A week of do-nothing, that's my prediction. Well, other than the
Ag-appropriations bill that is due for being taken up by
unanimous consent, including a drought-relief bill for mid-western
farmers and ranchers.
- Appropriations bills (H.R.5384, Agriculture, first)
- Continuing resolution (in lieu of the remaining appropriations bills)
- Free trade agreements (Viet Nam and a couple of South American countries)
- Tax (relief) extenders
- Confirmation hearings and vote for Robert Gates to be Secretary of Defense
Monday the 4th was a "nothing day" (prayer, pledge, adjourn), and the Senate isn't planning
to resume regular business until noon, Tuesday, the 5th. The first vote is expected to be
on Conrad's farmer/rancher relief amendment, with that coming at 5 PM Tuesday. Senator
Landrieu has also
proposed several amendments to
H.R. 5384, and obtained a 10 minute speaking slot.
Earmaking Kansas - Washington Prowler
Look for Sen. Pat Roberts to gain an Appropriations Committee slot in the coming
Congress as he shifts off the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sources in Republican
leadership say that Sen. Orrin Hatch will move over from Judiciary to Intelligence in
place of Roberts.
President Bush Accepts Ambassador John Bolton's Resignation
I am deeply disappointed that a handful of United States Senators prevented Ambassador
Bolton from receiving the up or down vote he deserved in the Senate. They chose to obstruct
his confirmation, even though he enjoys majority support in the Senate, and even though
their tactics will disrupt our diplomatic work at a sensitive and important time. This
stubborn obstructionism ill serves our country, and discourages men and women of talent
from serving their Nation.
President Bush Meets with United Nations Ambassador John Bolton
THE PRESIDENT: I received the resignation of Ambassador John Bolton. I accepted. I'm not
happy about it. I think he deserved to be confirmed. And the reason why I think he deserved
to be confirmed is because I know he did a fabulous job for the country.
And I want to thank you and Gretchen for serving in a very important position, and doing so
in a way that a lot of Americans really appreciate, John. We're going to miss you in this
administration. You've been a stalwart defender of freedom and peace. You've been strong in
your advocacy for human rights and human dignity. You've done everything that can be
expected for an Ambassador. And I accept your letter, and I wish you and Gretchen
all the very best.
AMBASSADOR BOLTON: Many thanks.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
Bolton to leave as U.S. ambassador to U.N.
By Steve Holland - Reuters
While there was much speculation in Washington that Bush might give Bolton another position
that did not require Senate confirmation, Bolton's departure letter to the president
appeared to close the door on that option.
"After careful consideration I have concluded that my service in your administration should
end when the current recess appointment expires," Bolton wrote.
I wonder if things would have worked out differently had President Bush expressed outrage back
in May and June of 2005, when the Senate chose to obstruct the Bolton nomination.
The Gang of 14 had completed and introduced their Memorandum of Understanding on May 23, 2005.
Senate Debate - May 25, 2005
Senate Debate - May 26, 2005 :
Part I -
Mr. FRIST. ... John Bolton, the very first issue to which we turned, we got what to me looks like a
filibuster. It certainly sounds like a filibuster, looking at the vote today, it quacks
like a filibuster, and I am afraid, shortly after we thought we had things working together
in this body again, we have another filibuster, this time on another nomination--not a
judicial nomination but another nomination--the nomination of John Bolton.
Senator Frist, what are you going to do about it?
Senate Debate - June 20, 2005
On Page S6802, immediately following the June 20 failure to obtain cloture on proceeding to vote
on the nomination of John Bolton, the Congressional Record contains the following:
Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate return to legislative
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The first casualty of the Gang-of-14 and limp-wristed Senate leadership. More casualties
were to follow, not to mention the institutionalization of the 60 vote hurdle to obtain
confirmation. Nary a peep from the President, nary a peep from the public, and the Senate,
well, obviously it prefers to bury its weakness in vocal self-praise.
Nomination Sent to the Senate
Robert M. Gates, of Texas, to be Secretary of Defense, vice Donald Henry Rumsfeld, resigned.
Senate Armed Services Committee - Hearings on Robert Gates
Scheduled for 9:30 AM, Tuesday, September 5
The Senate doesn't open until noon Tuesday, making a possibility that C-SPAN2 will cover
the Gates hearings.
Pre-link to prepared statement, as of noon, December 4, no statement has been entered.
Gates will easily be confirmed. I expect no significant opposition.
The Senate's Executive Calendar of December 5, 2006 contains the following Judicial
nominations. The number is the calendar number, and the date indicated is the date
the nominee was moved out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
CONFIRMED 12/8 Kent A. Jordan - 3rd Circuit Sept 26
918 Philip S. Gutierrez - C.D.CA Sept 21
919 Valerie L. Baker - C.D.CA Sept 21
921 Lawrence J. O'Neil - E.D.CA Sept 21
925 John A. Jarvey - S.D.IA Sept 26
926 Sara E. Lioi - N.D.OH Sept 26
985 Marcia M. Howard - M.D.FL Sept 29
986 Leslie Southwick - S.D.MS Sept 29
987 Gregory K. Frizzell - N.D.OK Sept 29
988 Lisa G. Wood - S.D.GA Sept 29
989 Robert J. Jonker - W.D.MI Sept 29
990 Paul L. Maloney - W.D.MI Sept 29
991 Janet T. Neff - W.D.MI Sept 29
992 Nora B. Fischer - W.D.PA Sept 29
I expect a series of confirmations by unanimous consent and calendar number, at some point,
rather than debate and voice votes. I don't expect any of the nominations held in the
Judiciary Committee to be moved out - that would include a number of Circuit Court nominations
held-up by the Gang-of-14, of course, with assistance from Senate-leader Frist.
New Senate leader's shortened recesses could cut off Bush judicial nominees
Robert Novak - December 3, 2006
Reid's schedule [for the 110th Senate] limits Senate recesses to one week. Recess appointments
usually are made only when Congress has been out of session for at least 10 days. That may kill
any consideration of trying to seat federal appeals court judges whose nominations had been
stalled even in the Republican-controlled Senate. The downside may be a rebellion by
senators if their breaks are held to one week.
This is a manufactured "issue." President Bush has never made a recess appointment of a judge,
and I doubt he has any intention of starting the practice now. But, President Bush has
made a number of non-judicial recess appointments, John Bolton and Julie Myers
being two more prominent ones.
Julie Myers is Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, her nomination being reported
out of committee on Oct 7 and Nov 7, 2005, and her recess appointment occurring
on January 4,
2006 - along with 17 other recess appointments.
UPDATE @ Dec 5
Hearings for the nomination of Robert Gates to be Secretary of Defense are being
broadcast on C-SPAN2 -- but only until the Senate comes into session at noon.
