Tag Archives: John McCain

SENATE: GOP’s Fight Against 9/11 Heroes …reminder


Two weeks ago, Senate Republicans successfully filibustered a bill that would provide health benefits to September 11th first responders who have contracted illnesses as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals during their response to the attacks.  Named after James Zadroga, a responder who was killed in 2006 by respiratory disease, the bill sets aside money to monitor and treat the health of these firefighters, police officers, and construction workers, and would reopen the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which provides payments for job and economic losses. When it was initially filibustered, no Republican Senator came to the floor to explain why the bill, which was fully paid-for w ith spending offsets, didn’t deserve to pass. That shameful performance led Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart to dedicate an entire show to taking both the Senate and the media to task for refusing to make the bill a priority. “So guess what, Republicans? Here’s the deal: Your ‘We’re the only party who understands 9/11 and its repercussions’  monopoly ends now,” Stewart said. Other media commentators piled on, and with a few fixes made to address concerns regarding how it is paid for, the bill has new life and could pass this week.

A REAL NECESSITY: According to researchers at the Albert Einstein University’s Montefiore Medical Center in New York, the dust at the World Trade Center site was “a combination of the  most dense, intense particulate matter [fire fighters and EMS personnel were] ever exposed to in an urban environment.” David Prezant, a specialist in respiratory medicine, explained to Voice of America that respiratory ailments arising from exposure to that dust results in “a persistent, real decline that requires long-term monitoring and aggressive treatment.” A report by the AFL-CIO in September of this year revealed that 13,000 first responders were still being treated for health problems, nine years after the attacks took place. “They told us if we did our job, they’d take care of us. We did our job. Now we’re sick and  they don’t remember who we are anymore,” said Greg Staub, who retired from the New York City Fire Department in 2009 due to chronic lung problems. When Stewart asked first responder John Devlin what he thought of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) giving a teary farewell to Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) on the Senate floor while the Zadroga bill languished, Devlin responded, “Where is his human feeling for — not only for us, we represent the brother and sisters…that can’t come out and speak like we can.” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is one of the strongest proponents of the Zadroga bill, said on Good Morning America yesterday that “ thousands will die because they don’t get adequate medical care” unless the bill is passed.

PROCESS OVER SUBSTANCE: The callous response of many Republican Senators to these very real health concerns has been nothing short of appalling. For instance, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) insisted that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy  were a higher priority than the Zadroga bill. While in the Senate rotunda, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) stepped around a first responder asking for his support, telling him, “I can’t help you.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) even called the Capitol Police when some first responders planned to stage a sit-in at Senate offices. When Republicans weren’t ignoring actual first responders, they were proferring nonsensical procedural reasons for opposing the bill. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), for example, said that the bill was being considered “in a hurry, in a lame duck session,  without a hearing, without understanding what the ramifications are and whether we can amend the bill.” However, the bill was first introduced in the House four years ago, has been available in the Senate since 2009, and received a Senate hearing in June 2010. Senate Republican excuses have worn thin amongst even those on the right, with former Republican congressman Joe Sc arborough asking, “How did this become a New York issue? That is like Pearl Harbor becoming a Hawaii issue in 1951. It’s ridiculous.” Last week, former GOP Arkansas Gov. and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said “every Republican” should support the bill.

THE CHAMBER’S OPPOSITION: As ThinkProgress’ Lee Fang reported, “While Republicans quietly snuffed out efforts to compensate 9/11 heroes, they were aided by a quiet lobbying campaign by the powerful lobbying front — the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” The Chamber didn’t like that the bill was being paid for by closing a tax loophole used by multinational corporations who park their income in tax havens; the Chamber warned that closing the loophole would “damage U.S. relationships with major trading partners” and “aggravate already unsettled financial markets.” The Chamber, of course, has repeatedly lobbied against important pieces of legislation — including an extension of unemployment benefits for jobless workers — because they were paid for by eliminating some of the many tax breaks that corporations exploit to pay little or no U.S. corporate income taxes. This time, the Chamber was quite successful in its lobbying push, as Sen. Susan Collin s (R-ME) released a statement saying that she would only support the bill if the pay-for were changed. Ultimately, the change was made, which led Schumer to say, “We now have the votes, we’ve made some modifications that some of our Republican colleagues requested and if no one does undue delay, just stands up and delays and delays and delays, we will get this done.” However, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is still threatening to block the bill

about failed Promises


thefacesMy take on failed promises, past present and future, which is what we are all experiencing under the Republican controlled House of Representatives versus change to or redirection of promises that President Obama has had to make on numerous occasions. It is obvious the two situations are quite different. The first two years of the Obama Admin the RTP as we know was spent on the floor of Congress saying no, blocking, making the Democratic Party scale back or run away from legitimate bills that RTP attached felonious amendments to that no member of Congress could in good conscience vote for. Then came the campaign for the midterm election that if you know your history gets few voters out to vote though in what definitely is a first of many first in this Presidency, the midterms were important yet folks did the same ole same, some opted out on purpose and even more voted right of center on purpose. While most know the outcome of the midterm elections, I think that many people do not understand what truly happened. President Obama said he got a shellacked and would try to make a move to be more bipartisan, though senator McConnell said if he wants us to consider compromise he would have to do, say and act like we want him to, essentially bow down to the Republican Tea Party. For the last 4.5 years, Americans have been hearing Republicans say that we need to create jobs. Mr. Boehner and his comrades definitely used the jobs, jobs, jobs slogan to win the House or Representatives. Sadly, these carpetbaggers have been waving one hand in the air while using the other to attack, slash, cut, and burn every effort to get our economy back on track. It may sound dramatic, but it feels as if the Republican Tea Party has wanted to eliminate the middle and lower class since then Senator Barack Obama became President and now I certainly feel our country is at risk with reckless, seemingly uneducated Republican members of Congress.

