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.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

6:26 p.m. The Senate adjourned until 10 a.m. Wednesday. At 10:45 a.m., the Senate will vote on passage of the education bill.

6:20 p.m. Senator Warren spoke for the education bill.

6:01 p.m. Senator Sasse spoke about the San Bernadino attack and its policy implications.

5:59 p.m. By voice votes, the Senate passed: S. 1719 (to create a national family care-giving strategy); S. Res. 207 (as amended, to answer threats to freedom of the press);  and S. Res. 331 (making December 12 Wreaths Across America Day).

Senator McConnell secured unanimous consent for the injunction of secrecy to be removed from a treaty with Jordan on mutual assistance and criminal matters (Treaty Document 114-4). The treaty was referred to the Foreign Relations Committee.

5:42 p.m. Senator Whitehouse spoke about a congressional delegation’s visit to the Paris climate conference.

5:29 p.m. Senator Toomey spoke for the education bill.

5:19 p.m. Senator Merkley spoke on climate change, food labeling, and Muslim immigrants.

5:05 p.m. Senator Thune spoke on the transportation bill.

4:56 p.m. Senator Stabenow spoke on Muslim immigrants.

4:38 p.m. Senator Menendez spoke on Iran’s nuclear program.

4:31 p.m. Senator Murray spoke on the public school education bill.

4:14 p.m. Senator Murkowski spoke on the Highway Re-authorization bill and the public school education bill.

4:04 p.m. Senator Enzi spoke in favor of the public school education bill.

3:46 p.m. Senator Franken spoke in favor of the public school education bill.

3:33 p.m. Senator Lee spoke against the education bill.

3:22 p.m. Senator Hatch spoke in favor of the education bill.

2:59 p.m. Senator Cornyn spoke about accomplishments by the Republican Congress, specifically the pending education bill, the “Every Student Succeeds Act.”

2:47 p.m. Senator Kaine spoke in favor of the “Every Student Succeed Act”, specifically provisions aimed to help students learn more about safe relations and sexual assault.

2:36 p.m. Senator Flake spoke on federal spending.

2:15 p.m. Senators Reed and Collins spoke in favor of the “Every Student Succeeds Act.”

12:48 p.m. Senate stands in recess until 2:15 p.m.

12:44 p.m. Senator Murphy continued on gun violence and the terrorist watch list.

12:34 p.m. Senator Cornyn responds to the UC request with a modification, which Senator Murphy objected to; Senator Cornyn then objected to the original request.

12:14 p.m. Senators Schumer, Shaheen, Blumenthal, Murphy and Klobuchar engage in a colloquy and ask UC to bar individuals on the terrorist watch list have access to firearms.

12;07 p.m. Senators Alexander and Murray take their victory lap on cloture vote and assumption of passage tomorrow of S. 1177.

12:06 p.m. Senator Alexander acheives a UC agreement to have vote on passage of S.1177 tomorrow, Wednesday December 9 at 10:45 a.m.

12:05 p.m. Cloture invoked on S.1177, Elementary and Secondary Education Act/Every Child Achieves Act 84-12.

Voting Yes: 39 Republicans, 44 Democrats, 1 Independent: King.

Voting No: 12 Republicans: Blunt, Crapo, Cruz, Daines, Lee, Moran, Paul, Risch, Sasse, Scott, Shelby, Vitter.

Not voting: 3 Republicans: Coats, Graham, Rubio.  1 Independent: Sanders

11:33 a.m. The Senate began voting on the cloture motion on the conference report to accompany S. 1177, reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, aka Every Child Achieves.

11:24 a.m. Senator Isakson spoke in favor of the education bill as the only member of the committee who also worked on NCLB.

11:04 a.m. Senators Alexander and Murray spoke for the education bill.

11 a.m. Senator Cotton spoke about the tension between domestic security measures and individual rights.

10:27 a.m. Senator Durbin spoke about religious freedom and criticized Trump’s statements about Muslims. He also spoke about student debt to for-profit colleges.

10:11 a.m. Minority Leader Reid criticized Donald Trump’s statements about Muslims and said Republicans. He criticized Republican Senate treatment of President Obama’s nominations.

10:06 a.m. Majority Leader McConnell spoke for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act, (S. 1177), which would change the federal mandate for public schools testing in the “No Child Left Behind” law.

* * * * * * * * * *

The Senate will convene at 10 a.m. to resume consideration of the conference report to accompany the  reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act (the “Every Child” education bill, S. 1177).

NOTE: At 11:15 a.m. , Senator Flake will hold a Pen & Pad in the Senate Press Gallery, Room S-316 of the Capitol. Topic: His report on wasteful federal spending.

At 11:30 a.m., the Senate will vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the education bill.

