Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018

Tomorrow -

  • The Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #1008, A. Marvin Quattlebaum, of South Carolina, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit.
  • At 12:00 p.m. the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #1008, A. Marvin Quattlebaum, of South Carolina, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit.
  • Note: on Wednesday, August 1, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #1009, Julius Ness Richardson, of South Carolina, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit.

McConnell, Grassley, Blunt, Brown

Executive Session (Quattlebaum Nomination)

Aug 15 2018

Senator McConnell: (4:28 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the upcoming Senate business.
    • "The Senate has now approved seven of the twelve measures for next year, and we have finalized the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019 which President Trump signed into law on Monday of this week. But the reason we are convening today is that important work remains for the weeks ahead. That includes more progress on appropriations and it includes confirming more of the president's nominees."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Another number of other prominent Democrats echoed that sentiment, including my friend, the Democratic leader. He called Republican requests for additional documents related to the Sotomayor nomination as a fishing expedition and said Republicans were grasping at straws. My friend from New York said everybody knows that then-Judge Sotomayor's record on the bench was the best way to evaluate her nomination. So I hope that our Democratic colleagues who are demanding even more documents have taken the time to read the 12 years of opinions from Judge Kavanaugh that they already have and that - and that, of course, will underscore exemplary service on the second highest court in the nation."

 

Senator Grassley: (4:32 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "And senators have more time to review Judge Kavanaugh's record than they did for at least three Supreme Court nominees. So I'm very confident that the committee and the Senate will have ample information and time to carry out our responsibilities under our Constitution to advise and consent. But some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are attempting to manipulate the American people. I just described to you the largest document production in the history of a Supreme Court nomination, but guess what the minority leader describes it as, quote, unquote, unprecedented secrecy."

 

Senator Blunt: (4:54 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "This defense funding bill provides a $20 billion increase for defense and supports the largest pay increase for those who serve us, those who serve us and defend us in over a decade. This bill prioritizes resources for equipment and training to ensure our troops have every possible advantage on the battlefield. I've said on this floor at this podium before, we never want our troops to be involved in a fair fight. We want them to be involved in a fight where they have every possible advantage over their adversary. The bill has a number of military installations and those installations and people who work at those installations, civilian and military, really provide a great part of our nation's defense."
  • Unanimous Consent –
    • Following the disposition of the Richardson nomination, the Senate proceed to the consideration of H.R. 6157, the minibus appropriations bill.
    • For the purpose of Rule XVI in relation to Amendment #3695 to H.R. 6157, the minibus appropriations bill:
      • The text of H.R. 6157 serve as the basis for the defense of germaneness for Division A of the amendment and the text of H.R. 6470 as reported by the House Committee on Appropriations serve as the basis for defense of germaneness of Division B of the amendment.
    • (Without Objection)

 

Senator Brown: (5:19 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the First Amendment.
    • "I want to continue my more or less weekly honoring of local reporters who are doing their jobs, who understand that a free press is crucial to a free country and a free people. This past week, I have been all over Ohio talking about investing in national security jobs in Dayton, to meeting with local leaders tackling the opioid epidemic in Finley to promoting auto jobs in Lima, Toledo, and Cleveland. In every one of these stops, I talked with Ohio reporters who were doing their jobs, covering important stories in their local communities. Local journalists do that kind of reporting in every community in Ohio, Kansas, and across this country."
  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "They allow companies to pay 10.5% on taxes on their overseas profits while in the United States they pay 23% corporate tax rate. What it says is to a company in Mansfield, Ohio, or Ravenna, Ohio, or Zanesville, Ohio, that shuts down and thinks about moving overseas, you have a 21% corporate rate if you're in Youngstown, but you move to Reynosa, Mexico, and you have a 10.5% rate. What we are simply saying, what the Republican leadership said when they passed this tax bill was it was like handing out a 50% off coupon to companies sending jobs overseas."