Contrary to most if not all polls the anger or feelings of distrust and failed promises should be pointed at the way in which President’s govern? It was done poorly for eight years during the house of Bush, because when he took office there was a surplus… Question is, what did he do with it and how do we make sure this cannot happen again lest we talk about in times of American crisis both Political Parties and any entities involved must all come together to fix the issue … leaving ideology at the door!

… Community Organizer and Senator Obama watched from the sidelines, watched, heard, and knew the status quo had to change though we had no financial crisis to speak of things were not as they should be or more importantly not as they could be. The change we Americans need is one that moves all of us into the 21st Century. This effort to change has been misinterpreted in my opinion of one of socialism… folks have to know that our current system is outdated does not represent all of the people and if you are really listening. The Republicans want to go backward to a time when life was good but it was only good for the rich. Then Presidential candidate, Barack Obama had a plan for America. There were some financial issues are brewing, the house of Bush was focused only on the Iraq war, Obama’s ideas seemed far ahead of the other competitors. Americans saw and heard what he wanted to do and agreed, well at least 53% believed a change was needed in the way things are done on the Hill. However, change takes time maybe years.  If we had all participated, it could happen sooner with GOP co-operation but as the months passed by there were more rumblings of financial problems and then Senator Obama faced with lots of criticism became the main target and NOT our finances heading toward the ditch.  We voters heard or told to ask if Obama was an American, did he pal around with terrorists, could he bring in the vote of not only women but also white women and men on top of it all. I really feel people need to be reminded of when, what, where and who got us into an economic downward spiral. However, weeks went by more and more information is coming out, people notice that there were many layoffs happening, businesses closing up and some notice Bush is less available every day and while the backroom deals made by the house of Bush, McCain tells Americans that our economy is still sound and strong. In what seemed like only a month or few weeks before Americans had to vote for President of the United States. The House of Bush slowly opened the doors of pain and the possibility of our economic collapse. I still want to know why did they wait until the next administration was about to be put into place? Some say there is no such thing as a coincidence.

Wall Street, Main Street, AIG and a lot of Banks Crashed … with the house of Bush and Paulson making back room deals …

The day they swore in President Obama everyone knew there was quite a different Presidency he had walked into than most Presidents. This President has faced one crisis after another and contrary to what “the Media” wants us to feel or believe he has made failed and false promises. I do not believe he has made false promises, he has had to contemplate and change directions, he is still working for all Americans, and I am so proud to have voted for President Obama.

While the forces of the RTP say otherwise, we all need to understand the change, redirecting any and quite possibly all campaign promises if needed. Why? Because our lives have changed, they are more of a challenge now and the elements(theGOP) needed to create a better situation did not play by the rules choosing to sit on the sidelines. The banks flexed their muscles, lobbyists are stood in the way, Republicans/Conservatives cannot accept Obama as our President and have become more than just the party of no, some are trying to provoke fear and hate not bipartisanship, and I keep asking is socialist a code for the n word?

ConservaDems and definitely Republicans are not all in for the change the rest of us believed in want or voted for twice.  We need to tell members of  Congress! be outraged at the nonsense going on…We need to continue reforming that part of our economy monopolized by parts of Corporate America given the right to do so by folks on the Supreme Court. Vote out the TeaCarpetbaggers for a positive change.

While President Obama did promise change, he has kept over half of them, he also stated that he could not make changes alone … we all would have to participate. That comment is a hard reality given the crap that the Republican Tea Party keeps pulling out of somewhere disguised with them saying they are listening to what Americans want because Americans spoke thus the outcome of the midterm elections. Even if it were true, the promises the Republican Tea Party made before and have been making consistently are epic failures …like I said could put us at risk and as I finish a rant a rumor from twitter states Republicans might be considering a government shutdown. Republicans talk about not wanting big government but they do not deliver on their promise. In fact, they have been practicing failed promises and lies since the 112th Congress started. Mr. Boehner, Cantor and their comrades have failed to offer up a legitimate JOBS bill, failed to create a JOB and of course we can all debate whether that bush bonus giveaway has helped create, save and or stopped any outsourcing of jobs.

I ask the GOP, where and when are the JOBS among many other issues going to be brought to the floor of Congress! and the Epic Failure Promises describes the Republican Tea Party.

CNBC censors Warren


ELIZABETH WARREN’S EARLIER EMAIL TO PCCC MEMBERS:

About a year ago, on the campaign trail, I asked PCCC members to join with me in pushing for a new Glass-Steagall bill.

This law stopped investment banks from gambling away people’s life savings for decades — until Wall Street successfully lobbied the regulators to chip away at the rules in the 1980s and Congress to repeal it entirely in 1999.

Over 100,000 people joined the fight. And now, I am proud to introduce the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act — along with Republican John McCain, Independent Angus King, and Democrat Maria Cantwell — as my first big banking bill in the U.S. Senate.

Will you join over 100,000 of us in calling for more Wall Street reform, starting with a new Glass-Steagall Act? Sign here!

We learned during the 2008 financial crisis that Wall Street is not just taking risks with their own money — they are taking risks with the whole economy.