The Senate is expected to break for caucus lunches from 12:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

There may be more votes today.

Placed on the Senate calendar Monday: S. 2359, Senator Paul’s bill to reverse the District of Columbia’s gun control law.

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, December 7, 2015

5:00 p.m. The Senate moved to executive session to consider calendar number 214, Travis Randall McDonough, of Tennessee, to be US District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

4:40 p.m. Senator Corker spoke on gun violence. He then asked UC for the confirmation of calendar number 373, Kenneth Damain Ward, of VA, to be a Career Member of the Senior Executive Service, for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure if service as the US Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and 374, Linda Etim, of Wisconsin, to be an Assistant Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development to occur by voice vote immediately following the 5:30 roll call vote on the McDonough nomination.

4:00 p.m. Leader McConnell asked for the second reading of S. 2359, regarding second amendment rights in the District of Columbia. He objected to further proceedings and the legislation was placed on the calendar. He then spoke on President Obama’s press release and his lack of a plan to defeat terrorists.

3:30 p.m. Senator Durbin spoke on gun violence and legislation of gun sales.

2:26 p.m. Senator Nelson spoke in favor of expanding government access to bulk data collection.

2:20 p.m. Senator Peters spoke in praise of the Transportation bill passed last week.

2:02 p.m. Senator Reid spoke about the Senate schedule and a Democratic legislative proposal to address terrorism threats.

2:00 p.m. The Senate convened at 2:00 p.m. and will be in a period of morning business until 5:00 p.m.

At 5:00 p.m., the Senate will proceed to Executive Session in order to consider the nomination of Travis McDonough to be a US District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee, with a vote expected on confirmation of the nomination at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Senator McConnell filed cloture on the conference report to accompany the Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177) during Thursday’s session.  Absent a time agreement, that cloture vote will occur one hour after the Senate convenes on Tuesday, December 8, 2015.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

9:53 p.m. The Senate adjourned until 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7. At 5 p.m., the Senate will begin debate on the confirmation of Travis Randall McDonough’s nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The confirmation vote will be at 5:30 p.m.

9:51 p.m. Leader McConnell brought up the reauthorization of  the “No Child” Elementary and Secondary Schools Act. He filed cloture on the bill.  He began the process of bringing to the floor S. 2359, on access to firearms in the District of Columbia. The Senate passed by voice vote S. 2032, recognizing the bison as the national mammal.

9:33 p.m. Senators Enzi and Cantwell spoke about the highway bill.

9:16 p.m. Senator Lee spoke against the Highway bill.

9:10 p.m. ML McConnell, Senator Inhofe and Senator Boxer spoke about the successful passage of the highway bill.

9:01 p.m. The Senate voted 83 to 16 to pass the long-term reauthorization of the nation’s highway programs.  Sixteen Senators voted against the conference report to accompany H.R. 22: they were two Democrats, (Senators Carper and Warren) and fourteen Republicans (Senators Corker, Cotton, Crapo, Cruz, Flake, Lankford, Lee, Paul, Perdue, Risch, Rubio, Sasse, Scott, Shelby).  Senator Sanders was absent.  The bill goes to the White House for the President’s signature.

8:48 p.m. The Senate voted 77 to 22 to waive provisions of the budget act in order to to proceed to the vote on passage of the long-term reauthorization of the nation’s highway programs.

8:10 p.m. The Senate passed H.R. 3762, reconciliation bill, as amended by a roll call vote of 52-47.  (Senators Collins and Kirk voted against passage. Senator Sanders was absent.)  The reconciliation bill was amended and will go back to the House.

8:08 p.m. ML McConnell and Senator Murray have closing speeches before final passage of HR 3762, reconciliation bill.

8:07 p.m.  The McConnell amendment #2874 is agreed to by voice vote.

8:05 p.m. The McConnell substitute amendment #2916 is agreed to by voice vote.

8:04 p.m. The Motion to waive on the Murphy amendment #2918 is not agreed to 46-53.

7:48 p.m. Roll call vote begins on the motion to waive the budget act with respect to the Murphy amendment #2918.

7:46 p.m. The motion to waive the budget act with respect to the Baldwin amendment #2919 is not agreed to 45-54.

7:28 p.m. Roll call vote begins on the motion to waive the budget act in regards to the Baldwin amend #2919 regarding keep your plan.

7:27 p.m. Reid amend #2917 about striking sunset provisions was agreed to by voice vote.

7:14 p.m. Motion to waive the budget act in relation to the McConnell substitute amendment #2916 was not agreed to by a vote of 52-47; and the point of order is sustained and section 105-B of amendment #2916 is stricken.

7:02 p.m. Senator Paul amend #2915 regarding DC gun ban was not agreed to by 54-45.

