Archive from December, 2019

Thursday, January 2,2020

The Senate convened for a pro forma session at 6:30 p.m.  Senator Ernst presided and no business was conducted.

 

Monday, December 30, 2019

The Senate convened at 2:00 p.m. for a pro forma session only.  Senator Fischer presided and no business was conducted.

 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Senate convened for a pro forma session at 3:15 p.m.

Senator Kennedy presided and no business was conducted.

 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

8:50 p.m. The Senate stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. Monday, December 23 for a pro forma session only.   Next votes expected on January 6, 2020.

During Today’s session:

Roll Call Votes

1.       Motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R.1865: LaborH, Ag, Energy and Water, Interior, Leg Branch, MilconVA, ForeignOps, THUD Appropriations and the extra items; invoked: 71-21.

2.       Motion to waive the Budget Act with respect to the motion to concur re: H.R.1865; agreed to: 64-30.

3.       Motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R.1865; agreed to: 71-23.

4.       Confirmation of Executive Calendar #465, Anuraag Singhal, of Florida, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida; confirmed: 76-17.

5.       Confirmation of Executive Calendar #466, Karen Spencer Marston, of Pennsylvania, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; confirmed: 87-6.

6.       Confirmation of Executive Calendar #480, Daniel Mack Traynor, of North Dakota, to be United States District Judge for the District of North Dakota; confirmed: 51-41.

7.       Confirmation of Executive Calendar #481, Jodi W. Dishman, of Oklahoma, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma; confirmed: 75-17.

8.       Confirmation of Executive Calendar #490, John M. Gallagher, of Pennsylvania, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; confirmed: 83-9.

9.       Confirmation of Executive Calendar #536, Bernard Maurice Jones II, of Oklahoma, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma; confirmed: 91-3.

10.   Confirmation of Executive Calendar #354, Mary Kay Vyskocil, of New York, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York; confirmed: 91-3.

11.   Confirmation of Executive Calendar #383, Kea Whetzal Riggs, of New Mexico, to be United States District Judge for the District of New Mexico; confirmed: 94-0.

12.   Confirmation of Executive Calendar #234, Robert J. Colville, of Pennsylvania, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania; confirmed: 66-27.

13.   Confirmation of Executive Calendar #349,  Lewis J. Liman, of New York, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York; confirmed: 64-29

14.   Confirmation of Executive Calendar #550, Stephen E. Biegun, of Michigan, to be Deputy Secretary of State; confirmed: 90-3.

15.   Motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R.1158: Defense, CJS, FSGG, DHS Appropriations; invoked: 77-16.

16.   Motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R.1158: Defense, CJS, FSGG, DHS Appropriations; agreed to: 81-11.

 

Legislative Business

Concurred in the House amendment to S.151: TRACED Act.

 

Passed Calendar #328, S.1822: Broadband DATA with Wicker substitute amendment.

 

Adopted S.Res.459: to constitute the majority party’s membership on certain committees for the One Hundred Sixteenth Congress, or until their successors are chosen.

 

Adopted S.Res.460: congratulating the American Geophysical Union on the occasion of its centennial.

 

Adopted S.Res.461: congratulating Seattle Sounders FC on winning the 2019 Major League Soccer Cup.

 

Adopted S.Res.462: National One Health Awareness Month.

 

Agreed to H.Con.Res.81: directing the Clerk of the House of Representatives to make a correction in the enrollment of H.R.1158.

 

Agreed to H.Con.Res.82: directing the Clerk of the House of Representatives to make a correction in the enrollment of H.R.1865.

 

Passed Calendar #144, S.1309: Combating Global Corruption Act, with Cardin substitute amendment.

 

Passed S.3147: a bill requiring reports on VA patient safety and quality of care.

 

Passed S.221 with Gardner amendment: Department of Veterans Affairs Provider Accountability Act

 

Passed H.R. 2385: a bill to establish a grant program for cemetery research and produce educational materials for the Veterans Legacy Program

 

Passed S. 2096 with Boozman amendment: a bill to authorize States and tribal organizations that receive grants from the National Cemetery Administration to use such grants for training

 

Passed H.R.1424: Fallen Warrior Battlefield Cross Memorial Act.

 

Passed Calendar #274, S.439: End Plush Retirements Act, with a Cardin amendment.

 

Passed Calendar #203, S.1434: Construction Consensus Procurement Improvement Act, with Portman amendment.

 

Passed H.R.550: Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Gold Medal

 

Passed S.1029: Dogs as Witness Guardians Act, with Cornyn amendment.

 

Passed Calendar #144, S.1309: to identify and combat corruption in countries, to establish a tiered system of countries with respect to levels of corruption by their governments and their efforts to combat such corruption, and to asses United States assistance to designated countries in order to advance anti-corruption efforts in those countries and better serve United States taxpayers, with a Cardin substitute amendment.

 

Passed Calendar #286, S.1608: to provide for the publication by the Secretary of Health and Human Services of physical activity recommendations for Americans.

 

Completed the Rule 14 process to place the following bills on the Legislative Calendar of Business:

 

·       H.R.397, Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act of 2019

·       H.R.1759, BRIDGE for Workers Act

·       H.R.4018, to provide that the amount of time that an elderly offender must serve before being eligible for placement in home detention is to be reduced by the amount of good time credits earned by the prisoner, and for other purposes.