A new Glass-Steagall would separate high-risk investment banks from more traditional banking. It would allow Wall Street to take risks, but not by dipping into the life savings and retirement accounts of regular people.

And by making banks smaller, a new Glass-Steagall could also help put an end to banks that are “too big to fail” — further avoiding costly taxpayer bailouts.

Please help us pass a new Glass-Steagall Act. Join the fight here.

I’ve already talked about this petition on MSNBC, and I’ll keep my Senate colleagues informed of the growing public support for this reform.

By mobilizing people across the nation, we can get this done.

Thank you, Senator Elizabeth Warren

ThinkProgress


By  CAP Action War Room

GOP Blockade of Nominees Collapses

Today was supposed to be D-Day when it came to the so-called nuclear option in the Senate — a relatively minor change in the Senate rules to stop a minority of senators from using the filibuster as a means of nullifying democratically created government agencies and functions that they object to purely for ideological reasons.

After a three and a half hour meeting last night and ongoing negotiations through this morning, senators announced a deal to avert changing the Senate rules. Nevertheless, the deal represents a huge victory for Democrats and an almost unconditional surrender on the part of Senate Republicans.

Here’s the main elements of the deal:

  • The president’s nominees to head the Department of Labor, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Export-Import Bank, and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will be confirmed without delay.
  • Two of the president’s current nominees to the National Labor Relations Board will be withdrawn; however, Republicans agree in advance to confirm any two nominees of the president’s choosing before the Senate recesses in August.
  • Democrats retain the right to revisit changing the filibuster rules on executive branch nominees at any time should Republicans once again begin a blockade.

Interestingly, Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) had offered a deal last night that would have also confirmed the current group of seven nominees, but would’ve required Democrats to promise to never again threaten to change the rules. Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) wisely rejected this offer in favor of the offer outlined above made by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and a group of breakaway Republicans.

Real progress has already been made as a result of this deal. CFPB nominee Richard Cordray had been prevented from receiving an up-or-down vote by Senate Republicans for 730 days. Following today’s deal, a cloture motion on his nomination passed 71-29 and a final confirmation vote is expected later today.

Hopefully this new spirit of cooperation from Senate Republicans will also extend to other areas. The president deserves up-or-down votes on his judicial nominations, which have also faced unprecedented levels of obstruction and delay from some Senate Republicans. In particular, we look forward to timely votes on the president’s three nominations to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

BOTTOM LINE: Today’s deal does not fix all of the problems with the Senate, but it represents a huge victory for consumers, workers, and anyone who cares about clean air and water. In addition, the deal underscores that a unified Democrat caucus can stand up to unprecedented Republican obstructionism and get results.

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed

Seven mind-blowing moments from the first interview with Zimmerman juror B37.

GOP attacks on abortion rights likely to backfire.

The real reason why GOP leaders are terrified of filibuster reform.

The death and life of the party?

Reuters exposed: wire service is openly hostile to climate reporting, top editor doubts climate science.

The mundane, yet potent weapons of today’s anti-abortion movement.

House Republicans will vote tomorrow to leave an extra 13 MILLION people without health insurance.

Latest abomination in North Carolina: GOP plan to cut taxes on the rich, raise them on the poor.

Stevie Wonder to stop performing in Florida and other states with shoot first Stand Your Ground laws.

the Senate considers S.954,the Farm bill :::::: CONGRESS :::::: the House has hearings &


 House chamber in session

The Senate will convene at 10:00am on Tuesday, June 4, 2013.

  • Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of morning business for one hour with the Majority controlling the first half and the Republicans controlling the final half.
  • Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of S.954, the Farm bill.
  • The Senate will recess from 12:30pm until 2:15pm to allow for the weekly caucus meetings.
  • This afternoon prior to the recess for the weekly caucus meetings, Senator Murray asked unanimous consent the Senate proceed to the consideration of Calendar #33, H.Con.Res.25; the amendment at the desk, which is the text of S.Con.Res.8, the budget resolution passed by the Senate, be inserted in lieu thereof; and that H.Con.Res.25, as amended, be agreed to. Further, that the Senate insist on its amendment, request a conference with the House on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses; and the Chair be authorized to appoint conferees on the part of the Senate; and that following the authorization, two motions to instruct conferees be in order from each side:- Motion to instruct relative to the debt limit; and- Motion to instruct relative to taxes/revenue;That there be two hours of debate equally divided between the two Leaders, or their designees, prior to votes in relation to the motions; further, that no amendments be in order to either of the motions prior to the votes; all of the above occurring with no intervening action or debate.Senator Rubio requested to modify Senator Murray’s request to go to a conference without having the debt limit raised within that conference.  Senator Murray objected to Senator Rubio’s request to modify and finally, Senator Rubio objected to Senator Murray’s original request.  Senator McCain also spoke about his objections to Senator Rubios’s modification. The unofficial transcript is below.12:15:00 NSP (MRS. MURRAY) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }MRS. MURRAY: THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. MADAM PRESIDENT,SENATE DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN WAITING ATIME TO GO TO CONFERENCE ON OUR BUDGET. IN FACT, IT HAS NOW

    BEEN 73 DA DAYS. AND UNTIL RECENTLY, WE’VE GOTTEN PRETTY USED

    TO SENATE REPUBLICANS JUST SIMPLY STANDING UP AND SAYING, “NO.”

