Thursday, November 19, 2015

6:33 p.m. The Senate adjourned until 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30.

6:32 p.m. Via Rule 14, Senator McConnell placed on the Senate calendar H.R. 4038, requiring certain background investigations before the admission of foreign refugees to the U.S., and S. 2329, a bill to prevent the entry of extremists into the U.S. under refugee programs.

6:28 p.m. By voice votes, the Senate passed the following measures:

— S. 1550 (Ernst) to improve Title 31 of the U.S. Code;
— S. 2328 to reauthorize the National Sea Grant Colleges program;
— S.Res. 319 to make November 29 Safe Driver Sunday;
— H.Con.Res. 95, the Thanksgiving adjournment resolution;
— S.599 to extend a Medicaid emergency psychiatric demonstration project;
— S.Res. 314 to make the third Tuesday in November National Entrepreneurs Day.

6:27 p.m. By a voice vote, the Senate confirmed en bloc Exec. Cal. Nos. 379 through 382 — Coast Guard promotions, plus a nomination to the Amtrak board

By voice vote, the Senate confirmed en bloc Ex. Cal. Nos. 136 (Nat’l Foundation on the Arts & Humanities); 194 & 195 (both D.C. Superior Court); 321 &  322 (Inter-American Foundation board); 323 (Nat’l Council on the Arts); 324 (Nat’l Council on the Humanities) 336 (Congresswoman Lee of CA to be a representative to the U.N. General Assembly); 344 (USAID inspector general); 376 (EEOC) and 377 (Michael H. Michaud of Maine to be Asst. Secretary of Labor for veterans issues).

 

6:05 p.m. Senator Sullivan paid tribute to Medal of Freedom winner Bonnie Carroll of Alaska.

5:36 p.m. Senator Carper spoke about the Paris attacks and Syrian refugees.

5:18 p.m. Senator Sessions spoke about the Paris attacks and Syrian refugees.

5:06 p.m. Senator Portman spoke about the Paris attacks and Syrian refugees.

4:41 p.m. Senator Casey spoke about the Paris attacks and the refugee crisis.

4:32 p.m. Senator Brown spoke on ISIS.

4:17 p.m. Senator Roberts spoke on the Paris attacks.

3:49 p.m. Senator Murkowski spoke on genetically modified salmon and energy.

3:27 p.m. Senator Coons spoke about the Budget.

3:00 p.m. Senator Merkley spoke on Wall Street reform.

2:36 p.m. Senators Wicker and Shaheen engage in a colloquy on the 20th anniversary of the Dayton accords.

2:36 p.m. Senate proceeds to a period of morning business.

2:35 p.m. The following nominations were confirmed by voice vote:

Elisabeth I. Millard, VA, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Tajikistan.

Marc Jonathan Sievers, MD, to be Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman.

Deborah R. Malac, VA, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Uganda.

Lisa J. Peterson, VA, to be Ambassador to Swaziland.

H. Dean Pittman, DC, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Mozambique.

2:33 p.m. Nominationof Peter Bodde to be Ambassador to Libya is confirmed 95-0.

Yea’s: 51 Republicans, 43 Democrats, 1 Independents.

Senators not voting: Graham, Nelson, Rubio, Sanders, Vitter.

2:02 p.m. Roll call vote begins on the nomination of Peter Bodde to be Ambassador to Libya.

2:00 p.m. Senate proceeds to executive session to consider the following nominations:

Peter William Bodde, MD, to be Ambassador to Libya.

Elisabeth I. Millard, VA, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Tajikistan.

Marc Jonathan Sievers, MD, to be Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman.

Deborah R. Malac, VA, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Uganda.

Lisa J. Peterson, VA, to be Ambassador to Swaziland.

H. Dean Pittman, DC, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Mozambique.

1:40 p.m. Senator McCain spoke about terrorism, asks UC to take up and pass S. 2303, regarding eliminating sequestration for all security related funds.  Senator Reed objects, citing the budget control act and scope of other departments that fight terrorism.

