WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT OF 2013; Congressional Record Vol. 159, No. 167
(Senate - November 21, 2013)

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[Pages S8413-S8418]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                    WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT OF 2013

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I move to proceed to Calendar No. 243, S. 
1356, the Workforce Investment Act of 2013.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will report the bill by title.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       Motion to proceed to Calendar No. 243, S. 1356, a bill to 
     amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to strengthen the 
     United States workforce development system through innovation 
     in, and alignment and improvement of, employment, training, 
     and education programs in the United States, and to promote 
     individual and national economic growth, and for other 
     purposes.


                                Schedule

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, following my remarks and those of the 
Republican leader, the Senate will resume consideration of the National 
Defense Authorization Act. I filed cloture on that bill last night. As 
a result, the filing deadline for first-degree amendments to the bill 
is 1 p.m. today.


                Measure Placed on the Calendar--S. 1752

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I am told S. 1752 is due for a second 
reading.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will read the title of the bill 
for the second time.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 1752) to perform procedures for determinations 
     to proceed to trial by court-martial for certain offenses 
     under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and for other 
     purposes.

  Mr. REID. I object to any further proceedings on this bill at this 
time.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, the bill will be placed 
on the calendar.


                       Reservation of Leader Time

  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the leadership 
time is reserved.


                             Iran Sanctions

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I am a strong supporter of our Iran sanction 
regime and believe that the current sanctions have brought Iran to the 
negotiating table.
  I believe we must do everything possible to stop Iran from getting 
nuclear weapons capability, which would threaten Israel and the 
national security of our great country.
  The Obama administration is in the midst of negotiations with the 
Iranians that are designed to end their nuclear weapons program. We all 
strongly support those negotiations and hope they will succeed, and we 
want them to produce the strongest possible agreement.
  However, we are also aware of the possibility that the Iranians could 
keep the negotiations from succeeding. I hope that won't happen, but 
the Senate must be prepared to move forward with a new bipartisan Iran 
sanctions bill when the Senate returns after the Thanksgiving recess. I 
am committed to do just that.
  A number of Senators, Democrats and Republicans, have offered their 
own amendments on Iran, and they have offered a couple of the 
amendments in the Defense authorization bill. I know other Senators 
also have their own sanctions bills they would like to move forward on.
  I will support a bill that would broaden the scope of our current 
petroleum sanctions, place limitations on trade with strategic sectors 
of the Iranian economy that support its nuclear ambitions, as well as 
pursue those that divert goods to Iran.
  While I support the administration's diplomatic efforts, I believe we 
need to leave our legislative options open to act on a new bipartisan 
sanctions bill in December, shortly after we return.
  Mr. President, I note the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.

[[Page S8414]]

  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                              Rules Reform

