Monday January 11, 2016

6:44 p.m. In wrap-up the Senate passed S.Res. 343, relative to the death of Arkansas former Senator Dale Bumpers.  The Senate adjourned at until 10:00 a.m. Tuesday January 11.

6:21 p.m. Senator Whitehouse gave a speech on global warming.

6:21 p.m. The Senate confirmed Luis Restrepo to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the 3rd Circuit by a roll call vote of 82-6.  Senators Blunt, Inhofe, Lee, Risch, Sessions and Shelby opposed the nomination.  Senators Cassidy, Coats, Crapo, Cruz, Franken, Graham, Isakson, Rubio, Sanders, Scott, Stabenow and Vitter did not vote.

5:27 p.m. Senator Leahy spoke in support of the Restrepo nomination and vote.

5:22 p.m. Senator Brown spoke of his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

5:15 p.m. Senato Nelson spoke to highlight that the House passed a Senate-passed bill requiring child proofing of liquid nitrogen containers used in e-cigarettes.  He brought liquid nitrogen on the Senate floor.

5:01 p.m. Senator Toomey spoke in support of the Restrepo nomination.

4:50 p.m. Senator Klobuchar spoke in support of the nomination of Sam Heinz of Minnesota to be Ambassador to Norway.

4:30 p.m. Senator Peters paid tribute to a departing staffer.

4:00 p.m. Senator Cornyn spoke on the Freedom of Information Act being debated in the House.

3:30 p.m. Senator Hoeven spoke about the NYT’s article on Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

3:15 p.m. Senator Boozman paid tribute to Sen. Dale Bumpers.

3:10 p.m. Senator Cotton spoke about Law Enforcement Day and paid tribute to Sen. Dale Bumpers.

3:00 p.m. Senator Brown spoke eon the ability to finally see the text of the Transparency Partnerships and the langue regarding the auto industry.

2:33 p.m. Senator Durbin spoke on the President’s upcoming State of the Union speech.

2:10 p.m. Senator Reid gave thanks to the Senate Chaplain and paid tribute to Sen. Dale Bumpers.

2:00 p.m. The Senate convened and proceeded with a period of Morning Business.

The Chair laid before the Senate the President’s Veto Message to S.J. Res. 23 (A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of a rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to “Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units”). The Veto Message was held at the desk.

The Chair laid before the Senate the President’s Veto Message to S.J. Res. 24 (A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of a rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units”). The Veto Message was held at the desk.

S. 2434 (Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection Act). The bill was read for a second time. Further consideration of the bill was objected to and the bill was placed on the Calendar.

The Senate will convene at 2:00 p.m.; at which time it will be in a period of morning business until 5:00 p.m.

At 5:00 p.m., proceed to Executive Session to consider the nomination of Luis Restrepo to be US Circuit Judge for the 3rd Circuit, with a vote on the nomination at 5:30 p.m.

Tomorrow, January 12, at 2:30 p.m. the Senate will conduct a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S. 2232, requiring a full audit of the Board of Governors.

Monday January 4, 2016

The Senate convened for a pro forma only and adjourned until Monday, January 11th at 2:00 p.m.

Senator Hatch was in the chair.

***

Friday, December 18, 2015

4:25 p.m. Senate adjourns Sine Die.

4:20 p.m. Senator Perdue comes back for more wrap-up.

Items passed by UC: S. 1893, reauthorizing programs related to mental health and substance abuse disorders.

Nominations confirmed en bloc:

#332 and #333 David Robinson to be Coordinator of Reconstruction, and Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict Stabilization Operations.

#383 Suzette Kimball to be Director of the United States

#424 Carlos Torres to be Deputy Director of the Peace Corps.

#432 Shoshana Lew to be Chief Financial Officer, Department of Transportation.

#438 Patrick Murphy to be Under Secretary of the Army.

Unanimous consent was achieved that all judicial nominations received during this first session remain in status quo into the second session, with the exception of the following:

PN #128: Stuart Delery to be Associate Attorney General.

PN #214: Cono Namorato to be Assistant Attorney General.