    FOR MONTHS, REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN OFFERING A LOT OF EXCUSES FOR

    WHY THEY DON’T WANT TO GO TO CONFERENCE ON THE BUDGET. THEY

    HAVE SAID THEY WANT A PRECONFERENCE FRAMEWORK WHICH, BY THE

    WAY, IS WHAT A BUDGET IS. THEY HAVE SAID THEY WOULDN’T ALLOW US

    TO GO TO CONFERENCE UNTIL WE GUARANTEED THAT THE WEALTHIEST

    AMERICANS AND BIGGEST CORPORATIONS WOULD BE PROTECTED FROM

    PAYING A PENNY MORE IN TAXES. THEY SAID THEY DIDN’T WANT A

    BIPARTISAN CONFERENCE TO TAKE AWAY THE LEVERAGE THEY HAVE ON

    THE DEBT CEILING. AND THEN THEY CALLED FOR A DO-OVER, WHICH

    ACTUALLY MY RANKING MEMBER ON THE BUDGET CALLED FOR AGAIN THIS

    MORNING. TO BRING UP THE HOUSE BUDGET, HAVE 50 HOURS OF DEBATE,

    A WHOLE NEW ROUND OF UNLIMITED AMENDMENTS, GO THROUGH THE

    PROCESS ALL OVER AGAIN. AND THEY DID THIS AFTER THEY PRAISED

    THE VERY OPEN AND THOROUGH FLOOR DEBATE WE HAD ON THE SENATE

    BUDGET. SO, MADAM PRESIDENT, THE STORY KEEPS CHANGING. BUT EVEN

    AS SOME REPUBLICANS WERE FOCUSED ON FINDING EXCUSES TO MOVE US

    CLOSER AND CLOSER TO THIS CRISIS RATHER THAN HAVE A BUDGET

    DEAL, WE HAVE A NUMBER OF REPUBLICANS WHO ARE NOW JOINING WITH

    US TO CALL ON REGULAR ORDER. SENATOR COBURN SAID THAT BLOCKING

    CONFERENCE IS, AND I QUOTE, NOT A GOOD POSITION TO BE IN.

    SENATOR BOZEMAN SAID — QUOTE — HE WOULD VERY MUCH LIKE TO SEE

    A CONFERENCE. SENATOR WICKER SAID WEEKS AGO THAT — QUOTE –

    “BY THE END OF NEXT WEEK, WE SHOULD BE READY TO GO TO

    CONFERENCE.” SO WE HAVE KNOWN FOR A WHILE THAT BLOCKING REGULAR

    ORDER, ESPECIALLY AFTER CALLING FOR IT SO EAGERLY JUST A MATTER

    OF MONTHS AGO, WAS NOT SITTING WELL WITH A NUMBER OF OUR

    REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES. AND NOW ACCORDING TO “POLITICO,” MORE

    REPUBLICANS APPEAR TO FAVOR HEADING TO CONFERENCE THAN BLOCKING

    IT. MADAM PRESIDENT, I WELCOME THAT. WE NEED TO MOVE THIS TO

    CONFERENCE. IT IS THE REGULAR ORDER. IT WILL ALLOW US TO SOLVE

    OUR COUNTRY’S PROBLEMS, AND WE — WE TRULY NEED A PROCESS TO

    ALLOW US TO DEAL WITH OUR NATION’S PROBLEMS. MADAM PRESIDENT,

    SENATOR McCAIN IS ON THE FLOOR, AND I WANT TO THANK HIM BECAUSE

    HE UNDERSTANDS THE IMPORTANCE, NOT JUST FOR THIS BILL BUT FOR

    ALL LEGISLATION IN THE SENATE, THAT WE COME HERE, WE

    COMPROMISE, WE FIGHT HARD FOR WHAT WE BELIEVE IN, BUT AT THE

    END OF THE DAY JUST SAYING MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY, EVEN IF

    YOU’RE A SMALL MINORITY, DOESN’T MOVE THIS COUNTRY TO THE PLACE

    WHERE WE NEED IT TO GET TO. IT ISN’T A CRISIS BY MANAGEMENT

    PLACE. AND I THANK HIM FOR TAKING A LEAD AND CALLING FOR

    REGULAR ORDER. HE HAS SAID THAT REPUBLICAN PRECONDITIONS LIKE

    DEMANDING THE CONFERENCE AGREE TO NOT RAISE THE DEBT CEILING OR

    RAISE TAXES ARE ABSOLUTELY OUT OF LINE AND UNPRECEDENTED.

    SENATOR COLLINS JOINED US ON THE FLOOR A FEW WEEKS AGO TO SAY

    THAT EVEN THOUGH THERE IS A LOT WE DON’T SEE EYE TO EYE ON, WE

    SHOULD AT LEAST GO TO CONFERENCE AND MAKE OUR BEST EFFORT TO

    GET A DEAL. MADAM PRESIDENT, I COULDN’T AGREE MORE. THE

    STALLING THAT WE HAVE SEEN IS, AS SOME HAVE SAID ON THEIR SIDE,

    A LITTLE BIZARRE AND IRONIC, TO SAY THE LEAST, ESPECIALLY AFTER

    I WOULD REMIND EVERYONE 50 HOURS OF DEBATE, INNUMERABLE

    AMENDMENTS THAT TOOK US WAY INTO THE EARLY HOURS, WE OFFERED

    EVERYBODY THE CHANCE TO SPEAK OUT, AND AFTER THAT SESSION WAS

    OVER, MANY OF OUR REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES CAME TO ME PERSONALLY

