Tuesday, Jun. 26, 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, with all post-cloture time considered expired.

Brown, Roberts, Stabenow

Motion to Proceed to the farm bill (H.R. 2)

Jun 26 2018

Senator Brown: (5:17 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minimum wage.
    • "They're holding up their end of the bargain, the bargain we're supposed to have in this country. But the corporations they work for don't pay them what they're worth. It's not just the workers in these jobs who get hurt by this. It's obviously their families. And it's interesting it's taxpayers. Here's why. When corporations refuse to pay workers a living wage, when they refuse them the opportunity to save for retirement, when they refuse to provide decent health care, they create a drag on the economy. You know why? Because taxpayers pick it up. Someone has to pick up the tab when corporations pay $9, $10, and $11. "

 

Senator Roberts: (6:02 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "For the information of our colleagues, the Senate will proceed to the bill tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m., and the amendment process will begin after Senator Stabenow and I offer the bipartisan substitute, the first amendment offered on this side will be the Thune Amendment on the Conservation Preserve Program."

 

Senator Stabenow: (6:03 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "I just want to say that I'm pleased that we're moving forward and looking forward to the first amendment we'll be voting on, Senator Thune's amendment, which I'm very supportive of. I'm looking forward to working with colleagues as we move through the bill. Hopefully we're on the road to getting this done this week."

Hoeven, Thune, Whitehouse, Grassley

Motion to Proceed to the farm bill (H.R. 2)

Jun 26 2018

Senator Hoeven: (4:13 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "So I'm pleased we're able to draft a bill that will give our farmers and ranchers the support they need to continue to produce the food, fuel, and fiber that makes our country grow and provides the same thanks to so many in other - things to so many other countries in the world. Leading up to consideration of the farm bill we worked to gather input from farmers and ranchers in my state and across the country. Over the past year I've held roundtables back home. I've hosted Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue so he could hear from our ranchers and farmers so he could hear about their priorities. The bill provides many of these important provisions and supports the great work done by our farmers and ranchers in North Dakota and across the country."

 

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

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "These bills set the rules of the road for farmers and ranchers. They govern crop insurance and livestock disaster programs which is so important for those working in an industry where bad weather can wipe out a year's work. They set the rules for conservation programs. They cover farm loan programs and much more. This year's farm bill is particularly important as farmers and ranchers are facing a tough Ag economy. Net farm income is half of what it was four or five years ago. Now, more than ever, Mr. President, farmers and ranchers need to know with certainty what the rules of the road will be so that they can plan well for the future."

 

Senator Whitehouse: (4:43 p.m.)

  • Spoke on climate change.
    • "Let's start with Pruitt's record in the courts. A number of E.P.A.'s regulatory actions or its failures to regulate have been challenged in court. Republicans continue to rubber stamp Trump's activist extreme right-wing and polluter-friendly judicial nominees, but American the court, nevertheless, remain a forum in which outright lies are not countenanced and which regulatory agencies such as E.P.A. Have to demonstrate the scientific, technical, economic, and legal basis of their regulatory decisions."

 

Senator Grassley: (5:02 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "This a crisis that has been surging since way back in 2014, just new reaching a new peak. I said it before and I'll say it again, I find it ridiculous to suggest that members of my political party, the Republican Party, somehow support the idea of separating families. No one wants families separated. No one wants to see families exploited. To suggest otherwise is to feed the frenzy that has been whipped up over the last few days. Lost in this frenzy is the reality that the only group standing to truly benefit while America's divided here are smugglers, drug cartels, and human traffickers."

Gillibrand, Hatch

Motion to Proceed to the farm bill (H.R. 2)

Jun 26 2018

Senator Gillibrand: (3:09 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "But last week the House passed its own version the farm bill that would do just that. This is shameful. Here's the truth about SNAP. The vast majority of able-bodied adults on SNAP are already working. They are already working. They have jobs. Many of them work several jobs. They are doing everything they can to get ahead and just to have a small slice of that American dream. They still need snap. They need SNAP because their wages are too low. And to be clear, they already have to follow the work requirements. They have work requirements in place since 1971, but the farm bill would just add more red tape, more paperwork for struggling families just so they can eat dinner."