 

Began the Rule 14 process to place S.3148, to amend the Controlled Substance Act to list fentanyl-related substances as schedule I controlled substances (Johnson).

 

Additional Executive Business

Confirmed the following nominations by voice vote:

·       Executive Calendar #356, Gary Richard Brown, of New York, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York

·       Executive Calendar #357, Stephanie Dawkins Davis, of Michigan, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan

 

COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

·       Executive Calendar #492 – Michael Graham, of Kansas, to be a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board for a term expiring December 31, 2020.

·       Executive Calendar #496 – Michael Graham, of Kansas, to be a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board for a term expiring December 31, 2025.

·       PN 1228 – Thomas B. Chapman, of Maryland, to be a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board for a term expiring December 31, 2023

 

ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL

·       Executive Calendar #553 – J. Brett Blanton, of Virginia, to be Architect of the Capitol for the term of ten years.

 

COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS

·       Executive Calendar #548 – Sean O’Donnell, of Maryland, to be Inspector General, Environmental Protection Agency.

 

COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION, AND FORESTRY

·       Executive Calendar #497 – LaJuana S. Wilcher, of Kentucky, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation.

 

COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES

·       Executive Calendar #507 – Dana S. Deasy, of Virginia, to be Chief Information Officer of the Department of Defense.

·       Executive Calendar #508 – Lisa W. Hershman, of Indiana, to be Chief Management Officer of the Department of Defense.

·       Executive Calendar #509 – Robert John Sander, of Virginia, to be General Counsel of the Department of the Navy.

 

Confirmed the following nominations by unanimous consent:

FOREIGN SERVICE PROMOTIONS

·       PN 1318 – There are 41 nominations, beginning with Shon Stephen Belcher, and ending with David Mango

·       PN 1319 – There are 154 nominations, beginning with Kara Miriam Abramson, and ending with Megan Elizabeth Zurowski

·       PN 1321 – There are 119 nominations, beginning with Jenny U. Abamu, and ending with Hamda A. Yusuf

 

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

·       Executive Calendar #518 – David T. Fischer, of Michigan, to  be Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco.

·       Executive Calendar #519 – Morse H. Tan, of Illinois, to be Ambassador at Large for Global Criminal Justice.

·       Executive Calendar #520 – Roxanne Cabral, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

·       Executive Calendar #522 – Leslie Meredith Tsou, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador of the United States of America to the Sultanate of Oman.

·       Executive Calendar #523 – Yuri Kim, of Guam, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Albania.

·       Executive Calendar #524 – Carmen G. Cantor, of Puerto Rico, to be Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia.

·       Executive Calendar #526 – Robert S. Gilchrist, of Florida, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Lithuania.

·       Executive Calendar #527 – Alina L. Romanowski, of Illinois, to be Ambassador to the State of Kuwait.

·       Executive Calendar #528 – Kelly C. Degnan, of California, to be Ambassador to Georgia.

·       Executive Calendar #529 – Peter M. Haymond, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

 

UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

·       Executive Calendar #411 – Michelle A. Bekkering, of the District of Columbia, to be an Assistant Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.

 

7:02 p.m. The Senate passed by unanimous consent H.R. 2624, the Fallen Warrior Battlefield Cross Memorial Act.

5:55 p.m. ML McConnell spoke on his discussions with DL Schumer regarding impeachment. ML McConnell announced that the Senate will reconvene for the 116th Congress, 2nd Session, at 12:00 pm on Friday, January 3rd. Please note, the first votes in the Senate are expected on Monday, January 6th, 2020.

5:14 p.m. Senator Portman spoke supporting the USMCA.

5:06 p.m. Senator Tester spoke honoring William Ebeltoff.

4:58 p.m. Senator Thune gave a tribute to his father.

4:56 p.m. The Senate agreed to the “minibus 2”, 81-11.

Senators voting against: 7 Democrats: Carper, Gillibrand, Markey, Merkley, Schumer, Van Hollen and Wyden; 4 Republicans: Braun, Cruz, Hawley and Lee.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar and Warren; 2 Republicans: Isakson and Paul; 1 Independent: Sanders.

4:36 p.m. Roll call vote began on passage of the “Minibus #2”.

4:35 p.m. The Senate invoked cloture on H.R. 1158, Minibus #2, 77-16.

Senators voting in favor:  42 Republicans, 34 Democrats, 1 Independent: King.

Senators voting against: 9 Republicans: Blackburn, Braun, Cassidy, Cruz, Ernst, Hawley, Johnson, Lee and Toomey; 7 Democrats: Carper, Gillibrand, Markey, Merkley, Schumer, Van Hollen and Wyden.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar and Warren; 2 Republicans: Isakson and Paul; 1 Independent: Sanders.

4:21 p.m. The Senate began voting on the motion to invoke cloture on H.R. 1158, Minibus #2 (Defense, CJS, FSGG, DHS Appropriations)

4:20 p.m. The Senate confirmed the Biegun nomination to be Deputy Secretary of State, 90-3.

Senators Gillibrand, Hirono, and Markey voted no.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar, and Warren; 2 Republicans: Isakson and Paul; 1 Independent: Sanders.

4:08 p.m. The Senate began voting on the nomination of Stephen E. Biegun to be Deputy Secretary of State.

