Thursday, Jun. 21, 2018

Monday, June 25 -

  • The Senate will convene at 3:00 p.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 5895, the minibus appropriations bill, as amended.
  • At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will VOTE on passage of H.R. 5895, the minibus appropriations bill, as amended.
  • Following disposition of H.R. 5895, the pending cloture motion will ripen.
  • Note: on Thursday, June 21, cloture was filed on the motion to proceed to H.R. 2, the farm bill.


Senator Tillis: (3:41 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Pastor Andrew Brunson.
    • "For 19 of the months he was in prison, he was held without charges. A couple of months ago, he was finally charged and indicted and he was indicted on some of the most absurd charges you could possibly imagine. He was in jail on charges that wouldn't have a person in jail overnight in the U.S. He was imprisoned in October of 2016. Since then, he spent nearly 17 months into a prison cell that was designed for eight people and had 21 people in it. He's lost 50 pounds. He's keeping good spirit, but you can tell his mental state has diminished."


Senator Portman: (4:15 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "As chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, P.S.I., I have been investigating over the past couple of years the handling of U.A.C.'s, again, these kids that come unaccompanied. I've done this, therefore, both during the Obama administration and during the Trump administration. And from the work we've done over the past two years, I can tell you that the Department of Health and Human Services ant the Department of Homeland Security are not prepared to effectively deal with even more children, unaccompanied minors or those who come in with their parents. There are two key issues we need to address with unaccompanied children who enter the United States."

Rounds, Alexander, Coons, Hatch

The minibus appropriations bill (H.R. 5895)

Jun 21 2018

Senator Rounds: (12:51 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "This appropriations mini bus combines three separate appropriation bills, each of which were voted nearly unanimously out of the senate appropriations committee earlier this year. They spent about $147 billion or they proposed to spend about $147 billion. This is significant because since coming to the senate three and a half years ago, this is the - this is only the second time that we are actually bringing smaller, separate appropriation bills to the floor. Months before the deadline and also having a healthy, robust debate on amendments to this legislation. It is a long overdue step that is getting us back to what we call regular order which is the traditional way of working appropriation bills through the Senate. It let's everybody see what's in the bills."


Senator Alexander: (1:12 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "We owe it to every American to be responsible stewards of their hard-earned dollars. I believe this is best through an appropriations process that brings serious, appropriate debate on how this money is spent. This is a good bill that invests in energy an infrastructure, provides our troops with additional tools for maximum readiness and funds the V.A. So they can do a better job of taking care of our veterans. I urge my colleagues to not only support these appropriations, but future appropriation bills that may come to the floor later this summer, avoiding the last-minute continuing resolution or the usual 2,000-page omnibus bill in September or, unfortunately, even later"


Senator Coons: (1:19 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "This morning, thousands of children woke up to the voices of strangers in strange places and started another day, in institutionalized, fenced-in confinement. This is happening in our nation. And I have heard from dozens, hundreds of Delawareans by every means they can communicate with me, and I'm sure my colleagues have also heard from hundreds or thousands of their constituents as we as a nation have been haunted by the sounds and images of vulnerable children crying out for help. On one hand, I think this is a simple issue of right and wrong, but on the other, this issue, like so many others that affect us here in the Senate, has been complicated by politics and by rhetoric and by statements frankly meant to mislead."


Senator Hatch: (1:50 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to a member of his staff.
    • "Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to a man who is a loyal and diligent staffer on the Senate Finance Committee for merely three decades. Mark Prager. Mark began as a tax counsel with the committee in January of 1990. During his 28-year tenure with the committee, mark has been a shining example of a bipartisan policy staffer. He is a proud Portlander where he graduated with his accounting degree from Portland State University, received his law degree from Willamette University and his L.L.M. In taxation from the University of Florida."

Sullivan, Cornyn, Rubio

The minibus appropriations bill (H.R. 5895)

Jun 21 2018

Senator Sullivan: (12:00 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to the Alaskan of the Week.
    • "Madam President it it's Thursday and it is one of the best times of the week for me and I know the parliamentarians and others who work here in the Senate, now the pages are going to learn this, too, because it's the time every week I get to talk about what I call the Alaskan of the Week, someone who's made a difference in my state, someone who's doing a great job, someone who's oftentimes an unsung hero, doesn't get a lot of attention but deserves it. That's what we do here. As I like to say, Alaska is a very, very beautiful state. I think the most beautiful state in the country, probably the most beautiful place in the world. And now summer has arrived. The sun hardly ever sets. The fish are running. The air is drenched and the energy is summer. Now is the time to visit"


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

  • Spoke on the rescissions package.
    • "It would have set in motion a series of spending reductions not on bills where we had appropriated money for programs we know where it was going to be used, but these were essentially surplus funds that were not being used for the intended purpose and which I believe should have been used to reduce our annual deficits and ultimately our national debt. I want to express my gratitude to Senator Lee, the senator from Utah who spearheaded the effort, to take up the bill that the house had already passed. What we were attempting to do was rescind nearly $15 billion in previously unappropriated money that had gone unspent as I said a moment ago."
  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "In fact, I'm confident that the executive order will be the target of lawsuits, and I think the only thing that can really settle the matter once and for all is legislation that I know the presiding officer and I and others have cosponsored to keep families together and to maintain enforcement of our laws. Executive orders, of course, like I said are always subject to legal challenge. And I think we ought to use this, or view this as more of a belt and suspenders. If the president decided he wanted to do on a temporary basis, but it is just a temporary basis, and we need to make sure, as I said, this is settled finally so that no parent will be separated from their child even if they enter the country illegally."