    AND THANKED ME FOR FINALLY HAVING AN OPEN PROCESS. IF THEY WANT

    US TO HAVE AN OPEN PROCESS, THEN THEY HAVE TO TAKE THAT PROCESS

    AND TAKE IT TO THE NEXT STEP. SO, MADAM PRESIDENT, I AM DEEPLY

    CONCERNED. WE ARE MOVING TOWARDS ANOTHER MANUFACTURED CRISIS

    THIS FALL. WE HAVE OUR APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEES THAT NEED TO

    MOVE FORWARD. THE COUNTRY IS VERY CLEARLY TIRED OF THIS COUNTRY

    BEING MANAGED BY CRISIS, AND WE JUST HAD A BUDGET HEARING THIS

    MORNING WHERE OUR WITNESSES, BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS

    ALIKE, SAID THAT MOVING US TO A CONSERVED CRISIS WOULD IMPACT

    THIS ECONOMY IN A HORRIFIC WAY THIS FALL. WE DO NOT NEED TO

    HAVE THAT HAPPEN. I WANT TO GO TO CONFERENCE. DO I WANT TO HAVE A COMPROMISE?

    NOT REALLY. I LOVE WHERE I STAND, BUT I HAVE BEEN HERE A LONG

    TIME. YOU DON’T GET EVERYTHING YOU WANT, BUT YOU DO HAVE TO

    COMPROMISE IN ORDER TO MOVE THE COUNTRY FORWARD. AND I AM

    WILLING TO GO TO CONFERENCE WITH MY COUNTERPART, CHAIRMAN RYAN,

    WHO IS ON A VERY DIFFERENT PAGE THAN I AM, AND FIND OUR

    COMPROMISE AND BE WILLING TO MOVE THAT FORWARD HERE IN THE

    CONGRESS SO WE CAN GET TO A PLACE THAT ALLOWS US TO BE ABLE TO

    LEAD THIS COUNTRY AGAIN. SO, MADAM PRESIDENT, I THINK WE ARE AT

    A VERY CRITICAL POINT. I SEE SENATOR McCAIN IS ON THE FLOOR. I

    WOULD BE HAPPY TO YIELD TO HIM FOR A COMMENT.

    MR. McCAIN: MADAM PRESIDENT, PRESIDENT, –

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA.

    MR. McCAIN: I UNDERSTAND THAT ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES WHO WILL

    OBJECT IS COMING TO THE FLOOR, SO PERHAPS I WOULD RESERVE THE

    RIGHT TO OBJECT ON — ON HIS BEHALF EVEN THOUGH I’M IN STARK

    DISAGREEMENT. BUT INSTEAD, I’LL JUST MAKE A COMMENT AND I’M

    SURE THAT MY COLLEAGUE WILL — ON THIS SIDE OF THE AISLE WILL

    VOICE AN OBJECTION WHEN HE ARRIVES. HE’S HERE.

    MRS. MURRAY: I CAN GO AHEAD AND OFFER THE UNANIMOUS CONSENT AT

    THIS TIME AND WE CAN MOVE FROM THERE.

    MR. McCAIN: IF IT’S OKAY WITH THE SENATOR, BECAUSE WE KNOW

    WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. I WOULD JUST LIKE TO MAKE REMARKS AND

    THEN THE SENATOR FROM FLORIDA WILL MAKE THE SAME ARGUMENT THAT

    WE HAVE MADE THE LAST FEW DAYS, AND FORTUNATELY I DON’T HAVE TO

    BE LISTEN AGAIN. FOR FOUR YEARS, MEMBERS ON THIS SIDE OF THE

    AISLE ARGUED STRENUOUSLY THAT WE WERE DOING A GREAT DISSERVICE

    TO THE COUNTRY BY NOT TAKING UP AND DEBATING AND AMENDING A

    BUDGET THAT WOULD THEN GO TO CONFERENCE WITH THE HOUSE OF

    REPRESENTATIVES — THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CAPITOL, THE HOUSE OF

    REPRESENTATIVES, AND THEN WE WOULD DO WHAT WE EXPECT, AND

    UNFORTUNATELY EVERY FAMILY IN AMERICA HAS TO DO, AND THAT IS TO

    PASS A BUDGET UNDER WHICH WE WOULD BE GUIDED IN OUR

    AUTHORIZATION AND APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS. NOW, MY COLLEAGUE

    FROM FLORIDA WILL COME TO THE FLOOR AND SAY THAT WE HAVE

    AMASSED A DEBT BECAUSE OF THE BUDGET, BUT WE DIDN’T HAVE A

    BUDGET FOR FOUR YEARS, SO HOW CAN YOU ARGUE THAT THE FACT THAT

    WE MAY HAVE TO — WE MAY GO TO CONFERENCE ON A BUDGET, THAT

    SOMEHOW THAT WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEBT?