Advance Policy Questions for Dr. Robert M. Gates HTML
UPDATE @ 12:14
Frist - final week of the 109th Senate
- Gates nomination [confirmed 12/6]
- Continuing resolution [passed 12/8]
- Tax, trade, and health extenders [passed 12/9]
- US India Civil Nuclear Bill now in conferees hands [passed 12/10]
- Bioterrorism bill - improvements and ability to anticipate and react to bioterror attacks
[S.3678 passed on 12/5]
- Vietnam trade agreement, if House complete it [passed 12/9]
- Straightline programmatic extensions
- Nominations that are agreed to
This afternoon, Ag Appropriations bill
- Conrad - point of order is expected
- Vote on motion to waive emergency designation point of order expected at 5 PM this afternoon
Frist notes that the most challenging and difficult part of his tenure was judicial filibusters.
This came very close to disrupting the Senate's relationship with Executive and Judicial branches
Senate traditions were damaged, but have now been resolved.
He correctly notes that 108th and 109th Congresses were the first time cloture had been (ab)used to stop judicial nominees.
In response to this, the Senate sought to invoke the Constitutional Option in order that each nominee would get an up
or down vote. Important Senate traditions were restored when the Senate agreed to limit the use of cloture except
in the case of extraordinary circumstances. Since then, the Democrats have not abused cloture. If the Senate hadn't
put the Constitutional option on the table, the logjam would not have been broken.
Frist's speech makes me want to gag.
He made another speech on the 8th ...
Without the promise of the constitutional option, I have no doubt that future
generations would look at the 109th Congress as a negative turning point for the Senate. A
turning point in which, through our passivity, we allowed a laudable Senate tradition to
trump Senate duty as defined in the Constitution. ...
Just yesterday, President Bush accepted John Bolton's resignation from his post as
Ambassador to the United Nations. A man eminently qualified to articulate the position of
the United States--and yet a minority of my colleagues refused to grant him an up-or-down
They refused to take a decisive stand--yea or nay. And in so doing, they abdicated their
constitutional duty of advice and consent.
And there are others. Ten circuit court nominees still await a definitive vote, as do 21
district court nominees. And some have waited years. Not months, and certainly not days:
Senator Reid was
comical in rebuttal (back on the 5th) ...
One of the negative things that happened in my political career was having to oppose the
nuclear option. I said at the time, I say today, the most important thing I have ever
worked on in my governmental career is the nuclear option because it was so anti-Senate, so
antigovernment. I said in the Senate, why are you doing this? Why are you doing this, my
friends, the Republicans? It would take a miracle for us to retake the Senate. As a result
of the nuclear option and the other very bad things this Republican-dominated Senate did,
the miracle occurred. One reason it occurred is because of the nuclear option. The American
people knew that was beyond the pale.
And again (but not comical) on the 8th ...
The nuclear option was the most important issue I have worked on in my public life. Its
rejection was my proudest moment as minority leader. I emerged from the episode with a
renewed appreciation for the majesty of Senate rules.
UPDATE @ 14:34
Senator Conrad asserts that the Senate won't follow through with completing the amending, debating
and voting on the underlying Ag appropriations bill. Interesting. I wonder how it will be
He waxes on, defending go ahead with the debate on the rancher/farmer relief package anyway,
and to take the vote on the point of order relating to the emergency designation of the bill,
to demonstrate the degree of resolve in the Senate.
UPDATE @ 14:56
Senator Gregg claims "as much time as the other side has consumed," to follow at the
completion of Senators Conrad (5 more minutes), Dorgan (20 minutes), and Landrieu (10 minutes).
This sets up the next hour and 20 minutes or so of debate - running to about 4:30 PM.
UPDATE @ 15:44
Motion to waive Section 402 (emergency designation point of order) presented by Senator Conrad.
Roll call vote to happen "at the designated time."
UPDATE @ 16:31
Vitter/Nelson Amendment No. 5151 was introduced, relating to the reimportation of
prescription drugs. Looks as though the plan is to lard up this Ag appropriations bill
over the course of the next day or so. Makes one wonder what will pass "in the background,"
while most eyes are distracted by this trivial drivel.
UPDATE @ 17:38
The motion to waive the emergency designation point of order against
CONRAD Amendment No. 5205 for drought relief for ranchers and farmers, was
on a 57 - 37 vote. (60 votes needed to waive)
GOP votes to waive: Bond, Burns, Domenici, Grassley, Roberts, Stevens, Enzi, Hagel,
Hutchison (RPC chair), Smith, DeWine, Cochran, Coleman, Talent, Thomas, Thune
DEM votes against: Lincoln, Pryor
The Senate will wrap up the day in morning business:
- Conrad 2 minutes
- Specter 20 minutes
- Byrd 20 minutes
- Landrieu 10 minutes
- Voinovich 20 minutes
- DeWine 60 minutes
UPDATE @ 18:01
Specter will talk about appropriations bills being "left behind."
In particular, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. He thinks it is regrettable
that the Senate not take these up.
Senator Specter is also disappointed that the Senate will not take up revisions to FISA,
to address the administration's terrorist surveillance program. He's pretty much got
a laundry list of what wasn't done - sort of playing up the "do nothing."
Senator Burr comes in, asks for a 30 second interruption, and the Senate passes
S.3678 - Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, with an amendment, by unanimous consent.
That takes care of item No. 5 on Frist's to-do list.
Specter introduces an act to modify the habeas corpus provisions recently passed
in the Military Commissions Act. Seems a bit of a waste of time at this point, but it
does serve as a marker for the 110th Senate. Specter says that he believes the Courts will
strike down the habeas corpus provisions as passed a few weeks ago. He is also amazed that
people with claims of being tortured are prohibited from raising these allegations in
Court. "S.4081 -
Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2006"
Senator Byrd says one of the most important functions of the Congress is to carefully
decide how to spend the taxpayers dollars. Hahahahah. He is going to complain that the Senate
is not passing appropriations bills, but is using the continuing resolution mechanism instead.
He correctly notes that the Appropriations Committee discharged all the bills by July 26.
UPDATE @ 20:15
Frist closes down the Senate. He filed a cloture motion on the nomination of Commissioner
for the FDA, Andrew von Eschenbach, of Texas. The cloture vote is scheduled for Thursday
morning, unless the Senate comes to a unanimous consent agreement that provides for
a vote on the nomination at a date and time certain.
The Senate will begin consideration of the nomination of Robert Gates at 11:30 AM Wednesday,
following 2 hours of morning business.
UPDATE @ Dec 6
US Institute of Peace has been working with Iraqis since early
2004 to reduce interethnic and interreligious violence, speed up
stabilization and democratization, and reduce the need for a U.S.
presence in Iraq.
