Wednesday, May 17, 2016


8:13 p.m. The Senate adjourned and will reconvene at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 19 to resume consideration of H.R. 2577, the Transportation-HUD-MilCon-VA appropriations bill.

8 :11 p.m. By unanimous consent, the Senate passed S. Res. 471, to make the week of May 15 National Public Works week, and H.R. 2814, to name a VA clinic in Sevierville, TN, for Danny Carr.

8:10 p.m. In executive session, the Senate took up and confirmed en bloc Executive Calendar Numbers 547 through 551 (promotions of Coast Guard officers) and all Foreign Service nominations at the secretary’s desk.

8:09 p.m. Senator Collins secured consent for this business on Thursday: At 11:15 a.m. all post-cloture time will be considered expired on the Blunt-Murray Zika amendment (#3900); if cloture is invoked on the Collins substitute (#3896), then the Cornyn and Nelson amendments (#3899 and #3898) will be withdrawn; Senator Collins will be recognized to call up her amendment (#3970); no second-degree amendments will be in order to the Collins amendment (#3970) or the Lee amendment (#3997).

At 11:15 a.m. Thursday, three roll-calls are expected: a motion to waive the Budget Act for the Blunt-Murray Zika amendment; adoption of the Blunt-Murray amendment; and cloture on the pending substitute.   Additional votes should be expected.

8:06 p.m.:  Senator Collins proposed and by voice vote the Senate passed these amendments en bloc: Kirk #3997; Tester#3998; Perdue #3933; Mikulski #4030; Daines #4008; Brown #3920; Inhofe #3969; Boxer, as modified, #3935; Flake #4038; Manchin #4033; Flake #3980; Feinstein #3944; Johnson #3993; Kobuchar #3910; Heller #4005; Durbin #4029; Sasse #4023.

7:56 p.m. Senator Collins secured consent for these amendments to be brought up en bloc: Paul #3967, Johnson #3992, Nelson #4011, Isakson #4024 and Warner #4042. The Senate passed these amendments en bloc, by voice vote.

7:19 p.m. Senator Moran spoke about a memorial to teachers.

6:59 p.m. Senator Murkowski spoke for the appropriations bill. She also spoke about the new health care law.

6:51 p.m. Senator Boozman spoke in favor of the overall spending bill and its transportation provisions.

6:43 p.m. Senator Reed spoke against Senator Lee’s amendment.

6:23 p.m. Senator Collins spoke against Senator Lee’s amendment. She described her amendment to forbid HUD from making local zoning decisions.

6:12 p.m. Senator Lee spoke against a new housing rule financed in the bill. He spoke about his amendment (#3897) to forbid spending to implement the new rule.

6:10 p.m. Senator Blumenthal spoke about the veterans amendment, now pending to the appropriations bill.

6:09 p.m. Senator Schumer said agreement has been reached to address the veterans issues in the defense bill.

6:01 p.m. Senator Warner spoke in support of the veterans measure and spoke about his infrastructure financing amendment.

6 p.m. Senator McCain secured consent to call up Amendment #4039, to extend the veterans Choice Card program.

5:46 p.m. Senator Blunt spoke about veterans and infrastructure aspects of the appropriations bill. 5:41 p.m. Senator Blumenthal spoke in support of the Choice Card amendment.

5:33 p.m. Senator McCain spoke about his amendment (#4039) to extend the veterans “Choice Card” program and sought unanimous consent to bring up the measure. Senator Schumer objected.

5:23 p.m. Senator Coons spoke about Iran’s role in the conflicts in Iraq and Syria.

5:12 p.m. Senator Coats spoke about addiction and about government waste.

4:52 p.m. Senator Portman spoke about prescription drug addiction.

4:03 p.m. Senator Toomey spoke about his amendment regarding sanctuary cities, asks UC to make his amendment pending.  Senator Reed objected.

3:54 p.m. Senator Grassley spoke on his amendment regarding veterans having firearms.

3:39 p.m. Senators Gillibrand and Grassley spoke on the Police Safety Officers Benefit Improvement Act.

3:33 p.m. Senator Murray spoke about labor issues.

3:20 Senator Rubio spoke about Global Ministries Foundation housing.

3:07 p.m. Senator Collins spoke on an amendment she is planning to offer and HUD’s role w/r/t local zoning ordinances.

3:00 p.m. Senator Isakson spoke on housing and neighborhoods.

2:40 p.m. Senator Lankford spoke on funding the fight against Zika. Sen. Lankford asked for UC to set aside the pending amendment to bring up his amendment, #3955.  Senator Nelson objected.

2:34 p.m. Senator Cornyn objected, arguing that the Zika spending under the Blunt-Murray provision would pass tomorrow as part of the pending appropriations bill.

2:30 p.m. Senator Murray sought consent to debate H.R. 3038, on Zika funds, accept the Blunt-Murray substitute, and vote on passage of the amended bill later today.

2:25 p.m. Senator Cornyn objected.

2:20 p.m. Senator Reid sought consent to debate H.R. 3038, adopt the Nelson substitute on funds to fight Zika and later vote on the bill..

2:14 p.m. Senator Reid joined in the colloquy about Zika.

2:13 p.m. Senator Cornyn engaged in a colloquy with Senator Nelson about Zika.

2:11 p.m. Senator Nelson spoke about the Zika virus.

2 p.m. Senator Murphy spoke about a fair housing amendment to the pending housing appropriation.

1:40 p.m. Senator Manchin spoke about prescription drug addiction.

1:37 p.m. Senator Alexander spoke about the prospective construction of wind turbines in a scenic area of Tennessee.

1:34 p.m. Senator Leahy praised the passage of the Police Act.

1:32 p.m. Senator Cornyn secured consent to take up the Police Act, S. 2840, to provide active shooter training. The Senate passed the bill by voice vote.

1:19 p.m. Senator Grassley spoke about the HUD bill.

12:59 p.m. Senator McCain spoke about the Affordable Care Act.

12:44 p.m. Senator Fischer spoke about the THUD/MilConVA appropriations bill.

12:30 p.m. Senator Stabenow spoke on the Supreme Court’s vacancy.

12:14 p.m. Senator Sullivan spoke about the economy.

12:04 p.m. Senator Cornyn spoke about National Police Week.

12:00 p.m. Senator Collins spoke about fair housing in HUD bill.

11:48 a.m. Senator Kaine spoke about racism in housing.

11:32 a.m. Senator Hatch spoke about the Affordable Care Act.

11:06 a.m. Senator Collins spoke on the appropriations process and H.R. 2577, the THUD/MilConVA appropriations bill.

10:28 a.m. Senator Leahy spoke on Cuba and a Vermont/Cuba baseball exchange.

10:00 a.m. Senators Barrasso and Gardner spoke on the Affordable Care Act.

9:51 a.m. Senator Thune spoke on the Zika virus and the Affordable Care Act.

9:40 a.m. DL Reid responded on the Affordable Care Act and the Supreme Court vacancy.

9:33 a.m. ML McConnell spoke on the pending appropriations bills before turning to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy and the Affordable Care Act.


The Senate convened at 9:30 a.m.

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of Morning business for one hour.

Following Morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R.2577, the THUD/MilConVA Appropriations bill.

ML McConnell filed cloture on both the Collins substitute amendment #3896 and the underlying bill H.R.2577, the THUD/MilConVA Appropriations bill.

Unless an agreement is reached, the post-cloture time on the Blunt-Murray amendment #3900 (Zika funding) will expire at approximately 9:40 p.m.