Barrasso, Nelson, Portman

Executive Session (Quattlebaum Nomination)

Aug 15 2018

Senator Barrasso: (2:48 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the Endangered Species Act.
    • "We also have to make sure that the species that are most in need get the resources first. Again, it isn't some idea that someone came up with behind closed doors in Washington, D.C. No, not at all. This whole effort is based on feedback from the states and from the 19 states and three U.S. territories that are part of the Western Governors Association. Wyoming Governor Matt Meade testified at a recent hearing that my bill is in line with what the states are looking for. He said it represents a reasonable way, he said, to start a national dialogue on the subject, just like the western governors did. That's why 130 organizations have already written to express their support for this effort."

 

Senator Nelson: (3:08 p.m.)

  • Spoke on offshore drilling.
    • "The training and testing not only takes place in the air over the gulf of Mexico but also takes place on the surface as well as, in some cases, under water as well. So the United States military has asked us, don't mess with the gulf training range, and yet, as we speak in this report in "Politico" today, efforts are being made by the oil industry to get the trump administration to allow up to 75 miles off the coastline of Florida to be drilled. Mr. President, I want to show you what that would do to the heart of the gulf testing and training range."
  • Spoke on tariffs.
    • "If the manufacturer has to add on 25% to the cost of his garbage can, obviously that's not going to be competitive since he's selling that garbage can and can still just make it at the same price that you can import that garbage can from China. This is - unless that tariff, that tax is turned off by President Trump, those jobs are going to be lost. That old warehouse facility which has been modernized with all of this state of the art robotic equipment, $15 million worth of equipment, all of that is going to go away. That's not what we want. That's not what is good for America. We want to keep the manufacturing jobs here."

 

Senator Portman: (3:48 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the opioid crisis.
    • "It was the culmination of four years-worth of work of conferences here in Washington, bringing some of the best minds from around the country together, looking at some of the best practices to say have you actually focused on this issue of the opioid epidemic in a comprehensive way because we know that's what has to be done. It was about evidence-based prevention, strategies about evidence-based treatment, about longer-term recovery. It actually was the first time congress had ever passed legislation dealing with longer-term recovery, and that's because we heard so much testimony, me back home in Ohio and members around the country and experts about the chances for success when you go into treatment particularly for this opioid epidemic, the trances for success increase dramatically enough longer term recovery."

Cornyn

Opening Remarks

Aug 15 2018

Today -

  • The Senate will next convene for legislative business at 12:00 p.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #1008, A. Marvin Quattlebaum, of South Carolina, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit.
  • At 5:30 p.m. the pending cloture motions will ripen.
  • The Senate will recess from 12:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. to accommodate the weekly policy lunches. 
  • Note: on Wednesday, August 1, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #1008, A. Marvin Quattlebaum, of South Carolina, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit.
  • Note: on Wednesday, August 1, cloture was filed on Executive Calendar #1009, Julius Ness Richardson, of South Carolina, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit.

 

Senator Cornyn: (12:18 p.m.)

  • Spoke in tribute to Austin Theiss.
    • "That's why I am again today renewing my call for Austin Theiss' immediate release by his captors. Over the last several years, I have had the privilege of meeting with Austin's parents a number of times, Mark and Deborah Theiss, who have worked tirelessly to locate him and bring him home safely. In fact, I plan to meet with them again this afternoon to bring them up to speed on my most recent conversations with the national security advisor, John Bolton, who I have asked to meet with the Theisses and maintain the continuity between the Obama administration and now the Trump administration when it comes to efforts to return him safely to his family and friends."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "This last weekend, the Senate Judiciary Committee released to the public another enormous batch of records from Judge Kavanaugh's service as a lawyer in the George W. Bush White House. It also released another 21,000 pages just last night. The office of President Bush has now produced more than 174,000 pages of material to the committee, and of course that's on top of the judge's judicial record, which has already been produced to the committee. According to the journal, the White House has turned over more than 195,000 documents on Judge Kavanaugh, significantly more than were produced for either Justice Kagan or Justice Gorsuch. As Chairman Grassley has pointed out, it is the largest cumulative production of executive branch material ever received in the course of evaluating a Supreme Court nominee."