Tag Archives: United States federal judge

Gov’t offers $680 million for Indian farmers …as reported by AP – Reminder


By MARY CLARE JALONICK, AP

WASHINGTON — The government is offering American Indian farmers who say they were denied farm loans a $680 million settlement.

Unlike a second round of the black farmers suit that is now pending in Congress, the American Indian money would not need legislative action to be awarded.

The two sides agreed on the deal after more than 10 months of negotiations. The government and the Indian plaintiffs met in federal court Tuesday to present the settlement to U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan.

The agreement also includes $80 million in farm debt forgiveness for the Indian plaintiffs and a series of initiatives to try and alleviate racism against American Indians and other minorities in rural farm loan offices. Individuals who can prove discrimination could receive up to $250,000.

A hearing on preliminary approval of the deal is set for Oct. 29. Sullivan indicated he was pleased with the agreement, calling it historic and coming down off his bench to shake hands with lawyers from both sides.

Assistant Attorney General Tony West and Joseph Sellers, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, both said they were encouraged by the judge’s positive reaction.

“Based on the court’s comments, we’re optimistic,” West said after the hearing adjourned.

The lawsuit filed in 1999 contends Indian farmers and ranchers lost hundreds of millions of dollars over several decades because they were denied USDA loans that instead went to their white neighbors. The government settled a similar lawsuit filed by black farmers more than a decade ago.

“Today’s settlement can never undo wrongs that Native Americans may have experienced in past decades, but combined with the actions we at USDA are taking to address such wrongs, the settlement will provide some measure of relief to those who have been discriminated against,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

Claryca Mandan of North Dakota’s Three Affiliated Tribes, a plaintiff in the case, stopped ranching after she and her husband were denied loans in the early 1980s. She said she was pleased with the settlement.

“This is a culmination of 30 years of struggle,” she said

And Republicans continue to interfere and hurt POC who own land

the Senate ~~ CONGRESS 12/18 ~~ the House


matthew 25

The Senate stands in adjourned until 10:00am on Wednesday, December 18, 2013.

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.J.Res.59, the bipartisan budget act, post-cloture.

 All time during adjournment will count post-cloture on the motion to concur with respect to the bipartisan budget act. Roll call vote are possible throughout the day.  Senators will be notified when they are scheduled.

The Senate has resumed consideration of H.J.Res.59, the legislative vehicle for the Bipartisan Budget Act. Post-cloture debate time expires at 4:27pm today. Upon the use or yielding back of time, the Senate will dispose of the motion to concur with an amendment (either by consent or vote). Then the Senate will proceed to a roll call vote on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.J.Res.59.

 Upon disposition of the Bipartisan Budget Act, the Senate will proceed immediately to a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R.3404, the legislative vehicle for the National Defense Authorization Act.

 Additional procedural votes are possible prior to these votes.

Senator Reed (RI) asked unanimous consent the Senate take up and pass Calendar #259, S.1797, a bill to extend unemployment insurance benefits for 1 year.

 Senator Cornyn asked that the request be modified that that all pending cloture motions on Executive nominations be withdrawn, and that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of S.1797, and that the Majority Leader and Minority Leader be recognized to offer amendments in an alternating fashion.

 Senator Reed declined to modify his request and Senator Cornyn objected to the original request.

Senator Sanders asked unanimous consent the Senate take up and pass Calendar #258, S.944, with the committee-reported substitute amendment and an amendment to the title. Senator Coburn objected.

 Senator Sanders asked if Senator Coburn would agree to having a roll call vote on the bill. Senator Coburn said he would object to a vote without the opportunity to offer amendments.

 S.944, is a bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to require courses of education provided by public institutions of higher education that are approved for purposes of the All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program and Post-9/11 Educational Assistance to charge veterans tuition and fees at the in-State tuition rate, and for other purposes.

4:28pm The Senate began a 15 minute roll call vote on adoption of the Reid motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.J.Res.59, Bipartisan Budget Act;

Agreed to: 64-36

Senator Sessions asked unanimous consent to set aside the pending motion to concur with an amendment in order to make a motion to concur with Sessions amendment #2573 (the amendment would eliminate a wide variety of deficit-neutral reserve funds that could be used to facilitate future consideration of legislation that would address certain high priorities).

