Tuesday, May 24, 2016

6:43 p.m. The Senate has adjourned until 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 25th.

2 votes are expected at 11:00 a.m. 

  1. Passage of S.J. Res. 28
  2. Cloture on the motion to proceed to S.2943, the Defense Authorization bill. 

During today’s session:

  • H.J. Res. 88 was passed by a vote of 56-41.
  • The motion to proceed to S.J. Res. 28 was agreed to by a vote of 57 to 40.
  • S. Res. 473, expressing appreciation of the goals of American Craft Beer Week and commending the small and independent craft brewers of the U.S., was passed by unanimous consent in wrap-up.

****

6:26 p.m. Senator Menendez spoke on Puerto Rico’s economy.

6:10 p.m. Senator Ayotte spoke on inspection of catfish.

5:58 p.m. Senator Wicker spoke on inspection of catfish.

5:53 p.m. Senator Flake paid tribute to Matthew Spect.

5:41 p.m. Senator McCain spoke on inspection of catfish.

5:40 p.m. The Senate agreed to the Motion to Proceed to S. J. Res. 28, a joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Secretary of Agriculture relating to inspection of catfish, by a roll call vote of 57-40.

5:15 p.m. The Senate passed H.J. Res. 88, disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to the definition of the term “Fiduciary”, by a roll call vote of 56-41.

4:30 p.m. Leader McConnell announced the Senate will vote on H.J. Res. 88 and the motion to proceed to S. J. Res 28 at 4:45 p.m.

4:18 p.m. Senator Rubio spoke about the Zika virus.

4:10 p.m. Senator Fischer spoke against the fiduciary rule.

3:55 p.m. Senator Cardin spoke about the campaign against the Zika virus.

3:46 p.m. Senator Enzi spoke against the fiduciary rule.

3:42 p.m. Senator Enzi objected.

3:28 p.m. Senator Nelson spoke in favor of more federal spending to fight the Zika virus. He sought consent for a vote on a Zika spending measure.

3:20 p.m. Senator Cochran spoke for the Agriculture Department’s catfish inspection rule.

3:11 p.m. Senator Roberts spoke against the Agriculture Department’s catfish inspection rule.

2:59 p.m. Senator Boozman spoke on the catfish inspection rule.

2:45 p.m. Senator Murray spoke on the Zika virus, asks UC that when the Senate recieves from the House the House passed Zika funding bill to substitute the Senate passed Blunt/Murray funding bill.  Senator Cornyn objected, hoping the two sides can go to conference.

2:15 p.m. Senator Hatch spoke on the fiduciary rule.

12:31 p.m. The Senate stands in recess until 2:15 p.m.

12:17 p.m. Senator Thune spoke on Indian Health Services and later on avaiation security issues.

12:10 p.m.  Senator Wyden spoke on the fiduciary rule.

11:45 a.m.  Senator Cornyn Urged the Senate to take up and pass NDAA.

11:30 Senator Booker spoke about economic growth and fairness in the free market and the fiduciary rule.

11:16 a.m. Senator Grassley spoke about an investigation of non-profit hospitals, such as Mosaic Lifecare, suing low-income patients.

10:55 a.m. Senator Cornyn spoke about the fiduciary rule.

10:41 a.m. Senator Klobuchar spoke about yesterday’s passage of the Adam Walsh child protection law. She also spoke about the fiduciary rule and the Ex-Im bank.

10:12 a.m. Senators Isakson and Murray spoke about the fiduciary rule.

10:08 a.m. Minority Leader Reid spoke about the financial services rule. He also spoke about the Supreme Court vacancy.

10:02 a.m. Majority Leader McConnell spoke about regulatory policy and today’s vote on a proposed rule on financial services.

***

The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m.  Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will vote (expected by voice) on adoption of the motion to proceed to H.J.Res.88, disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to the definition of the term “Fiduciary”. Under the rule, there will be up to 10 hours of debate equally divided prior to a vote on adoption of the joint resolution.

It’s also possible that the Senate considers S.J.Res.28, a joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Secretary of Agriculture relating to inspection of catfish.

As a reminder, ML McConnell moved to proceed to S.2943, the National Defense Authorization Act, and filed cloture on the motion.

Unless an agreement is reached, the cloture motion would ripen one hour after the Senate convenes on Wednesday, May 25.

 

Monday, May 23, 2016

6:38 p.m. Senate stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. Tuesday May 24.

6:37 p.m. ML McConnell wraps up for the evening.   Items passed by UC: S. Res 375, raising awareness of modern slavery.  UC that Senate convene on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.

6:27 p.m. Senator Blumenthal spoke on the Sexual assault survivors rights act.

6:17 p.m. Senator Wicker spoke on a resolution disapproving a US Department of Agriculture regulation that may be voted on tomorrow.

6:14 p.m. Senator Brown spoke about visiting a GM plant near Youngstown, Ohio that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

6:14 p.m. The Senate proceeds to a period of morning business.