6:21 p.m. Senator Coats amendment #2888 regarding medical expense deductions was agreed to by a vote of 60-39.

6:18 p.m. Senator Cardin offered his amendment #2874 regarding medical expense deduction.  It was defeated by a voice vote.

6:17 p.m. Senator McCain offered his amendment #2884, regarding drug importation, and then withdrew said amendment.

6:15 p.m. Paul amendment #2899 about refugee screening failed by a vote of 10-89.

5:34 p.m. Motion to waive the budget act in relation to the Bennet amendment #2907 about Veterans and VA construction failed by a vote of 47-52.

5:27 p.m.  Manchin Amendment #2908 about background checks fails by a vote of 47-50.

4:29 p.m.  The Senate voted not to waive the budget act in relation to Feinstein amendment #2910 by a roll call vote of 45-54.  (The motion to waive was in response to an Enzi budget point of order against the Feinstein amendment, which concerns banning the sale of firearms and explosives to individuals on the terrorist watch list.

4:01 p.m. Motion to waive budget provision for Cornyn amendment (#2910) to prevent terrorists from acquiring firearms.  The vote to waive the budget act failed 55-44.   The point of order is sustained and the Cornyn amendment (#2910) falls.

3:50 p.m. Motion to waive budget act in relation to Shaheen Amendment (#2892) on equal medical coverage of mental illness and addiction. Budget waiver for Shaheen fails, 47 to 52.

3:21 p.m. Heller amendment #2882 to strike the Cadillac tax provision from the health care law. Passes 90 to 10. Democrats voting “Nay” (to save the tax): Boxer, Carper, Durbin, Kaine, Manchin, McCaskill, Warner. Republican “Nays”: Coats, Corker, Sasse.

3:02 p.m. Motion to waive the budget act regarding Casey amendment #2893. Fails by a vote of 48 to 54.

2:44 p.m. Collins amendment #2885, to strike the provisions that would eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Not agreed to by a vote of 48 to 52.  Republicans Collins, Kirk and Murkowski voted for the amendment, with 43 Democrats and both independents.  Democrat Manchin voted against the amendment, with 51 Republicans.

2:23 p.m. Motion to waive the budget act regarding Brown amendment-100 percent FMap- #2883 was not agreed to by a vote of 45-55.

2:04 p.m. Vote on Johnson amendment #2875, 60 vote threshold. The amendment was not agreed to by a vote of 56 to 44.

1:30 p.m. Motion to table the Murray amendment on women’s health care programs (#2876).  The motion to table was agreed to by a vote 54-46.

1:25 p.m. Senator Grassley spoke on the Reconciliation bill.

1:23 p.m. Senator Enzi spoke on the Reconciliation bill.

1:19 p.m. Senator Blumenthal spoke on gun violence.

1:10 p.m. Senator McCain spoke on the Affordable Care Act.

1:08 p.m. Senator Merkley spoke on food safety.

12:45 p.m. Senator Cardin spoke on nominations and asked unanimous consent to vote on 7 nominations, Senator Cruz objected.

12:43 p.m. Senator Shelby spoke against gun control.

12:39 p.m. Senator Brown spoke about Wall Street reform.

12:23 p.m. Senator Murkowski spoke on the Reconciliation Bill.

12:06 p.m. Senator Casey spoke on the Reconciliation Bill.

11:30 p.m. Senator Sullivan spoke on the Reconciliation Bill.

11:02 p.m. Senator Shaheen spoke on the Reconciliation Bill.

10:57 p.m. Senator Warren spoke on Planned Parenthood.

10:52 p.m. Senator Hirono spoke on amendment #2887 to the Reconciliation Bill.

10:40 p.m. Senator Boxer spoke on shooting in San Bernardino and gun violence.

10:23 p.m. Senator Cornyn spoke on criminal justice reform and the Affordable Care Act.

9:56 p.m. Senator Reid spoke on ML McConnell’s leadership.

9:44 p.m. ML McConnell spoke on the Affordable Care Act.

9:34 p.m. Senator Reid spoke on gun violence.

***

The Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m. to resume consideration of the budget reconciliation bill for fiscal year 2016 (H.R. 3762).

At 1:30 p.m. debate time on reconciliation will expire and a “vote-a-rama” — series of roll call votes on amendments — is expected to begin.

These amendments are pending to the reconciliation bill:

  • McConnell substitute (#2874);

o    Murray amendment to on women’s health care programs (#2876);

o    Johnson amendment to let patients retain their preferred plans under the new medical insurance system (#2875);

Also on Thursday, the Senate is expected to consider the long-term reauthorization of highway programs (H.R. 22).