1:18 p.m. Senator Hatch spoke about ISIS and religious liberty.

1:15 p.m. Senator Johnson spoke about Bart and Sherry Starr.  He paid tribute to the charitable work of the NFL star and his wife.

12:53 p.m. Senator Grassley spoke about terrorism.

12:50 p.m. ML McConnell withdrew both cloture motions on H.R. 2577 and called up H.R. 3996,

the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015, Part 2, that was received from the House.  H.R. 3996 was passed by voice vote.

12:35 p.m. Senator Coats began his 27th Waste of the Week speech this year.

12:31 p.m. Senator Reed said work will continue on the bill.

12:27 p.m. Senator Collins spoke about the state of the debate on H.R. 2755, Transportation HUD appropriations.  Without a change of heart, she said, completion of the Transportation HUD appropriations bill is no longer expected today.

12:23 p.m. Senator Collins asked unanimous consent that the Senate go into morning business until 2:00 p.m.

12:20 p.m. Senator Inhofe offered his amendment, #2820, as modified by the changes at the desk.  Senator Paul objected.

12:05 p.m. Senator Inhofe spoke on his amendment, #2820, to call for cooperation between NOAA and the FAA as they develop a next generaion radar system.  He is preparing to offer the amendment.

12:00 p.m. Senator Hirono spoke on immigration.

11:46 p.m. Senator Cornyn spoke on the Transportation Appropriations bill and International Adoption Month.

11:43 p.m. Senator Cornyn asked to call up his amendment #2844 to H.R. 2577, Senator Paul objected and asked unanimous consent to bring up his amendment #2843 to H.R. 2577, Senator Collins objected.

11:33 p.m. At 2:00 p.m., the Senate will vote on the following nominations:

Peter William Bodde, MD, to be Ambassador to Libya.

Elisabeth I. Millard, VA, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Tajikistan.

Marc Jonathan Sievers, MD, to be Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman.

Deborah R. Malac, VA, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Uganda.

Lisa J. Peterson, VA, to be Ambassador to Swaziland.

H. Dean Pittman, DC, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Mozambique.

***

11:14 p.m. Senator Murphy spoke on the Paris attacks and refugees.

10:58 a.m. Senator Cruz rebutted Senators Leahy and Durbin.

10:54 a.m. Senator Durbin spoke against Senator Cruz’s legislation.

10:50 a.m. Senator Leahy spoke against Senator Cruz’s refugee bill.

10:45 a.m. Senator Cruz spoke for S. 247, which would strip citizenship from any American who joins the Islamic State.  He also spoke for S. 2302, a bill to block the immigration of refugees from Syria.

10:44 a.m. Senator Cruz sought passage, by unanimous consent, of S. 247 and S. 2302. Senator Durbin objected to considering both measures.

10:14 a.m. Minority Leader Reid spoke about policies for admitting Syrian refugees into the U.S.

10:10 a.m. Senator McConnell completed Rule 14 procedings to place on the Senate calendar H.R. 3762, the continuing resolution on  federal spending.

10:03 a.m. Majority Leader McConnell spoke the the U.S. procedures for accepting Syrian refugees and the administration’s policy on the Syrian civil war. He spoke against transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay to facilities in the continental U.S.

10:02 a.m. Senator Thune welcomed a visiting pastor who offered the morning prayer, Jeff Wheeler of Central Baptist Church in Sioux Falls, SD.

* * * * *

The Senate will convene at 10 a.m. to resume consideration of H.R. 2577, the 2016 appropriation for the Departments of Transportation and Housing & Urban Development.

The filing deadline is 1 p.m. for amendments to the bill and to the Collins-reed substitute (Amendment #2812).

 Cloture has been filed on the Collins-Reed substitute amendment and on the underlying appropriations bill.  Unless there is an intervening time agreement, there will be a cloture vote on the substitute one hour after the Senate convenes on Friday .

Besides the Collins-Reed substitute (#2812), there is one amendment pending, the Collins second-degree amendment (#2813) to the substitute, a technical amendment.