6:13 p.m. S. 2613 is agreed to 89-0. Senators not voting: Booker, Boxer, Carper, Cruz, Kirk, Menendez, Murkowski, Peters, Sanders, Toomey and Vitter.

5:40 p.m. Roll call vote began on S.2613, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.

5:31 p.m. Senator McCain spoke on the need to pass the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 2943.  He asked for unanimous consent to pass the bill.  Democratic Leader Harry Reid objected.

5:30 p.m. ML McConnell called up a motion to proceed to S.2943, the National Defense Authorization Act and filed cloture on that motion.

5:00 p.m. Senator Grassley spoke on S. 2613, the Adam Walsh re-authorization bill.

4:35 p.m. Senator Shaheen spoke on the Sexual assault survivors rights act.

4:34 p.m. The Senate begins consideration of S.2613, the Adam Walsh re-authorization bill.

4:10 p.m. Senator Cornyn spoke about human rights in Vietnam.

3:51 p.m. Senator Warren spoke about the 2008 financial crisis.

3:10 p.m. Minority Leader Reid spoke about the need for federal spending to combat the Zika virus. He also paid tribute to Marvin Simms.

3:02 p.m. Majority Leader McConnell spoke about last week’s passage of appropriations measures. He also previewed today’s vote on the Adam Walsh child protection bill and this week’s consideration of the defense authorization bill — including a provision to combat international sexual trafficking. Senator McConnell also paid tribute to Marvin Simms of the Senate Recording Studio, who is about to retire.

***

The Senate will convene at 3 p.m. and will proceed at 4:30 p.m. to debate the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2016 (a child protection measure, S. 2613) for one hour.

At about 5:30 p.m., a Grassley amendment and a committee-reported substitute, as amended, will be agreed to by unanimous consent, and the Senate will proceed to a roll call vote on passage of S. 2613, as amended.

 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

5:21 p.m. The Senate adjourned until 3 p.m. on Monday, May 23.

5:18 p.m. Senator Sullivan secured consent for the Senate to take up S. 2613 at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, with one hour of debate equally divided. At about 5:30 p.m., the Grassley amendment and the committee substitute will be agreed to. The Senate will then vote on S. 2613, the reauthorization of the Adam Walsh child protection law.

By unanimous consent, the Senate passed S. Res. 469, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Ireland.

3:02 p.m. Senators Collins and Reed pay tribute to all who helped pass the bill.

3:01 p.m. HR 2577 agreed to 89-8.

Senators voting against: 8 Republicans: Corker, Crapo, Flake, Lankford, Lee, Paul, Risch, Sessions.

Senators not voting: Boxer, Cruz, Sanders.

2:40 p.m. Roll call vote began on passage of HR 2577, Transportation/Housing and Urban Development/Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Department Appropriations.

2:39 p.m. Senator Collins calls up Rubio amdt #4050 and Baldwin amdt #4026, both amendments are agreed to by voice vote.

2:38 p.m. Motion to table the Lee amendment is agreed to 60-37.

2:20 p.m. Roll call vote began on a motion to table the Lee amendment #3897.

2:18 p.m. Senators Lee and Collins spoke on the Lee amendment.

2:17 p.m. Collins amendment #3970 agreed to 87-9.

Senators voting against: 9 Democrats: Booker, Brown, Cardin, Menendez, Merkley, Murphy, Reid, Schatz, and Warren.

Senators not voting: Boxer, Cruz, Heinrich and Sanders.

1:49 p.m. The Senate began voting on the Collins amendment about fair housing,  #3970.

1:42 p.m. Senator Reed spoke in support of Senator Collins’ amendment.

1:40 p.m. Senator Lee spoke on his amenment about Fair Housing.

1:25 p.m. Senator Collins spoke about her Fair Housing amendment.

1:16 p.m. Senators Durbin and Blumenthal spoke about air travel and the TSA.

1:10 p.m. Senator Peters spoke on research and development.

1:06 p.m. Senator Kirk spoke in favor of the bill.

1:00 p.m. Senator Lankford spoke against the McCain amendment, and made a point of order that the amendment is not germane to the Collins amendment #3896 post cloture.  The point of order was sustained and the amendment fell.

12:58 p.m. UC from ML McConnnell: at 1:45, 3 roll call votes:

  • Collins substitute amendment #3896
  • Lee amendment #3897
  • Final passage of H.R. 2577

12:57 p.m. Motion to waive the budget act is agreed to 84-14.

Senators voting in favor: 40 Republicans, 43 Democrats, 1 Independent: King.

Senators voting against: 13 Republicans: Barrasso, Coats, Corker, Cornyn, Enzi, Lankford, Lee, Murkowski, Paul, Perdue, Sessions, Shelby and Sullivan.  1 Democrat: Durbin.

Senators not voting: Cruz and Sanders.

12:37 p.m. Roll call vote began on the motion to waive the budget act with respect to the McCain amendment #4039.

12:36 p.m. Senator McCain offered motion to waive the budget act with respect to his amendment.