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, the American people believe Congress is 
broken. The American people believe the Senate is broken, and I believe 
the American people are right.
  During this Congress--the 113th Congress--the United States has 
wasted an unprecedented amount of time on procedural hurdles and 
partisan obstruction. As a result the work of this country goes undone.
  Congress should be passing legislation that strengthens our economy 
and protects American families. Instead, we are burning wasted hours 
and wasted days between filibusters. I could say, instead, we are 
burning wasted days and wasted weeks between filibusters.
  Even one of the Senate's most basic duties--confirmation of 
presidential nominees--has become completely unworkable. There has been 
unbelievable, unprecedented obstruction. For the first time in the 
history of our Republic, Republicans have routinely used the filibuster 
to prevent President Obama from appointing his executive team or 
confirming judges. It is truly a troubling trend that Republicans are 
willing to block executive branch nominees, even when they have no 
objection to the qualifications of the nominee. Instead, they block 
qualified executive branch nominees to circumvent the legislative 
process. They block qualified executive branch nominations to force 
wholesale changes to laws. They block qualified executive branch 
nominees to restructure entire executive branch departments, and they 
block qualified judicial nominees because they don't want President 
Obama to appoint any judges to certain courts.
  The need for change is so very obvious. It is clearly visible. It is 
manifest we have to do something to change things.
  In the history of our country--some 230-plus years--there have been 
168 filibusters of executive and judicial nominations. Half of them 
have occurred during the Obama administration--so 230-plus years, 50 
percent; 4\1/2\ years, 50 percent. Is there anything fair about that?
  These nominees deserve at least an up-or-down vote--yes or no--but 
Republican filibusters deny them a fair vote--any vote--and deny the 
President his team.
  Gridlock has consequences, and they are terrible. It is not only bad 
for President Obama and bad for this body, the Senate, it is bad for 
our country, it is bad for our national security, and it is bad for our 
economic security.
  That is why it is time to get the Senate working again--not for the 
good of the current Democratic majority or some future Republican 
majority, but for the good of the United States of America. It is time 
to change. It is time to change the Senate before this institution 
becomes obsolete.
  At the beginning of this Congress, the Republican leader pledged 
that, ``This Congress should be more bipartisan than the last 
Congress.''
  We are told in the Scriptures--let's take, for example, the Old 
Testament, the Book of Numbers, that promises, pledges, a vow--one must 
not break his word.
  In January, Republicans promised to work with the majority to process 
nominations in a timely manner by unanimous consent, except in 
extraordinary circumstances. Exactly three weeks later, Republicans 
mounted a first-in-history filibuster of a highly qualified nominee for 
Secretary of Defense.
  Despite being a former Republican Senator and a decorated war hero, 
having saved his brother's life in Vietnam, Defense Secretary Chuck 
Hagel's nomination was pending in the Senate for a record 34 days--more 
than three times the previous average for a Secretary of Defense. 
Remember, our country was at war.
  Republicans have blocked executive nominees such as Secretary Hagel 
not because they object to the qualifications of the nominee but simply 
because they seek to undermine the very government in which they were 
elected to serve.
  Take the nomination of Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial 
Protection Bureau. There was no doubt about his ability to do the job. 
But the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the brainchild of 
Elizabeth Warren, went for more than 2 years without a leader because 
Republicans refused to accept the law of the land, because they wanted 
to roll back the law that protects consumers from the greed of Wall 
Street.
  I say to my Republican colleagues: You don't have to like the laws of 
the land, but you do have to respect those laws and acknowledge them 
and abide by them.
  Similar obstruction continued unabated for 7 more months, until 
Democrats threatened to change Senate rules to allow up-or-down votes 
on executive nominations. In July, after obstructing dozens of 
executive nominees for months--and some for years--Republicans once 
again promised they would end the unprecedented obstruction.
  One look at the Senate's Executive Calendar shows that nothing has 
changed since July. Republicans have continued their record obstruction 
as if no agreement had ever been reached. Again, Republicans have 
continued their record of obstruction as if no agreement had been 
reached.
  There are currently 75 executive branch nominations ready to be 
confirmed by the Senate. They have been waiting an average of 140 days 
for confirmation.
  One executive nominee to the agency that safeguards the water my 
children and my grandchildren drink and the air they breathe has waited 
almost 900 days for confirmation.
  We agreed in July that the Senate should be confirming nominees to 
ensure the proper functioning of government.
  Consistent and unprecedented obstruction by the Republican Caucus has 
turned ``advise and consent'' into ``deny and obstruct.''
  In addition to filibustering a nominee for Secretary of Defense for 
the first time in history, Senate Republicans also blocked a sitting 
Member of Congress from an administration position for the first time 
since 1843.
  As a senior Member of the House Financial Services Committee, 
Congressman Mel Watt's understanding of the mistakes that led to the 
housing crisis made him uniquely qualified to serve as Administrator of 
the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
  Senate Republicans simply do not like the consumer protections 
Congressman Watt was nominated to develop and implement, so they denied 
a fellow Member of Congress and a graduate of the Yale School of Law 
even the courtesy of an up-or-down vote.
  In the last 3 weeks alone, Republicans have blocked up-or-down votes 
on three highly qualified nominees to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. 
This does not take into consideration they twice turned down one of the 
most qualified people in my 30 years in the Senate who I have ever seen 
come before this body: Caitlin Halligan. So we have three more to add 
to that list.
  The DC Circuit is considered by many to be the second highest court 
in the land, and some think maybe the most important. It deals with 
these complex cases that come from Federal agencies and other things 
within their jurisdiction.
  Republicans have blocked four of President Obama's five nominees to 
the DC Circuit, whereas the Democrats approved four of President Bush's 
six nominations to this important court.
  Today the DC Circuit Court--at least the second most important court 
in the land--has more than 25 percent in vacancies. There is not a 
single legitimate objection to the qualifications of any of these 
nominees to the DC Circuit that President Obama has put forward. 
Republicans have refused to give them an up-or-down vote--a simple 
``yes'' or ``no'' vote. Republicans simply do not want President Obama 
to make any appointments at all to this vital court--none, zero.
  Further, only 23 district court nominations have been filibustered in 
the entire history of our country--23. And you know what. Twenty of 
them have been in the last 4\1/2\ years. Two hundred thirty-plus years: 
3; the last 4\1/2\ years: 20. That is not fair. With one out of every 
10 Federal judgeships vacant, millions of Americans who rely on courts 
that are overworked and understaffed are being denied the justice they 
rightly deserve.
  More than half of the Nation's population lives in parts of the 
country that have been declared a ``judicial emergency.'' No one has 
worked harder than

