Monday, Jun. 25, 2018

Tomorrow -

  • The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R. 2, the farm bill, 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 motion to proceed to H.R. 2, the farm bill.


Senator Brown: (6:41 p.m.)

  • Spoke on General Motors.
    • "For the 2018 models J.D. Power and Associates named the Cruz among the top two cars in its class. They named the Lordstown plant among the six top plants in the Americas. The federal government rescued the auto industry. Eight years ago I stood and actually drove one of the cars with Governor Strictland and others, one of the first cars off the line, one of the first Chevy Cruzes coming out of the plant. Two years ago I stood in Lordstown for the plant's 50th anniversary. G.M. estimated more than 10,000 people, young and old, families with children, workers who had been there close to - a few had been there almost the entire 50 years."

Leahy, Shelby

The minibus appropriations bill (H.R. 5895)

Jun 25 2018

Senator Leahy: (5:01 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "Chairman Shelby and I worked very closely with Senator McConnell and Senator Schumer. We committed both Senator Shelby as chairman and I as vice chairman, we committed to getting the appropriations process back on track. We've both been here when the senate was a better place because the appropriations process worked, and our strategy has been to advance appropriations bills that have bipartisan support, to comply with a budget deal, and are free of poison pill riders or controversial authorizing legislation. What we have here before us is the first test to that strategy and I think both Republicans and Democrats will be pretty pleased with the result."


Senator Shelby: (5:14 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "And now as we are getting ready to vote on final passage, I hope my colleagues agree that we're headed in the right direction here. I recognize that this package must still be reconciled with the House version before we can get it to the president's desk. But, Mr. President, I'm optimistic that we can do that in short order. We can also - we also cannot forget the nine other appropriations bills that remain. The Appropriations Committee has already reported seven of these remaining bills to the full Senate, all with strong bipartisan margins. This week the committee will mark up the final two appropriation bills, Defense and Labor/H.H.S., and I'm hoping for a similar result."

Daines, Boozman, Alexander, Schatz

The minibus appropriations bill (H.R. 5895)

Jun 25 2018

Senator Daines: (4:33 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "For the first time in a decade, a decade, the legislative branch bill received for consideration outside of a year-end omnibus. Returning to regular order, the legislative branch bill and all our other appropriation bills is a much-needed change. Because it's our job to ensure the timely funding of our government. The legislative branch appropriations bill is good news for government transparency, for accountability, for security at the Capitol. This bill will increase public access to campaign filings. It will strengthen accountability in how government property is used. It will make investments also that will help meet the security needs on the Capitol campus. I'd like to thank Senator Murphy, my ranking member, for working with me in a bipartisan manner on amendments to the legislative branch division."


Senator Boozman: (4:35 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "This is a good step in returning to regular order, with the Senate considering appropriations legislation in a timely fashion. We owe thanks to Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Leahy for providing leadership for the transparent bipartisan process. This bill is crafted in a truly open and collegial way. The subcommittee made thoughtful decisions about how to provide maximum readiness for the war fighter and prioritize the investments to the V. A. so they can take care of our veterans. We took into account the requests and preferences of all members from both sides of the aisle and balanced it with the administration's budget submission. Within this framework, we have created a thoughtful and responsible path forward for both departments and our related agencies."


Senator Alexander: (4:40 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "The committee process has almost always been done, the committee work. The part that has often been missing was the last part, the floor consideration. That's what's different about this year. I want to thank Senator McConnell and Senator Schumer, the two leaders, who working with Senator Shelby and Senator Leahy, the chairman and ranking member for creating an environment in which we could get this done. It wouldn't have happened if they had not been there. And then Senator Boozman and Senator Daines, the chairman and then Senator Feinstein as well as Senator Murphy as well as Senator Schatz, we all worked together last week and got a result."


Senator Schatz: (4:56 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "We had a couple of tough conversations, but we navigated our way through that. And then there was an amendment offered which was in order, but it was about Waters of the United States which, without getting into great detail about this, there's probably nothing that causes people to go put on their partisan Jerseys more so than WOTUS, Waters of the United States. And Chairman Shelby and many Republicans including Leader McConnell said essentially, listen, I'm with you, Senator Lee, in principle, but this is not the bill to do this on. And that's the kind of discipline that's going to be required of both parties if we're going to keep the appropriations process on track and allow it to be held harmless from some of our more partisan disputes."

Cornyn, Schumer, Nelson, Grassley

The minibus appropriations bill (H.R. 5895)

Jun 25 2018

Senator Cornyn: (3:34 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "It creates a huge challenge for us, just as it did in 2014 when President Obama called it a humanitarian crisis, because, frankly, our communities along the border, the federal government is not prepared to deal with such an influx of humanity and particularly those who need to be taken care of in a compassionate and humane way, especially the children that come across the border. Why are children coming across the border as unaccompanied and in some instances with family units? Well, because the cartels, the criminal organizations that profit from a business model that allows them to exploit vulnerabilities in American law particularly when it comes to border security, they are making millions and millions of dollars trafficking in humanity."