12:34 p.m. Senator Enzi offered a budget point of order against the McCain amendment #4039.

12:33 p.m. Under the previous order, the Nelson and Cornyn Zika funding amendments with withdrawn.

12:32 p.m. Collins substitute amdt agreed to 88-10.

Senators voting against: Cotton, Crapo, Daines, Flake, Lankford, Lee, Paul, Perdue, Risch, and Toomey.

Senators not voting: Cruz and Sanders.

12:14 p.m. Roll call vote began on cloture on the Collins substitute amendment.

12:13 p.m. Senator Collins acheives UC that following the cloture vote, Senator Enzi be recognized to offer a budget point of order against the McCain amendment, and that Senator McCain then be recognized to offer a motion to waive the budget act, and the Senate vote on that motion.

12:12p.m. The Blunt/Murray Zika funding amendment is agreed to 68-30.

Senators in favor: 44 Democrats, 23 Republicans: Alexander, Ayotte, Blunt, Boozman, Burr, Capito, Cassidy, Cochran, Collins, Graham, Grassley, Hatch, Hoeven, Isakson, Kirk, McConnell, Murkowski, Portman, Rounds, Rubio, Tillis, Vitter, and Wicker. 1 Independent (King).

Senators opposed: 30 Republicans.

Senators not voting: Cruz and Sanders

11:50 a.m. Roll call vote began on passage of the Blunt/Murray Zika funding amendment #3900.

11:48 a.m. The motion to waive the budget act with respect to the Blunt/Murray Zika funding amendment was agreed to 70-28.

Senators in favor: 44 Democrats, 25 Republicans: Alexander, Ayotte, Blunt, Boozman, Burr, Capito, Cassidy, Cochran, Collins, Graham, Grassley, Hatch, Hoeven, Isakson, Kirk, McCain, McConnell, Murkowski, Portman, Roberts, Rounds, Rubio, Tillis, Vitter, and Wicker. 1 Independent (King).

Senators against: 28 Republicans.

Senators not voting: Cruz and Sanders.

11:15 a.m. A roll-call vote began on whether to waive the Budget Act with respect to the Blunt Zika amendment.

11:07 a.m. Senator Isakson spoke in favor of the McCain amendment to expand the veterans Choice Card program.

11:03 a.m. Senator Collins spoke in favor of a budget waiver for the Blunt Zika amendment. She moved to waive the Budget Act for this amendment.

10:59 a.m. Senator Lee spoke about the practice of appropriating emergency supplemental funds for such purposes as fighting the Zika virus. He raised a budget point of order against the Blunt Zika amendment #3900.

10:14 a.m. Senator Murray spoke in favor of the housing rule.

9:47 a.m. Senator Booker spoke in favor of a proposed fair housing rule addressed in the appropriations bill.

9:32 a.m. Minority Leader Reid spoke about the mutilation of female genitals.

***

The Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m. and will to resume consideration of H.R. 2577, the Transportation-HUD-MilCon-VA appropriations bill.

At 11:15 a.m., all post-cloture time will be considered expired on the Blunt-Murray Zika amendment (#3900).

Three roll-calls are expected at 11:15 a.m.: a motion to waive the Budget Act for the Blunt-Murray Zika amendment; adoption of the Blunt-Murray amendment; and cloture on the pending Collins substitute (#3896).

If cloture is invoked on the Collins substitute, then the Cornyn and Nelson Zika 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).

Additional votes should be expected today.

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.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

McConnell filed a Motion to Invoke Cloture on Collins amend #3296 (Substitute amendment) and H.R. 2577 (THUD/MilConVA Appropriations).

In Executive session the Senate confirmed the following nomination en bloc:
Cal. #444, Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the African Development Foundation.
Cal. #445, Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the African Development Foundation.
Cal. #446, John Leslie, Jr. to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the African Development Foundation.
Cal. #447, Linda Etim to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the African Development Foundation.
Cal. #467, Georgette Mosbacher to be a Member of the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.
Cal. #217, Todd Fisher to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
Cal. #218, Deven Parekh to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
Cal. #479, Robert Riley III to be Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia.
Cal. #480, Karen Stewart to be Ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Cal. #482, Matthew Matthews to be U.S. Senior Official for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum.
Cal. #484, Marcela Escobari to be an Assistant Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.
Cal. #553, Swati Dandekar to be U.S. Director of the Asian Development Bank.
Cal. #554, Adam Sterling to be Ambassador to the Slovak Republic.
Cal. #555, Kelly Keiderling-Franz to be Ambassador to the Oriental Republic of Uruguay.
Cal. #556, Stephen Schwartz to be Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Somalia.
Cal. #557, Christine Elder to be Ambassador to the Republic of Liberia.
Cal. #558, Elizabeth Richard to be Ambassador to the Lebanese Republic.