[[Page S8415]]

the President pro tempore to move judges. The President pro tempore is 
the chairman also of the Judiciary Committee. No one knows the problem 
more than the President pro tempore.
  The American people are fed up with this kind of obstruction and 
gridlock. The American people--Democrats, Republicans, Independents--
are fed up with this gridlock, this obstruction. The American people 
want Washington to work for American families once again.
  I am on their side, which is why I propose an important change to the 
rules of the U.S. Senate. The present Republican leader himself said--
and this is a direct quote--``The Senate has repeatedly changed its 
rules as circumstances dictate.''
  He is right. In fact, the Senate has changed its rules 18 times, by 
sustaining or overturning the ruling of the Presiding Officer, in the 
last 36 years--during the tenures of both Republican and Democratic 
majorities.
  The change we propose today would ensure executive and judicial 
nominations an up-or-down vote on confirmation--yes, no. The rule 
change will make cloture for all nominations other than for the Supreme 
Court a majority threshold vote--yes or no.
  The Senate is a living thing, and to survive it must change, as it 
has over the history of this great country. To the average American, 
adapting the rules to make the Senate work again is just common sense.
  This is not about Democrats versus Republicans. This is about making 
Washington work--regardless of who is in the White House or who 
controls the Senate.
  To remain relevant and effective as an institution, the Senate must 
evolve to meet the challenges of this modern era.
  I have no doubt my Republican colleagues will argue the fault is 
ours, it is the Democrats' fault. I can say from experience that no 
one's hands are entirely clean on this issue. But today the important 
distinction is not between Democrats and Republicans. It is between 
those who are willing to help break the gridlock in Washington and 
those who defend the status quo.
  Is the Senate working now? Can anyone say the Senate is working now? 
I do not think so.
  Today Democrats and Independents are saying enough is enough. This 
change to the rules regarding Presidential nominees will apply equally 
to both parties. When Republicans are in power, these changes will 
apply to them as well. That is simple fairness, and it is something 
that both sides should be willing to live with to make Washington work 
again. That is simple fairness.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                   Recognition Of The Minority Leader

  The Republican leader is recognized.