US Institute of Peace - Reports Page
Jordan and Iraq: Between Cooperation and Crisis
Scenarios for the Insurgency in Iraq
Iran and Iraq: The Shia Connection, Soft Power, and the Nuclear Factor
Expert Working Groups and Military Senior Advisor Panel ...
- Admiral James O. Ellis, Jr. - United States Navy, Retired
- General John M. Keane - United States Army, Retired
- General Edward C. Meyer - United States Army, Retired
- General Joseph W. Ralston - United States Air Force, Retired
- Lieutenant General Roger C. Schultz, Sr. - United States Army, Retired
Paraphrase of President Bush's remarks at 8:00 AM ...
"The report gives a tough assessment. It brings some very interesting
proposals. We will take every proposal seriously, and will act
in a timely fashion. The Commission is headed to Congress, and I
urge Congress to take it seriously. I don't agree with
everything in the report, and Congress won't either.
"The public is tired of pure political bickering ... the report is
an opportunity to find common ground. Not for the good of the
Republican party or the Democrat party, but for the good of the
"I thank the members of the Iraq Study Group for their effort,
for coming back into public service. We applaud your work. I
take it very seriously, and we will act on it in a timely
Remarks by the President After Receiving Report from the Iraq Study Group
I told the members that this report, called "The Way Forward," will be taken very seriously
by this administration. This report gives a very tough assessment of the situation in Iraq.
It is a report that brings some really very interesting proposals, and we will take every
proposal seriously and we will act in a timely fashion.
The commission is headed up to Congress, and I urge the members of Congress to take this
report seriously. While they won't agree with every proposal -- and we probably won't agree
with every proposal -- it, nevertheless, is an opportunity to come together and to work
together on this important issue.
The country, in my judgment, is tired of pure political bickering that happens in
Washington, and they understand that on this important issue of war and peace, it is best
for our country to work together. And I understand how difficult that is, but this report
will give us all an opportunity to find common ground, for the good of the country -- not
for the good of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, but for the good of the
A couple of
District Court nominations sent to the Senate yesterday. It'll be interesting
to see if they are confirmed in the 109th Senate. Nothing of major import (unless you are
Fred Kapala of Heidi Pasichow), just a curiosity to see if the Senate Judiciary
moves quickly on these "late" nominations, contrasted with the confirmation velocity granted
to certain others.
- Frederick J. Kapala, of Illinois, to be United States District Judge for the Northern
District of Illinois, vice Philip G. Reinhard, retiring.
- Heidi M. Pasichow, of the District of Columbia, to be an Associate Judge of the Superior
Court of the District of Columbia for the term of fifteen years, vice Anna
UPDATE @ 9:35
Senator Ensign opens with plans for the day.
Morning business to 11:30 - expect talks of Senator retirements
11:30 take up nomination of Gates - vote planned for later today
12:30 - 14:15 Policy luncheons
Reminder of Thursday cloture vote for confirmation FDA Commissioner
HR 6143 - amended and passed on unanimous consent
HR 4510 - amended and passed on unanimous consent
S 4080 - read for a second time and placed on the calendar
UPDATE @ 11:08
Iraq Study Group Report - abut 1.8 Mb PDF file
Alternate Link (at Baker Institute)
Iraq Study Group Report in HTML
UPDATE @ 13:51
Hmm. From Redstate ...
I Am Profoundly Disappointed in Bob Corker
... Senator-Elect Corker has chosen to join the
Republican Mainstreet Partnership.
The RMP is an advocate of campaign finance reform, demand side economic policy, tax
increases, and other liberal agenda items. After the election, the Executive Director of
the RMP put out a press release saying that the results of the 2006 election were proof
that the American public did not want Republicans beholden to the "far right."
Other Senators in the RMSP
are Chafee (lost election), Coleman, Collins, Isakson, McCain, Smith, Snowe, and Specter.
It would appear that the liberal wing of the GOP-Senate didn't gained much ground in trading Chafee
for Corker. Here is an RMSP self-summary ...
The Republican Main Street Partnership (RMSP) is dedicated to promoting and building the
Republican Party as a thoughtful, fiscally conservative, inclusive "Governing Majority,"
where political debate is encouraged to promote common sense solutions to improve the lives
of all Americans. Embracing the full spectrum of Republican ideologies and values in order
to build coalitions, RMSP is the largest organization of elected Traditional Ronald Reagan
Republicans in the nation, with over 60 members serving in the U.S. House and Senate. For
more information on RMSP, visit our website at
If you like that, you'll love their press release,
Far Right Soley Responsible for Democratic Gains
Well, at least the RMSP is on the record as being in charge of
the election performance of the GOP from here on out, since
they've kicked the "Far Right" off the bus. But as far as I'm
concerned, Republicans the likes of the short list above are
indistinguishable from Democrats, and I wouldn't give them the
time of day. In fact, I do what I can to undermine their causes,
and their fortunes at the ballot box.
UPDATE @ 14:37
Hutchison asks to move
H.R. 5385 (Military Housing, Veterans Affairs) to conference (this passed the Senate
on November 14), and is met with objection by
Senator DeMint. This is a matter of not taking up any appropriations bill for the balance of
the 109th Congress, as a matter of avoiding earmarks. DeMint concedes, and Hutchison obtains
conferees to take the bill to conference, and submit a conference report to the Senate for
consideration. She promises to work all night to get the conference report completed.
UPDATE @ 17:28
Robert Gates was
CONFIRMED to the position of Secretary of Defense
on a 95 - 02 vote.
NAY votes: Bunning, Santorum
As a matter of comparison,
Donald Rumsfeld was confirmed without a roll call vote, on January 20, 2001. The link there
is to the appropriate section of the Congressional Record. Words of praise for Rumsfeld from
Senators Durbin and Levin, for example. Check it out.
UPDATE @ 17:36
Senator Chambliss put the Senate into morning business, I assume to consume the rest of
business today. Senator Chambliss gives praise to the service of Donald Rumsfeld. Hear hear.
Senator Santorum explains why he voted against the confirmation of Robert Gates.
His objection centers on a failure to identify the enemy as Radical Islamic Fascism,
which exists globally, except perhaps on the continent of Antarctica.
He also knocks the Iraq Study Group, for sidestepping that Iran and Syria are the primary
sources of conflict - and the President's advisors tend to say either that the United States
lacks the resources to confront Iran, or that Iran can be enlisted as an aide in "Iraq, the
front in our war on terror." He also knocks the media for avoiding the issue.
Good speech by Santorum.
"Baker Hamilton report is a prescription for surrender."
"Our troops in Iraq are being killed by Iranian weapons today paid for with Iranian money
smuggled into Iraq by Iranian logistics and utilized by Iranian-trained terrorists."
"Iran is the centerpiece in the assault against us and other countries in the civilized world,
which is why I fought so hard for passage of the Iran Freedom and Support Act...
we should not be negotiating with Iran, we should be confronting Iran."
