Monday, Apr. 23, 2018

Tomorrow -

  • 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 #624, Stuart Kyle Duncan, of Louisiana, to be United States Circuit Court Judge for the Fifth Circuit, post-cloture.
  • The Senate will recess from 12:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. to accommodate the weekly policy lunches. 
  • Note: all time during recess, adjournment, morning business, and leader remarks will count post-cloture on the Duncan nomination.

 

Senator Durbin: (6:39 p.m.)

  • Spoke on dark money in politics.
    • "I think thank him for negotiating the opportunity this evening. Let me tell you what my topic is about. One aspect of it. We know the United States leads the world in medical research. And because the U.S. scientific community, H.I.V/AIDS is no longer a death sentence, polio has been eradicated, people survive heart attacks in record number, and child born trade likely live to be 78 years of age, nearly three decades longer than a baby born in 1900. We know the true dangers of tobacco and now we're learning about the dangers related to e-cigarettes. But it was not always the case that the dangers of cigarette smoking were commonly accepted knowledge. For years the tobacco industry claimed to be interested in rigorous, independent science."

 

Senator Whitehouse: (6:56 p.m.)

  • Spoke on dark money in politics.
    • "Thank you, and I thank Senator Durbin, who is a leader in our caucus but also a very important leader on these issues. We are here this evening because a group of us now embarks on a series of speeches on the Senate floor to shine some light into a network of phony front groups, a web of deceit conceived and bankrolled by the Koch Brothers and other self-interested billionaires to advocate for very selfish and unpatriotic policies. This web of deceit has infiltrated and populated the trump administration, and it's swamping the interests of everyday Americans. I won't dwell on its policies. The billionaires having to hide behind these front groups tells you all you need to know about their policies."

Merkley, Cassidy

Executive Session (Duncan Nomination)

Apr 23 2018

Senator Merkley: (4:19 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Kyle Duncan to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit.
    • "But today we're considering the nomination of Stuart Kyle Duncan to a lifetime appointment of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and this individual is not supportive of our constitutional vision of open doors. He's intent on slamming them shut. Slamming them shut on LGBTQ community, slamming them shut for women seeking reproductive rights and health care. Slamming opportunity shut on those who simply wish to vote in America, a fulfillment of the vision of our constitutional democratic republic. Slamming the doors shut on those that are here, have been here legally or who are seeking to become citizens. Mr. Duncan is probably best known for his work on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the landmark case opposing the A.C.A.'s requirements that employers provide insurance coverage opportunity for contraception and for undermining the health care of countless women across America."

 

Senator Cassidy: (5:21 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Kyle Duncan to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit.
    • "Let me talk to his qualifications as to why I think we should support his nomination and vote yes. First I have a little bit of pride in this. He is a graduate of L.S.U, my alma mater and graduated from law school. Graduated on the Order of the Coif and got a master's law degree from Columbia University. He has the institution knowledge to be a successful judge. I have discussed his academic. Let's speak about his experience. His breadth of experience makes him a great choice. He was certified as well-qualified by the American Bar Association. He has extensive courtroom experience on the 10th and 5th Circuit Courts of Appeals, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Texas and Louisiana Supreme Courts and he's twice argued in the United States Supreme Court."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "Mr. President, if there's one thing everyone in Washington seems to agree on these days and indicted in our country it is that we face very serious threats across the globe. From Russian aggression in eastern Europe and Syria to China's expansion in the South China Sea, Iran's increased threats against Israel to a North Korean dictator who likes to fire off missiles and test nuclear weapons, collapsing Venezuela, transnational criminal organizations contributing to an opioid epidemic here at home, trade issues, our country faces big challenges. And as we face these global threats it, we need a well-qualified secretary of state who understands diplomacy and is working to keep our country safe."

Daines, King, Cornyn

Executive Session (Duncan Nomination)

Apr 23 2018

Senator Daines: (3:43 p.m.)