Unanimous consent was achieved that when the Senate adjourns it do so until January 4, 2016 at 12:00 noon for a pro forma session only.  Following the pro forma session on January 4 , adjourn until Monday January 11th at 2:00 p.m.; and be in a period of morning business until 5:00 p.m. At 5:00 p.m., proceed to Executive Session to consider the nomination of Luis Restrepo to be US Circuit Judge for the 3rd Circuit.

3:35 p.m. Senate recesses subject to the call of the Chair.

3:29 p.m. Senator Perdue does a brief wrap-up.  Offers motion to proceed to S. 2232, requiring a full audit of the Board of Governors, and files cloture on the motion to proceed to the bill.  The cloture vote is scheduled to occur at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday January 12, 2016.

Items passed by UC:  S. 1115, regarding closing out expired, empty grant accounts.

S. Res 342: Congratulating the womens volleyball team of Wheeling Jesuit University.

H Con Res 104: The adjournment resolution.

HR 4188: Authorizing appropriations for the Coast Guard for 2016 and 2017.

UC that President of the Senate, President Pro Tempore, Majority Leader and Democratic Leader be authorized to make appointments.

UC that Senators Capito and Cotten be authorized to sign duly enrolled bills or joint resolutions from today, Friday December through Monday January 11th, 2016.

S. 2434 has its first reading.  S. 2434 is a bill to provide that any executive action that infringes on the powers and duties of Congress under Section 86 article one of the Constitution or the second amendment has no force or effect, and to prohibit the use of funds for certain purposes.

***

1:55 Senator Sullivan spoke on passage of the omnibus bill and the broken appropriations process.

1:10 p.m. Senator Udall spoke on passage of the bill last night related to the toxic substances control act.

1:06 p.m. Senator Gillibrand spoke on healthcare for 9/11 first responders, particularly Ray Pfeifer.

12:34 p.m. Senator Cardin spoke the 150th Anniversary of Towson University and the omnibus. As well as foreign relations nominations.

12:11 p.m. Senator Hatch spoke on the Tax Extenders legislation and Puerto Rico’s financial crisis.

12:09 p.m. Senator Grassley paid tribute to the 150th Anniversary of the University of Iowa’s College of Law.

12:01 p.m. ML McConnell passes by voice vote S. 2425, regarding social security.  Passes by UC: HR 1321 regarding the food, drug and cosmetic act, S. 2152, establishing a government policy, S. Res 338, regarding Towson University, S. Res 339, regarding the University of Iowa.

ML McConnell thanked wished Happy Holidays to all Senators and  Senate support staff.

12:00 noon: HR 2029 agreed to 65-33.

Senators voting in favor: 27 Republicans, 37 Democrats, 1 Independent (King).

Senators voting NO:

26 Republicans: Boozman, Burr, Cassidy, Cotton, Crapo, Cruz, Daines, Enzi, Ernst, Fischer, Flake, Grassley, Lee, McCain, Moran, Paul, Portman, Risch, Sasse, Scott, Sessions, Shelby, Sullivan, Thune, Toomey, Vitter.

6 Democrats: Manchin, Markey, McCaskill, Merkley, Tester, Wyden.

1 Independent: Sanders.

Senators not voting: Boxer and Rubio.

11:32 a.m. Senate begins voting on passage.

11:30 a.m. Motion to waive the budget point or order is agreed to 73-25.

Senators voting in favor of motion to waive:  37 Republicans, 36 Democrats.

Senators voting against motion to waive:

16 Republicans: Burr, Cassidy, Crapo, Cruz, Daines, Enzi, Fischer, Flake, Lankford, Lee, Paul, Portman, Risch, Sasse, Sessions, Shelby.

7 Democrats: Carper, Manchin, McCaskill, Mendendez, Tester, Warner, Warren.

2 Independents: King, Sanders.

Senators not voting: Boxer and Rubio.

11:15 a.m. Roll call vote began on the motion to waive the Manchin budget point of order.

11:13 a.m. Motion to table NOT agreed to 31-67.

Senators voting in favor of tabling:

29 Republicans: Boozman, Burr, Cassidy, Cochran, Crapo, Cruz, Daines, Enzi, Ernst, Fischer, Flake, Gardner, Grassley, Heller, Lankford, Lee, McCain, Moran, Paul, Portman, Risch, Sasse, Scott, Sessions, Shelby, Sullivan, Thune, Toomey, Vitter.