4:07 p.m. The Brown and Davis nominations were confirmed by voice vote. 

4:07 p.m. The Liman nomination was confirmed, 64-29.

Senators not voting: 5 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Hassan, Klobuchar, and Warren; 1 Republican: Isakson; 1 Independent: Sanders.

3:55 p.m. The Senate began voting on the nomination of Louis Liman to be U.S. District Judge for the Southern District NY.

3:53 p.m. The Colville nomination was confirmed, 66-27.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar, and Warren; 2 Republicans: Isakson and Paul; 1 Independent: Sanders.

3:39 p.m. The Senate began voting on the nomination of Robert Colville to be U.S. District Judge for the Western District of PA.

3:38 p.m. Senator McConnell announced that following disposition of the Davis confirmation that the Senate proceed to vote on the nomination of Stephen Biegun to be Deputy Secretary of State. Following that vote they will vote on the motion to invoke cloture on H.R. 1158 (Minibus #2) and if cloture is invoked they will immediately vote on passage of H.R. 1158.

3:38 p.m. The Riggs nomination was confirmed, 94-0

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar, and Warren; 1 Republican: Isakson; 1 Independent: Sanders.

3:26 p.m. Roll Call vote began on Kea Riggs to be United States District Judge for the District of New Mexico.

3:25 p.m. The Vyskocil nomination was confirmed, 91-3.

Senators voting against: Gillibrand, Heinrich and Markey.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar, and Warren; 1 Republican: Isakson; 1 Independent: Sanders.

3:14 p.m. Roll call vote began on confirmation of the nomination of Mary Vyskocil to be US District judge for the Southern District of New York.

3:14 p.m. The Jones nomination was confirmed 91-3.

Senators voting against: 3 Democrats: Gillibrand, Markey and Schumer.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar, and Warren; 1 Republican: and Isakson; 1 Independent: Sanders.

3:02 p.m. Roll call vote began on the nomination of Bernard Jones to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma.

3:01 p.m. The Gallagher nomination was confirmed 83-9.  

Senators voting against: 9 Democrats: Voting no: Bennet, Cantwell, Gillibrand, Markey, Merkley, Murray, Schumer, Stabenow and Wyden.

Senators not voting: 5 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar, Warner and Warren; 2 Republicans: Burr and Isakson; 1 Independent: Sanders.

2:49 p.m. Roll call vote began on the nomination of John Gallagher to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

2:48 p.m. The Dishman nomination was confirmed 75-17.

Senators voting in favor: 51 Republicans, 23 Democrats, 1 Independent: King.

Senators voting against: 17 Democrats: Baldwin, Blumenthal, Cantwell, Gillibrand, Heinrich, Hirono, Markey, Merkley, Murray, Schatz, Schumer, Smith, Stabenow, Udall, Van Hollen and Wyden.

Senators not voting: 5 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar, Warner and Warren; 2 Republicans: Burr and Isakson; 1 Independent: Sanders.

2:33 p.m. Roll call vote began on the nomination of  Jodi Dishman to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma.

2:32 p.m. The Traynor nomination was confirmed on a party line tally of 51-41.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar, Warner and Warren; 2 Republicans: Burr and Isakson; 1 Independent: Sanders.

2:20 p.m. Roll call vote began on the nomination of Daniel Traynor to be United States District Judge for the District of North Dakota.

2:19 p.m. The Marston nomination was confirmed 87-6.

Senators voting no: Gillibrand, Markey, Merkley, Schumer, Smith and Wyden.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar and Warren; 2 Republicans: Burr and Isakson; 1 Independent: Sanders.

2:07 p.m. Roll call vote began on the nomination of Karen Marston to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

2:06 p.m. The Singhal nomination was confirmed 76-17.

Senators voting in favor: 51 Republicans, 24 Democrats, 1 Independent: King.

Senators voting no: 17 Democrats: Baldwin, Bennet, Cantwell, Gillibrand, Heinrich, Hirono, Markey, Merkley, Murray, Schatz, Schumer, Smith, Stabenow, Udall, Van Hollen, Whitehouse and Wyden.
Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar and Warren; 2 Republicans: Isakson and Roberts; 1 Independent: Sanders.

1:45 p.m. The Senate began a roll call vote on Confirmation of the Singhal nomination to be a Judge for the Southern District of Florida.

1:29 p.m. Senator Peters spoke supporting the nomination of Stephanie Davis to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan.

1:26 p.m. Senator Inhofe spoke on significant events that have occurred on December 19th.

1:13 p.m. Senator Schatz asked u.c. to pass Federal Employees Technical Correction Act. Senator Toomey asked u.c. to pass H.R. 748, Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act and that the Toomey amendment be agreed to. Senator Schatz objected to Senator Toomey’s request. Senator Toomey objected to Senator Schatz’s original request.

1:15 p.m. The domestic appropriations package was agreed to 71—23.

Senators voting in favor: 39 Democrats, 31 Republicans, 1 Independent: King.

Senators voting against: 21 Republicans: Barasso, Blackburn, Braun, Cassidy, Cornyn,Cotton, Cruz, Daines, Enzi, Hawley, Inhofe, Johnson, Kennedy, ‪Lankford, Lee, Paul, Risch, Sasse, Scott (FL), Scott (SC), and Toomey; 2 Democrats: Carper and Gillibrand.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar and Warren; 1 Republican: Isakson; 1 Independent: Sanders.