This is the same request he made yesterday.

 Senator Murray made a brief statement and objected.

4:56pm The Senate began a 15 minute roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R.3304, National Defense Authorization Act;

Invoked: 71-29

At 5:15pm Wednesday, the Senate invoked cloture on National Defense Authorization Act 71-29. There will now be up to 30 hours for debate before a vote on adoption of the motion to concur of the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R.3304, NDAA (passage). There will be no further roll call votes tonight.

At 6:12pm The Senate has passed H.R.1402, the VA Expiring Authorities Extension Act of 2013 by unanimous consent. The Senate is now in a period of morning business with Senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each with the time counting post-cloture on the motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.R.3304, the National Defense Authorization Act.

WRAP UP

Roll Call Votes

1)      Motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.J.Res.59, the bipartisan budget agreement; Agreed to: 64-36

2)      Motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.R.3304, the National Defense Authorization Act; Invoked: 71-29

Legislative items

Passed H.R.1402, the VA Expiring Authorities Extension Act of 2013.

Discharged the HELP committee and adopted S.Res.316, supporting the goals and ideals of American Diabetes Month.

Adopted S.Res.324, Expressing the sense of the Senate with respect to the tragic shooting at Los Angeles International Airport on November 1, 2013, of employees of the Transportation Security Administration.

Completed the Rule 14 process of S.1845, Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act. (Reed)

Completed the Rule 14 process of S.1846, Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. (Menendez)

No Executive items

———————————————————————————–

Last Floor Action:
11:03:15 A.M. – The Speaker announced
that the House do now adjourn pursuant to H. Res. 438.

The next meeting is
scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on December 19, 2013.

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the Senate ~~ CONGRESS 12/15 ~~ the House


matthew 25

The Senate will convene at 1:00pm on Sunday, December 15, 2013.

The Senate will meet for legislative business only.  Majority Leader Reid is expected to file cloture on the House message to accompany H.J.Res.59, the bipartisan budget agreement and the House message to accompany H.R.3304, the Defense Authorization bill. There will be no roll call votes on Sunday.

The next roll call votes will be at 5:30pm on Monday, December 16th:

–          Confirmation of the Patterson nomination

–          Motion to invoke cloture on the Johnson nomination

–          Confirmation of the Johnson nomination

–          Additional procedural votes are possible.  Senator Reid is expected to file additional cloture motions on several nominations.

Senator Reid moved to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.J.Res.59, the legislative vehicle for the Bipartisan Budget Act, and filed cloture on the motion to concur. He then filled the amendment tree.

He then moved to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R.3304, the legislative vehicle for the National Defense Authorization Act, and filed cloture on that motion.

The filing deadline for first degree amendments to the motions to concur re: H.J.Res.59, and H.R.3405 is 4:00pm on Monday, December 16.

WRAP UP

No Roll Call Votes

Legislative items

Senator Reid filed cloture on the motion to concur in H.J.Res.59, the Budget Resolution, and H.R.3304, the National Defense Authorization Act.

Completed the Rule 14 process of S.1824, Drinking Water Supply Assistance Act.

No additional Executive items 

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Last Floor Action:12/12
9:33:30 P.M. – The House adjourned
pursuant to H. Res. 434.

The next meeting is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on
December 16, 2013.

the Senate ~~ CONGRESS 12/11 ~~ the House


What side of History will your member of Congress be remembered for ?

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The Senate stands in adjournment until 2:00pm on Wednesday, December 12, 2013.

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and the consideration of Executive Calendar #233, the nomination of Cornelia T.L. Pillard, of the District of Columbia, to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit, post cloture. Time during the adjournment will count post-cloture. If all time is used, the post-cloture debate time will expire around 1:00am on Thursday, December 12. Senators will be notified when any votes are scheduled.

The Senate has resumed consideration of Executive Calendar #346, the nomination of Cornelia T.L. Pillard.

The post-cloture debate time on the Pillard nomination expires at approximately 12:50am tonight/early morning Thursday, December 12.