  • Spoke on National Parks Week.
    • "I spent as much time outdoors as possible and I still continue that tradition with my children today. In fact, my idea of a great time in August is taking our dogs, as many of our kids that we can get together according to their schedules anymore, and we take our backpacks enjoying Montana's outdoors. As a father, I'm grateful to share these experiences with our four children and instill in them a love for the outdoors. And, frankly, what better place to do that and enjoy the outdoors than in our national parks? And while Montana is privileged to have two world famous national parks in Glacier and Yellowstone, national parks are the pride of so many states from Florida to Colorado to Maine."

 

Senator King: (3:45 p.m.)

  • Spoke on National Parks Week.
    • "I want to join in the chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks of the committee on Energy and Natural Resources Senator Daines to support this resolution which passed unanimously last week recognizing this week as national park week in this country. When I left office as governor of Maine in January of 2003, my family and I the next day took off in a 40-foot R.V. to see the country. My children were 12 and 9 at the time, and we basically circumnavigated America over the next five and a half months. Before coming to the floor, I sort of went down the list of the parks we went to but the point I want to make - I get a bit emotional about this. This was the greatest experience of my life to have taken my children to these parks and my wife, Mary, and to have seen them and experience the people at the parks was just an unbelievable life experience."

 

Senator Cornyn: (4:00 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "The relevant questions couldn't be graver or more obvious. Do we as a country, with so many long-standing relationships around the world, really feel the need for, the utter necessity of a secretary of state or not? Do we believe in furthering international diplomacy by filling this post expeditiously or not? Do peace talks - for example, in North Korea - rank among our highest national priorities? Do we want to demonstrate as much by confirming Mr. Pompeo so that those talks can proceed, or is this chamber too self-absorbed in partisan divides to see the much bigger global picture? Madam President, it's time to be serious about Director Pompeo and what this nomination represents. The stakes are high and the time is short."

McConnell

Opening Remarks

Apr 23 2018

Today -

  • The Senate will convene at 3:00 p.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #624, Stuart Kyle Duncan, of Louisiana, to be United States Circuit Court Judge for the Fifth Circuit.
  • At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #624, Stuart Kyle Duncan, of Louisiana, to be United States Circuit Court Judge for the Fifth Circuit.

 

Senator McConnell: (3:10 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "Today our colleagues on the Foreign Relations Committee will vote to report the president's choice for the next secretary of state. It's really hard to imagine someone more thoroughly qualified than Mike Pompeo. His career is a success story on every single level. He graduated first in his class at West Point, served as a U.S. Army officer, and attended Harvard Law School. Then came success in business and then Mike's neighbors elected him to Congress in 2010. That impressive resume explains why a little more than a year ago a large bipartisan majority of senators voted to confirm Mike as C.I.A. director. His qualifications were perfectly obvious and by all accounts his track record at the C.I.A. shows that vote of confidence was exactly the right decision."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Kyle Duncan to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit.
    • "The Senate will also vote later this afternoon to advance the nomination of Kyle Duncan of Louisiana to serve on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Duncan's legal credentials show the president has made another outstanding choice. With degrees from L.S.U. and Columbia, he rose to serve as appellate chief in the Louisiana Office of Attorney General. His accomplishments also extend to private practice where his work earned the respect of his colleagues and peers, including his opponents in court."
  • Spoke on the Republican economic agenda.
    • "Metropolitan areas with more than a million residents did okay under democratic policies. Big cities captured nearly three-quarters of the limited job growth and more than 90% of population growth between 2010 and 2016. But the rest of America fell further and further behind. Year after year, rural America, suburban America, small town America, and small cities across the country saw almost no progress. That is not a record to be proud of, and it's not one that Republicans would stand for. That's why we're implementing an inclusive opportunity agenda to get wages, opportunity, and prosperity growing again for all Americans. We have cut job-killing red tape, passed historic tax relief for middle-class families, workers, and job creators, and it's delivering results for Americans whom the Obama economy simply left behind."