Senator Rubio: (12:27 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "Every single year over a million people come to this country legally. That's happening and will happen again this year. I will tell you no other nation on Earth even comes close to that level of generosity. The problem we have is that in our region there are countries of incredible instability. And there's the ebbs and flows. I live in south Florida, a majority community deeply influenced by migration waves of Cubans who came in multiple waves to flee communism. Of Haitians who have come through years of instability. People who flee instability, for example, in the 1980's from Nicaragua. Of Columbians who fled in the 1990's. But every time that there is a hemispheric problem, people in the countries seek to go to the greatest nation on Earth that's closest to them, by the way, and that's the United States."

Schumer, Toomey

The minibus appropriations bill (H.R. 5895)

Jun 21 2018

Senator Schumer: (10:29 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "As the Senate continues to consider appropriations bills here on the floor, I want to thank Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Leahy for their hard work. The Republican leader and I have both committed to work through appropriations in a bipartisan way, through regular order, something the Senate hasn't achieved in sometime. Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Leahy are leading the way."
  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "I've seen the pictures of these tiny little girls with forlorn looks on their faces and they are being placed into what is called tender-aged facilities. That is an Orwellian term if there ever was one. Others have been shuttled to foster homes. A 5-year-old sent hundreds of miles away from his or her parents. What kind of country are we? Now, yesterday the president signed an executive order which made it 100% clear what Democrats have been saying, that the president can fix this problem on his own, and that's correct. The president vindicated everything we have been saying and undid everything he has been saying when he said only Congress can fix this problem and, of course, he made it partisan."
  • Spoke on China.
    • "So I urge President Trump to stay strong on China. At the first sign of complaint, we turn, China will know they can push us over and the number of jobs that we will lose - the amount of wealth that we will lose will far exceed the kinds of damage that these tariffs might do. Don't mistake my support for -- but don't please don't mistake my support on this for the president to be reckless offer as an endorsement of what the president is doing to our allies, the tariffs against our European and Canadian allies are poorly timed."
  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "In the past week, "The Washington Post" reported that wages aren't just flat, they are falling for a strong majority of American workers. According to a recent analysis by just capital only 7% of the capital allocated by the tax bill savings have gone to employees, 57% have gone to shareholders. Just what we Democrats predicted. When the vast majority of the tax cuts go to the very wealthy, the largest and most powerful corporations, the average worker sees very little gain, trickle down, certainly a smaller proportion of the gain than the cut."


Senator Toomey: (10:43 a.m.)

  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • " It remains a mystery to me how our Democratic colleagues and Senate minority leader can somehow think it's a bad thing when the unemployment rate is the lowest it's been in more than 18 years. And it's not just the overall unemployment rate. The African American unemployment rate in May was 5.9%. 5.9%. That is the lowest rate ever recorded since we started breaking out different ethnic groups in the unemployment numbers. The Hispanic unemployment rate very close to an all-time record low at 4.9%. Another amazing statistic that came out in this May jobs report is we now have more job openings in America, 6.7 million, than all of the unemployed people."


Opening Remarks

Jun 21 2018

Today -

  • The Senate will convene at 9:45 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 5895, the minibus appropriations bill.
  • 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.
  • Note: on Wednesday, June 20, cloture was filed on Shelby Amendment #2910 to H.R. 5895, the minibus appropriations bill.
  • Note: on Wednesday, June 20, cloture was filed on H.R. 5895, the minibus appropriations bill.


Senator McConnell: (9:54 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "Many of us wanted us to return to regular order and appropriations for quite some time. It didn't happen overnight. We owe thanks to Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Leahy for the transparent, bipartisan process that produced this bill. And thanks to the leadership of our colleagues at the subcommittee level, more bills will be on their way to the floor for prompt consideration. This will cross three important items off the Senate's appropriations to-do list. Funding for energy and water, military construction and for the V.A. and for the legislative branch."
  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "It's a national trend. Just yesterday the National Association of Manufacturers released data showing that optimism among American manufacturers is above 95%, the highest level ever - ever recorded. Small business owners agree. Industry surveys show that more of them are looking to hire than at any time since the year 2000. No wonder the job market is already better than it has been in years. Unemployment at an 18-year low, more than two-thirds of Americans saying it's a good time to follow a quality job, the highest in 17 years."