                              Health Care

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, over the past several weeks, the 
American people have been witness to one of the most breathtaking--
breathtaking--indictments of big-government liberalism in memory. And I 
am not just talking about a Web site. I am talking about the way in 
which ObamaCare was forced on the public by an administration and a 
Democratic-led Congress that we now know was willing to do and say 
anything--anything--to pass the law.
  The President and his Democratic allies were so determined to force 
their vision of health care on the public that they assured them up and 
down that they would not lose the plans they had, that they would save 
money instead of losing it, and that they would be able to use the 
doctors and hospitals they were already using.
  But, of course, we know that that rhetoric does not match reality. 
The stories we are hearing on a nearly daily basis now range from 
heartbreaking to comical. Just yesterday I saw a story about a guy 
getting a letter in the mail saying his dog--his dog--had qualified for 
insurance under ObamaCare. So, yeah, I would probably be running for 
the exits too if I had supported this law. I would be looking to change 
the subject--change the subject--just as Senate Democrats have been 
doing with their threats of going nuclear and changing the Senate rules 
on nominations. If I were a Senator from Oregon, for example, which has 
not enrolled a single person--a single person--for the ObamaCare 
exchange, I would probably want to talk about something else too.
  But here is the problem with this latest distraction: It does not 
distract people from ObamaCare. It reminds them of ObamaCare. It 
reminds them of all the broken promises. It reminds them of the power 
grab. It reminds them of the way Democrats set up one set of rules for 
themselves and another for everybody else--one set of rules for them 
and another for everybody else.
  Actually, this is all basically the same debate, and rather than 
distract people from ObamaCare, it only reinforces the narrative of a 
party that is willing to do and say just about anything to get its 
way--willing to do or say just about anything to get its way. Because 
that is just what they are doing all over again.
  Once again, Senate Democrats are threatening to break the rules of 
the Senate--break the rules of the Senate--in order to change the rules 
of the Senate. And over what? Over what? Over a court that does not 
even have enough work to do?
  Millions of Americans are hurting because of a law Washington 
Democrats forced upon them, and what do they do about it? They cook up 
some fake fight over judges--a fake fight over judges--who are not even 
needed.
  Look, I get it. As I indicated, I would want to be talking about 
something else too if I had to defend dogs getting insurance while 
millions of Americans lost theirs. But it will not work. The parallels 
between this latest skirmish and the original ObamaCare push are just 
too obvious to ignore.
  Think about it. Just think about it. The majority leader promised--he 
promised--over and over that he would not break the rules of the Senate 
in order to change them. This was not an ancient promise. On July 14 on 
``Meet the Press'' he said: ``We're not touching judges.'' This year, 
on July 14, on ``Meet the Press'': ``We're not touching judges.''
  Then there are the double standards.
  When Democrats were in the minority, they argued strenuously for the 
very thing they now say we will have to do without; namely, the right 
to extended debate on lifetime appointments. In other words, they 
believe that one set of rules should apply to them--to them--and 
another set to everybody else. He may just as well have said: ``If you 
like the rules of the Senate, you can keep them.'' ``If you like the 
rules of the Senate, you can keep them''--just the way so many 
Democrats in the administration and Congress now believe that ObamaCare 
is good enough for their constituents, but that when it comes to them, 
their political allies, their staffs, well, of course, that is 
different.
  Let's not forget about the raw power--the raw power--at play here. On 
this point, the similarities between the ObamaCare debate and the 
Democratic threat to go nuclear on nominations are inescapable--
inescapable. They muscled through ObamaCare on a party-line vote and 
did not care about the views of the minority--did not care one whit 
about the views of the minority. And that is just about what they are 
going to do here.
  The American people decided not to give the Democrats the House or to 
restore the filibuster-proof majority they had in the Senate back in 
2009, and our Democratic colleagues do not like that one bit. They just 
do not like it. The American people are getting in the way of what they 
would like to do. So they are trying to change the rules of the game to 
get their way anyway. They said so themselves. Earlier this year, the 
senior Senator from New York said they want to ``fill up the DC Circuit 
one way or another''--``fill up the DC Circuit one way or another.''
  The reason is clear. As one liberal activist put it earlier this 
year, President Obama's agenda ``runs through the DC Circuit.'' You 
cannot get what you want through the Congress because the American 
people, in November 2010, said they had had enough--they issued a 
national restraining order, after watching 2 years of this 
administration unrestrained--so now their agenda runs through the 
bureaucracy and through the DC Circuit.
  As I said, in short, unlike the first 2 years of the Obama 
administration,