1 Democrat: Manchin.

1 Independent: Sanders.

Senators voting against tabling: 24 Republicans, 42 Democrats, 1 Independent (King).

Senators not voting: Boxer and Rubio.

10:56 a.m. Vote begins on motion to table the first House amendment.

10:54 a.m. Cloture invoked on motion to concur in House amendments on HR 2029, Omnibus 72-26.

Senators voting in favor: 30 Republicans, 41 Democrats, 1 Independent (King).

Senators voting NO:

23 Republicans: Bozeman, Cassidy, Cotton, Crapo, Cruz, Daines, Enzi, Ernst, Fischer, Flake, Lee, McCain, Moran, Paul, Risch, Sasse, Scott, Sessions, Shelby, Sullivan, Thune, Toomey.

2 Democrats: Manchin, Tester.

1 Independent: Sanders

Senators not voting: Boxer and Rubio.

10:29 a.m. The cloture vote began on the omnibus.

10:25 a.m. The Senate received a message from the House on the omnibus (H.R. 2029). Senator McConnell moved to concur in the House amendments and took the steps required for a cloture vote.

10:21 a.m. Senator Flake sought unanimous consent for passage of S. 145. Senator Cardin sought consent to modify the request by adding a package of 11 such lands-related bills. Senator Cruz sought to object to a series of nominations. Senator Cardin explained that the consent at issue is for lands bills. Senator Cruz objected to the lands bills as well.

10:20 a.m. Senator Cochran spoke for the bill.

10:09 a.m. Senator Mikulski spoke in favor of the omnibus.

9:57 a.m. Senator Hatch spoke about the functioning of the Senate.

9:39 a.m. Minority Leader Reid offered his view of the Senate’s accomplishments this year. He paid tribute to a number of his staffers and colleagues.

9:32 a.m. Majority Leader McConnell enumerated arguments in favor of the omnibus spending and tax bill. He offered his view of the Senate’s accomplishments this year.

* * *

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

When the House-passed omnibus spending and tax bill (H.R. 2029) arrives, a sequence of up to four votes is expected.

(The House is scheduled to begin votes as early as 9:15 a.m.)

Majority Leader McConnell will be recognized for a motion to concur with the House amendments to the omnibus. If cloture is filed on that motion, a cloture vote will occur immediately.

If cloture is invoked, Senator McConnell will move to table the first House amendment. If a budget point of order is raised after disposition of that motion, Senator McConnell will move to waive the point of order.

Following disposition of that motion on the budget waiver, the Senate will vote on a motion to concur in the House amendments — unless the motion to table is successful or the budget point of order is sustained.

 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

7:16 p.m. The Senate adjourned until 9:30 a.m. Friday.

7:11 p.m. By voice votes, the Senate passed these measures:

— H.Con. Res. 102, to provide for a joint session of Congress for the State of the Union address;

— H.J.Res. 76, to set the date to convene the second session of the 114th Congress;

— S.227, to strengthen the federal education research system;

— S.Res. 148, to condemn Iran’s sponsorship of persecution;

— H.R. 515, to protect children from exploitation;

— S. 2261, to amend Title 18 of the Social Security Act;

— H.R. 4246, regarding means testing;

— S. 284, to provide sanctions for gross violations of human rights.

7:10 p.m. By voice vote, en bloc, the Senate confirmed the nominations of Robert A. Salerno and Darlene Michele Soltys to the D.C. Superior Court.

6:25 p.m. Senator Udall spoke in favor of S. 2576.

6:22 p.m. By voice vote, the Senate passed S. 2576, to revise the Toxic Substances Control Act. Senator Inhofe brought it up by consent.

6:15 p.m. Senator Inhofe spoke about the omnibus bill.

6:07 p.m. Senator Isakson spoke about improvements in the Veterans Administration.

5:47 p.m. Senator Sasse hypothesized a Donald Trump administration in order to warn against excessive executive power.

5:46 p.m. Senator Moran paid tribute to a departing staffer, Brian Perkins.

5:42 p.m. Senator Moran spoke about the effect of the National Labor Relations Act on Indian tribes. He sought consent to pass a related bill S.248). Senator Brown objected.

