Thursday, August 03, 2006

H.R.5970 - Estate Tax / Minimum Wage

The return of nominations to the president is at the end of this post. Press "END" to get to that boring end, or (better) read the terse summary of unfolding events as the Senate raced to recess.

Minimum Wage and Estate Tax Act of 2006

A late night event and change of steps this Thursday night. Senator Frist takes the Senate away from the DoD appropriations bill. The cloture vote on the Estate Tax/Minimum Wage bill will happen tonight. Further, the Pensions Bill is possibly up for a vote tonight as well.

Senator Frist propounds a unanimous consent request that a cloture vote on the "trifecta bill" (Family Prosperity Act) H.R.5970 occur after the following debate:

  • 15 minutes Grassley
  • 15 minutes Dem Manager (Durbin)
  • 15 minutes Reid
  • 15 minutes Frist

If cloture is not obtained on H.R.5970, the Senate would move to the pensions bill, H.R.4 with 20 minutes equally divided between the two leaders followed by a vote on that bill.

Senator Reid did not object, and the debate is on.

I predicted the cloture motion to take up H.R.5970 would pass and gave my rationale. Meanwhile, we're treated to some shrill argument.

UPDATE @ 21:40

The cloture vote is underway ...

UPDATE @ 21:58

Landrieu voted Nay, which is not what I expected given her support for estate tax repeal or rollback. It's a close vote (42-30) so far, 4 DEM crossovers, and Voinovich voting against cloture.

UPDATE @ 22:08

The CLOTURE vote on the motion to proceed to the consideration of
H.R.5970 - Minimum Wage and Estate Tax Act of 2006 was
REJECTED on a 56 - 42 vote
GOP Nay votes: Chafee, Voinovich, FRIST
DEM Aye votes: Byrd, Lincoln, Nelson (FL), Nelson (NE)

Frist changed his vote to NO in order to make a motion to reconsider, and entered a motion to reconsider. But still 41 against cloture.

And, contrary to his "vote for cloture or estate tax and minimum wage reform are dead for the rest of this Congress," Senator Frist strongly asserts his intention to keep all of his procedural options open, and he urges the Senators to reconsider their opposition to the reform package.

News reports ....
AP Wire - Senate rejects estate, minimum wage bill
Reuters - US Senate blocks minimum wage hike, estate tax cut

And the Senate will now have short debate then vote on ...

Pension Protection Act of 2006

This is a HUGE, sweeping bill, a major revision to ERISA, and favored treatment for airlines as Congress increases the pension funding requirement for companies.

Senator Kennedy takes his allotted time to thank Senators and staff, ZERO substantive debate. Senator Enzi praised the bill as well. I predict easy, easy passage.

UPDATE @ 22:28

Isakson praising the bill, and staff, as well. Make that easy, easy easy passage, maybe even on a voice vote rather than a roll call.

UPDATE @ 22:34

Nope - roll call vote it will be, and it is underway ...

UPDATE @ 22:54

H.R.4 - Pension Protection Act of 2006 was
PASSED on a 93 - 05 vote
NAY votes: Boxer, Burr, Coburn, Cornyn, Feingold

News report:
US Senate approves pension bill, sends it to Bush

UPDATE @ 23:04

Senator Santorum calls up S.843 - Combating Autism Act of 2005.

UPDATE @ 23:34

S.3765 - Lebanese Temporary Protected Status Act of 2006 Senator Durbin says that he spoke with Senators Specter and Leahy personally, and both of them said they would not object. I would ask "Not object to what? Taking it up? or passing it?" Durbin is angling to have this passed tonight. The function of the bill is to permit Lebanese people to overstay their visas. The administration can do this without legislation.

Durbin makes a formal unanimous consent request that the Committee be discharged, and the bill be passed.

UPDATE @ 23:38

Senator Frist indicates that he personally supports S.3765, but without giving every Senator an opportunity to review the request, he has to object. He indicates that perhaps in the remaining 30-40 minutes of Senate business remaining tonight he will obtain word from the Senators who may object.

UPDATE @ 23:52

Senator Frist notes 20-30 minutes of closing business before the Senate closes down for the August recess.

S.3769 - A bill to encourage multilateral cooperation and authorize a program of assistance to facilitate a peaceful transition in Cuba, and for other purposes.

Senator Durbin says there are some Democrats who object to this bill. Senator Frist expresses disappointment, and describes what this bill would have provided to the people of Cuba.

Senator Frist crows about the tremendous productivity of the Senate over the past weeks and months (barf), and lists the major bills that have been passed. Homeland Security appropriations, CFIUS overhaul, Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, Pensions, Stem Cell research, Fetus Farming Prohibition Act, Adam Walsh Child Protection Act, Child Custody Protection Act (but Democrats have blocked this from conference), Voting Rights Act, 5 judges confirmed.

Senator Frist indicates actions for September, focusing on Homeland Security: confirmation of John Bolton; establishing Commissions for terrorist detainees in conformity with the Supreme Court's Hamdan decision; Line Item rescission veto; "Competitiveness Act" (??); Health Information technology (standardized health care); Small Business Health Plan (Enzi bill); bringing more judicial nominees to the floor for confirmation. Then a quorum call.