"We shrink from the recognition of identifying the enemy and confronting them, whether
they be the Islamic fascists led by Iran or the socialist rulers of North Korea and
Venezuela. We are sleep-walking through the storm, as we have done in the past. We pretend
it is not happening or that it is simply because of the incompetency of the current
administration or of a member of that administration."
"This is the call of this generation. This is America's hour. This is the hour that we
need leadership, Churchillian leadership, who had a keen eye for the enemy and a resolve in
spite of the political climate to confront it. I ask my colleagues to stand and make this
America's finest hour. I regret that the new Secretary of Defense is not up to the task, in
my opinion. I hope others are."
Sounded rather like a preacher, in tone.
UPDATE @ 23:00
December 6 Senate Hearing on FBI Oversight ...
For two-and-a-half years under two different Chairmen, this Committee attempted to get a
copy of the transcript of a meeting at issue in the allegations of FBI whistleblower
Michael German. According to the DOJ Inspector General, Special Agent German was retaliated
against by the FBI for reporting mismanagement and misconduct within the FBI. German
claimed that the transcript of the secretly recorded meeting shows that a domestic and an
international terrorist group were beginning to meet to discuss the possibility of mutual
operational ties. According to German, FBI officials denied that the meeting occurred,
denied that it had been recorded, and denied that it involved subjects associated with
terrorist groups, all in an effort to discredit his allegations of mismanagement and
misconduct. Earlier this year, the Committee received a copy of this transcript, and it is
a lot closer to what Michael German described than what the FBI described. Unfortunately,
that's just more of the same from the FBI.
The FBI's criminal investigations often contain valuable intelligence, such as this
information about initial contacts between domestic and foreign terrorist groups exploring
the possibility of operational ties. However, it is difficult to see how this information
can be effectively shared with the rest of intelligence community when the culture of the
FBI continues to allow managers to hide information like this and deny, both internally and
publicly, that it even exists. And all of this without any consequences for the managers
involved. If our nation is to be safe, then at some point the FBI needs make it clear that
protecting the Bureau's reputation is not as important is getting the right information
into the hands of the right people at the right time.
And from the AP ...
Later, Mueller also said the FBI could better fight terrorists if authorities had stronger
subpoena power to determine if threats are valid, and if search and surveillance tools
granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court could be expanded.
The expanded authority that Mueller is seeking is to remove the requirement,
under FISA, that the investigator is seeking foreign intelligence information.
His point being that some terrorists are citizens (or some citizens are terrorists), and
getting a warrant takes too long.
Senate passes judicial security bill and sends it to conference committee -
H.R. 1751 : Secure Access to Justice and Court Protection Act
Daily Digest - December 6, 2006
Senate began consideration of the nomination of Kent A. Jordan, of Delaware, to be United
States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit.
A motion was entered to close further debate on the nomination, and, in accordance with the
provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, a vote on cloture may occur on
Friday, December 8, 2006.
UPDATE @ Dec 7
Senate takes up nomination of FDA Commissioner - motion to invoke cloture to be voted on
at about 10:30 - 10:45. Votes on other matters are planned for later today.
Harry Reid says there is no need for a cloture vote on the FDA Commissioner, as the DEMs will
agree to a vote at a time certain. Reid notes that the Senate could work Saturday, Frist
says the Senate will gavel to adjourn on Friday. Says too that the change to DEM leadership is
viewed with some trepidation, by the GOP.
LOL. Senator Frist is touting the ban on internet gambling as a move to values that is
prototypical of GOP action. He has a more formal statement entered in the record. Reid's offer
to dispense with the cloture vote is not taken, because he didn't offer a unanimous consent
agreement to vote at a time certain.
One hour of debate on the nomination before the cloture vote. Commissioner of FDA has been a bone
of contention with some of the women Senators, who demanded FDA approval of RU-486 ("Plan B") for
over the counter sale. That same issue has DeMint blocking the nomination. But that is not the
only objection to the nomination.
Senate to try to force vote on Bush's FDA pick
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa says the FDA has failed to fully
cooperate with his investigation of a Sanofi-Aventis antibiotic, Ketek, and reports of
liver failure. FDA officials say they have been responsive.
Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina has opposed a confirmation vote because of concerns about
the safety of the abortion pill known as RU-486 or Mifeprex. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana
has said he will oppose a vote until prescription drug imports are legalized.
Senator Grassley is HOT against this nominee, as an example of lack of cooperation from
the executive branch. It's not okay for the executive to block access to information, says
Could be a failed cloture vote - interesting if it plays out that way, as the DEMs would
be able to blame the GOP for scuttling the nomination (see Reid's "offer" to skip the cloture
UPDATE @ 11:18
The cloture vote to move to advise and consent on the nomination of Andrew von Eschenbach
to the post of Commissioner of the FDA, was
on a 89 - 06 vote.
NAY votes: Baucus, Vitter, Grassley, DeWine, DeMint, Voinovich
UPDATE @ 11:52
Debate on the Confirmation of Robert Gates:
Part I -
Santorum's "confront Iran" speech from last evening. I also corrected and augmented the
quotes I selected while listening to his speech, above.
UPDATE @ 14:00
Extended quorum calls, just another "normal week" in the US Senate. Tough to tell
what is being set up for "mass voice vote passage" before adjournment sine die, sometime Friday,
but yesterday, amendments were proposed and not tabled for the following bills, all of
which were passed as amended:
H.R. 6143, to amend title XXVI of the Public Health Service Act to revise and
extend the program for providing life-saving care for those with HIV AIDS. [Passed Senate 12/6]
H.R. 4588, to reauthorize grants for and require applied water
supply research regarding the water resources research and technology institutes
established under the Water Resources Research Act of 1984. [Passed Senate 12/6]
S. 2735, to amend the National Dam Safety
Program Act to reauthorize the national dam safety program, and for other purposes. [Passed Senate 12/6]
H. Con. Res. 430,
recognizing the accomplishments of the American Council of Young Political Leaders for
providing 40 years of international exchange programs, increasing international dialogue,
and enhancing global understanding, and commemorating its 40th anniversary. [Passed Senate 12/6]
S. 1876, to provide
that attorneys employed by the Department of Justice shall be eligible for compensatory
time off for travel under section 5550b of title 5, United States Code. [Passed Senate 12/6]
H.R. 1751, to amend title 18, United States Code, to protect judges, prosecutors, witnesses,
victims, and their family members, and for other purposes. [Passed Senate on 12/6]
S. 2653, to direct the Federal Communications Commission to make efforts to reduce telephone
rates for Armed Forces personnel deployed overseas. [Passed Senate on 12/6]
H.R. 864, to provide
for programs and activities with respect to the prevention of underage drinking. [Passed Senate on 12/6]
H.R. 4075, to amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to provide for better
understanding and protection of marine mammals, and for other purposes. [Passed Senate on 12/6]
S. 3821, to authorize certain athletes to be admitted temporarily into the United States to
compete or perform in an athletic league, competition, or performance. [Passed Senate on 12/6]
The adjournment resolution hasn't surfaced yet, but it's apt to follow the pattern of
of December 2004. A more complex example (moving from 1st to 2nd session of
a given Congress) is
of December 2005.