5:22 p.m. Senator Wyden spoke in favor f certain tax provisions in the omnibus. Senator Brown joined him in a colloquy.

5:11 p.m. Senator Lee spoke against the omnibus spending and tax bill.

5:03 p.m. Senator Durbin spoke about Puerto Rico.

4:57 p.m. Senator Blumenthal spoke on the financial crisis in Puerto Rico.

4:46 p.m. Senator Menendez spoke on the financial crisis in Puerto Rico.

4:37 p.m. Senator Cantwell spoke on the financial crisis in Puerto Rico.

4:29 p.m. Senator Nelson spoke on the financial crisis in Puerto Rico.

4:26 p.m. Senator Donnelly spoke on Iran.

3:50 p.m. Senator Hatch spoke about accomplishments of the Senate and in particular the Finance committee this year, healthcare, the Families First Act, the debt crisis in Puerto Rico.

3:24 p.m. Senator McCain spoke about the omnibus.

3:11 p.m. Senator Cornyn spoke on the omnibus and tax extenders bills, and accomplishments of the first session of this 114th Congress.

2:56 p.m. Senator Corker spoke on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, before turning to discuss modern slavery.

2:52 p.m. Senator Mikulski spoke about the omnibus and the FDA.

2:40 p.m. Senators Wicker and Booker spoke about railroad enhancement and efficiency.

2:30 p.m. Senator Murkowski spoke about the elimination of barriers to export of American-produced oil.

2:20 p.m. Senators Heitkamp and Heinrich had a colloquy on oil production.

2:01 p.m. Senator Thune paid tribute to his Commerce Committee staff director, who is leaving the Senate.

1:22 p.m. Senator Grassley spoke about the omnibus bill and the EB-5 visa provision.

1:12 p.m. Senator Casey spoke about the Small Business Act.

1:05 p.m. McConnell UC that when the Senate receives a message from the House to accompany H.R. 2029  (omnibus bill) that he be recognized to make a motion to concur with the house amendments. If a cloture motion is filed on that motion the Senate will vote immediately on the motion to invoke cloture and if cloture is invoked Senator McConnell will be recognized to make a motion to table the first house amendment. Following disposition of that motion and if a budget point of order is raised, Senator McConnell will be recognized to waive the point of order. Following dispostion of that motion, the Senate will then vote on a motion to concur in the House amendments, unless the motion to table is successful or the budget point of order is sustained.

1:04 p.m. Senator Collins spoke about the Small Business Act.

12:55 p.m. Senator Flake spoke on Alan Gross’s release from Cuba.

12:42 p.m. Senator Leahy spoke about Alan Gross’s release from Cuba.

12:15 p.m. Senator McCain spoke on National Security Issues for 2015.

12:10 p.m. Senator Warner, Manchin, Johnson and King spoke on tax provisions.

11:40 a.m. Senator Manchin spoke against the tax provisions in the Omnibus.

10:34 a.m. Senator Durbin paid tribute to Education Secretary Arne Duncan. He also criticized for-profit colleges.

10:28 a.m. Senator Sullivan sought unanimous consent to pass the Coast Guard reauthoritation. Senator Coons objected.

10:19 a.m. Senator Durbin described the plight of Syrian refugees.

10:13 a.m. Senator Reid expressed regret that the omnibus does not address the issue of Puerto Rico’s debt.

10:12 a.m. Senator McConnell echoed Senator Reid’s assessment of their relationship and said it is possible for partisan leaders to disagree without crossing into personal animosity.

10:08 a.m. Minority Leader Reid took issue with a news report of bad blood between himself and Senator McConnell. Senator Reid expressed admiration for Senator McConnell and said that their relationship is sound.

10:02 a.m. Majority Leader McConnell described and endorsed elements of the omnibus tax and spending bill.

* * * * *

The Senate will convene at 10 a.m. and will be in morning business until 6 p.m.

No votes have yet been scheduled for today.

A new continuing spending resolution is in effect through December 22.

The House will take up the 2016 omnibus spending and tax legislation this morning.

The Senate is expected to take up the omnibus after it clears the House.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

6:52 p.m. The Senate adjourned and will reconvene at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 17. They will be in morning business until 6:00 p.m. There are no votes scheduled.

