Monday, Jun. 18, 2018

Tomorrow -

  • The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 5895, the minibus appropriations bill.
  • The Senate will recess from 12:30 p.m. until 2:15 p.m. to accommodate the weekly policy lunches.
  • Note: the following amendment is pending to H.R. 5895, the minibus appropriations bill: Shelby Amendment #2910.
  • Note: the following amendment is pending to Shelby Amendment #2910 to H.R. 5895, the minibus appropriations bill: Alexander Amendment #2911.


Senator Alexander: (5:54 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the appropriations process.
    • "For the last several years, we have finished and reported our 12 bills out of the Appropriations Committee on which about a third of the Senate sits. We have reported those bills to the Senate floor. We have usually done that with bipartisan support and often unanimously. This is no small task. For example, in our Energy and Water Subcommittee, which I chair and which the senator from California, Senator Feinstein, is the vice chair, this year we have had three hearings. We have received comments from 83 members of the senate. We have considered their comments. We considered our bill in a subcommittee markup, and then we passed the bill 30-1 in the Appropriations Committee on May 24."
  • Unanimous Consent –
    • That for the purpose of Rule XVI, in relation to the substitute amendment #2910, Division A of H.R. 5895 serve as the basis for defense of germaneness for Division A of the amendment, Division B of H.R. 5895 serve as the basis for the defense of germaneness for Division B of the amendment, and then Division C of H.R. 5895 serve as the basis for defense of germaneness for Division C of the amendment. 
    • (Without Objection)


Senator Lankford: (7:21 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "Each day 500,000 people a day legally cross the border from Mexico into the United States. But we still have a debate on what happens for those other individuals that aren't the 1.1 million that are legally going through the process to become U.S. Citizens or the 500,000 people a day that legally cross into the United States. What do we do with those individuals that choose not to do it legally? It's a much smaller number, but it's exceptionally contentious for us. Because we're a compassionate nation, but we're also a nation that believes in following the law, rightfully so."

King, Reed, Inhofe

The NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 18 2018

Senator King: (4:53 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "Now I've heard various justifications for this. We're just following the law. No. The law does not require separating children from their parents. This is a policy that was adopted by this administration in April and implemented in May. This is not required by the law. This is a policy decision, and it can be rescinded by a phone call from the president. It can be solved this afternoon by a phone call from the president. Crossing the border illegally is a misdemeanor. So is jaywalking. Are we going to have a policy that says we're going to separate children from their parents because of jaywalking? It doesn't have to be this way."


Senator Reed: (5:04 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Senator McCain and I both hoped that last year we would be able to return to regular order. But in the end, we were disappointed. Unfortunately this year, I, and I know many of my colleagues, are frustrated by the inability to be able to bring up debate and vote on worthy amendments. So comparison, during consideration of the fiscal year 1994 National Defense Authorization Act, there were 16 roll call votes on amendments. In 1995 during consideration of the fiscal year 1996 NDAA, there were 20 roll call votes and amendments. And the following year for the fiscal year 1997 NDAA, there were 19 roll call votes and amendments. On this bill there was not a single up-or-down vote on an amendment."


Senator Inhofe: (5:11 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "We've said over and over again we wanted to have open amendments. We want to have people bring amendments down. We have a system that is probably not going to be changed but there's going to be some activity this next year on several if we're going to be involved in next year's authorization bill for the year 2020. And that is to see if we can't address the major problem. That is, we've allowed a system to take place where one person can stop 99 people from having an amendment. And that's wrong. The - in January President Trump and Secretary Mattis announced the new national defense strategy that rightfully identified that we're returning to a world of great power competition, one dominated by the capabilities by Russia and China."