When the Senate resumed H.R. 2577 (THUD/MilConVA Appropriations) the following amendments were considered, en bloc and passed by unanimous consent:

King amend #3934 (Disabled veterans and student loans).
Rubio amend #3918 (Shortens the time period for landlords to address physical deficiencies in HUD-assisted housing).
Heller amend #3905 (Prohibits individuals convicted of murder, sexual assault and trafficking, and child pornography from accessing HUD-assisted housing).
Rubio amend #3926 (Real Estate Assessment Center physical inspections).
Manchin amend #3961 (Airport repairs).
Booker amend #3941 (Restores FAST Act eligibility to CRISI grant program for construction projects related to passenger rail).
Tester amend #3914 (Construction requirements in Europe).
Kirk amend #3938 (Access roads).
Heller amend #3948 (Disability compensation claims)
Heitkamp amend #3954 (Vets counseling in rural areas).
Bennet amend #3971 (Disabled veterans on Olympic teams)
The amendments were agreed to, en bloc, by Voice Vote.

In wrap up the Senate passed the following measures:
S. Res. 468 (National Police Week). Agreed to by Unanimous Consent.
S. 1335 (North Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act). Sullivan substitute amendment agreed to by Unanimous Consent. The bill, as amended, is agreed to by Unanimous Consent.

5:45 p.m. Senator Ayotte paid tribute to fallen police officers and thanked all officers and their families for their service.

5:10 p.m. Senator McCain spoke in favor of the nomination of Eric K. Fanning. Immediately following his remarks, the nomination of Eric Fanning, of the District of Columbia, to be Secretary of the Army was confirmed by unanimous consent.

4:55 p.m. Senator Moran paid tribute to the late Kansas City Detective Brad Lancaster, killed in the line of duty.

4:31 p.m. Senator Booker spoke about the anniversary of Brown v. Board.

4:21 p.m. Senator Blumenthal spoke on the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling and abou the current vacancy on the court.

4:14 p.m. Senator Coons spoke on the Supreme Court vacancy.

3:49 p.m. Senator Kaine spoke on the Supreme Court vacancy.

3:46 p.m. Senator Manchin spoke on opioid abuse.

3:44 p.m. Senator Shaheen spoke on Opioid abuse.

3:41 p.m. Senator King spoke on the Zika virus.

3:40 p.m. Senator Isakson spoke on the Zika virus.

3:40 p.m. Senator Collins called up the Blunt amdt #3646.

3:39 p.m. Cloture was invoked on the Blunt/Murray amendment #3900 by a tally of 68-29.

Senators in favor: 44 Democrats; 23 Republicans: Alexander, Ayotte, Blunt, Boozman, Burr, Capito, Cassidy, Cochran, Collins, Graham, Hatch, Hoeven, Isakson, Kirk, McCain, McConnell, Murkowski, Portman, Rounds, Rubio, Tillis, Vitter and Wicker; and 1 Independent: King.

Senators against: 29 Republicans.

Senators not voting: 2 Republicans: Cruz and Enzi; 1 Independent: Sanders.

3:16 p.m. Cloture vote began on the Blunt/Murray amendment #3900,  $1.1 billion Zika funding.

3:15 p.m. Cloture was not invoked on the Cornyn amendment, 52-45.

Senators voting in favor: 52 Republicans

Senators voting against: 44 Democrats, 1 Independent: King.

Senators not voting: 2 Republicans: Cruz and Enzi; 1 Independent: Sanders

2:55 p.m. Cloture vote began on the Cornyn amendment #3899, $1.1billion Zika funding, $1.2billion offset through ACA prevention fund cut.

2:54 p.m. Cloture was not invoked on the Nelson amendment, 50-47.

Senators voting in favor: 44 Democrats, 5 Republicans: Ayotte, Cassidy, Kirk, Portman and Rubio; 1 Independent: King.

Senators voting against: 47 Republicans

Senators not voting: 2 Republicans: Cruz and Enzi; 1 Independent: Sanders

2:29 p.m. Roll call vote began on cloture on Nelson amendment #3898; $1.9 billion Zika funding.

2:15 p.m. Senators Reed and Collins spoke on the Zika virus.

12:41 p.m. The Senate stands in recess until 2:15 p.m.

12:16 p.m. Senators Blumenthal and Burr spoke on Zika.

11:58 a.m. Senator Cornyn spoke about Zika and engaged in a colloquy regarding S. 2040, a bill heping September 11th victims seek claims against foreign states in relation to the events of that day.

S. 2040 was passed by Unanimous Consent.

The bill amends the federal judicial code to narrow the scope of foreign sovereign immunity by authorizing U.S. courts to hear cases involving claims against a foreign state for injuries, death, or damages that occur inside the United States as a result of a tort, including an act of terrorism, committed anywhere by a foreign state or official.

11:57 a.m. Senator Collins modified her amendment.

10:29 a.m.-11:55 a.m. Senators Murray, Rubio, Flake, Mikulski, Blunt, Nelson, Carper, Hirono and Schatz spoke about Zika.

10:21 a.m. Senator Inhofe spoke about transgender people and bathrooms.

10:16 a.m. Senator Tester spoke about the military construction and Veterans Administration portions of the spending bill.