6:45 p.m. The following nominations were confirmed en bloc:

  • #269-Thomas O. Melia to be Assistant Administrator of USAID.
  • #433-Gabriel Camarillo to be an Assistant Secretary of the Air Force
  • #435-Marcel John Lettre, II to be Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
  • #436-Vice Admiral Kurt W. Tidd to be Admiral
  • #437-Thomas Edgar Rothman to be a member of the National Council on the Arts

Privileged nomination #892, Steven Michael Haro to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce, was confirmed by voice vote.

The following bills were passed by voice vote:

  • H.R.3831 amend title 18 of the Social Security Act.
  • S. 1616 Identification of improper payments.
  • S. Res. 189 Expressing Sense of the Senate regarding the 25th anniversary of democracy in Mongolia.
  • S. Res. 320 Congratulating the people of Burma on peaceful elections.
  • S. Res. 326 Celebrating 135th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the US and Romania.
  • S. Res. 310 Condemning ongoing sexual violence against women and children from Yezidi, Christian, Shabak, Turkmen and other religious communities by Islamic militants.

 

 

5:50 p.m. H.J.Res 78, the continuing resolution through Dec. 22, was agreed to by voice vote.

5:30 Senator Murkowski and Senator Cantwell spoke about the funding for wildfire provisions in the omnibus bill.

4:47 p.m. Senator Sessio spoke on the ominibus appropriations bill and expressed his disapproval of the immigration provisions in the bill (specifically, the H2B1 Visa program).

4:37 p.m. Senator Enzi spoke about a Christmas ornament that portrays the oil, coal, uranium and agriculture businesses around his hometown of Gillette, Wyoming. Some senior citizens from Gillette asked him to give it to President Obama.

4:28 p.m. Senator Blumenthal spoke in favor of a measure to condemn acts of sexual violence by members of the Islamic State. He proposed a measure to provide care for victims.

4:14 p.m. Senator Inhofe spoke in favor of the repeal of the ban on U.S. oil exports.

3:54 p.m. Senator Markey spoke against the repeal of the ban on U.S. oil exports.

3:51 p.m. Senator Gardner paid tribute to Colorado police officers killed in the line of duty.

3:31 p.m. Senator Cornyn spoke about the Senate’s legislative record this year.

3:13 p.m. Senator Hoeven spoke in favor of the repeal of the ban on U.S. oil exports.

2:10 p.m. Senator Alexander enters into a colloquy with Senators Portman, Baldwin, Ayotte, and Casey on the Perkins loan program.  At end of colloquy, acheives UC to pass HR 3594, temporary extension of the program.

2:01 p.m. Senators Toomey and Casey spoke on the Correctional Officers Protection Act, granted UC to take up and pass the bill, S. 238.

1:30 p.m. Senator Nelson spoke about private rocket development and also about the Coast Guard.

1:19 p.m. Senator Durbin spoke about satellite launching rockets.

12:47 p.m. Senator Blunt spoke on the omnibus and NIH research.

12:34 p.m. Senator Franken spoke on the climate negotiations in Paris.

12:07 p.m. Senator McCain spoke on the omnibus and Russian rocket engines.

11:23 a.m. Senator Hatch described tax provisions in the omnibus. He paid tribute to the late Nate Graham of Utah, a longtime Senate staffer.

11:18 a.m. Senator Warner paid tribute Kevin Strickland if Virginia, a federal mine safety official.

11:03 a.m. ML McConnell and DL Reid use their leader time to give brief remarks on the omnibus.

***

The Senate will convene at 11 a.m. and will be in morning business until 6 p.m.

The omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016 has been released. The short-term spending resolution expires at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

7:06 p.m. Senate adjourns until 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 16.

7:03 p.m. ML McConnell wraps up the Senate for the evening.

Nominations confirmed by Unanimous Consent:

# 378 Anthony Coscia to be a Director of the Amtrak Board of Directors.

# 380 Derek Tai-Ching Kan to be Director of the Amtrak Board of Directors.

#427 Dana Boente to be a US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

#428 Robert Capers to be a US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

#429 John Fishwick to be a US Attorney for the Western District of Virginia.