12:49 p.m. Roll call vote began on the motion to concur with the House Message to accompany H.R.1865., the domestic appropriations package.

12:48 p.m. The motion to waive was agreed to 64-30.

Senators voting against: 26 Republicans and 4 Democrats

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar and Warren; 1 Republican: Isakson; 1 Independent: Sanders.

12:21 p.m. Roll call vote began on the motion to waive the budget act with respect to the domestic appropriations package, the House Message to accompany H.R.1865.

12:20 p.m. Senator Shelby offered a motion to waive the budget act.

12:16 p.m. Senator Enzi raised a budget point of order on the domestic appropriations package.

12:11 p.m. Senator Baldwin paid tribute to her retiring chief of Staff Bill Moratt.

12:08 p.m. Senator Lee asked UC to take up and pass S. 1625 , Senator Wicker objected.

12:06 p.m. Senator Wicker asked UC to take up and pass H.R. 4998 , Senator Lee objected.

12:03 p.m. Senator Wicker acheived UC to take up and pass S. 1822 regarding broadband.

11:45 a.m. Senators Thune and Markey spoke on the robocall bill, and passed the bill, S. 151, by voice vote.

11:38 a.m. Cloture was invoked, 71-21. 

Senators voting in favor: 31 Republicans, 39 Democrats, 1 Independent: King.

Senators voting against: 20 Republicans: Barasso, Blackburn, Braun, Cassidy, Cruz, Daines, Enzi, Ernst, Hawley, Inhofe, Johnson, Lankford, Lee, Paul, Risch, Sasse, Scott (FL), Scott (SC), and Toomey; 2 Democrats: Carper and Gillibrand.

Senators not voting: 5 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar, Udall and Warren; 2 Republicans: Cotton and Isakson; 1 Independent: Sanders.

11:03 a.m. Roll call vote began on the motion to invoke cloture on the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1865.

10:57 a.m. Senator Shelby spoke about appropriations.

10:47 a.m. Senator Leahy spoke about appropriations.

10:27 a.m. Senator Lee spoke about the pending spending measures.

10:11 a.m. Minority Leader Schumer spoke for the articles of impeachment.

10:07 a.m. These measures were placed, en bloc, on the Senator calendar: H.R.357, amendments to the tax code; H.R.1759 amendments to the Social Security Act; H.R.4018, regarding misdemeanor imprisonment.

9:34 p.m. Majority Leader McConnell spoke against the articles of impeachment that the House has lodged against President Trump.

*****

The Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m.

Following Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of House Message to accompany H.R.1865: LaborH, Ag, Energy and Water, Interior, Leg Branch, MilconVA, ForeignOps, THUD Appropriations.

11:00 a.m. – 1 roll call vote: cloture on House Message to accompany H.R.1865.

Cloture has also been filed on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R.1158: Defense, CJS, FSGG, DHS Appropriations.

At a time to be determined, the Senate will vote on confirmation of the pending nominations:

1. Anuraag Singhal to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida.

2. Karen Marston to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

3. Daniel Traynor to be United States District Judge for the District of North Dakota

4. Jodi Dishman to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma

5. John Gallagher to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

6. Bernard Jones to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma

7. Mary Vyskocil to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York

8. Kea Riggs to be United States District Judge for the District of New Mexico

9. Robert Colville to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania

10. Lewis Liman to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York

11. Gary Brown to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York

12. Stephanie Davis to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan

Cloture has also been filed on Executive Calendar #550, Stephen Biegun to be Deputy Secretary of State

 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

8:07 p.m. The Senate adjourned and will reconvene at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, December 19, to consider the measures to continue government spending through fiscal year 2020:  H.R.1865: LaborH, Ag, Energy and Water, Interior, Leg Branch, MilconVA, ForeignOps, THUD Appropriations and H.R.1158: Defense, CJS, FSGG, DHS Appropriations.

At 11:00 a.m., there will be a cloture vote on motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R.1865 (LaborH, Ag, Energy and Water, Interior, Leg Branch, MilconVA, ForeignOps, THUD Appropriations).

Upon disposition of the house message re: H.R. 1865, cloture will ripen on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1158 (Defense, CJS, FSGG, DHS Appropriations).

At a time TBD, the Senate will also vote on confirmation of pending nominations. Thursday’s votes will be taken at 10-minute intervals.

*Cloture has also been filed on Executive Calendar #550, Stephen E. Biegun, of Michigan, to be Deputy Secretary of State.

During wrap-up:

  • Confirmed: Exec. Cal. #551, Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Gabram to be Lieutenant General, as well as the all the Nominations Placed on the Secretary’s Desk in the Air Force and Army.
  • S. 153, to promote veteran involvement in STEM education, computer science, and scientific research, passed by unanimous consent.
  • H. R. 3196, Vera C. Rubin Observatory Designation Act, passed by unanimous consent.
  • S. 3105, a bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 456 North Meridian Street in Indianapolis, Indiana, as the “Richard G. Lugar Post Office”, passed by unanimous consent.
  • S. Con. Res. 31, recognizing the importance and significance of the 2020 Census and encouraging individuals, families, and households across the United States to participate in the 2020 Census to ensure a complete and accurate count, adopted by unanimous consent.
  • S. Res. 450, recognizing the 71st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the celebration of “Human Rights Day”, adopted by unanimous consent.
  • Began Rule 14 process to place on the calendar, en bloc by unanimous consent:
    • H.R. 397, Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act of 2019
    • H.R. 1759, BRIDGE for Workers Act
    • H.R. 4018, to provide that the amount of time that an elderly offender must serve before being eligible for placement in home detention is to be reduced by the amount of good time credits earned by the prisoner, and for other purposes.

