. We were on the brink of war. He forgets that he brought us there. What kind of presidency is this? Again, President Trump tweeted yesterday, quote, there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea. Saying it, Mr. President Trump, does not make it so."
  • Spoke on the DoJ inspector general report.
    • "Furthermore, the one thing we do know about what happened in late 2016 is that certain actions taken by the F.B.I. intentionally or not helped the Trump campaign and hurt the Clinton campaign. Is the release that Candidate Clinton was under investigation, the release of comments on what she had or had not done hurt her. It will take an awful lot of spin, an awful lot of stretching for Republicans to twist that around and portray the president as some kind of victim. But regrettably, people like Chairman Nunes, like Fox News, like some of the Republican supporters of the president in congress, and even like the president himself have been running a cynical campaign to undermine the Russia investigation."
  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "The Senate continues to process the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act in a bipartisan way to give our military the support and certainty it needs and to make crucial updates to our national security policy, and one strong bipartisan action in this bill is dealing with the Chinese telecom giant Z.T.E. Let me remind this body, Z.T.E. has violated U.S. sanctions, lied about it, but even more importantly, its technology has been deemed a national security threat."
  • Spoke on Flag Day.
    • "Now finally, Mr. President, indulge me a few more words. They are personal but they are meaningful. Today's Flag Day. It's also my father's 95th birthday. It is this upcoming weekend on father's day. My father is a World War II vet. Over in Burma. When he came back to Brooklyn after the war, he took over a small exterminating business from his father, my grandpa."


Senator Inhofe: (10:00 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Mr. President, I want to start today by giving an update as to where we are in the process for the NDAA. At 10:30 which is coming up shortly here, we're going to have a cloture vote on Toomey's amendment that applies to the CFIUS rule-making process. I think we all know what that is. We all know there's a lot of opposition on the Democrat side on that. If that vote fails, we'll immediately roll into a cloture vote on the substitute amendment. That's our amendment that we'll be considering as the bill. Then we hope to invoke cloture on the underlying bill this afternoon before we head out of town. If we're able to do that, we'll have a final passage vote on Monday when we return."


Opening Remarks

Jun 14 2018

Today -

  • The Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 5515, the NDAA, with the time until the cloture vote equally divided between the bill managers or their designees.
  • At approximately 10:30 a.m., the Senate will VOTE on cloture on Toomey Amendment #2700 in relation to H.R. 5515, the NDAA.
  • Note: on Tuesday, June 12, cloture was filed on Inhofe Amendment #2282, as modified, to H.R. 5515, the NDAA.
  • Note: on Tuesday, June 12, cloture was filed on H.R. 5515, the NDAA.


Senator McConnell: (9:33 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "Speaking for my home state of Kentucky, agriculture is part of who we are. Kentucky farm families produce everything from poultry to soybeans. This legislation will assist them, encourage economic growth and increase investment in rural communities. This farm bill also includes a bipartisan provision I crafted with Senator Wyden to legalize industrial hemp. At present, with just a few limited exceptions, our federal government bans domestic hemp production. Never mind that this is a completely different plan than its illicit cousin, never mind that American consumers are already buying hemp products, everything from clothing to auto parts, they are just produced by foreign countries."
  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Senators Inhofe and Reed modified the bill to include 40 additional amendments from members on both sides. I'm confident no senator sees this as a perfect bill. I'm sure we all have further issues we would like to tackle. Some pertain to the substance of defense authorization, others have concerns on different topics. Personally, I would have liked to have seen more votes on amendments this week, but one of the realities of this body is that any senator on either side can object to setting up amendment votes. The good news is what we - what we already have in hand, an excellent defense authorization bill that will fulfill one of this body's most important responsibilities and empower the men and women who volunteer to protect us."
  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "But tax reform let them cover the rebuilding themselves and kept that added burden off the shoulders of Floridians. Just a few of the ways that tax reform is helping jump-start prosperity up and down the state of Florida. Senator Rubio voted to pass this once-in-a-generation law. It's too bad that his colleague stood with every single Democrat senator in the Senate and every Democrat in the House. He apparently preferred that the money remain with the I.R.S. I call that a curious decision. Perhaps our Democratic colleagues quite don't understand the importance of a thriving economy."