[[Page S8416]]

there is now a legislative check on the President. The administration 
does not much like checks and balances, so it wants to circumvent the 
people's representatives with an aggressive regulatory agenda, and our 
Democratic colleagues want to facilitate that by filling up a court 
that will rule on his agenda--a court that does not even have enough 
work to do, especially if it means changing the subject from ObamaCare 
for a few days.
  And get this: They think they can change the rules of the Senate in a 
way that benefits only them. They want to do it in such a way that 
President Obama's agenda gets enacted but that a future Republican 
President could not get his or her picks for the Supreme Court 
confirmed by a Republican Senate using the same precedent our 
Democratic friends want to set. They want to have it both ways.
  But this sort of gerrymandered vision of the nuclear option is 
wishful thinking. As the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee 
Senator Grassley pointed out yesterday: If the majority leader changes 
the rules for some judicial nominees, he is effectively changing them 
for all judicial nominees, including the Supreme Court, as Senator 
Grassley pointed out yesterday.
  Look, I realize this sort of wishful thinking might appeal to the 
uninitiated newcomers in the Democratic Conference who have served 
exactly zero days in the minority. But the rest of you guys in the 
conference should know better. Those of you who have been in the 
minority before should know better.
  Let's remember how we got here. Let's remember that it was Senate 
Democrats who pioneered, who literally pioneered the practice of 
filibustering circuit court nominees, and who have been its biggest 
proponents in the very recent past. After President Bush was elected, 
they even held a retreat in which they discussed the need to change the 
ground rules by which lifetime appointments are considered. The senior 
Senator from New York put on a seminar, invited Laurence Tribe, Cass 
Sunstein. In the past the practice had been neither side had 
filibustered circuit court nominees. In fact, I can remember at Senator 
Lott's gagging several times and voting for cloture on circuit judges 
for the Ninth Circuit, knowing full well that once cloture was invoked, 
they would be confirmed.
  So this business of filibustering circuit court judges was entirely 
an invention of the guys over here on the other side, the ones you are 
looking at right over here. They made it up. They started it. This is 
where we ended up.
  After President Bush was elected, they held this retreat that I was 
just talking about and made a big deal about it. It was all a prelude 
to what followed, the serial filibustering of several of President 
Bush's circuit court nominees, including Miguel Estrada, whose 
nomination to the DC Circuit was filibustered by Senate Democrats a 
record seven times--seven times. Now they want to blow up the rules 
because Republicans are following a precedent they themselves set.
  I might add, we are following that precedent in a much more modest 
way than Democrats did.
  So how about this for a suggestion? How about instead of picking a 
fight with Senate Republicans by jamming through nominees to a court 
that does not even have enough work to do, how about taking yes for an 
answer and working with us on filling judicial emergencies that 
actually exist?
  Yet rather than learn from past precedent on judicial nominations 
that they themselves set, Democrats now want to set another one. I have 
no doubt if they do, they will come to regret that one as well. Our 
colleagues evidently would rather live for the moment, satisfy the 
moment, live for the moment, and try to establish a story line that 
Republicans are intent on obstructing President Obama's judicial 
nominees. That story line is patently ridiculous in light of the facts. 
That is an utterly absurd suggestion in light of the facts.
  Before this current Democratic gambit to fill up the DC Circuit one 
way or the other, the Senate had confirmed 215--215--of the President's 
judicial nominees and rejected 2. That is a 99-percent confirmation 
rate. There were 215 confirmed and 2 rejected--99 percent.
  Look, if advice and consent is to mean anything at all, occasionally 
consent is not given. But by any objective standards, Senate 
Republicans have been very fair to this President. We have been willing 
to confirm his nominees. In fact, speaking of the DC Circuit, we just 
confirmed one a few months ago 97 to 0 to the DC Circuit.
  So I suggest our colleagues take a timeout, stop trying to jam us, 
work with us instead to confirm vacancies that actually need to be 
filled, which we have been doing. This rules change charade has gone 
from being a biannual threat, to an annual threat, now to a quarterly 
threat. How many times have we been threatened, my colleagues? Do what 
I say or we will break the rules to change the rules. Confirm 
everybody, 100 percent. Anything less than that is obstructionism. That 
is what they are saying to us.
  Let me say we are not interested in having a gun put to our head any 
longer. If you think this is in the best interests of the Senate and 
the American people to make advice and consent, in effect, mean 
nothing--obviously you can break the rules to change the rules to 
achieve that. But some of us have been around here long enough to know 
that the shoe is sometimes on the other foot.
  This strategy of distract, distract, distract is getting old. I do 
not think the American people are fooled about this. If our colleagues 
want to work with us to fill judicial vacancies, as we have been doing 
all year--99 percent of judges confirmed--obviously we are willing to 
do that. If you want to play games, set yet another precedent that you 
will no doubt come to regret--I say to my friends on the other side of 
the aisle, you will regret this, and you may regret it a lot sooner 
than you think.
  Let me be clear. The Democratic playbook of broken promises, double 
standards, and raw power, the same playbook that got us ObamaCare, has 
to end. It may take the American people to end it, but it has to end. 
That is why Republicans are going to keep their focus where it belongs, 
on the concerns of the American people. It means we are going to keep 
pushing to get back to the drawing board on health care, to replace 
ObamaCare with real reforms, to not punish the middle class, and we 
will leave the political games to our friends on the other side of the 
aisle.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The majority leader.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, what is the business before the Senate right 
now?
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The business before the Senate is the 
motion to proceed to S. 1356.


