7:00 p.m. The Senate adjourned and will reconvene at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 28. They will resume post cloture debate on the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to be EPA Administrator. A confirmation vote on the nomination will occur at 12:30 p.m. Following that vote the Senate will begin debate on the nomination of John Ryder to be a member of the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority. A confirmation vote on that nomination will occur at 1:45 p.m.
Passed during wrap up:
- S. Res. 83-Designating February 2019 as American Heart month
- S. Res. 84-Celebrating Black History Month
6:48 p.m. Senator Carper spoke mercury and air pollution and also spoke against the Wheeler nomination.
6:37 p.m. Senator Kaine spoke about Venezuela.
6:20 p.m. Senator Merkley spoke about climate change.
6:05 p.m. Senator Hirono spoke against the Wheeler nomination.
5:44 p.m. Senator Markey spoke about climate change and the Green New Deal.
5:43 p.m. Senator McConnell withdrew the cloture motion to the nomination of John Ryder to be a member of the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority.
5:27 p.m. Senator Udall spoke against the Wheeler nomination.
5:02 p.m. Senator Van Hollen spoke against the Wheeler nomination.
4:52 p.m. Senator Cardin spoke against the Wheeler nomination.
4:46 p.m. Senator Shaheen paid tribute to her departing chief of Staff Maura Heath.
4:35 p.m. Senator Cotton paid tribute to two medal of honor winners who passed away recently, Air Force Colonel Joe Jackson and Army Colonel Charles Kettles.
4:24 p.m. Senator Casey spoke against the Wheeler nomination.
4:15 p.m. Senators Fischer and Sasse paid tribute to the University of Nebraska on its 150th anniversary; and passed by unanimous consent S Res 82 recognizing that anniversary.
4:05 p.m. Senator Wyden spoke against the Wheeler nomination.
3:33 p.m. Senator Hirono spoke against the Wheeler nomination.
3:16 p.m. Senator Perdue spoke about Hurricane Michael.
3:03 p.m. Senator Schatz spoke about the Blue slip process.
2:51 p.m. Senator Blunt asked u.c. to pass S.Res. 70, An original resolution authorizing expenditures by committees of the Senate for the periods March 1, 2019 through September 30, 2019, October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020, and October 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021; and H.Con. Res. 21, Directing the Secretary of the Senate to make a correction in the enrollment of the bill S. 47.
2:00 p.m. Senator Whitehouse spoke about climate change, as part of his “time to wake up” series. On this occasion, he engaged in a colloquy with Senators King, Klobuchar, Leahy and Tester about a letter six Senators wrote in 1986 about studying climate change.
1:44 p.m. Senator Murphy spoke on firearm legislation.
1:35 p.m. Senator Barrasso spoke supporting the Wheeler nomination.
1:18 p.m. Senator Carper spoke against the Wheeler nomination.
1:17 p.m. The Senate invoked cloture on the Wheeler nomination by a vote of 52-46. Senators Scott of FL and Sinema did not vote.
12:57 p.m. The Senate began voting on the motion to invoke cloture on the Wheeler nomination.
12:55 p.m. The Desmond nomination was confirmed by a vote of 83-15. Voting no: Booker, Duckworth, Gillibrand, Harris, Hirono, Klobuchar, Markey, Menendez, Merkley, Reed, Sanders, Schatz, Schumer, Warren and Whitehouse. Not voting: Scott of FL and Sinema.
12:15 p.m. Senator Menendez spoke against the Desmond nomination.
12:11 p.m. Senator Murray spoke against the Neomi Rao nomination.
12:01 p.m. Senator Stabenow spoke against the Wheeler nomination.
11:55 a.m. Senator Lankford spoke about nomination procedure.
11:35 a.m. Senator Grassley spoke about tax returns.
11:23 a.m. Senator Perdue joined in the colloquy on nominations procedure.
11:11 a.m. Senator Cornyn spoke about Senate procedure on nominations.
10:59 a.m. Senator Ernst spoke on nominations.
10:39 a.m. Senator Durbin spoke on climate change and the green new deal, and later on the cost of prescription drugs; introducing his “pharma fleece award.”
10:35 a.m. Senator Thune spoke on the green new deal.
10:22 a.m. Democratic Leader Schumer spoke on the green new deal and climate change; and later on President Trumps trip to Asia.
10:02 a.m. Majority Leader McConnell spoke on the Desmond nomination, nominations in general, and the green new deal.
The Senate will convene at 10 a.m. and will resume-post-cloture consideration of the nomination of Michael J. Desmond, of California, to be Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service and an Assistant General Counsel in the Department of the Treasury.
At 12:15 there will be two roll call votes:
1. Confirmation of the Desmond nomination.
2. Cloture on the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to be Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Senator McConnell has filed cloture on the following nomination:
— John L. Ryder, of Tennessee, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The cloture motion on the Ryder nomination will ripen upon disposition of the Ryder nomination. Each nomination is subject to up to 30 hours of post-cloture debate.