****

7:31 p.m. Senator Lankford spoke about impeachment and appropriations.

7:19 p.m. Senator Cassidy spoke about health care.

7:21 p.m. Cloture was invoked on the nomination of Stephanie Davis to be US District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, 90 to 1. Senator Hirono voted No.

6:52 p.m. Roll call vote began on the nomination of Stephanie Davis to be US District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan.

6:51 p.m. Cloture was invoked on the Brown nomination, 91-2.

Senators voting against: Hirono and Sullivan.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar and Warren; 2 Republicans: Isakson and Paul; 1 Independent: Sanders.

6:34 p.m. Roll call vote began on cloture on the nomination of Gary Brown to be a Judge for the Eastern District of New York.

6:33 p.m. Majority Leader McConnell and Democrat Leader Schumer spoke about enforcing 10 minute votes tomorrow.

6:32 p.m. Cloture was invoked on the Riggs nomination, 92-1.

Senators voting against: Hirono

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar and Warren; 2 Republicans: Isakson and Paul; 1 Independent: Sanders.

6:11 p.m. Roll call vote began on cloture on the nomination of Kea Riggs to be a Judge for the District of New Mexico.

6:11 p.m. Cloture was invoked on the Vyskocil nomination, 89-4. 

Senators voting against:5 Democrats: Gillibrand, Heinrich, Hirono and Markey.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar and Warren; 2 Republicans: Isakson and Paul; 1 Independent: Sanders.

5:52 p.m. Roll call vote began on cloture on the nomination of Mary Vyskocil to be a Judge for the Southern District of New York.

5:52 p.m. Cloture was invoked on the Jones nomination, 88-5.

Senators voting against: 5 Democrats: Gillibrand, Hirono, Markey, Schatz and Schumer.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar and Warren; 2 Republicans: Isakson and Paul; 1 Independent: Sanders.

5:31 p.m. Roll call vote began on cloture on the nomination of Bernard Jones to be District Judge for Western Oklahoma.

5:30 p.m. Senator Thune achieved consent to vitiate cloture on the following nominations:

  • Robert Colville to be a Judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • Lewis Liman to be a Judge for the Southern District of New York

5:30 p.m. Cloture was invoked on the Gallagher nomination, 82-10.

Senators voting against: 10 Democrats: Bennet, Cantwell, Gillibrand, Hirono, Markey, Merkley, Murray, Schatz, Schumer and Wyden.

Senators not voting: 5 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar, Stabenow and Warren; 2 Republicans: Isakson and Paul; 1 Independent: Sanders.

5:12 p.m. Roll call vote began on cloture on the nomination of John Gallagher to be a Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

5:12 p.m. Cloture was invoked on the Dishman nomination, 76-17.

Senators voting NO: Baldwin, Blumenthal, Cantwell, Gillibrand, Heinrich, Hirono, Markey, Menendez, Merkley, Murray, Schatz, Schumer, Smith, Stabenow, Udall, Van Hollen, and Wyden.

Senators NOT voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar ane Warren;  2 Republicans: Isakson and Paul; 1 Independent: Sanders.

4:55 p.m. Roll call vote began on cloture on the nomination of Jodi Dishman to be a District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma.

4:54 p.m. Cloture was invoked on the Traynor nomination on a party line tally of 51-42.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar and Warren; 2 Republicans: Isakson and Paul; 1 Independent: Sanders.

4:39 p.m. Roll call vote began on cloture on the nomination of Daniel Traynor to be a District Judge for the District of North Dakota.

4:38 p.m. Cloture was invoked on the Marston nomination, 85-7.

Senators voting against: 7 Democrats: Gillibrand, Hirono, Markey, Merkley, Schatz, Schumer and Wyden.

Senators not voting: 5 Democrats: Booker, Duckworth, Harris, Klobuchar and Warren; 2 Republicans: Isakson and Paul; 1 Independent: Sanders.

4:00 p.m. The Senate began voting on the cloture motion on the nomination of Karen Spencer Marston to be U.S District Judge for Eastern PA.

3:52 p.m. Senator Stabenow spoke in support of the nomination of Stephanie Dawkins Davis.

3:41 p.m. Senator Cardin spoke about retirement savings.

3:31 p.m. Senator Durbin spoke about immigration and the green card backlog.

3:26 p.m. Senator Cornyn spoke about the appropriations process, the tax code, and the deficit.

3:05 p.m. Senator Warner spoke about veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

2:41 p.m. Senators Rubio and Scott spoke about the terrorist attack in Pensacola. S. Res. 457 (Condemning the terrorist attack) was agreed to by unanimous consent.

2:40 p.m Senator Thune announced that the Senate will vote on the remaining cloture motions (up to 11) at 4:00.

2:37 p.m. Cloture was invoked on the Singhal nomination, 76-18.

Senators voting in favor: 52 Republicans, 23 Democrats, 1 Independent: King.