UPDATE @ 14:18
Senator Warner talking about how he'll miss Senator Allen, and describing his (Warner's) various
life experiences as a Senator. Whatever business is being conducted, is being conducted out of
Senator Nelson of Florida takes over at about 2:26 PM, and says that the next Congress will
take up a Water Resources Development Act - and also that Senator Frist is scheduled to speak
UPDATE @ 14:33
C-SPAN2 indicating that Senator Frist will be making his farewell address, and also that
Vice President Cheney will be in the chamber.
UPDATE @ 15:26
VP Cheney occupies "the Chair" in the Senate. Frist starts in, and notes that carving his
initials in the desk drawer is a durable artifact of his tenure. He is reflecting on his
12 years as a Senator, who came in full of hope with no political experience. This speech
is forgettable, basically giving gratitude to Senators of both parties and expressing the great
value of the Senate.
Senator Frist's speech included advocacy of basic decency, and lamented the short-term
(election to election) outlook of the Congress. He finishes at 2:57, to rousing applause.
Senator Reid, "parting really is such sweet sorrow." Talks up the role of the Senate as that
of a doctor, helping people. Reid finishes his "thanks to Frist" at 3:05, also to applause.
Senator McConnell indicates gratitude to Senator Reid for being on the floor to listen to
and remark on Senator Frist's speech, then goes on to praise Senator Frist as an accomplished
doctor, and accomplished citizen legislator. He finished his remarks at 15:10.
Senator Durbin joins in "the salutary chorus" for Senator Frist, followed by remarks from
The Senate moves on to consider, amend and pass
H.R. 5946 - Stevens-Inouye International Fisheries Monitoring and Compliance Legacy Act of
Senator Domenici speaks to Senator Frist, hoping to get his remarks in before Senator Frist
leaves the chamber. After the long goodbye, a hug. And a return to quorum call.
UPDATE @ 16:44
Senator Specter speaks to the departure of Senators Frist and Santorum. He notes that Rick
advocated well for the values he believes in - he spoke his mind and heart, a rare quality in
public life. He says too, that he and Rick have a good personal relationship outside of the
He urges the Senate to move ahead to confirm nominee Jordan for the 3rd Circuit (a cloture motion
was filed Wednesday), as well as 13 judges for District Court openings. All of these represent
judicial emergencies. Senator Specter hopes that the 110th Congress approaches nominations
differently from the 109th, and further that the White House consult with the Senate before
advancing nominees. Nominees must pass muster by both parties. Bah to that, Arlen.
He introduces a couple of bills, or their substance, for discussion purposes and comment, looking
ahead to the 100th Congress.
UPDATE @ 17:26
Senator Santorum made his last speech as a Senator - talked of his family, his aids in the Senate,
reflected on legislative accomplishments that are the work of his aids, not of himself.
S. 843 - Combating Autism. Asked for concurrence with the House amendment, and to
pass as amended. Without objection, the Senate passed "Combating Autism" bill.
He thanked Senator Dodd and others for this.
Senator Santorum closes by saying he feels blessed.
Senator McConnell extends kudos for the moving farewell address, and says "Good luck, and
God speed." I think Mitch has a bit of a lump in his throat.
The following bills were amended and passed:
H.R.6111 - Haiti Economic and Infrastructure Reconstruction Act
H.R.5782 - Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2006
H.R.5076 - National Transportation Safety Board Amendments Act of 2006
H.R.6342 - Veterans Programs Extension Act of 2006
S.4042 - to prohibit disruptions of funerals of members or former members of the Armed
Forces (held at desk)
S.4091 - to provide authority for restoration of the Social Security Trust Funds from
the effects of a clerical error, and for other purposes (held at desk)
The vote on Andrew von Eschenbach to the post of Commissioner of the FDA is scheduled for
UPDATE @ 18:31
Andrew von Eschenbach was
CONFIRMED to the post of Commissioner of the FDA
on a 80 - 11 vote.
NAY votes: Baucus, Brownback, DeMint, DeWine, Grassley, Inhofe, Santorum, Snowe,
Talent, Vitter, and Voinovich.
The Senate moves to morning business.
UPDATE @ 19:19
Senators DeWine and Byrd discussion regarding the Gang-of-14 as though it was a good, nay,
GREAT event, and DeWine hopes the tradition embodied in that memorandum will persist.
UPDATE @ Dec 8
Senator Bunning opens, noting 10:30 AM vote on cloture, and a hope that the Senate will
move directly then to vote on Jordan to be a Justice in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.
The "hot" issues for Congress are still bottled up in the House. Senator Frist will keep
the Senate in session (into the weekend) until these are completed ...
- Trade normalization for Viet Nam and other countries [passed 12/9]
- Tax (relief) extenders [passed 12/9]
- Continuing resolution for keeping the government running [passed 12/8]
- US India civil nuclear agreement
Senator Frist's and Santorum's farewell speeches
Senator Santorum's farewell speech continued
Senator Allen's farewell speech
Senator Smith's comments relating to the war in Iraq are worth reading. I don't agree with him,
but he has a point of view shared by many.
IRAQ -- (Senate - December 07, 2006)
Yet as I feel that, I remember the pride I felt
when the statue of Saddam Hussein came down. I remember the thrill I felt when three
times Iraqis risked their own lives to vote democratically in a way that was
internationally verifiable as well as legitimate and important. Now all of those memories
seem much like ashes to me. ...
I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our
soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day
after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal. I cannot support that anymore. I
believe we need to figure out how to fight the war on terror and to do it right. So either
we clear and hold and build, or let's go home. ...
Those are my feelings. I regret them. I would have never voted for this conflict had I
reason to believe that the intelligence we had was not accurate. ...
Senator Smith is in a real jam now, because there will always be reason to believe
that intelligence is "not accurate." No intelligence is perfect.
His comments are nonetheless, again I say, worth a read. He invokes Churchill for various
propositions, and I do believe that Churchill recognized the scope of a looming threat -
but while Islam was not a looming threat to Western Civilization in Churchill's day (other
interests were eying war), it appears to be at least a looming threat today.
UPDATE @ 10:00
If cloture is invoked, 2 hours of debate, then move directly to vote on Jordan.
This schedule (contingent on invoking cloture) is agreed to by unanimous consent.
The following matters were handled as noted ...
S.3110 was placed on the calendar - A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on bulb seals, slat cove.