    OBVIOUSLY, IT’S NONSENSE. OBVIOUSLY, IT’S NONSENSE. JUST AS

    FRANKLY IT WAS NONSENSE WHEN THE SAME GROUP OF SENATORS SAID WE

    SHOULDN’T EVEN DEBATE GUN MEASURES IN LIGHT OF A TRAGEDY THAT

    TOOK PLACE IN CONNECTICUT AND ANOTHER TRAGEDY THAT TOOK PLACE

    IN TUCSON, ARIZONA. DIDN’T EVEN WANT TO TAKE UP AND DEBATE A

    WAY THAT SOME OF US HAD IDEAS TO TRY TO KEEP THE WEAPONS OUT OF

    THE HANDS OF CRIMINALS, AND THE HANDS OF THE MENTALLY ILL. SO

    NOW WE HAVE A SENATE WHERE WE REFUSE TO MOVE FORWARD ON ISSUES

    AND HAVE OPEN DEBATE AND DISCUSSION AND VOTES. I ALWAYS

    BELIEVED IN THE YEARS I HAVE BEEN HERE WITH REPUBLICAN AND

    DEMOCRAT MAJORITIES THAT THE WAY WE ARE SUPPOSED TO FUNCTION IS

    TO SAY OKAY, LET’S GIVE IT OUR BEST SHOT AND LET’S DO THE BEST

    WE CAN AND LET’S HAVE VOTES. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WAS OUR

    OBJECTIONS AGAIN TO THE MAJORITY LEADER WAS THAT HE WOULDN’T

    LET US HAVE VOTES ON AMENDMENTS. WE HAD I HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW

    MANY VOTES ON THE BUDGET THAT LASTED

    UNTIL, I BELIEVE, AROUND 7:00 IN THE MORNING. SO THE OPPONENTS

    OF MOVING FORWARD ON ANYTHING CAN’T ARGUE WE DIDN’T HAVE VOTES

    ON THE BUDGET, CAN’T ARGUE THAT THEY WERE BLOCKED FROM WHATEVER

    AMENDMENT THAT THEY WANTED TO HAVE VOTED ON, SO NOW WE’RE FACED

    WITH A SITUATION WHERE WE WILL NOT GO TO CONFERENCE, AND I WANT

    TO TELL MY COLLEAGUES THAT CONTINUE TO DO THIS THAT, WITH MY

    STRENUOUS OBJECTIONS, THE MAJORITY WILL BECOME FRUSTRATED AND

    THE MAJORITY CAN CHANGE THE RULES OF THE SENATE, THEY CAN DO

    THAT. AND I MUST SAY THAT ALTHOUGH I

    WOULD STRENUOUSLY. MAJORITY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CAPITOL IS

    OF OUR PARTY. THAT’S REALLY VERY DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND.

    UNLESS YOU TAKE THE WORD OF ONE PI MY COLLEAGUES TO CAME TO

    FLOOR AND SAID I DON’T TRUST DEMOCRATS AND I DON’T TRUST

    REPUBLICANS. LET ME REPEAT WHAT HE SAID. I DON’T TRUST

    DEMOCRATS AND I DON’T TRUST REPUBLICANS. IT’S NOT A MATTER OF

    TRUSTING DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS. WHAT THIS IS A MATTER OF IS

    WHETHER WE WILL GO THROUGH THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS THAT PEOPLE

    SENT US HERE TO DO. AND I’VE PROBABLY LOST MANY MORE TIMES THAN

    I HAVE WON. BUT I’VE BEEN SATISFIED IN THE TIMES THAT I HAVE

    LOST THAT I WAS ABLE TO MAKE MY ARGUMENT, WAS — PUT IT TO THE

    WILL OF THE BODY AND IT WAS EITHER ACCEPTED OR REJECTED. THAT’S

    HOW PEOPLE, SCHOOL CHILDREN ALL OVER AMERICA, EXPECT TO US

    BEHAVE. THAT’S THE WAY OUR CONSTITUTION IS WRITTEN. THAT’S WHAT

    THIS BODY IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT. SO WHEN WE HAVE A — BY THE

    WAY, MADAM PRESIDENT, THIS IS THE LAST TIME I’M GOING TO COME

    TO THE FLOOR ON THIS EXERCISE BECAUSE IT’S OBVIOUSLY A

    FRUITLESS KIND OF EFFORT, UNTIL SOMETHING CHANGES. AND

    OBVIOUSLY THAT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE SHORT TERM. NOW, MY

    FRIENDS ON THE — WILL BE SAYING THEY’RE REAGAN REPUBLICANS,

    YOU’RE A REAGAN REPUBLICAN. I WAS HERE WHEN RONALD REAGAN WAS

    PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. PRESIDENT REAGAN RIGHTLY OR

    WRONGLY PASSED AMNESTY FOR THREE MILLION PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY

    ILLEGALLY. HE SAT DOWN WITH TIP O’NEILL AND THEY SAVED SOCIAL

    SECURITY FROM BANKRUPTCY. RONALD REAGAN-RANK SAT DOWN WITH THE

    DEMOCRATS AND THEY AGREED IN WAYS OF INCREASING REVENUES AND

    CUTTING SPENDING. RONALD REAGAN’S RECORD IS VERY CLEAR. AND, BY

    THE WAY, IT WAS ONE OF AN ASSERTIVE ROLE OF THE UNITED STATES

    OF AMERICA AND LEADERSHIP IN THE WORLD AND NOT COME HOME TO

    FORTRESS AMERICA. SO SOMETIMES WHEN I HEAR MY COLLEAGUES HERE

    TALK ABOUT HOW THEY ARE RONALD REAGAN REPUBLICANS, I DON’T

    THINK RONALD REAGAN WOULD HAVE DISAGREED WE SHOULD HAVE A

    BUDGET. WE SHOULD HAVE A BUDGET FOR — TO GUIDE THE LEGISLATIVE

    AGENDA OF THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES. SO AS I SAID, I