Senators voting against: 18 Democrats: Baldwin, Bennet, Brown, Cantwell, Gillibrand, Heinrich, Hirono, Markey, Merkley, Murray, Schatz, Schumer, Smith, Stabenow, Udall, Van Hollen, Whitehouse and Wyden.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar and Warren; 1 Republican:Isakson; 1 Independent: Sanders.

1:49 p.m. Roll call vote began on cloture on the nomination of Anuraag Singhal to be a Judge for the Southern District of Florida.

1:48 p.m. The McFarland nomination was confirmed 56-38.

Senators voting in favor: 52 Republicans; 4 Democrats: Brown, Jones, Manchin and Sinema.

Senators voting against: 37 Democrats, 1 Independent: King.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar and Warren; 1 Republican:Isakson; 1 Independent: Sanders.

1:11 p.m. The Senate began a roll call vote on confirmation of the nomination of Matthew McFarland to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Ohio.

12:41 p.m. Senator Grassley spoke about FIRST STEP Act

12:19 p.m. Senator Van Hollen spoke about federal civil service.

12:01 p.m. Senator Manchin spoke on the pensions of coal miners.

11:36 a.m. Senator Cramer spoke supporting the Traynor nomination.

11:27 a.m. Senator Kennedy spoke about the 5G Spectrum Act.

11:21 a.m. Senator Hirono spoke about the shooting at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

11:11 a.m. Senator Cruz spoke about hostages Austin Tice and the Citgo Six.

11:10 a.m. The Senate invoked cloture on Matthew McFarland to be a District Judge for southern Ohio, 55-38.

Democrats in favor: Senators Brown, Jones, Manchin and Sinema.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar and Warren; 2 Republicans:Burr and Isakson; 1 Independent: Sanders.

10:39 a.m. Roll call vote began on cloture on the nomination of Matthew McFarland to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Ohio.

10:27 a.m. Democratic Leader Schumer spoke on impeachment and the appropriations bills the Senate will vote on tomorrow.

10:23 a.m. Senator Hassan achieved UC to change her vote from yes to no on vote #380.

10:08 a.m. Senator Thune spoke on the remaining agenda in the Senate this year and his accomplishments and priorities for South Dakota.

10:01 a.m. Majority Leader McConnell spoke on impeachment and the appropriations bills the Senate will vote on Thursday.

9:38 a.m.  Senator Durbin spoke on the raising of the smoking age to 21 and the increase in vaping by young people.

9:33 a.m. Senator Grassley spoke about a bill reducing prescription drug pricing, specifically discussing patients with Parkinson’s disease.

9:30 a.m. The Senate convened.

***

The Senate  will convene at 9:30 a.m. and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #382, Matthew McFarland to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Ohio.

10:30 a.m. – 1 roll call vote on cloture on the McFarland nomination.  If cloture is invoked, there will be up to 2 hours of post-cloture debate time followed by a vote on confirmation, at which time the cloture petition on the next district judge will ripen and the Senate will vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the next nomination in the order listed below.

Majority Leader McConnell has also filed cloture on the following nominations:

  • Anuraag Singhal to be a Judge for the Southern District of Florida.
  • Karen Spencer Marston to be a Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
  • Daniel Mack Traynor to be a Judge for the District of North Dakota.
  • Jodi W. Dishman to be a Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma.
  • John M. Gallagher to be a Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
  • Bernard Maurice Jones II to be a Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma.
  • Mary Kay Vyskocil to be a Judge for the Southern District of New York.
  • Kea Whetzal Riggs to be a Judge for the District of New Mexico.
  • Robert J. Colville to be a Judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
  • Lewis J. Liman to be a Judge for the Southern District of New York.
  • Gary Richard Brown to be a Judge for the Eastern District of New York.
  • Stephanie Dawkins Davis to be a Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan.

 

Cloture has also been filed on:

  • the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R.1865: LaborH, Ag, Energy and Water, Interior, Leg Branch, MilconVA, ForeignOps, THUD Appropriations and the extra items.
  • the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R.1158: Defense, CJS, FSGG, DHS Appropriations.

Absent an agreement, the cloture petitions on the appropriations bills will ripen upon disposition of the judicial nominations listed above or one hour after the Senate convenes on Thursday, whichever is later.

 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

 

5:55 p.m. Senator Whitehouse spoke on the environment.

5:45 p.m. Leader McConnell wrapped up and set the schedule.

5:08 p.m. Senator Cornyn spoke about Inspector General’s report into the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation.

4:54 p.m. Senators Ernst and Cornyn spoke supporting the Debbie Smith act. Senator Cornyn asked u.c. to pass H.R. 777, Debbie Smith Re-authorization Act of 2019. The bill was passed by u.c.

4:31 p.m. Senators Enzi and Whitehouse spoke on the bipartisan Congressional Budget Reform Act.

4:16 p.m. Senator Romney spoke honoring Commissioner Howard.

4:05 p.m. Senator Barasso spoke about the anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge.

3:48 p.m. Senator Blunt spoke about appropriations.

3:28 p.m. Senator Thune spoke about taxes.

3:17 p.m. Senator Capito spoke about appropriations.

3:11 p.m. Senator Scott (FL) spoke about Venezuela.

3:00 p.m. Senator Hyde Smith paid tribute to Senator Isakson.