UPDATE @ August 4 - 00:15

Confirmation vote on the nomination of Kimberly Moore to the Federal Circuit is agreed to be conducted on Sept 5th.

The following bills, etc. were passed ...

A unanimous consent agreement was reached regarding ...
S.1516 - Amtrak FY2006-2011 Authorization bill
With the following debate being arranged:
McCain - Rail Security - 1 hour
Sununu - Long Distance Trains - 1 hour
Sununu - Competition - 1 hour
Sessions - Amtrak Debt - 1 hour
Bill - 1 hour
Managers' amendment
No points of order be waived

1st reading of ...

UPDATE @ August 4 - 00:45

Passed ...

H.Con.Res.456 placed on the Senate calendar

H.Con.Res.467 adjournment resolution and other housekeeping

Exec Session - calendar Nos.:
622 760 770 818 773 812 813 814 815 816 817 820 822 824 825 826 827 828 829 832 833 834 835 841 842 843 844 845 846 857 847 850 851 852 852 849 854 855 856-879 883 884 885 .... confirmed

All other pending nominations remain through the recess except the following ... 37 169 614 624 572 881 882 ...

With regard to Circuit Court nominations, the exceptions represent Myers (37), Boyle (169), and N. Randy Smith (624) being returned to the President. Senator Frist makes clear that all nominations returned to the president are due to objections from the minority.

UPDATE @ Aug 7

Rats, I missed calendar No. 553 - and would have noted that it is the nomination of Richard Stickler to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health. His nomination was up for a cloture vote in June (motion submitted June 7, vitiated June 13), with Kennedy being the most vocal opponent.

Mr. FRIST. As in executive session, I ask unanimous consent that all nominations received by the Senate during the 109th Congress remain in status quo, notwithstanding the August 4, 2006, adjournment of the Senate and the provisions of rule XXXI, paragraph 6, of the Standing Rules of the Senate, with the following exceptions: Calendar Nos. 37, 169, 553, 614, 624, 572, 881, 882; in committees, PNs 719, 1315, 193, 1297, 778.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, a number of the nominations we just went through were sent back. For clarification, they were sent back based on objections from the minority. So it is clear, they are not coming from me as the reason they are being sent back.

H.R.5631 DoD Appropriations and the Moore nomination are order of business for Tuesday after Labor Day. The Senate is in its August recess.

UPDATE @ Aug 4 - 09:50

Confirmation of returned nominations from the Congressional Record. Note the inclusion of nominees Haynes and Wallace who were not listed by calendar number because they were not on the Senate's Executive Calendar ...

Daily Digest - Aug 3, 2006

Nominations Returned to the President: The following nominations were returned to the President failing of confirmation under Senate Rule XXXI at the time of the adjournment of the 109th Congress:

  • Terrence W. Boyle, of North Carolina, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit.
  • William James Haynes II, of Virginia, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit.
  • William Gerry Myers III, of Idaho, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.
  • Tracy A. Henke, of Missouri, to be Executive Director of the Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness, Department of Homeland Security.
  • James F. X. O'Gara, of Pennsylvania, to be Deputy Director for Supply Reduction, Office of National Drug Control Policy.
  • Richard Stickler, of West Virginia, to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health.
  • David Longly Bernhardt, of Colorado, to be Solicitor of the Department of the Interior.
  • Norman Randy Smith, of Idaho, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.
  • Michael Brunson Wallace, of Mississippi, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit.
  • Tracy A. Henke, of Missouri, to be Executive Director of the Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness, Department of Homeland Security (Recess Appointment).
  • William Ludwig Wehrum, Jr., of Tennessee, to be an Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Mark Myers, of Alaska, to be Director of the United States Geological Survey.
  • John Ray Correll, of Indiana, to be Director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.
With regard to the pensions bill, the Senate has formally forsworn consideration of any conference report on the parallel to just passed H.R.4 ...

Senate Legislative Calendar


9.--Ordered, That with respect to H.R. 2830, an act to amend the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reform the pension funding rules, and for other purposes, it not be in order to consider any conference report on the bill during the 109th Congress. (Aug. 3, 2006.)

Here is another example of why it is not smart to take Senator Frist's words at face value ...

SCHEDULE -- (Senate - August 01, 2006)

Mr. FRIST. ... I want to be crystal clear--and my colleagues know this because a lot of them are making plans for the recess--that this week will be the time and the floor will be the place for the Senate to decide once and for all whether to act on this trifecta bill or to kill it. ...

If the Senate kills the trifecta bill, we will not return to it this year.

But when the Senate voted to not take it up, Frist personally switched his cloture vote from Yea to Nay, and personally moved to reconsider the vote. He deferred the "decide once and for all" from this week to an indefinite point in the future.


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2/19/2008 3:52 AM  
Anonymous Real estate marketing supplies said...

"But when the Senate voted to not take it up, Frist personally switched his cloture vote from Yea to Nay, and personally moved to reconsider the vote. He deferred the "decide once and for all" from this week to an indefinite point in the future." People shouldnt even think about taking Senator Frist's words at face value.

Great post!

9/23/2008 8:36 PM  

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