H.R.6131 was passed - To permit certain expenditures from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund.
H.R.1674 was passed - United States Tsunami Warning and Education Act
UPDATE @ 11:02
The cloture vote to move to advise and consent on the nomination of Kent Jordan
as a Justice for the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, was
on a 93 - 00 vote.
UPDATE @ 11:30
Two hours of debate underway.
Senator Leahy rises and summarizes his objections to WH nomination practices,
and his objections to various nominees on a nominee-by-nominee basis. If you follow judicial
nominations, none of what Senator Leahy is saying is "new" to him, nearly all of it has been stated
before in various statements issued before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Perhaps new is his
suggestion that Smith and Myers should have been swapped, so that Smith at least could have
He notes that Jordan could have been confirmed months ago, and that without conducting a cloture
vote. Jordan was
nominated on June 28, and moved out of Committee on September 26.
Hahahah - Leahy's demeanor was a hoot as he sarcastically described the GOP putting holds
on nominees, then hitting the campaign trail and blaming the lack of nomination progress
on the Democrats.
Our success in this process depends on the White House sending consensus nominees, as opposed
to the highly controversial nominees it sent the Senate repeatedly. I was encouraged by President
Bush's pledge after the election to work with Congress in a bipartisan and cooperative way.
But I was disappointed barely a week later when he broke that pledge and renominated a
slate of his most controversial nominees who had failed to win confirmation, even under a
Republican-controlled Senate. If they could not win confirmation when the Republicans were
in control, my guess--I can't speak for other Senators--but my guess, with a Democratic
chairman and Democratic-controlled Senate, they probably will not win confirmation there
either. If they weren't good enough for the Republicans, they probably won't be good enough
for the Democrats.
When Leahy completes speaking, the following Senators have time, under a unanimous consent
- Senator Conrad for 5 minutes
- Senator Gregg for 15 minutes
- Senator DeWine for 15 minutes
- Senator Carper for 10 minutes
Jordan's confirmation vote will start at about 1 PM.
UPDATE @ 14:40
Kent Jordan was
CONFIRMED as a Justice for the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals
on a 91 - 00 vote.
Circuit Court Nominations Summary has been updated. The Senate left 4 Circuit Court
nominations stranded from all the way back to the 1st Session of the 109th Congress (roughly
calendar year 2005, but some of those 4 had been nominated in the 108th Congress), and left
6 stranded from the 2nd session. 16 of 26 Circuit Court nominees were given an up or down vote.
Senator DeMint asked unanimous consent to proceed to and pass
S.4047 - A bill to prohibit the issuance of transportation security cards to individuals
who have been convicted of certain crimes.
His request was met with objection from the Democrats.
This bill (S.4047) is the same thing as
S.Amdt.4970 (as amended by
H.R.4954 - Port Security Improvement Act of 2006,
which was passed on September 14. The language of the DeMint amendment was
stripped in conference committee.
Mr. DeMint (Congressional Record) ... If we don't screen the people who work at our ports,
we cannot expect to have effective port security.
6 foreign ports will screen U.S.-bound cargo for weapons
By Carol Eisenberg, Newsday - December 8, 2006
WASHINGTON -- Cargo bound for the United States from six foreign ports -- including one in
England owned by Dubai Ports World -- will be screened for nuclear and radiological weapons
before being loaded onto ships, federal officials announced Thursday.
"Number one, the technology is not that good," said James Carafano, senior research fellow
in homeland security at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington,
D.C. "The data these [radiological detection] machines produce is still very poor."
More important, Carafano said, "No serious analyst thinks this is a credible threat. If you
had a nuclear weapon, the last thing you'd do is let it out of your control. Ships get
rerouted, containers get crushed.... So at the end of the day, you're struggling for a
Dubai firm expects bids for U.S. ports
By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
WASHINGTON - A Dubai-owned company will accept final bids within two weeks for the sale of
all $700 million worth of its U.S. port operations to an American buyer, a plan forced by
concerns over terrorism security.
Did you know that Dubai Ports World has kept its ownership interest in those US ports ever since the
contentious business deal? DPW is, today, in exactly the business arrangement that was
deemed to be too big of a security risk to the United States.
Well well well. DPW sold its US assets to AIG on December 12.
Dubai Ports sells US operations
WASHINGTON - Dubai Ports World, the company whose planned takeover of major U.S. port
operations ignited a political firestorm earlier this year, has agreed to sell those
operations to AIG Global Investment Group. ... The company announced the deal Monday.
UPDATE @ 16:04
Now here's a resource that might be useful for measuring the progress of the DEM-controlled
Congress in implementing the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission.
Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations, Or Not
major new [Congressional Research Service] report (pdf) that could serve as an appendix to the Final Report of the 9/11
Commission, the Congressional Research Service performed a detailed assessment of the
implementation of the Commission's recommendations. ...
a review of the 9/11 Commission recommendations by Christian
Homeland Security Watch who examines "what the 110th Congress could potentially
do to make progress on each and every one of [them]."
UPDATE @ 16:44
Senator Durbin offered a resolution relating to Darfur, and on a separate subject, urged
passage of the tax extended package.
Senator Reid defended the Senate's abuse of cloture to block executive nominations with less
than a majority of the Senate - holding the Senate above the executive, and praising that as
the correct result. "The American people won" as a result of the Gang-of-14. Well, he and
Senator Frist see eye-to-eye in this regard. Rejection of the nuclear option is Reid's proudest
moment as minority leader. Blech. To both of them.
Investigation of Allegations Related
to improper conduct involving members and
current or former house pages
UPDATE @ 18:08
Senator Inhofe gave a nice tribute to Jeane Kirkpatrick
(So did Senator Kyle,
UPDATE @ 18:36
The House is coming up on a vote on a trade bill (to extend certain trade relations),
H.R.6406, which touches on Vietnam, Africa countries, Haiti, and a six month
extension of trade preferences for Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
UPDATE @ 18:52
The Senate Passes ...
S.4115 - Effective Physician Assistance for Drug Treatment Act
H.R.6338 - Geneva Distinctive Emblems Protection Act of 2006,
to prevent and repress the misuse of the Red Crescent distinctive emblem and the Third
Protocol (Red Crystal) distinctive emblem
UPDATE @ 19:10
Speaker Hastert is giving his final talk as Speaker - recollecting events, and giving the
customary gratitude to the behind the scenes workers. He finished his remarks at 19:19, to
Congresswoman Pelosi up next - recognized Hastert as the longest serving Republican Speaker
in history, "and long may that record stand," said she.
UPDATE @ 19:27
The House is voting on passage of
H.R.6406 - the trade bill. A 15 minute vote.
UPDATE @ 19:49
Senator Kyl gave a nice commentary regarding Jeane Kirkpatrick. He also noted departing
Senators, naming first, Rick Santorum, then Conrad Burns, then Jim Talent, then George Allen,
then Mike DeWine, "and finally, Lincoln Chafee."