2:54 p.m. Senator Gardner paid tribute to first responders, signaling out 5 Coloradoans who died in the line of duty in 2019.

2:48 p.m. Senator Manchin paid tribute to a West Virginian World War II veteran who recently passed away.

2:20 p.m. Senator Hoeven introduced Senator Cramer who gave his “official” maiden speech.

2:15 p.m. The Senate returned from the recess.

1:o4 p.m. The Senate recessed until 2:15 p.m.

12:59 p.m. Senator Inhofe spoke on the adopted NDAA conference report.

12:58 p.m. The Senate adopted the Conference report 86-8.

Senators voting against: 4 Democrats: Gillibrand, Markey, Merkley and Wyden; 4 Republicans: Braun, Enzi, Lee and Paul.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Harris, Klobuchar, and Warren; 1 Independent: Sanders; 1 Republican: Isakson.

12:02 p.m. The Senate began a roll call vote on the motion to waive the Budget Act with respect to the conference report accompanying S.1790, NDAA.

11:56 a.m. Senator Inhofe spoke supporting the S. 1790, Conference Report to accompany the Defense Authorization. Senator Inhofe moved to waive all budget points of order.

11:51 a.m. Senator Collins spoke urging support for the Conference Report to accompany S. 1790 and highlighted the repeal of the military widows tax.

11:41 a.m. Senator Jones spoke supporting the NDAA and the repeal of the widows tax.

11:20 a.m. Senator Reed spoke supporting the Conference Report to accompany S.1790, Defense Authorization.

11:16 a.m. Senator Enzi spoke on the Budget and on the budgetary impact of the NDAA.

11:07 a.m. Senator Paul spoke on the NDAA and need for fiscally responsible defense spending.

10:53 a.m. Senator Schumer spoke about impeachment trial rules.

10:46 a.m. The Senate resumed consideration of the defense bill. Senator Murray spoke about Democratic nominations to the National Labor Relations Board.

10:16 a.m. Majority Leader McConnell spoke about impeachment. He reviewed to rules in force during the Clinton impeachment and the proposal by Minority Leader Schumer. He spoke about the defense authorization.

10:02 a.m. Senator Grassley spoke about tax policy.

*****

The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m.

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the conference report accompanying S.1790, Defense Authorization.

11:45 a.m. – up to 2 roll call votes:

1.       If a budget point of order is raised, Motion to waive the Budget Act with respect to the conference report accompanying S.1790, NDAA.

2.       Adoption of the conference report accompanying S.1790, NDAA.

The Senate will recess from 12:30 p.m. until 2:15 p.m. to allow for the weekly caucus meetings.

 

 

Monday, December 16, 2019

6:48 p.m. The Senate adjourned.

6:47 p.m. Passed by UC in wrap-up: S. 457 and S.2824

6:46 p.m. ML McConnell announced two votes beginning at 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday on the motion to waive the budget act and adoption of the NDAA.

6:16 p.m. Senators Inhofe and Hoeven spoke about the NDAA.

6:15 p.m. Cloture was invoked on the Conference Report to accompany S.1790, NDAA by a vote of 76 to 6.

Senators voting NO: 4 Republicans: Braun, Enzi, Lee and Paul; 2 Democrats: Carper and Gillibrand.

Senators not voting: 9 Democrats: Bennet, Booker, Duckworth, Harris, Klobuchar, Markey, Merkley, Warren and Wyden; 8 Republicans: Cassidy, Daines, Graham, Isakson, Kennedy, Perdue, Sasse and Toomey; 1 Independent: Sanders.

5:32 p.m. Roll call vote began on the motion to invoke cloture on the Conference Report to accompany S. 1790, NDAA.

5:18 p.m. Senator King received unanimous consent to change his vote to YES on the roll call vote to confirm the nomination of Stephen Hahn to be Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Department of Health and Human Services (taken Dec. 12, 2019).

5:05 p.m. Senators Burr and Warner spoke about the Intel Authorization Act for FY 18, 19, and 20.

4:31 p.m. Majority Leader McConnell filed cloture on the following:

  • exec. cal. #382 Matthew Walden McFarland to be U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Ohio
  • exec. cal. #465 Anuraag Singhal to be U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Florida
  • exec. cal. #466 Karen Spencer Marston to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • exec. cal. #480 Daniel Mack Traynor to be U.S. District Judge for the District of North Dakota
  • exec. cal. #481 Jodi W. Dishman to be U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma
  • exec. cal. #490 John M. Gallagher to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • exec. cal. #536 Bernard Maurice Jones II to be U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma
  • exec. cal. #354 Mary Kay Vyskocil to be U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York
  • exec. cal. #383 Kea Whetzal Riggs to be U.S. District Judge for the District of New Mexico
  • exec. cal. #234 Robert J. Colville to be U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • exec. cal. #349 Lewis J. Liman to be U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York
  • exec. cal. #356 Gary Richard Brown to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York
  • exec. cal. #357 Stephanie Dawkins Davies to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan

4:12 p.m. Senator Stabenow paid tribute to Doug Conley, Democratic Policy and Communications staff member.

3:03 p.m. The Senate at 3 p.m. and resumed consideration of the conference report on the defense authorization for fiscal year 2020 (S.1790). Senator Grassley spoke about the cost of medical treatment and prescription drugs.