 

 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

6:47 p.m.  The Senate has adjourned.  There were no roll calls votes during today’s session.  The Senate will reconvene at 9:30 am and resume consideration of H.R. 3762 To restore Americans’ Healthcare Freedom reconciliation Act (repeal Obamacare). Time will expire on the bill tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.  The Senate passed the following in wrap up:

S. Res 324 – National Phenylketouria awareness day – Dec 3rd
S. Res 325 – To allow the collection of charitable goods in Senate Office Buildings.

6:45 p.m. Senator Ernst and Tillis spoke in favor of H.R. 3762

6:00 p.m. Senator Inhofe spoke on Syrian refugees and the Affordable Care Act.

5:44 p.m. Senator Durbin spoke on the Affordable Care Act, gun violence, and Syrian refugees.

5:25 p.m. Senator Portman spoke on budget reconciliation.

5:20 p.m. Senator Tester spoke on food labeling.

5:12 p.m. Senator Hoeven spoke on repealing the Affordable Care Act.

4:57 p.m Senators Warren and Merkley spoke on the Dodd-Frank Act.

4:45 p.m. Senator Reed spoke on the Dodd-Frank Act.

4:22 p.m Senators Alexander, Burr, Isakson, Cassidy, and Scott held a colloquy on repealing the Affordable Care Act.

4:15 p.m. Senator Nelson, spoke on appropriations.

3:55 p.m. Senator Gardner spoke on the Affordable Care Act.

3:33 p.m. Senator Hatch spoke on the Affordable Care Act.

3:21 p.m. Senator Crapo spoke on the Affordable Care Act.

2:50 p.m. Senators Blunt and Thune spoke for the reconciliation bill and for repealing the Affordable Care Act.

2:10 p.m. Senators Murphy, Brown and Stabenow spoke against the reconciliation bill and repealing the Affordable Care Act, with Senator Brown discussing an amendment he plans to offer to expand medicaid across the entire country.

2:00 p.m. Senator Coons paid tribute to Fred Sears, upon his retirement at the end of 2015.

1:51 p.m. Senator Perdue spoke on the Affordable Care Act.

1:40 p.m. Senator Toomey spoke on his amendment. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, if a family had out of pocket medical expenses that exceeded 7.5% of their income, they can deduct any cost above that rate. The Affordable Care Act changed this limit to 10%; the Toomey amendment would revert back to 7.5%.

1:09 p.m. Senator Fischer spoke on the Affordable Care Act.

12:55 p.m. Senator Coats spoke on the Affordable Care Act.

12:48 p.m. Senator Hirono paid tribute to the victims of the Planned Parenthood shooting and Planned Parenthood.

12:40 p.m. Senator Roberts spoke about the Affordable Care Act.

12:33 p.m. Senator Wyden spoke about the Affordable Care Act.

12:22 p.m. Senator Cardin spoke about climate change and the ongoing summit in Paris.

12:01 p.m. Senators Johnson and Cornyn spoke in favor of the reconciliation bill and repealing the affordable care act.

11:50 a.m. Senator Boxer responded to comments by Senator Lankford regarding Planned Parenthood and further on the reconciliation bill in general.

11:38 a.m. Senator Sessions spoke in support of the reconciliation bill and repealing the affordable care act.

11:27 a.m. Senator Wyden spoke about the lack of bipartisanship in the reconciliation bill and also spoke against the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

11:22 a.m. Senator Blumenthal spoke in favor of the Murray-Wyden amendment.

10:47 a.m. Senator Lankford spoke about funding for Planned Parenthood.

10:21 a.m. Senator Boxer defended the new health care system. She endorsed the Murray-Wyden amendment and criticized Republican efforts to stop federal subsidies to Planned Parenthood.

10:12 a.m. Senator Johnson brought up his amendment (#2875) on health care.

10:04 a.m. Senator Murray spoke for her amendment on access to birth control, abortion and other reproductive health care services (Murray-Wyden Amendment #2876 to Amendment #2874).

10:01 a.m. Senator Enzi spoke on the reconciliation debate.

9:59 a.m. The Senate resumed consideration of H.R. 3762, the 2016 budget reconcilation bill.

9:46 a.m. Minority Leader Reid criticized the legislative record of the Senate under Republican leadership. He also defended the new health care system. He criticized statements on race, Syrian refugees and other topics by some Republican presidential candidates.

9:45 a.m. H.R. 427, an amendment to Ch. 8, Title IV of the U.S. Code, was placed on the calendar under the Rule 14 process.

9:33 a.m. Majority Leader McConnell used leader time to discuss health care. He also spoke about the enactment of the sex trafficking measure.

***

The Senate convened at 9:30 a.m., and following leader time, will resume consideration of H.R.3762, Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015.

Votes are possible during today’s session.

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