    WON’T BE COMING BACK TO THE FLOOR AGAIN WHILE MY COLLEAGUES

    OBJECT AND I SEE MY COLLEAGUE FROM UTAH THAT WAS SO UNFAMILIAR

    WITH THE — WITH WHAT WE DO HERE THAT HE CLAIMED IT WAS BEHIND

    CLOSED DOORS IN BACK ROOMS WHEN THE FACT IS THE BUDGET

    CONFERENCE IS ON C-SPAN AND OPEN TO ALL. SO I CAN JUST SAY TO

    MY COLLEAGUES THIS IS NOT A PROUD MOMENT FOR ME AS WE BLOCK A

    PROCESS THAT WAS AGREED TO AND ENACTED FOR MANY, MANY YEARS,

    WAS NOT ENACTED FOR FOUR YEARS OVER THE STRENUOUS OBJECTIONS OF

    MYSELF AND MY COLLEAGUES WHO DID NOT ENACT A BUDGET, WE ENACTED

    A BUDGET AFTER AN ALL-NIGHTMARE THON OF VOTE AFTER VOTE AFTER

    VOTE ON LITERALLY ANY ISSUE AND THERE WAS NOT A SINGLE VOTE

    PROPOSED BY MY COLLEAGUES HERE THAT SAID THAT WE CAN’T AGREE TO

    A LIFTING OF THE DEBT LIMIT. NOW, THE FLOOR WAS OPEN FOR THAT

    AMENDMENT. AND I DON’T KNOW WHY MY COLLEAGUES NOW VIEW THIS AS

    THE CRITERIA FOR US MOVING FORWARD ON THE BILL. SO I WISH THEM

    LUCK, AND I WILL NOT BE COMING TO THE FLOOR AGAIN TO OBJECT TO

    THEIR OBJECTION, AND WE’LL LET THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MAKE THE

    JUDGMENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM WASHINGTON.

    MRS. MURRAY: I WANT TO THANK THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA FOR HIS

    VERY HEARTFELT REMARKS. HE AND I DON’T AGREE ON A LOT BUT WE

    AGREE WE WANT THIS COUNTRY TO WORK. BECAUSE THE ALTERNATIVE

    ISN’T GREAT. AND THE WAY FOR THIS COUNTRY TO WORK IS FOR FOR TO

    US COME TOGETHER WITH OUR DIFFERENCES OF OPINION AND MOVE

    FORWARD AND THAT’S WHAT THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE IS ALL ABOUT.

    SO, MADAM PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE SENATE

    PROCEED TO THE CONSIDERATION OF CALENDAR NUMBER 33, H. CON.

    RES. 25, THE AMENDMENT WHICH IS AT THE DESK, THE TEXT OF S.

    CON. RES. 8, THE BUDGET RESOLUTION PASSED BY THE SENATE BE

    INSERTED IN LIEU THEREOF, THAT THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID

    ON THE TABLE, THE SENATE INSIST ON ITS AMENDMENT, REQUEST A

    CONFERENCE WITH THE HOUSE ON THE DISAGREEING VOTES OF THE TWO

    HOUSES, AND THE CHAIR AUTHORIZED TO APPOINT CONFEREES ON THE

    PART OF THE SENATE, FOLLOWING THE AUTHORIZATION TWO MOTIONS TO

    INSTRUCT CONFERENCES BE IN ORDER FROM EACH SIDE. MOTION TO

    INSTRUCT RELATIVE TO THE DEBT LIMIT AND MOTION TO INSTRUCT

    RELATIVE TO TAXES AND REVENUE. THERE BE TWO HOURS OF DEBATE

    EQUALLY DIVIDED BETWEEN THE TWO LEADERS OR THEIR DESIGNEES

    PRIOR TO VOTES IN RELATIONS TO THE MOTIONS, FURTHER NO

    AMENDMENTS ANY OF THE AMENDMENTEDS PRIOR TO THE VOTE ALL OF THE

    ABOVE OCCURRING WITH NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE.

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTIONAM ?

    THE SENATOR FROM FLORIDA.

    MR. RUBIO: RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT — FIRST I THANK THE

    SENATOR FROM ARIZONA FOR PROTECTING MY RIGHT TO OBJECT IN MY

    ABSENCE BEFORE I MADE IT TO

    FLOOR AND JUST TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT, I DON’T THINK THAT

    WE OBJECT TO MOVING THE BUDGET CONFERENCE. WE OBJECT TO MOVING

    THE BUDGET CONFERENCE AND HAVING THE DEBT LIMIT RAISED WITHIN

    THAT CONFERENCE. I WOULD ASK THE SENATOR IF SHE WOULD CONSIDER

    A UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT SHE MODIFY HER REQUEST SO IT NOT BE IN

    ORDER FOR THE SENATE TO CONSIDER A CONFERENCE REPORT THAT

    INCLUDES RECONCILIATION INSTRUCTIONS TO RAISE THE DEBT LIMIT.

    MRS. MURRAY: MADAM PRESIDENT, IF THE SENATOR HEARD MY REQUEST,

    I SAID THAT WE WOULD CONSIDER A MOTION TO INSTRUCT RELATIVE TO

    THE DEBT LIMIT AS PART OF OUR AGREEMENT TO MOVE TO CONFERENCE.

    SO SO THE SENATOR WOULD BE ALLOWED TO MAKE HIS VOICE HEARD AT

    THAT TIME, AND I WOULD OBJECT TO MAKING A REQUIREMENT WITHOUT A

    VOTE OF THE SENATE THAT SAYS THE MAJORITY WOULD AGREE WITH

    THAT. SO I WOULD OBJECT TO HIS AMENDMENT AND AGAIN ASK FOR

    CONSENT ON THE AGREEMENT THAT I HAVE BEFORE ME.