The House passed
H.R.6406 - the trade bill, on a 212-184 vote, appended it to H.R.6111, and sent it back
to the Senate.
The House is next taking up
H.R.5682 - U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Power. An hour of debate is allocated.
UPDATE @ 21:31
Senators Hutchison and Stevens re-lamented absence of appropriations bills, in particular,
the bill dealing with Military Construction.
The House deferred a vote on the India Civil Nuclear Power Bill (a roll call vote was called for)
and started one hour of debate on
Joint Res. 102, the Continuing Resolution, at 21:04. Rep. Obey uttered scathing criticism
of the Republicans for shirking the duty to pass appropriations bills, and says "please
spare us asking to again take charge of the people's money."
Senator DeWine gave his farewell speech - fairly long-winded and oriented to his family and
his wife's family. He winds up at 21:20. Senator Reid chimes in with a pat on the back for
Senator DeWine, followed by praise from Senators McConnell and Durbin.
Meanwhile, over in the House (at 21:27), a roll call vote is called for on H.J.Res.102, with the
vote to occur later tonight.
H.Con.Res.503, the Motion to adjourn sine die, is introduced. The Senate is given until
December 13 to adjourn, under this resolution. The resolution is agreed to.
At 21:30, the House moved to roll call vote on two measures:
UPDATE @ 23:31
H.R.4709 - Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act of 2006, was passed by the Senate.
This bill gets to the center of the practice known as "pretexting" -- a fraudulent technique
to obtain access to confidential communications records.
S.4121 - to provide optional funding rules for employers in applicable multiple
employer pension plans, was passed by the Senate.
The House has 14 "suspensions," or bills to take up out of regular order, before adjourning
sine die. In the Senate, Senator Grassley is promoting some of the tax extenders, e.g.,
deduction for teachers buying classroom supplies, sales tax deduction.
H.J.Res.102 - Continuing Appropriations passed the Senate at 23:58 on Dec 8
H.R.6164 - National Institutes of Health Reform Act of 2006 - amended and passed at 23:59
H.R.6111 - a cloture motion filed to concur in the house amendment (this is an odd
gesture, given the impending adjournment sine die) - Frist then asks for unanimous consent to
concur with the House, but with an amendment. He asks for a roll call vote, and there is
sufficient second. He also "fills the amendment tree." Senators Gregg and Grassley will debate
on waiving a point of order. If the point of order passes, then cloture vote, if cloture passes,
then vote on the underlying measure.
H.R.798 - Methamphetamine Remediation Research Act of 2005 - amended and passed at 00:04
UPDATE @ Dec 9 - 00:08
Senator Gregg raises a point of order that the motion to concur in the House amendment to H.R.6111
violates various aspects of the budget act and budget resolution. Senator Grassley moves
to waive the points of order. A half hour of debate is scheduled before voting on the
point of order. This is (was) nominally the trade with Haiti package, but was amended to
include tax (relief) extender legislation.
UPDATE @ 00:38
H.R.6111 is loaded with stuff. It has the Gulf of Mexico oil drilling bill too.
Senator Domenici is up advocating to pass the bill for that reason, Grassley is hot
on the tax (relief) extenders (R&D tax credit, capital gains, alternative minimum tax, sales tax
deduction, etc.) - seems like a small number of budget hawks are making a point (e.g., Gregg,
Coburn). My quick nose count indicates that the budget point will be waived, and cloture
This bill also contains the Viet Nam trade relations, trade with Haiti, etc. provisions.
A bit of testy exchange between Grassley ad Gregg, as to ability to count. Gregg thought
Grassley's time had expired, "if I can count, the time has expired." Grassley says
"I had 6 minutes, I gave 4 to Landrieu. Can YOU count?" The chair ruled that Grassley's time
Gregg's objection is that the bill comes in with a mess of spending initiatives. This isn't just
tax code extension - it includes 4 billion dollars in health care requirements for companies
involved in coal mining, being passed to the taxpayer; 36 billion in new spending over the next
five years; earmarks (150 million for the District of Columbia, special depreciation for ethanol,
change in ethanol tariffs from Brazil); and more.
Senator Gregg is wound up too. The Senate is voting on Grassley's motion to waive the budget
point of order. 60 votes are required to waive.
UPDATE @ 01:06
The budget point of order against
on a 67 - 21 vote.
On to the cloture vote.
UPDATE @ 01:27
The cloture motion to conclude debate on
on a 78 - 10 vote.
On to vote on the "underlying bill," motion to concur with the House amendment.
UPDATE @ 01:49
H.R.6111 - Tax extenders; Gulf of Mexico Drilling; Trade package for Viet Nam, Haiti, Africa;,
Health care for coal miners; and assorted pork projects was
on a 79 - 09 vote.
You don't see that very often. Three votes back to back on the same exact bill - different
from stacked votes on a range of amendments, then voting on the bill. Anyway, the GOP-lead
Senate is demonstrating it's inability to regulate pork-barrel spending - and next Congress,
the DEMs will lard up the appropriations bills, no doubt with help from the Republicans.
According to C-SPAN2, the next matter up will be the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Power bill.
Meanwhile, while Senator Frist accolades his secretary, "Ramona;" over in the House,
S.707 is NOT passed.
Senator Landrieu accolades her staff; and the House passes
H.R.1554, and several others. Phew! Breakneck pace of action.
Senator Collins notes that
H.R. 6407 - To reform the postal laws of the United States -
will also be taken up by the 109th Senate before it concludes business.
UPDATE @ 02:50
02:26 Senator Frist congratulates Senator Collins on the Postal Accountability bill.
02:38 Senator Frist noted Senate confirmation of a mess of nominations, none of them
being judicial nominees.
02:42 Senator Landrieu indicates that she will hang around until a certain House bill is passed by
the Senate. That bill is being held up (there is a hold by a Senator). Senator Frist indicates
that a number of similar bills (same or similar subject material) are presently under
consideration and negotiation.
S.3421 A bill to authorize major medical facility projects and major medical facility
leases for the Department of Veterans Affairs for fiscal years 2006 and 2007 - is passed as
H.R.6407 To reform the postal laws of the United States - is passed.
H.R.5682 - US-India Civil Nuclear Power - is passed.
H.Con.Res.503 - sine die adjournment resolution - is accepted. Making and passing a motion
to adjourn will now end the 109th Session of the Senate. Adjournment didn't happen just now --
the Senate is in a quorum call, and the facility is now in place to terminate the 109th Senate.
UPDATE @ 03:17
Action in the House while the Senate is in a quorum call ...
02:53 The House begins a 5 minute vote on
S.3546 - Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act.
(dietary supplement disclosure requirements)
03:06 The House passed S.3546.