#430 Emily Rice to be a US Attorney for the District of New Hampshire.

Unanimous Consent was achieved that a time to be determined, take up the following nominations, for 30 minutes each, after which vote on each nomination.  ML McConnell indicated he intends to bring them up before the Presidents Day recess.

#305 Wilhelmina Wright to be US District Judge for the District of Minnesota.

#306 John Vasquez to be US District Judge for the District of New Jersey.

#360 Rebecca Ebinger to be US District Judge for the Southern District of Iowa.

#361 Leonard Strand to be US District Judge for the Northern District of Iowa.

Unanimous consent was achieved that all judicial nominations received during this first session remain in status quo into the second session.

Items passed by UC: S. Res 336, regarding Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer.

Finally, UC that Senate adjourn until 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, be in a period of morning business until 6:00 p.m.

***

6:45 p.m. Senator Inhofe achieves UC to pass S. 571, regarding a pilots bill of rights.

5:04 p.m. Senator Sullivan spoke on the Iran nuclear deal.

Morning business has been extended until 6 p.m.

***

4:29 p.m. Senator Grassley spoke on the Inspectors General Empowerment Act and asked unanimous consent to proceed to and pass S.579 and the Johnson substitute. Senator Reid objected.

4:23 p.m. Senator Johnson spoke in favor of the Inspectors General Empowerment Act.

4:18 p.m. Senator McCaskill spoke in favor of the Inspectors General Empowerment Act.

3:55 p.m. Senator Grassley spoke on Iran’s nuclear program.

3: 15 p.m. Senator Cornyn spoke about ISIS.

12:23 p.m. Senate stands in recess until 2:15 p.m.

12:10 p.m. Senator Udall speaks in favor of the nomination of Roberta Jacobson to be Ambassador to Mexico.

12:01 p.m. Senator Barrasso spoke about the Paris climate agreement.

11:51 a.m. Senator Cardin spoke about his work to fight anti-semitism and racism in partership with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

11:33 a.m. Senator Lee spoke in tribute of Boyd Matheson, his departing chief of staff.

10:28 a.m. Senator Coons spoke on Iran’s nuclear program.

10:29 a.m. Senator Leahy spoke on the Marketplace Fairness Act.

10:16 a.m. Senator Durbin spoke on the Marketplace Fairness Act.

10:04 a.m.  Senator Reid spoke on appropriations.

10:03 a.m.  ML McConnell spoke briefly on appropriations.

• The Senate will convene at 10:00am and proceed to a period of morning business until 5:00 p.m.

• The Senate will recess from 12:30pm until 2:15pm to allow for the weekly caucus luncheons.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Senate adjourned at 6:34 p.m. and will reconvene at 10:00 am on Tuesday, December 15th  and will be in a period of morning business until 5:00 p.m. 

6:22 p.m. The Senate confirmed the Starzak nomination by a vote of 45 to 34.  Senate also confirmed en bloc the Conger, Welby and Parker nominations.

5: 28 p.m. Senator Reed and Feinstein spoke in favor of the Starzak nomination.

5:03 p.m. The Senate proceeded to executive session to consider the nominations listed below.

4:35 p.m. Senator Durbin spoke about Donald Trump’s comments and the need to practice tolerance toward Muslim Americans.

3:00 p.m. Leader McConnell opened the Senate saying there is a lot of progress being made on appropriations bills and the tax relief measure that needs to be completed this week.

The Senate will convene at 3 p.m.

At 5 p.m., the Senate will consider the nomination of Alissa M. Starzak to be General Counsel of the Department of the Army.

At about 5:30 p.m., the Senate will vote on confirmation of the Starzak nomination.

Following disposition of the Starzak nomination, the Senate will consider these nominations, with voice votes expected on confirmation:

o    John Conger to be a Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense

o    Stephen P. Welby to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense

o    Franklin R. Parker to be an Assistant Secretary of the Navy

The new, short-term continuing resolution on spending will expire December 16.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Senate is not in session today.

The Senate will next convene at 3 p.m. Monday, December 14.

At 5 p.m. Monday, the Senate will consider the nomination of Alissa M. Starzak to be General Counsel of the Department of the Army.

