Senate Live - April 25, 2006
The general tenor of Frist's talk is that the DEMs have been obstructionist, and that the GOP, by focus, meaningful solutions, and can advance an agenda that is good for the America. Pardon me while I hold my breath.
More later, if anything of note happens to occur. I have outside chores, and appreciate any comments and questions about goings on at the Senate floor.
update: Durbin up - says price of oil isn't the consumers' fault for "being addicted to oil." It's the greed on the part of the oil companies, and he points to their profits as proof.
Oil (gas prices) seems to be the issue of the week. I agree with National Review's editorial, Congress is politicing the issue when it demagogues the oil companies. Interesting too, and seems lost in the conversation, it may be that ethanol bottlenecks are the limiting factor in gasoline supply. Now wouldn't that be ironic? Plenty of oil, but not enough ethanol. Heheheh.
More later, no doubt. But note that Durbin specifies a windfall profits tax. And he'd rebate the money right to the consumers! Heck, how about clearing out the Social Security lockbox and send us THAT money?
Update / Recapitulation from the Congressional Record
Mr. SMITH. ... The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act is a symbol that can become substance. I believe that by passing this legislation and changing current law we can change hearts and minds as well.
25 . IMMIGRATION REFORM
Mr. GRASSLEY. ... I rise to express concern about the consideration of comprehensive immigration reform legislation ... I have asked the majority leader to make me aware of any unanimous consent agreements that both sides aim to enter into before unanimous consent is agreed to.
[And you may have thought that unanimous consent was "expressly given" on a case by case basis. It's not. Senate leadership, Frist and Reid, have been granted broad powers by the other Senators to enter into unanimous consent agreements on their behalf. UC agreements are often forged without inquiring of Senate membership.]
26 . 91ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, this month people around the world are joining together to remember and honor the men, women, and children who perished in the Armenian genocide. One and a half million Armenians were systematically massacred at the hands of the Ottoman Empire, and over 500,000 more were forced to flee their homeland of 3,000 years. It is important that we note this terrible tragedy.
[Senator Feingold got both, "genocide" and "tragedy" into his speech. President Bush's statement of April 24 only used the term "tragedy," and did not refer to the extermination as "genocide." Some commentators are miffed at the absence of the term "genocide" in the President's statement.]
36 . EXECUTIVE AND OTHER COMMUNICATIONS
The following communications were laid before the Senate, together with accompanying papers, reports, and documents, and were referred as indicated: ...
EC-6393. A communication from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United
States, transmitting, pursuant to law, the amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate
EC-6394. A communication from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, transmitting, pursuant to law , the amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure ...
EC-6395. A communication from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, transmitting, pursuant to law , the amendments to the Federal Rules of Evidence ...
EC-6396. A communication from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, transmitting, pursuant to law , the amendments to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure ...
EC-6397. A communication from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, transmitting, pursuant to law , the amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that have been adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States pursuant to Section 2072 of Title 28, United States Code; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
EC-6407. A communication from the Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, Department of State, transmitting, pursuant to law, a report consistent with the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 1002 (P.L. 107-243) and the Authorization for the Use of Force Against Iraq Resolution (P.L. 102-1) for the October 15, 2005 through December 15, 2005 reporting period; to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
37 . INTRODUCTION OF BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS
By Ms. STABENOW:
S. 2636. A bill to provide an immediate Federal income tax rebate to help taxpayers with higher fuel costs, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Finance. ...
By Mr. LEVIN (for himself, Ms. COLLINS, and Mr. REED):
S.J. Res. 34. A joint resolution expressing United States policy on Iraq; to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
The text of the proposed resolution is in a later section, and its conclusion (much snipped) reads as follows ...]
... Whereas the American public has become increasingly and understandably impatient with the failure of the Iraqis to form a national unity government: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That it is the sense of Congress that the Iraqi political, religious, and tribal leaders should be told by the Administration that--
(1) the continued presence of United States military forces in Iraq is not unconditional;
(2) whether the Iraqis avoid all-out civil war and have a future as a nation is in their hands;
(3) the Iraqis need to seize that opportunity and only they can be responsible for their own future; and
(4) completing the formation of a government of national unity and subsequent agreement to modifications to the Iraq Constitution to make it more inclusive, within the deadlines the Iraqis have set for themselves in the Iraq Constitution, is--
(A) essential to defeating the insurgency and avoiding all-out civil war; and
(B) a condition of the continued presence of United States military forces in Iraq.
38 . SUBMISSION OF CONCURRENT AND SENATE RESOLUTIONS
The following concurrent resolutions and Senate resolutions were read, and referred (or acted upon), as indicated: ...
By Mr. COLEMAN:
S. Res. 442. A resolution expressing the deep disappointment of the Senate with respect to the election of Iran to a leadership position in the United Nations Disarmament Commission and requesting the President to withhold funding to the United Nations unless credible reforms are made; to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
The text of the proposed concurrent resolution and Senator Coleman's remarks are in a later section. He asks some good questions.]
The resolution I plan to submit does the following. It expresses deep disappointment in the failure of the Asian group members of the disarmament commission to stop Iran's election as the vice chair of the body. It asserts the disarmament commission has no credibility on disarmament issues due to Iran's participation, particularly in the light of Iran's defiance of the IAEA resolutions and the Security Council presidential statement regarding its nuclear program. It calls on the U.S. to reject all resolutions passed by the discredited disarmament commission, condemns Iran's continued intransigence with regard to the treatment of Israel and sponsorship of terror and, finally, works to ensure that U.S. funding is withheld from the U.N. in the amount that is directed toward the disarmament commission's activities from its regular budget.
We are not talking about a lot of money here. What we are talking about is making a statement--making a statement. We call upon the President to closely monitor U.N. progress on reform and to exercise his option to withhold funding unless credible reforms are made prior to the discussions of the biannual budget in June.
What do you do? In the U.S. we ask the question, What shall we do when those who enforce the law break the law? In the international context we are asking, What do we do when a key voice in disarmament is given to one of the world's most willful sponsors of terrorism at a time when they are ignoring the international community in their quest for nuclear weapons?