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER: OBJECTION IS HEARD. IS THERE OBJECTION

    TO THE ORIGINAL REQUEST?

    MR. RUBIO: MADAM PRESIDENT?

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM FLORIDA.

    MR. RUBIO: I OBJECT.

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER: OBJECTION IS HEARD.

  • This afternoon, there were multiple requests for additional amendments to be called up to S.954, the Farm bill.  None of the amendments received the consent necessary.  The details of each request are below.Senator McCain asked unanimous consent to set aside the pending amendment so that his amendment #956 (catfish) could be made pending. Senator Landrieu objected to his request because she would like to call up her amendment #1113 (flood insurance) and is currently unable to receive unanimous consent.Senator Coburn asked unanimous consent to set aside the pending amendment and call up his amendments:-          Coburn #1003 (prohibit Federal farm subsidies to person having seriously delinquent tax debts),-          Coburn #1004 (conservation purposes to end subsidies to millionaires),

    –          Coburn #1005 (consolidate nutrition programs),

    –          Coburn #1006 (access and safety of specialty crops),

    –          Coburn #1007 (funding for market access program),

    –          Coburn #1008 (eliminate duplicative access to broadband telecommunications in rural areas),

    –          Coburn #1010 (prohibit replacement of ICD-9 with ICD-10 in implementing HIPAA standards),

    –          McCaskill #1076 (prohibition on performance awards in Senior Executive Service during sequestration),

    –          Coburn #1152 (allow demonstration projects to promote healthy eating among SNAP recipients).

    Senator Landrieu objected to the first 5 requests.  Senator Stabenow objected on Senator Landrieu’s behalf to the subsequent requests.

    Senator Landrieu asked unanimous consent to set aside the pending amendment and call up the following amendments:

    –          Landrieu #1113 (flood insurance)

    –          Johnson SD-Crapo #1117 (flood insurance)

    –          Cardin #1159 (side by side to Grassley #1097) and

    –          Grassley #1097 (protect information of livestock producers)

    that the time until 5:00pm be for debate on the amendments, that at 5:00pm, the Senate proceed to vote on the amendments and that all amendments be subject to a 60 affirmative vote threshold.

    Senator Toomey objected to Senator Landrieu’s request because he would like additional amendments to be permitted to be made pending and receive votes.

    Senator Coburn asked unanimous consent that every amendment filed to the Farm bill be considered read, debatable, and be available for a vote.  Senator Stabenow objected to the request.

  • During Tuesday’s session of the Senate, cloture was filed on the following items in the following order:
  • –          S.954, the Farm bill.-          Motion to proceed to S.1003, A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to reset interest rates for new student loans (Coburn) and

    –          Motion to proceed to S.953, the Student Loan Affordability Act (Reed).

    The filing deadline for first degree amendments to S.954, the Farm bill is 1:00pm on Wednesday, June 5th. The filing deadline for second degree amendments is 9:45am on Thursday, June 6th.

    At 10:00am on Thursday, there will be 3 roll call votes in relation to the following in the following order:

    –          Motion to invoke cloture on S.954, the Farm bill,

    –          Motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.1003, A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to reset interest rates for new student loans (Coburn) and

    –          Motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.953, the Student Loan Affordability Act (Reed).

    Details of the agreement are below.

    If cloture is invoked on S.954, the Farm bill, the Senate will proceed vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to Calendar #76, S.1003 [Republican bill]. Upon conclusion of the vote, notwithstanding cloture having been invoked on S.1003, if it is invoked on S.1003, the Senate will proceed to vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to Calendar #74, S.953 [Democratic bill].

    Upon conclusion of the cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S.953 [Democratic bill], and notwithstanding cloture having been invoked, if it is invoked on S.953, the Senate will resume consideration of S.954, the Farm bill, post-cloture, if cloture was invoked on S.954.

    Upon disposition of S.954, the Farm bill, if cloture was invoked on either of the motions to proceed to S.953 or S.1003, the Senate then will resume the motion to proceed on which cloture was invoked, post-cloture.

    Further, if cloture was invoked on both motions to proceed, the Senate will consider the motions, post-cloture, in the order in which cloture was invoked. Finally, if the motion to proceed to S.1003 [Republican bill] is agreed to, and notwithstanding cloture having been invoked on the motion to proceed to S.953 [Democratic bill], the Senate will resume the motion to proceed to S.953 [Democratic bill], post-cloture, upon disposition of S.1003 [Republican bill].

  • WRAP UP
  • No ROLL CALL VOTESLEGISLATIVE ITEMS

    Adopted S.Con.Res.18, a concurrent resolution providing for the use of the catafalque situated in Exhibition Hall of the Capitol Visitor Center in connection with memorial services to be conducted in the United States Senate Chamber for the Honorable Frank R. Lautenberg, a late Senator from the State of New Jersey.

    Adopted S.Res.160, a resolution relative to the memorial observances of the Honorable Frank R. Lautenberg, a late Senator from the State of New Jersey.

    Adopted S.Res.161, relative to the death of the Honorable Frank R. Lautenberg, Senator from the State of New Jersey.

    Adopted S.Res.162, Expressing the sense of the Senate with respect to childhood stroke and recognizing May 2013 as “National Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month”.

    No EXECUTIVE ITEMS

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Watch Most Recent House Floor Activity

Last Floor Action:
8:36:25 P.M. – The House adjourned pursuant to H. Res. 242, as a further mark of respect to the memory of the late Honorable Frank R. Lautenberg.

The next meeting in the House is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on June 4, 2013.

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