Upon the use or yielding back of time, the Senate will proceed to vote on confirmation of the Pillard nomination.

Upon disposition of the Pillard nomination, there will be a live quorum. Senators are asked to be in their seats for all the live quorums during this process. Once a quorum is established, the Senate will proceed to vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the Feldblum nomination. If cloture is invoked, there would be up to 8 hours for debate equally divided prior to a vote on confirmation of the Feldblum nomination. Upon disposition of the Feldblum nomination, there would be another live quorum followed by a cloture vote on the Wolford nomination. If cloture is invoked, there would be 2 hours for debate equally divided prior to a vote on confirmation of the Wolford nomination. Upon disposition of the Wolford nomination, there would be another live quorum followed by a cloture vote on the McCafferty nomination. If cloture is invoked, then up to 2 hours for debate prior to a vote on confirmation of the McCafferty nomination. So on and so forth until we complete action on the list of nominations at the end of this email.

In addition to the expected live quorums, cloture votes, and confirmation votes, we could see other procedural votes such as votes to sustain the ruling of the chair or motions to adjourn or recess. If we yield back all time under majority control and we have no additional procedural votes, this schedule would take us into Saturday evening. Senators should be prepared for votes at all hours of the day and night for near future.

12:50am Thursday, December 12:

1)      Confirmation of Executive Calendar #346, the nomination of Cornelia T.L. Pillard

Live Quorum

2)      Cloture on Executive Calendar #378, Chai Rachel Feldblum, of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (8 hours);

3)      Confirmation of Feldblum

Live Quorum

4)      Cloture on Executive Calendar #330, Elizabeth A. Wolford, of New York, to be US District Judge for the Western District of New York (2 hours);

5)      Confirmation of Wolford nomination

Live Quorum

6)      Cloture on Executive Calendar #347, Landya B. McCafferty, of New Hampshire, to be US District Judge for the District of New Hampshire (2 hours);

7)      Confirmation of McCafferty nomination

Live Quorum

8)      Cloture on Executive Calendar #361, Patricia M. Wald, of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (8 hours);

9)      Confirmation of Wald nomination

Live Quorum

10)  Cloture on Executive Calendar #348, Brian Morris, of Montana, to be United States District Judge for the District of Montana (2 hours);

11)  Confirmation of Morris nomination

Live Quorum

12)  Cloture on Executive Calendar #349, Susan P. Watters, of Montana, to be United States District Judge for the District of Montana (2 hours);

13)  Confirmation of Watters nomination

Live Quorum

14)  Cloture on Executive Calendar #358, Deborah Lee James, of Virginia, to be Secretary of the Air Force (8 hours);

15)  Confirmation of James nomination

Live Quorum

16)  Cloture on Executive Calendar #444, Heather Anne Higginbottom, of the District of Columbia, to be Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources (8 hours);

17)  Confirmation of Higginbottom nomination

Live quorum

18)  Cloture on Executive Calendar #406, Anne W. Patterson, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Ambassador, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Near Eastern Affairs) (8 hours);

19)  Confirmation of Patterson nomination

Live Quorum

20)  Cloture on Executive Calendar #450, Jeh Charles Johnson, of New Jersey, to be Secretary of Homeland Security (30 hours).

21)  Confirmation of Johnson nomination

Senator Menendez asked unanimous consent that at a time to be determined by the Majority Leader, after consultation with the Republican Leader, the Banking Committee be discharged from further consideration of S.1610, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013, and the Senate proceed to its consideration; that an amendment, which is at the desk, making technical changes to the bill, be agreed to; that no other amendments be in order to the bill; that there be up to two hours of debate, equally divided between proponents and opponents of the bill; that upon the use or yielding back of time, the bill be read a third time and the Senate proceed to vote on passage of the bill; finally, the vote on passage be subject to a 60 affirmative vote threshold.

 Senator Roberts objected.

