Monday, Apr. 16, 2018

Tomorrow -

  • The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session for the consideration of Executive Calendar #376, Carlos G. Muniz, of Florida, to be General Counsel of the Department of Education, with ten hours of debate equally divided in the usual form.
  • Following the use or yielding back of time, the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #376, Carlos G. Muniz, of Florida, to be General Counsel of the Department of Education.
  • The Senate will recess from 12:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. to accommodate the weekly policy lunches.
  • Note: on Monday, April 16, cloture was filed on the motion to concur in the House Amendment, with a further amendment, to S. 140, the tribal labor sovereignty bill.
  • Note: on Monday, April 16, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #609, James Bridenstine, of Oklahoma, to be Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
  • Note: the amendment tree is filled with respect to S. 140, the tribal labor sovereignty bill. 

 

Senator Udall: (7:03 p.m.)

  • Spoke on tribal labor sovereignty.
    • "Madam President, I rise today as the ranking member on the usually bipartisan Indian Affairs Committee. In the parlance on the committee I'm called the vice chair -normally our committee is very bipartisan. It was not so in the case today. In the debate it was mentioned this was a negotiated package. It was not. I was not asked for input as the vice chair of the committee. Nothing about this bill sent over from the house was negotiated with me. For the first time in ten years this body has considered a bill from the Committee on Indian Affairs using a cloture filing and valuable floor time. Let me repeat that. For the first time in ten years this chamber just debated an Indian Affairs bill using valuable it floor time, not unanimous consent. For a senate majority, floor time and cloture filings are the coin of the realm, and this is the first time in ten years it's being spent on a tribal issue."

Brown, Hoeven

House Message Accompanying the tribal labor sovereignty bill (S. 140)

Apr 16 2018

Senator Brown: (5:03 p.m.)

  • Spoke on tribal labor sovereignty.
    • "This is just the latest battle in the decade's long war that so many in this town have been waging to undermine the rights of American workers. It will - this bill strips away the rights of 600,000 employees at tribal casinos, 600,000 employees at casinos on tribal lands will lose their rights to collective bargaining. You know what that means to their wages, you know what that means to their benefits. 75% of their 600,000 employees are not members of a tribe. So when these casinos all over the country, on reservations, these casinos on Indian lands, most of the 600,000 employees at these tribal casinos have the right to collectively bargain and form unions if they choose and to get better wages and benefits if that's what brings them to it."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Dr. Ronnie Jackson to be Secretary of Veterans' Affairs.
    • "Over the next few weeks the Senate will consider the nominee to head veteran affairs, Dr. Ronnie Jackson. I will meet with him and look forward to that. I am eager to what his plans are and how the V.A. System will work better for the men and women who serve our country. I know my friend who sits on the veterans committee shares the same concerns I do. One of my top priorities is finding out about his views on the misguided idea that some are pushing of privatizing the V.A. System."

 

Senator Hoeven: (5:27 p.m.)

  • Spoke on tribal labor sovereignty.
    • "Today marks a real opportunity for the Senate to affirm and celebrate tribal sovereignty and self-determination. The Senate will be considering S. 140 as amended, an act to amend the White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights Quantification Act of 2010. And this bill combines both Republican and Democrat bills into three sections of S. 140. Each of these bills, S. 140, S. 249, and S. 63 all passed out of the Indian Affairs Committee with bipartisan support. The first section of S. 140 would allow for a technical amendment so that the White Mountain Apache Tribe can use all for a portion of already appropriated funds from a water rights settlement to complete their drinking water system in Arizona. This section was originally sponsored by Senators Flake and McCain as S. 140."

Barrasso, Flake, Moran

Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the tribal labor sovereignty bill (S. 140)

Apr 16 2018

Senator Barrasso: (4:36 p.m.)

  • Spoke on tribal labor sovereignty.
    • "Mr. President, suddenly these tribes as a result of this ruling, the tribal businesses became commercial entities. These businesses provide critical services on tribal lands and in their communities. I believe that the National Labor Relations Board's decision and the litigation that inevitably followed has only increased uncertainty in Indian country and is in correct opposition to the entire notion of tribal sovereignty. Indian tribes have a right to sovereignty. We must work to ensure there is true parity between governments. We must actively respect the government-to-government relationship. Now, over the last many years, Congress has worked to address policies that have been detrimental to tribes, including those affecting tribal sovereignty, and that is why we are here today to vote on this important piece of legislation."

 

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

  • Spoke on tribal labor sovereignty.
    • "I rise today to support the legislation I introduced aimed at ensuring that the previously enacted White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights Qualification Act of 2010 is properly interpreted by the Department of Interior. This bill clarifies that settlement funds awarded to the tribe may be used for critical rural water systems. This new system is essential for the tribe and will allow them to deliver drinking water to their members. The measure I am proposing today is also time sensitive. The White Mountain settlement includes an enforceability date that means that if this water system project is not completely approved by May 2021, it becomes void. In order to realistically meet this deadline, this bill must pass as soon as possible so the tribe has time to complete the necessary project studies."

 

Senator Moran: (4:42 p.m.)

  • Spoke on tribal labor sovereignty.
    • "Two bills in the package, the senator from Arizona was talking about one of them. Two bills in this package of S. 140, the White Mountain Apache water rights, sponsored by Senators Flake and McCain, and Senate bill 249, a bill to provide the Pueblo of Santa Clara may lease for 99 years unrestricted land, sponsored by Senator Udall and Senator Heinrich, senators from New Mexico. They have already received unanimous consent in the Senate. The third bill in the package, the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act, was attached as a message from the House to Senate bill 140 by the House in January. I'm a sponsor of this legislation in the senate which should be noncontroversial in a chamber where members of the Senate profess to be supportive of tribal sovereignty."

McConnell

Opening Remarks

Apr 16 2018

Today -

  • The Senate will convene at 3:00 p.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the House message accompanying S. 140, the tribal labor sovereignty 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 tribal labor sovereignty bill.
  • Note: on Thursday, April 12, cloture was filed on the motion to concur in the House Amendment, with an amendment, to S. 140, the tribal labor sovereignty bill.
  • Note: the amendment tree is full.

 

Senator McConnell: (4:05 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the recent military action in Syria.
    • "Over the weekend, America's all-volunteer armed forces executed a challenging mission with precision and with excellence. At the president's order, the United States joined with our British and French allies in military action to respond to Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people. I support both actions taken and the underlying objectives. The tactics the Assad regime has employed to consolidate gains and terrorize the people of Syria have stood in defiance of the U.S. position that the use of chemical weapons is simply unacceptable. It was time to act. Americans have become used to flawless execution on the part of our uniformed military. Times like these compel us to 
      pause and appreciate their excellence and their heroism."
  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "Tomorrow marks the last time America's working families, entrepreneurs, and job creators will have to file under that old tax code. This Republican Congress and President Trump got rid of it and put a brand new 21st Century tax code in its place. Now Americans are rightly anticipating a better year ahead and they aren't having to wait very long. President Trump is in Florida today to hold a roundtable discussion with small business owners on main streets from Miami to Tallahassee, tax reform is empowering local employers to create more prosperity for their employees and for their communities."