 

Senator Hatch: (4:01 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute of Charles Krauthammer.
    • "Open the newspaper, scroll through Twitter or simply turn on the TV and you'll see that this nation suffers from a deficit of civility quite unlike anything he have I've ever seen. The problem is bad. It's getting worse, and both sides are to blame. Both sides are at fault for escalating the rhetoric to irresponsible levels. I've said this many times before, but it bears repeating. Our words have consequences, and in an age of retweets, viral videos and shareable comment, those words often echo well beyond their intended audience and context. It's incumbent upon all of us then, from the president to congress on down, to be responsible for our speech."

Fischer, Daines, Durbin, Barrasso

Motion to Proceed to the farm bill (H.R. 2)

Jun 26 2018

Senator Fischer: (2:15 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "I rise today in strong support of the important legislation before us, and that is the 2018 farm bill. This is critical legislation for Nebraskans and for all Americans. It will provide certainty and predictability agriculture producers need to do their jobs of delivering abundant, high-quality, nutritious food to our nation. My husband Bruce and I have a family ranch in the sand hills of Nebraska. That is our home. That is where we live and that is where we work. I know firsthand that being a farmer and rancher is more than just a job; it's a way of life. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is one of life's most noble callings, to care for the land and god's creatures, to be stewards of our natural resources and feed the world."

 

Senator Daines: (2:30 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the great outdoors in Montana.
    • "You know, the outdoor life in Montana has a very special meaning for me. I grew up fishing, hunting, hiking, skiing. In fact, all over the state of Montana. In fact, in July of 1986, I proposed to my sweet wife Cindy after we hiked to the top of highlight peak just south of Bozeman, a peak a little over 10,000 feet. Seven and a half miles from the trailhead to the top and back. A long 15-mile day. I'm grateful she said yes. In fact, during the summer, I spend a lot of time backpacking in the bear tooth with our family. We bring along our mini Australian shepherds and bear spray. It's good practices. In Montana, outdoor recreation isn't just our way of life It's our economy."

 

Senator Durbin: (2:33 p.m.)

  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "The day that I visited, last Friday, was my second visit to one of their nine facilities in the city of Chicago. Very few, if any, people in that city, the great city that I'm proud to represent even know that heartland alliance exists. You see, the children are kept in residential neighborhoods in places that look like ordinary homes. The only giveaway is the security fence around the building is a little higher than most of the fences in the neighborhood. That's the only difference and in this busy neighborhood, there is a house with dozens of children inside. On the day that I was there, heartland alliance of Chicago had 66 children under their care who had been separated from their parents by our federal government over the last several weeks."

 

Senator Barrasso: (2:49 p.m.)

  • Spoke on healthcare reform.
    • "Small businesses really do need to be able to offer these better health benefits in order to compete for workers. So you need to be able to compete to provide affordable insurance, so they can afford it to provide it for their workers. At the same time people who buy their own insurance have seen prices more than double under Obamacare. We need to help those people get back to more reasonable rates so they're getting the care they need from a doctor they want at costs they can afford. But when Democrats wrote the health care law, passed it straight-party line votes, they actually targeted small businesses and forced them to pay more. Hard to believe but true."

Kennedy, Cornyn

Motion to Proceed to the farm bill (H.R. 2)

Jun 26 2018

Senator Kennedy: (12:06 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the National Flood Insurance Program.
    • "As you know, Mr. President, in the absence of reauthorizing legislation, this program will expire in the height of hurricane season and its expiration would leave more than five million American families and businesses without insurance and therefore in limbo. For the good of our national economy, we simply cannot allow that to happen. That's why, Mr. President, I am requesting a vote to extend the program through hurricane season as either an amendment to our farm bill or after recess as a stand-alone bill."

 

Senator Cornyn: (12:13 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "I want to highlight three areas where I do think the bill could stand some improvement. First, concerning the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. There is a lot of good done in the bill for farm and agricultural programs. What many people don't know is that about 80% of the money spent in the farm bill is directed at so-called nutrition programs, so calling this the farm bill is a little bit of a misnomer. Since it only affects about 20%, the bill only affects - deals with the farm country with about 20% of its resources. So we need to consider targeted ways of ensuring that tax dollars used to pay for these nutrition programs are used wisely, and that's why we will support an amendment that expands work requirements for those who receive snap benefits."