03:08 The House amended then passed
03:11 H.Res.1108 -
to appoint Boehner and Pelosi to notify the President of adjournment of the House.
03:13 House Housekeeping for the interim between adjournment of the 109th Congress and commencement
of the 110th Congress.
03:16 Motion to adjourn passed. House adjourned until Wednesday, December 13, or, most
likely, sine die, depending on action in the Senate.
UPDATE @ 03:47
GOP Pushes Tax Bill Through Congress
By ANDREW TAYLOR - Associated Press Writer
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H., gave an extraordinary floor speech
lambasting his party for losing its way on fiscal discipline and his leadership for jamming
it past rank-and-file Republicans opposing the massive measure.
Gregg particularly objected to a provision tucked into the tax bill to expand federal
funding for the health benefits of retired coal miners at a cost of some $5 billion over 10
"You just have to ask yourself how we, as a party, got to this point, where we have a
leadership which is going to ram down the throats of our party the biggest budget buster in
the history of the Congress under Republican leadership," Gregg said.
and the Senate remains in a quorum call ...
UPDATE @ 04:40
04:22 Senator Frist returned to the chamber
S.Res.631 - Sudan - passed
S.Res.632 - passed
S.Res.633 - passed
S.Res.634 - passed
S.707 - Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers who deliver Infants Early Act - passed as amended
H.Con.Res.495 - Authorizing the printing as a House document of "United States House of Representatives, The Committee on Ways and Means: A History, 1789-2006" - passed
H.R.6060 - Department of State Authorities Act of 2006 - passed
H.R.4997 - Physicians for Underserved Areas Act - passed
H.R.5948 - Belarus Democracy Reauthorization Act of 2006 - passed
H.J.Res.101 - Appointing the day for the convening of the first session of the One Hundred Tenth Congress - passed
H.Con.Res.502 - passed
S.214 - United States-Mexico Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Act - passed as amended
S.895 - Rural Water Supply Act of 2005 - passed as amended by the House
S.2125 - Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2005 - passed
S.362 - Marine Debris Research Prevention and Reduction Act - passed as amended by the House
S.4055 - Preserving Crime Victims' Restitution Act of 2006 - passed
H.R.5483 - Railroad Retirement Disability Earnings Act - passed
S.Res.549 - A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate regarding modern-day slavery - passed
H.R.6429 - passed
S.1608 - Undertaking Spam, Spyware, And Fraud Enforcement With Enforcers beyond Borders Act of 2005 - passed
04:31 Tributes to Senators be printed as a document
04:32 Senate Housekeeping for the interim between adjournment of the 109th Congress and
commencement of the 110th Congress.
04:35 Brief "final final remarks"
04:39 Senator Frist quoting from a letter from his father "Finally, I believe it is so terribly important in life to be humble, to use your talents wisely, and to use other people's talents in life to help other people."
04:39 Motion to adjourn sine die. The 109th Senate was formally gaveled to a close.
10 Circuit Court nominations (none on the Senate's executive calendar) and 28
District Court nominations (13 on the calendar, available for vote, and 15 others still in
have been returned to the President
. A number of recess appointments were also
returned, and it's interesting, at least, that the nominations of eight individuals
recess appointed on April 1, 2005, to be Members of the Defense Base Realignment and Closure
Commission (BRAC), have all been returned.
Nominations Returned to the President on December 9
PN2182 - Michael Brunson Wallace - Fifth Circuit
PN2181 - Norman Randy Smith - Ninth Circuit
PN2178 - William Gerry Myers III - Ninth Circuit
PN2177 - Peter D. Keisler - DC Circuit
PN2176 - William James Haynes II - Fourth Circuit
PN2175 - Terrence W. Boyle - Fourth Circuit
PN1999 - Thomas M. Hardiman - Third Circuit
PN1748 - Stephen Joseph Murphy III - Sixth Circuit
PN1747 - Raymond M. Kethledge - Sixth Circuit
PN1745 - Debra Ann Livingston - Second Circuit
Federal District Courts
PN2206 - Thomas Alvin Farr - Eastern District of North Carolina
PN2198 - Frederick J. Kapala - Northern District of Illinois
PN2180 - Benjamin Hale Settle - Western District of Washington
PN2179 - James Edward Rogan - Central District of California
PN2090 - Thomas D. Schroeder - Middle District of North Carolina
PN2089 - Martin Karl Reidinger - Middle District of North Carolina
PN2088 - William Lindsay Osteen, Jr. - Middle District of North Carolina
PN1953 - George H. Wu - Central District of California
PN1952 - Otis D. Wright II - Central District of California
PN1951 - Halil Suleyman Ozerden - Southern District of Mississippi
PN1895 - Lawrence Joseph O'Neill - Eastern District of California
PN1894 - Liam O'Grady - Eastern District of Virginia
PN1893 - Roslynn Renee Mauskopf - Eastern District of New York
PN1812 - Nora Barry Fischer - Western District of Pennsylvania
PN1811 - Sara Elizabeth Lioi - Northern District of Ohio
PN1754 - Janet T. Neff - Western District of Michigan
PN1753 - Paul Lewis Maloney - Western District of Michigan
PN1752 - Robert James Jonker - Western District of Michigan
PN1751 - John Alfred Jarvey - Southern District of Iowa
PN1750 - Mary O. Donohue - Northern District of New York
PN1749 - John Preston Bailey - Northern District of West Virginia
PN1668 - Lisa Godbey Wood - Southern District of Georgia
PN1658 - Gregory Kent Frizzell - Northern District of Oklahoma
PN1654 - Leslie Southwick - Southern District of Mississippi
PN1653 - Marcia Morales Howard - Middle District of Florida
PN1537 - Valerie L. Baker - Central District of California
PN1453 - Philip S. Gutierrez - Central District of California
PN1181 - Vanessa Lynne Bryant - District of Connecticut
PN2197 - Heidi M. Pasichow - Associate Judge of the DC Superior Court
PN1189 - S. Pamela Gray - Associate Judge of the DC Superior Court
PN1054 - Carol A. Dalton - Associate Judge of the DC Superior Court
Selected Recess Appointees
PN2170 - Richard Stickler - Ass't Sec. of Labor for Mine Safety and Health
PN1397 - John A. Rizzo - General Counsel of the CIA
PN1316 - Benjamin A. Powell - General Counsel of the Office of DNI
PN1314 - Julie L. Myers - Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security
PN1301 - Gordon England - Deputy Secretary of Defense
PN1300 - Dorrance Smith - Assistant Secretary of Defense
PN910 - John Robert Bolton - Representative to the United Nations
PN909 - Eric S. Edelman - Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
PN908 - Peter Cyril Wyche Flory - Assistant Secretary of Defense
PN436 through PN444 - Nine members of the Defense BRAC