10:15 a.m. The Senate resumed consideration of the spending bill.

10:08 a.m. Minority Leader Reid spoke about civil rights for transgender people. He also spoke about the Supreme Court vacancy.

10:02 a.m. Majority Leader McConnell spoke about the Senate’s record on passage of appropriations bills. He spoke about the pending appropriations bill for transportation and other purposes.

***

The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m.  Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R.2577, THUD/Milcon-VA appropriations.

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

At 2:30pm the cloture motions with respect to the amendments on Zika funding will ripen and the Senate will vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the Nelson amendment. If cloture is not invoked on Nelson, cloture will immediately ripen on the Cornyn amendment. If cloture is not invoked on Cornyn, cloture will immediately ripen on the Blunt-Murray amendment. If cloture is invoked, there will then be up to 30 hours of debate on the amendment prior to a vote on adoption.

Tuesday at 2:30pm – up to 3 roll call votes:

  1. Motion to invoke cloture on Nelson SA #3898 ($1.9billion Zika funding);
  2. Motion to invoke cloture on Cornyn SA #3899, as modified ($1.1billion Zika funding, $1.2billion offset through ACA prevention fund cut); and
  3. Motion to invoke cloture on Blunt-Murray SA #3900, as modified ($1.1billion Zika funding).

Amendments pending to H.R.2577, THUD/Milcon-VA

Collins SA #3896 (substitute)

Lee SA #3897 (affirmative action/housing)

Nelson SA #3898 ($1.9billion Zika funding)

Cornyn SA #3899, as modified ($1.1billion Zika funding, $1.2billion offset through ACA prevention fund cut)

Blunt-Murray SA #3900, as modified ($1.1billion Zika funding).

May 16, 2016

7:14 p.m. Senate adjourns until 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 17.

7:07 p.m. Senator Collins achieves UC to call up and pass the following amendments: Heitkamp 3903, Barrasso 3909, Ayotte 3917, Mikulski Shelby 3919 Feinstein Portman 3922, Franken Tillis 3921 (as modified).  Further, UC that the Cornyn amendment #3899 be modified, and the Blunt amendment #3900 be modified.   Moves the Senate to a period of morning business.

Wraps up for the evening:  Items passed by UC:

  • HR 4957, regarding naming a federal building here in Washington, DC.
  • S Res 387, regarding the Columbia River highway.
  • S Res 403, regarding National Industrial Assessment Center week.
  • S Res 467, regarding National Nurses Week.

UC that when the Senate adjourns, it reconvene on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.  Following leader remarks, resume consideration of HR 2577, the T-HUD appropriations bill.  UC to recess from 12:30-2:15 p.m.  Cloture votes to occur at 2:30 p.m.

6:32 p.m. Senator Collins spoke on the pending Transportation/Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill and the possibility of approving a package of amendments by unanimous consent this evening.

6:15 p.m. Senator Grassley spoke about income inequality.

6:14 p.m. By a roll call vote of 53-34 Paula Xinis was confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Senators voting in favor: 43 Democrats, 10 Republicans (Alexander, Coats, Collins, Graham, Grassley, Hatch, Kirk, McConnell, Portman, and Rubio).

Senators voting against: 34 Republicans.

Senators not voting: 10 Republicans: Cotton, Cruz, Enzi, Flake, Johnson, Moran, Roberts, Sullivan, Toomey and Vitter.  2 Independents: King and Sanders. 1 Democrat: Wyden.

5:30 p.m. Roll call vote began on the Xinis nomination, this  is the only vote of the day.

5:22 p.m. Senator Grassley spoke on judicial nominations in general.

5:05 p.m. Senators Leahy, Mikulski and Cardin spoke in favor of the Xinis nomination.

4:57 p.m. Senator Portman spoke on the Zika virus.

3:29 p.m. Senator Cornyn spoke on the Zika virus.

2:38 p.m. Senator Sessions spoke on the Zika virus and debt before turning to discuss his opposition to the Xinis nomination.

2:26 p.m. Senator Durbin spoke on the Zika virus.

2:06 p.m. DL Reid joined ML McConnell in paying tribute to police officers.  He later turned to discuss the Zika virus.

2:02 p.m. ML McConnell paid tribute to police officers on the occassion of the annual police week.

***

The Senate convened at 2:00 p.m. and will be in morning business until 4:30 p.m., whereupon debate will begin on the nomination of Paula Xinis to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

A confirmation vote on Xinis will occur at 5:30 p.m.

The pending legislative business is H.R. 2577, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill. The Collins-Kirk substitute (amendment #3896, Transportation, Housing & Urban Development, Military Construction & Veterans Affairs) is pending.