At about 5:30 p.m., the Senate will vote on confirmation of the Starzak nomination.

Following disposition of the Starzak nomination, the Senate will consider these nominations, with voice votes expected on confirmation:

o    John Conger to be a Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense

o    Stephen P. Welby to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense

o    Franklin R. Parker to be an Assistant Secretary of the Navy

The new, short-term continuing resolution on spending will expire December 16.

Thursday, December, 10, 2015

6:32 p.m The Senate has adjourned until 3:00 p.m. Monday, December 14th. At 5:00 p.m. there will be a roll call vote on exec. cal. #393, confirmation of Alissa Starzak, NY, to be General Counsel of the Department of the Army and the following nominations will be confirmed by voice vote: 

  • exec. cal. #394 – John Conger, MD, to be Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense
  • exec. cal. #395 – Stephen P. Welby, MD, to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense
  • exec. cal. #396 – Franklin R. Parker, IL, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Navy

*The Senate passed H.R. 2250, as amended with H.J. Res 75 (5 day continuing resolution), by voice vote during today’s session.

During wrap-up

The following nominations were confirmed en bloc by unanimous consent:

  • Exec. cal. #397 through 414
  • All nominations on the Secretary’s desk in the Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Foreign Service.

The following nominations were confirmed en bloc by voice vote:

  • PN-714 – Richard Hallworth, MS, to be a Member of the Board of Directors, Department of Energy
  • exec. cal. #385 – Cherry Ann Murray, KS, to be Director of the Office of Science, Department of Energy
  • exec. cal. #392 – Eric Drake Eberhard, WA, to be a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation
  • exec. cal. #426 – Darryl L. DePriest, IL, to be Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Small Business Administration

The following legislation was agreed to by unanimous consent:

  • S. 142 – To require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to promulgate a rule to require child safety packaging for liquid nicotine container.
  • S.209 – To amend the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act  of 2005, including Barrasso amendment #2714.
  • S. 2308 – Church Plan Clarification Act of 2015.
  • H.R. 2693 – Designating the arboretum at the Hunter Homes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, VA, as the Phyllis E. Galente Arboretum.
  • S. 2393 – To extend temporarily the extended period of protection for members of uniformed services relating to mortgages.
  • S. Res. 333 – To Direct the Senate Legal Counsel.

S. 993 – To increase public safety, including the Franken amendment,  was agreed to by voice vote.

 

****

5:58 p.m. Senator Brown spoke on homeless veterans.

5:53 p.m Senator Sasse spoke on ISIL.

5:43 p.m Senator Cantwell spoke on Puerto Rico’s economy.

5:37 p.m. Senator Donnelly spoke on veteran healthcare.

5:20 p.m. Senator Portman spoke on the Perkins Loan program, land banks, and the American worker.

5:03 p.m. Senator Roberts spoke on the IRS.

4:48 p.m. Senator Ernst spoke about Gov. Terry Branstad setting the record for longest serving governor.

4:30 p.m. Senator Tillis spoke about Islamic terrorism.

4:30 p.m. The Senate reconvened and proceeded with Morning Business.

3:11 p.m. The Senate has recessed until 4:30 p.m.

****

2:52 p.m. Senator Hatch spoke on religious freedom.

2:19 p.m. H.R. 2250, as amended with H.J. Res 75 (5 day continuing resolution), was passed by voice vote.

2:06 p.m. Senators Cardin, Udall, Schatz, Booker, Shaheen, Coons,  Whitehouse, Merkley, and Markey spoke about climate change and conference in Paris.

2:01 p.m. Senator Grassley spoke about Gov. Terry Branstad setting the record for longest serving governor.

1:35 p.m. Senator Murphy and Senator Blumenthal spoke about the anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook.

1:06 p.m. Senator Sanders spoke about climate change.

12:06 p.m. Senator Carper praised employees of the Department of Homeland Security.

11:36 a.m. Senator Perdue spoke about the “JSTARS” air combat surveillance system.

11:22 a.m. Senator Cornyn spoke on appropriations.

11:08 a.m. Senator Coats spoke on government waste.

10:59 a.m. Senator Stabenow spoke on mental illness.

10:28 a.m. Senator Capito spoke about the education bill and technology needs of students as well as the highway bil, energy, and the Affordable Care Act.

