Thursday, June 08, 2006

Senate Live - June 8, 2006

One glaring error in my transcription of the program (yesterday's post). IF there is to be a vote on the four judicial nominations, it will be no EARLIER than 2 PM. Yesterday I said "no later than." Note too, that timing for voting on the judicial nominations is conditioned on failure to obtain cloture on BOTH H.R.8 and S.147.

  • 09:30 - open Senate
  • 10:45 - cloture vote on motion to proceed H.R.8 (death tax)
  • Roberts and Clinton speak for up to 25 minutes [pandemic influenza]
  • debate on S.147 (Hawaiian Natives)
  • 12:45 - cloture vote on motion to proceed S.147
    • If cloture is not obtained on both measures, consider four District Court judge nominations, en banc. Two from Michigan and two from New Jersey, executive calendar Nos. 647, 628, 633 and 634.
    • Consecutive votes on the four nominations as listed, but no earlier than 2:00 PM
  • Consider executive calendar No. 663, Susan Schwab to be US Trade Representative
  • If cloture has been obtained on the motion to proceed to H.R.8 (death tax), proceed to it
  • If cloture has not been obtained on H.R.8, but was on S.147, proceed to S.147

UPDATE @ 09:50 - Senator Frist opened with a discussion praising the military for dispatching Zarqawi, and the country of Iraq for its steps in naming critical ministers.

Senator Reid is discussing proceeding on the immigration bill, and in particular, which bill will be used to get S.2611 into conference. The GOP does not want to use H.R.4437, the House immigration bill, as the vehicle to get S.2611 into conference, and the DEMs have objected to using H.R.4096 - extension of relief on Alternative Minimum Tax as the vehicle, arguing that they want to offer amendments to that bill.

My prediction yesterday was that cloture would not be obtained on proceeding to take up H.R.8, and I said I didn't have a read on S.147. With the administration coming out strongly against S.147, I think cloture will not be obtained on the motion to proceed to it, either.

UPDATE @ 11:20 - The cloture vote on the motion to proceed to H.R.8, repeal or modify the estate tax, is concluded, and
FAILED on a 57 - 41 vote, mostly breaking on party line.
GOP crossovers: Chafee, Voinovich
DEM crossovers: Baucus, Nelson (FL), Nelson (NE)

Now the Roberts, Clinton show. I wondered what it was to be about, and the mystery is revealed. Their subject is pandemic influenza and being prepared for it.

Then some debate on the Native Hawaiian bill, and a cloture vote at 12:45.

UPDATE @ 13:28 - The cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S.147, the Native Hawaiian Bill, is concluded, and
FAILED on a 56 - 41 vote, mostly breaking on party line.
GOP crossovers: Cochran, Coleman, Collins, Domenici, Grassley, Hagel, Kyle, McCain, Murkowski, Smith, Snowe, Specter, Stevens
DEM crossovers: none

Since cloture was not obtained on either bill, the Senate will now, by unanimous consent, move to the consideration of four District Court nominations, two from New Jersey and two for the Eastern District of Michigan, with votes to occur no earlier than 2:00 PM.

I haven't heard the status of the emergency supplemental conference report, but that should be coming up for vote soon too.

UPDATE @ 17:00 - I've been away for a few hours, and note the following two recorded roll call votes. I assume Ludington and Cox have also been confirmed, and perhaps also Schwab - but will hold off posting links to roll call votes until I see some evidence on the record.

UPDATE @ 19:00 - Having reviewed various news stories, the following represent the disposition of all the nominations.

Executive Calendar No. 627, Noel Hillman, U.S. District Judge for New Jersey, was
CONFIRMED on a 98 - 00 vote

Executive Calendar No. 628, Peter Sheridan, U.S. District Judge for New Jersey, was
CONFIRMED on a 98 - 00 vote

Executive Calendar No. 633, Thomas Ludington, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, was
CONFIRMED on a voice vote

Executive Calendar No. 634, Sean Cox, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, was
CONFIRMED on a voice vote

Executive Calendar No. 663, Susan C. Schwab, to be the United States Trade Representative, was
CONFIRMED on a voice vote

Further, Senator McConnell closed shop for the night, and set up the general course of business for next week. Friday will be all morning business, Monday will begin debate on S.2766, the defense authorization bill, with an interruption expected for the purpose of handling HR 4939 - Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006.

Tuesday has a scheduled cloture vote on the nomination of Richard Stickler to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, followed by a vote on the nomination. The cloture vote is scheduled for 3:30 PM on Tuesday, after 1 hour of debate.

The Senate stands in adjournment until 9:30 tomorrow. No votes are scheduled for tomorrow or for next week Monday.

The assignment is to bone up on the Defense Authorization Bill for Fiscal Year 2007, see, e.g., Senate Report 109-254 and House Report 109-452 for likely areas of contention.

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