These amendments are pending to the substitute:

  • Lee #3897 (No money for certain fair housing provisions)
  • Nelson #3898 (Zika supplemental)
  • Cornyn #3899 (Zika emergency supplemental)
  • Blunt-Murray #3900 (Zika response & preparedness)

Cloture has been filed and will ripen on Tuesday on these amendments:

 

Leader McConnell has filed cloture on the following amendments (re: Zika) to H.R.2577:

  • Nelson #3898 (Zika supplemental)
  • Cornyn #3899 (Zika emergency supplemental)
  • Blunt-Murray #3900 (Zika response & preparedness)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Senate has adjourned until 2:00 p.m. Monday, May 16th. A vote on the nomination of Paula Xinis, MD, to be the U.S. District Judge for the District of MD, is expected at 5:30 p.m.

During wrap-up:

  • Res. 442, condemning the terrorist attacks in Brussels, was passed by unanimous consent.
  • Res. 394, recognizing the 195th anniversary of the independence of Greece, was passed by unanimous consent.
  • To concur in the House amendment to S. 1523, to amend the federal water pollution control act, by unanimous consent.
  • Res. 463, honoring the memory and service of Omaha police officer Kerri Orozco, was passed by unanimous consent.
  • Res. 464, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Alaska State Troopers, was passed by unanimous consent.

During today’s session cloture was filed on the following amendments to H.R. 2577, Transportation and HUD appropriations bill.

  • Nelson #3898
  • Cornyn #3899
  • Blunt/Murray #3900

****

4:45 p.m. Senator Markey spoke about opioid addiction.

4:34 p.m. Senator Rubio spoke about zika.

4:10 p.m. Senator Fischer spoke about a fallen female police officer, killed in the line of duty.

3:39 p.m. Senator Kirk spoke about the MilConVA appropriations and missile defense in Europe.

3:13 p.m. Senator Collins and Senator Reed spoke in support of the Transportation and HUD appropriations bill.

3:12 p.m. Senator McConnell offered the following amendments regarding Zika and also filed cloture on those amendments.

  • Nelson #3898
  • Cornyn #3899
  • Blunt/Murray #3900

3:11 p.m. Senator McConnell offered amendment #3897 for Senator Lee.

3:10 p.m. The Senate began debate on H.R. 2577-Transportation and HUD appropriations bill. Senator Collins offered the substitute amendment #3896

3:00 p.m. Senator Flake spoke about NIH funding.

2:27 p.m. Senators Alexander’s, McConnell, and Collins spoke about the passage of the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.

2:26 p.m. The Senate passed H.R. 2028 by a vote of 90-8. Senators voting no: Cruz, Fischer, Flake, Heller, Lee, Paul, Sasse and Sessions. Not voting: Boxer and Sanders.

1:47 p.m. The vote began on passage of H.R. 2028, the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.

1:45 p.m. The Flake amendment and the substitute amendment passed by voice votes. Cloture was withdrawn on H.R. 2028.

1:40 p.m. Senator Feinstein spoke for passage of the appropriation.

1:29 p.m. Senator Alexander spoke about the prospective passage of the energy and water appropriation.

12:43 p.m. Senator Merkley continued on climate change.

12:41 p.m. Senator Alexander achieved UC that following disposition of  energy and water Approps, the Senate will proceed to HR 2577, the Transportation and Housing & Urban Development appropriations, HR 2577, and Senator Cochran will be recognized to offer a substitute amendment that contains the text of S.2844 (T-HUD) and S.2806 (MilCon-VA).

12:40 p.m. Senator Alexander achieved UC that at 1:45,  adopt substitute amendment by voice vote, cloture on bill be withdrawn, and vote on passage of HR 2028, Energy and Water Appropriations bill.

12:35 p.m. Senator Merkley spoke on energy policy and climate change.

12:02 p.m. Senator Durbin spoke about the opioid epidemic.

11:36 a.m. Senator Lankford spoke about the Zika virus.

11:10 a.m. Senator Flake spoke in favor of trade.

10:56 a.m. Senator Blunt spoke about Iran and condemned the Iran deal, saying results are consistent with opponents’ predictions.

10:55 a.m. The Senate tuned to H.R. 2028, the Energy and Water appropriations bill. Pending is the Flake amendment, #3876, on which a voice vote is expected.

10:27 a.m. Senator Coats spoke about government waste.

10:04 a.m. Senator Portman spoke about addiction.

9:36 a.m. Minority Leader Reid spoke about Donald Trump.

9:35 p.m. Majority Leader McConnell called for passage today of the energy and water spending bill.

9:34 a.m. Senator Tillis welcomed Pastor Justice.

9:32 a.m. Senator Burr welcomed the visiting chaplain, Pastor Chris Justice of Lee Park Church in Monroe, N.C.

***

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

The Senate is expected to vote Thursday on passage of H.R. 2028, the Energy and Water appropriations bill.

Pending are the Alexander-Feinstein substitute, amendment #3801, on which post-cloture debate could run until about 6:30 p.m., and the Flake amendment, #3876, on which a voice vote is expected. An agreement is expected  to make a roll call vote unnecessary for cloture on the underlying bill.

At a time to be determined, the Senate will also vote on confirmation of the nomination of Paula Xinis to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

5:50 p.m. The Senate adjourned until 9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 12.

