Thursday, June 15, 2006

Senate Live - June 15, 2006

The emergency supplemental will be voted on at 10:00 AM. It will pass easily. There wasn't much "noise" about the "no permanent bases in Iraq" language being stripped from the measure.

Emergency Supplemental - Iraq and Hurricane Recovery 2006

June 13 debate

Mr. DORGAN. ... I regret that the provision dealing with a decision that we were not going to have a permanent military presence, military basing in Iraq was taken out in conference. That was a bipartisan decision by the Senate to put it in, and I regret it was taken out. Nonetheless, it was.

June 14 debate

Mr. HARKIN. ... But I want to go on record as saying I also have a resolution that I introduced in the Senate that says three things. It says: No. 1, we will not establish permanent bases in Iraq; No. 2, we will not seek to control the oil in Iraq; and, No. 3, that we ought to begin redeploying our troops out of Iraq by the end of this year.

After the vote on the emergency supplemental, the Senate will move to consideration of the Defense authorization Act. The below summarizes action to date.

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007

Text of Amendments 4196 to 4208 June 12, 2006
Text of Amendments 4209 to 4220 June 13, 2006
Text of Amendments 4221 to 4252 June 14, 2006

Of those amendments, the ones not "ordered to lay on the table" are S.Amdt.4211, Mr WARNER - to name the CVN-78 aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Gerald Ford
S.Amdt.4230, Mr. DORGAN - extensive regulation of contracts relating to conduct of war
S.Amdt.4234, Mr. SANTORUM - EO sanctions against Iran converted to statute
S.Amdt.4237, Mr. MARTINEZ - National Guard in hurricane regions to obtain priority in fund allocation
S.Amdt.4241, Mr. McCAIN - naming the Act "John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007
S.Amdt.4242, Mr. McCAIN - to require the president to include funding to military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in his budget (to get out of using emergency supplemental to fund these operations)

Action during June 14 debate

Pending today are S.Amdt.4234 (Santorum) and S.Amdt.4241 (McCain).
Finally, notification of an upcoming vote on a Circuit Court nominee, with the vote to be held on Monday afternoon.

Ordered, That at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, June 19, 2006, the Senate proceed to executive session for consideration of the nomination of Sandra Segal Ikuta, of California, to be a United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.

Ordered further, That the time until 5:30 be equally divided between the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on the Judiciary or their designees; Provided further, That at 5:30 the Senate proceed to a vote on the nomination, with no intervening action or debate; and that following the vote the President be immediately notified of the Senate's action and the Senate then resume legislative session.

UPDATE @ 10:26 - Voting on H.R.4939, Emergency Supplemental Spending Conference Report has concluded, and the measure was
PASSED on a 98 - 01 vote
Voting AGAINST: Specter

UPDATE @ 10:35 - Senator Durbin introduces S.Amdt.4253, to encourage availability of nurses. Hospitals prefer to hire contract nurses, at a cost of $150,000 a year, rather than put nurses on the payroll.

If the professionals are available on a contract basis, how can it be there is a shortage?

Military nurse recruitment is below its target. Durbin is beating around the bush - I have no idea how he proposes to remedy this supposed "shortage" of skills. Perhaps we should encourage immigration for people with the skills necessary to perform nursing functions at the targeted price - doing the nursing that Americans won't do.

Durbin's proposed amendment passed on a voice vote, and I went out to do birthday and cookout shopping. ;-)

UPDATE @ 15:00 -
Santorum's S.Amdt.4234 was
REJECTED on a 45 - 54 vote. To authorize, with an offset, assistance for prodemocracy programs and activities inside and outside Iran, to make clear that the United States supports the ability of the people of Iran to exercise self-determination over their form of government, and to make enhancements to the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act of 1996.
GOP voting against: Alexander, Bennett, Chafee, Cochran, Enzi, Gregg, Hagel, Lugar, McCain, Shelby, Smith, Specter, Thomas and Warner
DEM voting for: Bayh, Conrad, Lieberman and Nelson (FL)

Biden's S.Amdt.4257 was
PASSED on a 99 - 00 vote. To state the policy of the United States on the nuclear programs of Iran.

McConnell's S.Amdt.4269 was
TABLED on a 93 - 06 vote. Kennedy and Byrd changed their votes from "yes" to "no" after the voting was completed. Kerry was another "no" vote. To require the withdrawal of US troops (except those engaged in training the Iraqis) from Iraq by the end of 2006, and urge the convening of an Iraq summit.
Voting against Tabling: Boxer, Byrd, Feingold, Harkin, Kennedy, and Kerry

A bit of joking between Kerry, McCain and Warner regarding the meaning of "a moment" in the context of seeking UC to speak for "a moment." Kerry said he figured, in context, even the Senate would understand that. He asked for five minutes, as a matter of clarification, and objected to majority leadership hijacking the subject of his (Kerry's) amendment and the majority making that the subject of a vote, rather than permitting the language of Kerry's amendment to come up directly.

Then an interesting confrontation between Nelson (FL) and Warner, regarding the meaning of the Nelson amendment.

UPDATE @ 16:25 - McConnell's S.Amdt.4272 was offered as the parallel alternative to the Nelson amendment, each amendment relating to "amnesty" (under Iraq law?) for Iraqi's who are charged with violence against US military personnel. The debate and voting on these will occur next week, with the vote on the McConnell amendment to be before the vote on the Nelson amendment.


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