Schumer, Roberts, Stabenow

Motion to Proceed to the farm bill (H.R. 2)

Jun 26 2018

Senator Schumer: (10:23 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "The fact that the parties are working together to prevent non-germane amendments that are intended to just create ruckus, the fact that even germane amendments that are regarded as poison pills are not being added to the bills here in the Senate really bodes well for cooperation. I wish it were the same in the house where it's strictly a partisan process, but the fact that the senate is working together on appropriations bodes well for future legislation, including one farm bill that some people have an interest in this body in, many of us, actually, including, of course, the senior senator from the great state of Kansas."
  • Spoke on U.S. immigration policy.
    • "How many children are separated from their parents, where are those children, where are the parents? What kind of care are these kids getting? How are they holding up? I saw on one of the TV shows this morning a little girl saying where's my mommy? Where's my mommy? A young girl maybe 4 years old. That is not the America any of us, regardless of our party, particles of our political philosophy, believe in. We see that in other countries that are much crueler and less democratic, small D, than us. So we need these questions answered by the administration quickly, and the second thing we need is a plan."
  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "What did Harley-Davidson, the iconic motorcycle company who President Trump talked about in his campaign and even afterwards, do with their tax cut? They cut domestic operations, announced a nearly $700 million stock repurchasing program, and are now moving significant operations overseas. Why didn't Harley-Davidson take that tax break to help continue to employ workers here in America instead of a buy-back so the wealthy C.E.O.'s and shareholders would get a lot of money? President Trump and Speaker Ryan have held up Harley-Davidson as a success story of their tax bill, cutting jobs in America, spending the tax cut on stock buy-backs."

 

Senator Roberts: (10:36 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "Needless to say, we have worked to include as many priorities for members both on and off the Ag Committee and we want to continue working with members to address their concerns. Prepare your amendments and come work with Senator Stabenow and myself. We are endeavoring to craft a farm bill that meets the needs of producers across all regions, all crops, all of agriculture today is struggling, not just one or two commodities, we are indeed going through a very difficult time, what we call in farm country, a rough patch. We must have a bill that works all across our great nation, and we must ensure that our voluntary conservation programs are keeping farmland in operation while protecting our agriculture lands and forests and other natural resources."

 

Senator Stabenow: (10:45 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "From the very beginning of this process, Madam President, Chairman Roberts and I made a commitment that we would deliver a strong bipartisan farm bill. Despite the long road we faced, we stayed true to our word. I am proud to say that we wrote a bill that will provide certainty, as the chairman talked about, certainty to our farmers, our families, and rural communities. We stayed focused on strengthening our nation's diverse agriculture economy, and the 16 million jobs it supports. 16 million jobs. Madam President, this is a jobs bill for America. A lot of those jobs are in my home state of Michigan, where our food and agricultural economy supports one out of four jobs - one out of four jobs in Michigan."

McConnell

Opening Remarks

Jun 26 2018

Today -

  • 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 McConnell: (10:04 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "The reason it's reached the floor in its current form for passage by the full Senate is the leadership of Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow. They've carried on the committee's proud tradition of focusing on substance and putting partisanship aside. As the senior senator from Kentucky, I know exactly how important this legislation is to agricultural communities in my home state and around the nation. Kentucky has 12.8 million acres dedicated to agriculture. That includes about $1 billion in soybean production last year alone, about three-quarters of a billion dollars in corn, hundreds of millions of the dollars in the production of hay and tobacco, just to name a few. These crops are only part of the story."
  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "Six months since Republicans implemented a simpler 21st century framework. Six months since updated tax tracts and withholding tables provide more take-home pay. Thanks to lower tax rates, the I.R.S. is withholding less of workers' paychecks. Because we double the standard deduction, married couples will benefit from a new zero percent tax bracket for the first $24,000 they earn. And parents are looking afford to - forward to the bigger tax credits. These tax cuts are just a shot in the arm that our economy needed and they're exactly what middle-class families and workers deserve."