Gillibrand, Cornyn, Sanders, Inhofe (UC), Hatch

The NDAA (H.R. 5515)

Jun 18 2018

Senator Gillibrand: (3:57 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "Mr. President, I know that we have disagreements about immigration policy in this chamber, and I know we have disagreements about how we should fix our immigration system, which we've desperately needed to fix for decades. But surely we must be able to agree that federal agents should not be tearing young children from the arms of their parents. We must be able to agree that families with infants should not be forcibly separated. Where is the outrage? Where is the urgency? I hear my colleagues speak all the time about federal government overreach. Well, if this isn't federal government overreach, what is?"


Senator Cornyn: (4:07 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Supporting all these people in these facilities is no easy task, and the defense authorization bill is one very significant way which we do exactly that. It's how we make sure that all the men and women in uniform are paid and that our alliances are strengthened and that military facilities are properly modernized and maintained. The bill we're voting on will support an appropriation of up to $716 billion for those tasks. I might add that's a huge number, but this is the number one responsibility of the federal government. In my opinion, everything else the federal government does comes after providing for the common defense because nobody else, no local government, no state government, no private sector could possibly provide for the common defense."
  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "Some have presented themselves lawfully at ports of entry, but others have tried to enter illegally. For example, if you are attempting to claim asylum, you can show up at one of our bridges or ports of entry and claim asylum without breaking the law. But if you enter the country through - between the ports of entry, through the Wild, Wild West I'll call it of the Texas frontier and border region, you enter the country illegally. And then you can claim asylum but you still enter the country illegally so your asylum claim has to be considered in that context. The Trump administration has made a decision to enforce all of our laws by prosecuting adults in criminal court when they're apprehended crossing our borders illegally. I approach that - I support that approach, zero tolerance approach by adults violating our immigration laws."


Senator Sanders: (4:17 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "Madam President, I want to take this moment to thank my colleagues for their very hard work on the Department of Defense authorization bill. Unfortunately for a number of reasons which I will articulate right now, I intend to vote against it, and certainly one of those reasons is that when you have legislation that expends billion, it is totally unacceptable that we do not have a serious debate on the floor of the Senate, that amendments are not accepted to improve this legislation. Now, I had submitted a number of amendments. Other colleagues I know have done the same, but I do want to express my strong feelings about our nation's bloated military budget, particularly in light of the many unmet needs we face as a nation."


Senator Inhofe: (4:44 p.m)

  • Unanimous Consent –
    • That the vote on the motion to waive the Budget Act with respect to the Sanders point of order against H.R. 5515, the NDAA, occur at 5:30 p.m. today.
    • (Without Objection)


Senator Hatch: (4:45 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the NDAA.
    • "The policies and authorizations we've debated on the floor over the last week represent people. They represent soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and the civilian workforce, all of whom are family, friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens. Since first coming to the Senate in 1977, I have witnessed the use of military force for good access - for good across the globe. I was personally involved in helping use our military tools to counter Soviet expansionism in central Asia. It was around that time that I helped establish the National Endowment for Democracy, an initiative in which Senator McCain was intimately involved. The National Endowment for Democracy embodies our commitment to promoting the virtues of freedom and liberty across this globe."


Opening Remarks

Jun 18 2018

Today -

  • 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 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 Schumer: (3:49 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "So let me quote the "New York Post" editorial board, one of the most conservative newspapers in America. Hard right. Here's what they say. The immediate cause of the crisis is team Trump's decision to start prosecuting illegal border crossers rather than simply deporting them. And in the editorial they ought to go on to President Trump, fix this problem, stop blaming Democrats. They're not to blame. President Trump and Attorney General Sessions announced this zero tolerance policy in April. It went into effect in May. If there was a law requiring it, why hasn't it been going on since Trump became president? They just started it."
  • Spoke on healthcare reform.
    • "What made Minnesota so different than the other states. Why the - were the people of Minnesota allowed to breathe a sigh of relief that their insurance costs weren't going up whether it be the payments or deductibles or co-payment. Minnesota reinstituted a program helping back stop their health care market. This is what can happen when states support patients and fight back against what President Trump and congressional Republicans are doing. This is what happens when you try to strengthen our health care system instead of sabotaging it. Imagine if every state were like Minnesota."