Senator Schumer: (3:53 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "Some of these children are even too young to know their names. This unprecedented situation demands a federal point person to manage the family reunification process and ensure it is resolved as quickly and transparently as possible. Multiple agencies have jurisdictions including the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice. We need someone in power to work across federal agencies, cut through their bureaucracy and lead an accurate, ewe main and timely rue unification of every child separated by president trump's policy. I am urging president trump to appoint a family reunification czar to manage this process."
  • Spoke on China.
    • "On China, this morning "The New York Times" reports that in several industrial cities in China's interior, Chinese manufacturers have been using incredibly dangerous chemicals known as C.F.C.s which destroys the planet's ozone layer and banned by an international agreement in the 1980's. The C.F.C.s are more dangerous to our at mess fear than CO2 and methane. That's why these C.F.C.s were banned, but now it seems that's not occurring in China and it comes as no surprise. China cracks down so effectively on free speech so one wonders why this state is unable to crack down on the use of environmentally toxic chemicals that have been banned for over 30 years."
  • Spoke on healthcare reform.
    • "Think about it for a moment. Middle-class families in Indiana could have saved on their health care next year if President Trump aided and abetted by Republicans here in the Senate hadn't sabotaged the system. If Republicans and President Trump had simply left our health care system alone, things would have been much better. So many people in so many of our states will pay far more in premium increases than they will get benefit from a tax cut, particularly if you're middle class and not rich. Is that right? Does that put more money in people's pockets? No."
  • Spoke on civility in politics.
    • "But we all have to remember to treat our fellow Americans, all of our fellow Americans with the kind of civility and respect we expect will be afforded to us. I strongly disagree with those who advocate harassing folks if they don't agree with you. If you disagree with someone or something, stand up, make your voice heard. Explain why you think they're wrong. And why you're right. Make the argument. Protest peacefully. If you disagree with a politician, organize your fellow citizens to action and vote them out of office. But no one should call for the harassment of political opponents. That's not right. That's not American."


Senator Nelson: (4:06 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "Because there still is no plan? Well, all of this is unacceptable. And the American people deserve the answers to these questions. Well, tomorrow this senator plans to get some of these answers because the secretary of H.H.S., Secretary Azar, is coming in front of the Senate Finance Committee. But before he testifies, I want to give him a heads up on the questions that I'm going to ask and I expect some answers. And these are the questions regarding these children and the reunification quickly with their parents. I want the secretary, Secretary Azar, to let him know that I would like him to explain - and by the way, when he's in front of the Senate Finance Committee, he is under oath. I would like him to explain where are these children right now."


Senator Grassley: (4:21 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "I come here to raise an issue, not with the actual bill we'll be voting on today but with language included in a committee report accompanying the bill. The Environmental Protection Agency has reportedly given out unprecedented numbers of so-called small refinery hardship waivers to the renewable fuel standard, and these are given in some cases to huge multibillion-dollar companies that probably would not be entitled to what is really a hardship. The E.P.A. has yet to disclose what waivers it has granted and the rationale, and based on that -- based on what has been reported, its actions seem pretty darn fishy from my point of view. Refiners speaking with the press have noted - and this is an actual quote - begin with a brain submitted an application."


Opening Remarks

Jun 25 2018

Today -

  • 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 McConnell: (3:17 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to 1st Lt. Garlin M. Conner, USA.
    • "Lieutenant Connor wasn't supposed to be in a snow-covered forest that January morning in 1945. He was meant to be recovering in a hospital, but with his unit in need, he snuck away and returned to the front in France. When he rejoined his comrades, they were in urgent danger, pinned down by six German tanks. Lieutenant Conner stepped forward. He took a telephone, a radio, and a wire reel and ran toward the enemy alone, totally alone. Past the American line, in a ditch barely large enough to cover him, Lieutenant Conner began directing artillery against the approaching enemy. He held his ground through wave after wave of German advances. When the enemy surged, even coming within feet of him, he called in artillery strikes on his own position. Amazingly, when the dust settled, Lieutenant Conner was still alive."
  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "Now, on a completely different matter, this afternoon our colleagues will vote to pass the first three of 12 appropriation bills for fiscal year 2019. When they do, the Senate will be putting more common sense back into the appropriations process. This hasn't come easily, but thanks to the leadership of Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Leahy, the process thus far has been governed by levelheaded bipartisanship. I'm optimistic the same will be true for the nine remaining appropriation measures. Great progress has already been made at the committee level, and I look forward to considering more legislation on the floor soon."
  • Spoke on Republican economic policy.
    • "Now, Mr. President, on one final matter, week after week, the evidence continues to mount that tax reform and the rest of Republicans' pro-growth, pro-family agenda is helping reinvigorate our economy and set the stage for long-term job and wage growth. Just today, CNBC is reporting that a percentage of the Americans who say the economy is good or excellent is the highest they have ever recorded in the survey's ten-year history. But amidst all the headlines of long-term investments, business expansions, and this favorable economic climate, it's important to also remember all the immediate ways the tax cuts themselves have already met direct relief from middle-class American families."