*****

3:00 p.m. The Senate will convene. Following Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the conference report accompanying S.1790, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will vote on cloture on the NDAA conference report.

 

Friday, December 13, 2019

The Senate convened at 11:45 a.m. for a pro forma session only, Senator Wicker presiding. No business was conducted.

The Senate will next convene at 3 p.m. on Monday, December 16, and will resume consideration of the conference report accompanying S.1790, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.

At 5:30 p.m. Monday,  the Senate will vote on cloture on the NDAA conference report.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

5:00 p.m. Senate adjourned. The Senate returns at 11:45 a.m. on Friday, December 13th for a pro forma session only, with no business conducted.

When the Senate adjourns on Friday, it will next convene at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, December 16, 2019. Following Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the conference report accompanying S.1790, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.  At 5:30pm, the Senate will vote on cloture on the NDAA conference report.

4:58 p.m. ML McConnell began wrap up.

  • Agreed to S.Con.Res.23 w/preamble amdts, honoring the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge fought during World War II, recognizing the valiant efforts of the Allied Forces in December 1944, and remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice, all of which contributed to the Allied victory in the European Theater.
  • Adopted by u.c., S.Res. 455, to authorize representation by the Senate legal counsel in the case of Richard R. John Cole vs. Senator Schumer et al.

4:11 p.m. Senator Sullivan spoke about the Alaskan of the Week.

3:53 p.m. Senator Cotton paid tribute to fallen police office Stephen Carr.

3:47 p.m. Senator Ernst paid tribute to retiring Senator Isakson.

3:34 p.m. Senator Udall spoke about constitutional war powers.

3:31 p.m ML McConnell filed cloture on conference report to accompany S. 1790, NDAA.

3:11 p.m. Senator Cornyn spoke on the USMCA and on IG Horowitz’s report.

2:43 p.m. Senator Casey spoke honoring First Lieutenant Michael Cleary of Dallas, PA who was killed in action.

2:15 p.m. Senator Thune spoke supporting legislation against robocalls.

2:13 p.m. The Senate confirmed the nomination of Stephen Hahn, of Texas, to be Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Department of Health and Human Services by a tally of 72-18.

1:43 p.m. The Senate began a roll call vote on confirmation of the nomination of Stephen Hahn to be a commissioner of the Food and Drugs Administration.

1:36 p.m. Senator Murphy spoke about the open enrollment deadline for Healthcare.gov.

1:17 p.m. Senators Manchin, Murkowski, and King spoke on energy innovation.

1:08 p.m. Senator Whitehouse spoke on health care.

12:59 p.m. Senator Cruz spoke on language in the Defense Authorization against the construction by Russia of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

12:50 p.m. Senators Menendez and Cruz spoke on and achieved UC to take up and pass S Res 150 on Armenian genocide.

12:49 p.m. The Sullivan nomination was confirmed 70-22.

Senators voting in favor: 50 Republicans; 21 Democrats; 1 Independent: King.

Senators voting against: 22 Democrats: Baldwin, Bennet, Blumenthal, Brown, Cantwell, Casey, Gillibrand, Harris, Heinrich, Hirono, Markey, Menendez, Murray, Peters, Reed, Schatz, Schumer, Smith, Stabenow, Warner, Whitehouse and Wyden.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Duckworth, Klobuchar and Warren; 3 Republicans: Burr, Isakson and Paul; 1 Independent: Sanders.

12:23 p.m. Roll call vote began on confirmation of the nomination of John Sullivan to be Ambassador to Russia.

12:22 p.m. The Skipwith nomination was confirmed 52-39.

Senators voting in favor: 49 Republicans; 3 Democrats: Jones, Manchin and Sinema.

Senators voting against: 38 Democrats; 1 Independent: King.

Senators not voting: 4 Democrats: Booker, Duckworth, Klobuchar and Warren; 4 Republicans: Burr, Isakson, Paul and Shelby; 1 Independent: Sanders.

11:45 a.m. The Senate began voting on the nomination of Aurelia Skipwith to be the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.

11:31 p.m. Senator Shaheen spoke about international family planning funding.

11:07 a.m. Senator Portman spoke about U.S. and Mexico trade deal.

10:53 a.m. Senator Durbin criticized the pace of legislative work under Senator McConnell’s leadership. He spoke about nominations. He spoke about student debt owed to for-profit colleges.

10:39 a.m. Minority Leader Schumer spoke about hate crimes against Jews in New York and New Jersey. He spoke about impeachment. He criticized Senator Graham’s reading of the Horowitz report. He spoke about tax policy.

10:29a.m. Senator Blackburn spoke about the Hong Kong protests.

10:07 a.m. Majority Leader McConnell spoke about legislative priorities and about nominations. He spoke about the defense authorization and appropriations bills. He said the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade pact may become “a casualty” of impeachment proceedings. He spoke about the House measure on drug prices.

 

*****

The Senate will convene at 10 a.m. Thursday, December 12 and will resume post-cloture consideration of the nomination of Aurelia Skipwith to be director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

There will be votes at 11:45 a.m. on confirmation of two nominations:

  • Aurelia Skipwith to be Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • John Sullivan, ambassador of the U.S. to the Russian Federation.

There will be a confirmation vote at 1:45 p.m. on the nomination of Stephen Hahn to be a commissioner of the Food and Drugs Administration.

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