5:44 p.m. Sen. Alexander and Sen Cochran spoke on Energy and Water appropriations, saying all that remains is a vote on final passage.

5:43 p.m. ML McConnell set up a confirmation vote for Paul Xinis of Maryland, to be US District Judge for the District of Maryland.

5:43 p.m. The Fischer amendment is not agreed to 52-47 (60 vote threshold).

Senators voting in favor: 49 Republicans, 3 Democrats (Bennet, Donnelly and Klobuchar).

Senators voting against: 41 Democrats, 5 Republicans (Alexander, Cochran, Collins, Kirk and Murkowski), 1 Independent: King.

Senators not voting: Sanders.

5:01 p.m. Roll call vote began on the Fischer amendment #3888.

5:00 p.m. The Cardin amendment is not agreed to 39-60. (60 vote threshold.)

Senators voting in favor: 39 Democrats.

Senators voting against: 54 Republicans, 5 Democrats (Feinstein, Heitkamp, Manchin, McCaskill, Tester). 1 Independent (King).

Senators not voting: Sanders.

4:30 p.m. Roll call vote began on the Cardin amendment #3871.

4:26 p.m. Senator Alexander spoke about the decision to tie student loan interest rates to treasury rates.

4:23 p.m. Senator Burr spoke about lower interest rates for student loans.

4:18 p.m. Senator Toomey urged confirmations.

4:16 p.m. ML McConnell talked about confirmation and the number of nominees confirmed during President Obama’s presidency relative to the same point in the presidency of President George W. Bush.

4:05 p.m. Senator Toomey spoke on vacancies on the Federal bench in Pennsylvania.  He offered a UC to consider two Pennsylvania judges and Sen. Whitehouse objected.

3:39 p.m. Senator Rubio spoke on the zika virus.

3:33 p.m. Senator Cardin spoke on the water approps bill.

3:16 p.m. Senator Alexander spoke on the education bill passed to fix No Child Left Behind.

3:02 p.m. Senator Fischer spoke on the water approps bill.

2:42 p.m. Senator King spoke about student loans.

2:29 p.m. Senator Coats spoke about the economy.

2:13 p.m. Senator Sullivan spoke about the economy.

2:02 p.m. Senator Thune spoke about the economy.

1:40 p.m. Senator Boxer spoke about the Supreme Court Vacancy.

1:30 p.m. Senator Murray spoke about the Supreme Court vacancy and  Garland.

12:53 p.m. Senator Barrasso spoke on the Zika virus.

12:51 p.m. Sen Alexander acheives UC to call up Cardin amdt #3871, Fischer amdt #3888 and Flake amdt #3876.  At 4:30 vote on Cardin and Fischer amendments, each with a 60 vote threshold.

12:50 p.m. Cloture was invoked on the substitute amendment by a vote of  97-2.  Senators Heller and Lee voted no. Senator Sanders did not vote.

12:07 p.m. The Senate began voting on the motion to invoke cloture on the substitute amendment to the energy and water Approps bill.

12:06 p.m. Senator Alexander withdrew the Cotton amenment.

11:50 a.m. Senator Cardin spoke about the Zika virus.

11:07 a.m. Senator Alexander spoke on the bill, should be able to finish the today or tomorrow, still a few amendments out there, there will be a cloture vote at noon on the substitute.

11:05 a.m. Cloture was not invoked on the Cotton amendment  by a vote of 57-42.

Senators in favor: 52 Republicans, 5 Democrats. (Blumenthal, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Manchin and Menendez).

Senators against: 39 Democrats, 2 Republicans, (Alexander and Paul) and 1 Independent (King).

Senators not voting: Sanders

10:34 a.m. The cloture vote began for the Cotton amendment.

10:32 a.m. Senator Feinstein spoke on the bill.

10:28 a.m. Senator Alexander expressed hope that the energy-water bill will pass today.

9:41 a.m. Senator Reid spoke about the President’s handling of the economy and about the Supreme Court vacancy.

9:33 a.m. Senator McConnell spoke about tornadoes in Kentucky, the pending business and manufacturing legislation. He also spoke of  the President’s assertions about the economy.

***

The Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m., when it will resume consideration of the Energy and Water appropriation.

At 10:30 a.m., a cloture vote is expected on the Cotton amendment, #3878. If cloture is not invoked , there will be an hour of debate before Senator Cotton is recognized to withdraw his amendment.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

6:18 p.m. The Senate adjourned until 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, when it will resume consideration of the Energy and Water appropriation. At 10:30 a.m., a cloture vote is expected on the Cotton amendment, #3878. If cloture is not invoked , there will be an hour of debate before Senator Cotton is recognized to withdraw his amendment.

6:15 p.m.  In wrap-up, Senator McConnell secured unanimous consent passage of these measures: S. 1352, to increase Pell grants for the children of fallen safety officers; H.R. 4923, on the process for submission and consideration of petitions; H.R. 4336, as amended, to amend Title 38;  S. Res. 418, to recognize several persons for dedication to their causes.