Senator Reid asked unanimous consent that at 9am, tomorrow, Thursday, December 12, all post-cloture time on the Pillard nomination be considered expired and the Senate proceed to vote on confirmation of the Pillard nomination; that upon disposition of the Pillard nomination, the mandatory quorum required under rule 22 be waived with respect to the cloture motion on the Feldblum nomination and the Senate proceed to the vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the Feldblum nomination; that if cloture is invoked on the Feldblum nomination, all post-cloture time be yielded back and the Senate proceed to vote on confirmation of the Feldblum nomination; finally, that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table and the President be immediately notified of the Senate’s action.

Senator Grassley objected.

Senators should expect 2 roll call votes at approximately 12:50am tonight:

–          Confirmation of Pillard (DC Circuit)

  • LIVE QUORUM

–          Cloture on Feldblum (EEOC)

  • Up to 8 hours for debate

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Last Floor Action:12/10
5:47:18 P.M. – The House adjourned.

The
next meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on December 11, 2013.

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the Senate ~~ CONGRESS 12/10 ~~ the House


matthew 25

What side of History will your member of Congress be remembered for ?

The Senate stands adjourned until 10:00am on Tuesday, December 10, 2013.

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider Executive Calendar #327, the nomination of Patricia Ann Millett, of Virginia, to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit. All post-cloture time will be considered expired and the Senate will immediately vote on confirmation of the Millet nomination (approximately 10:15am).

Following the vote on confirmation of the Millett nomination, Senators should expect up to 3 additional roll call votes with respect to the reconsideration of the cloture vote on Executive Calendar #209, the nomination of Melvin Watt, of North Carolina, to be Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency:

–          Motion to proceed to Executive Session for the reconsideration of the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the Watt nomination;

–          Motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the Watt nomination; and

–          Motion to invoke cloture on the Watt nomination, upon reconsideration.

During Monday’s session of the Senate, Senator Reid filed cloture on the following nominations in the following order.  Under the rule, the first cloture vote will occur one hour after the Senate convenes on Wednesday, December 11th.  If cloture is invoked on a nominee, the number of post-cloture hours is in parentheses next to each nomination. Upon disposition of a nomination, the Senate will immediately vote on cloture on the next nomination.

1)      Executive Calendar #378, Chai Rachel Feldblum, of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (8 hours);

2)      Executive Calendar #330, Elizabeth A. Wolford, of New York, to be US District Judge for the Western District of New York (2 hours);

3)      Executive Calendar #347, Landya B. McCafferty, of New Hampshire, to be US District Judge for the District of New Hampshire (2 hours);

4)      Executive Calendar #361, Patricia M. Wald, of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (8 hours);

5)      Executive Calendar #348, Brian Morris, of Montana, to be United States District Judge for the District of Montana (2 hours);

6)      Executive Calendar #349, Susan P. Watters, of Montana, to be United States District Judge for the District of Montana (2 hours);

7)      Executive Calendar #358, Deborah Lee James, of Virginia, to be Secretary of the Air Force (8 hours);

8)      Executive Calendar #444, Heather Anne Higginbottom, of the District of Columbia, to be Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources (8 hours);

9)      Executive Calendar #406, Anne W. Patterson, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Ambassador, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Near Eastern Affairs) (8 hours);

10)  Executive Calendar #450, Jeh Charles Johnson, of New Jersey, to be Secretary of Homeland Security (30 hours).

10:14am The Senate began a 15 minute roll call vote on confirmation of Executive Calendar #327,

the nomination of Patricia Ann Millett, of Virginia, to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit;

Confirmed: 56-38

Next votes:

– Motion to proceed to the reconsideration of the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the Watt nomination;

– Motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the Watt nomination; and

– Motion to invoke cloture on Executive Calendar #226, the nomination of Melvin L. Watt, of North Carolina, to be Director of Federal Housing Finance Agency, upon reconsideration.

10:45am The Senate began a 15 minute roll call vote on the Reid motion to proceed to the reconsideration of the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the Watt nomination.

Agreed to: 54-42

Next votes: – Motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the Watt nomination; and

– Motion to invoke cloture on Executive Calendar #226,

the nomination of Melvin L. Watt, of North Carolina, to be Director of Federal Housing Finance Agency, upon reconsideration.

11:07am The Senate began a roll call vote on the motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the Watt nomination

Agreed to: 54-42

Next Votes

– Motion to invoke cloture on Executive Calendar #226, the nomination of Melvin L. Watt, of North Carolina, to be Director of Federal Housing Finance Agency, upon reconsideration.