9:46 a.m. ML McConnell spoke about the Senate’s passage of the education bill.

9:40 a.m. Senator Reid spoke about questions Justice Scalia asked during yesterday’s oral arguments on the affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas.

The Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m. and will be in morning business until 3 p.m.

The Senate will recess for an all-Senators briefing from 3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. 

 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

5:54 p.m. The Senate adjourned until 9:30 a.m. Thursday, December 10.  The Senate will be in morning business until 3:00 p.m. when it will recess until 4:30 for the all member briefing.

5:50 p.m. Senator Peters spoke on the education bill.

5:46 p.m. ML McConnell brought up nominations en bloc and they were confirmed by voice vote. They were executive calendar numbers 415-420, 422 and 423.

Catherine Ebert-Gray to be Ambassador to the independent state of Papua New Guinea, G. Kathleen Hill to be Ambassador to the Republic of Malta, John D. Feeley to be Ambassador to the Republic of Panama, Eric Seth Rubin to be ambassador to the Republic of Bulgaria, Kyle R. Scott to be Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia, Todd Chapman to be ambassador to the Republic of Ecuador, Jean Elizabeth Manes, to be ambassador to El Salvador and Linda Swartz Taglialatela to be ambassador to Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda and the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Senate passed H.R. 2820, as amended by the committee-reported amendment, to reauthorize the stem cell act of 2005, by unanimous consent.

The Senate passed S. Res. 317 commemorating the 20-year anniversary of the opening of the American Visionary Art Museum

ML McConnell scheduled a confirmation vote for Monday January 11 at 5:30 p.m. on the nomination of Luis Felipe Restrepo of Pennsylvania to be a judge for the Third Circuit.

5:30 p.m. Senator Sasse joined the debate to ask why tax protections for health care plans for small businesses are not part of the debate.

5:13 p.m. Senator Heller and Senator Heinrich spoke about the “Cadillac tax” on the health care bill.

4:32 p.m. Senator Bennet spoke about the Education Bill.

4:18 p.m. Senator Toomey spoke about the Iran Nuclear Deal.

3:50 p.m. Senator Cornyn spoke on the education bill.

3:20 p.m. Senator Menedez spoke on the education bill.

3:11 p.m. Senator Murkowski spoke on the sportsmen bill and on the death of Sydney Huntington, Alaskan education advocate .

2:45 p.m. Senator Murphy spoke on the education bill.

2:26 p.m. Senator Inhofe spoke on self determination in Burundi and climate change.

2:02 p.m. Senator Cardin spoke on government corruption in the Ukraine.

12:49 p.m. Senator Barrasso spoke about the Paris climate conference.

12:40 p.m. Senator Brown sought unanimous consent for the voice vote confirmations of Adawale Adayemo to be an assistant treasury secretary; of Patricia Loui-Schmicker to the Ex-Im Bank; of Amias Gerity to be an assistant treasury secretary; of Therese McMillan to be administrator of the Federal Transit Administration; and of Jay Lerner to be inspector general of the FDIC. Senator Shelby objected in each instance.

12:33 p.m. Senator Brown sought unanimous consent for a voice vote confirmation of the nomination of Adam Szubin as undersecretary of the treasury. Senator Shelby objected.

12:06 p.m. Senator Blunt spoke about mental illness.

11:25 a.m. Senators Schumer, Hatch, Gillibrand, Wyden, Menendez and Blumenthal spoke about Puerto Rico’s economic crisis. Senator Schumer tried to get unanimous consent to proceed to S. 1774, help for Puerto Rico. Senator Hatch objected.

10:47 a.m. The conference report for S.1177 , education bill, was passed by a vote of 85-12.

10:40 a.m. Senator Murray spoke on the education bill.

10:32 a.m. Senator Mikulski spoke on the education bill.

10:21 a.m. Senator Alexander spoke on the education bill.

10:13 a.m. Senator Reid spoke on the education bill and Republican leadership.

10:07 a.m. ML McConnell spoke on the education bill.

The Senate will convene at 10 a.m.

At 10:45 a.m., the Senate will vote on passage of the conference report for S. 1177, the “Every Child” reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act.

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