5:40 p.m. Senator Durbin paid tribute to Senator Bennett. He also spoke about judicial nominations.

5:10 p.m. Senator Gardner paid tribute to Admiral Bill Gortney.

4:33 p.m. Senator Cotton paid tribute to the Arkansan of the week, Mary Lorraine Wood Bormann of Fayetteville, Arkansas.

4:17 p.m. Senator Whitehouse spoke on climate change.

3:45 p.m. Senator Murphy spoke on accidental gun shootings.

3:30 p.m. Senator Sullivan spoke on Obama’s legacy.

3:15 p.m. Senator Cornyn spoke on the accomplishments and roadblocks in the Senate. He followed on mental illness legislation.

3:08 p.m. Senator Lee paid tribute to the late Senator Robert F. Bennett.

2:56 p.m. Senator Coons sought consent for a vote on a nomination. Senator McConnell objected.

2:55 p.m. Senator Cardin sought consent for votes on several judicial nominations. Senator McConnell objected.

2:53 p.m. Senator Casey sought consent for votes on a series of judicial nominations. Senator McConnell objected.

2:50 p.m. Senator Cardin spoke about judicial nominations.

2:45 p.m. The Senate resumed consideration of the energy and water appropriation.  Senator Casey spoke about federal district court vacancies in Pennsylvania.

2:20 p.m. ML McConnell spoke on the energy and water appropriations bill.

The Senate convened at 2:15 p.m. and has resumed consideration of H.R. 2028, the Energy and Water Appropriations bill.

A motion has been entered to reconsider Monday’s failed cloture vote on the Alexander substitute to the Energy and Water bill. Senator Alexander has withdrawn his first-degree amendment, #3804.

Cloture has been filed on the Cotton amendment, #3878, and on the substitute amendment, #3801. Without an agreement to the contrary, these cloture motions would ripen on Wednesday.

Monday, May 9, 2016

6:48 p.m. Senator Sasse spoke on the New York Times magazine on Obama administration staffer Ben Rhodes and the Iran deal.

6:38 p.m Senator Enzi paid tribute to former Senators Burns and Bennett.  Further wraps up the Senate, passing the following by UC:

  • S 546 regarding railroad safety and preparedness.
  • HR 4238 regarding the Department of Energy Organization Act.
  • S Res 436 regarding World Malaria Day.

6:25 p.m Senator Blumenthal spoke on gun control.

6:18 p.m Senator Alexander spoke on the Energy and Water appropriations bill.

6:15 p.m. ML McConnell passes by UC S Res 457 and 458, regarding the deaths of former Senators Bennett and Burns.  UC that when the Senate adjourns, it do so until 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, and that following any leader time, resume consideration of HR 2028, the Energy and Water Appropriations bill.

6:13 p.m. ML McConnell entered a motion to reconsider, Senator Alexander withdrew his first degree amendment #3804, ML McConnell for Senator Cotton offered amendment #3878 (Iran-heavy water), and then filed cloture on the Cotton amendment #3878 ad on the substitute amendment #3801.

6:12 p.m. Cloture was not invoked by a tally of 50-42.

Senators in favor: 46 Republicans, 4 Democrats (Donnelly, Heitkamp, Manchin and Menendez).

Senators against: 38 Democrats, 3 Republicans (Heller, Lee and McConnell*), 1 Independent (King).

Senators not voting: 5 Republicans (Cornyn, Cruz, Kirk, McCain and Toomey), 2 Democrats (Durbin and McCaskill) and 1 Independent (Sanders).

5:31 p.m. Roll call vote began on cloture on the Alexander substitute amendment to HR 2028, the Energy and Water appropriations bill.

5:02 p.m. Senator Flake spoke on the earmark ban.

4:16 p.m. Senators Wyden and Feinstein paid tribute to Senator Bennett.

4:02 p.m. Senator Feinstein spoke on the Energy and Water Appropriations bill.

4:01 p.m. The Senate resumes consideration of the Energy and Water Appropriations bill.

3:41 p.m. Senator Alexander spoke on the Energy and Water Appropriations bill.

3:32 p.m. Senator Nelson paid tribute to Senator Bennett, and later spoke on the Zika virus.

3:28 p.m. Senator Alexander paid tribute to Senator Bennett, he also spoke briefly that he will follow up later on the pending energy and water appropriations bill.

3:19 p.m. Senator Hatch paid tribute to Senator Bennett.

3:06 p.m DL Reid paid tribute to Senator Bennett; he later spoke on the new mayor of London; and Donald Trump.

3:02 p.m. ML McConnell spoke on the schedule and attempts to return to regular order with respect to the appropriations process, before discussing a memorial service for former Senator Bennett, scheduled for tomorrow.

***

The Senate convened at 3:00 p.m.

After one hour of morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 2028, the Energy and Water Appropriations bill.

At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will conduct a cloture vote on the Alexander substitute, Amendment #3801.