Senator McConnell made a point of order that nominations are fully debatable under the rules of the Senate unless 3/5 of senators have voted to bring debate to a close. The Chair ruled that a majority vote for cloture is required to confirm all nominations (except Supreme Court nominees).

11:29am The Senate began a 15-minute roll call vote on the question: SHALL THE RULING OF THE CHAIR STAND?

Ruling of the Chair:

Majority vote for cloture required to confirm all nominations (except Supreme Court nominees)

Position stands: 51-45

11:50am The Senate began a 15-minute roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the nomination of Mel Watt to be Director of Federal Housing Finance Agency, upon reconsideration

Invoked: 57-40

Upon reconsideration, cloture on the Watt nomination (FHFA) was invoked 57-40.

There will now be up to 8 hours for debate equally divided. The Senate will recess from 12:30pm until 2:15pm in order to allow for the weekly caucus meetings, with the time charged equally to both sides. Another message will be sent when the next vote is scheduled.

5:23pm The Senate began a 15 minute roll call vote on confirmation of Executive Calendar #226,

the nomination of Melvin L. Watt, of North Carolina, to be Director of Federal Housing Finance Agency;

Confirmed:57-41

5:51pm The Senate began a 15 minute vote on the motion to proceed to the reconsideration of the vote by which cloture was not invoked on Executive Calendar #233, the nomination of Cornelia T. L. Pillard, of the District of Columbia, to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia;

Agreed To: 54-44

6:09pm The Senate began a 15 minute roll call vote on the Reid motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the Pillard nomination;

Agreed to: 54-44

6:28pm The Senate began a 15 minute roll call vote the motion to invoke cloture on Pillard nomination, upon reconsideration;

Invoked: 56-42

Senator Reed asked unanimous consent the Senate take up and pass S.1797, Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2013, which was submitted earlier today. Senator Hoeven objected.

WRAP UP

ROLL CALL VOTES 

1)      Confirmation of Executive Calendar #327, the nomination of Patricia Ann Millett, of Virginia, to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit; Confirmed: 56-38

2)      Motion to proceed to the reconsideration of the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the Watt nomination; Agreed to: 54-42

3)      Motion to reconsider of the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the Watt nomination; Agreed to: 54-42

4)      Shall the decision of the Chair stand as the judgment of the Senate (cloture on nominations (other than Supreme Court nominees) is a majority vote) (McConnell appeal of the chair); the decision of the Chair was sustained: 51-45

5)      Motion to invoke cloture on Executive Calendar #226, the nomination of Melvin L. Watt, of North Carolina, to be Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, upon reconsideration; Invoked: 57-40

6)      Confirmation of Executive Calendar #226, the nomination of Melvin L. Watt, of North Carolina, to be Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency; Confirmed: 57-41

7)      Motion to proceed to the reconsideration of the vote by which cloture was not invoked on Executive Calendar #233, the nomination of Cornelia T. L. Pillard, of the District of Columbia, to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia; Agreed to: 54-44

8)      Motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the Pillard nomination; Agreed to: 54-44

9)      Motion to invoke cloture on the Pillard nomination, upon reconsideration; Invoked: 56-42

 

LEGISLATIVE ITEMS

Passed H.R.2992, an Act To extend the authority of the Supreme Court Police to protect court officials away from the Supreme Court grounds.

Passed H.R.2871, To amend title 28, United States Code, to modify the composition of the southern judicial district of Mississippi to improve judicial efficiency, and for other purposes.

Adopted S.Res.315, a resolution to authorize production of records by the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

The Senate began the Rule 14 process on S.1797, Unemployment Insurance Benefits Extension Act of 2013

No additional EXECUTIVE ITEMS

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Last Floor Action:12/10
12:22:27 P.M. – The Speaker announced
that the House do now recess.

The next meeting is scheduled for 2:00 P.M. today.

Last Floor Action:12/10
5:19:28 P.M. – The House adjourned
pursuant to a previous special order.

The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00
p.m. on December 10, 2013.

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