                  Motion to Proceed to Reconsideration

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I now move to proceed to the motion to 
reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the Millett 
nomination.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays are ordered.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CHAMBLISS (when his name was called). ``Present.''
  Mr. HATCH (when his name was called). ``Present.''
  Mr. ISAKSON (when his name was called). ``Present.''
  The result was announced--yeas 57, nays 40, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 239 Leg.]

                                YEAS--57

     Baldwin
     Baucus
     Begich
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Collins
     Coons
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Johnson (SD)
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Landrieu
     Leahy
     Levin
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--40

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Coats
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Enzi
     Fischer
     Flake
     Graham
     Grassley

[[Page S8417]]


     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Johanns
     Johnson (WI)
     Kirk
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Paul
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rubio
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Thune
     Toomey
     Vitter
     Wicker

                        ANSWERED ``PRESENT''--3

     Chambliss
     Hatch
     Isakson
  The motion was agreed to.


                Motion to Reconsider--Millett Nomination

  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The majority leader.
  Mr. REID. I move to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not 
invoked on the Millett nomination.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Republican leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Parliamentary inquiry.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Republican leader will state the 
parliamentary inquiry.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Is it correct that more than 200 judicial nominations 
have been confirmed by the Senate since 2009?
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Chair is informed the Secretary of the 
Senate confirmed that more than 200 judicial nominations have been 
confirmed since 2009.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, a further parliamentary inquiry.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Republican leader will state the 
parliamentary inquiry.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Is it correct that under the bipartisan streamlining 
provisions of S. Res. 116 and S. 679 in the 112th Congress, the Senate 
removed 169 nominations from Senate consideration completely, moved 272 
nominations to the Senate's expedited calendar, and removed from Senate 
consideration approximately 3,000 nominations for the NOAA officer 
corps and the Public Health Service?
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. It is the understanding of the Chair that 
pursuant to S. Res. 116 and S. 679 of the 112th Congress, a large 
number of nominations were moved to a newly created expedited 
consideration process or removed from the advice-and-consent process of 
the Senate altogether. The Chair cannot confirm the exact number.


                           Motion to Adjourn

  Mr. McCONNELL. I move to adjourn the Senate until 5 p.m. and ask for 
the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 46, nays 54, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 240 Ex.]

                                YEAS--46

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Chambliss
     Coats
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Enzi
     Fischer
     Flake
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson (WI)
     Kirk
     Lee
     Manchin
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rubio
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Thune
     Toomey
     Vitter
     Wicker

                                NAYS--54

     Baldwin
     Baucus
     Begich
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Johnson (SD)
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Landrieu
     Leahy
     Levin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden
  The motion was rejected.


                Motion to Reconsider--Millett Nomination

  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The majority leader.
  Mr. REID. Are we now on the motion to reconsider the Millett 
nomination?
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. We are.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 57, nays 43, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 241 Ex.]

                                YEAS--57

     Baldwin
     Baucus
     Begich
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Collins
     Coons
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Johnson (SD)
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Landrieu
     Leahy
     Levin
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--43

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Chambliss
     Coats
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Enzi
     Fischer
     Flake
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson (WI)
     Kirk
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Paul
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rubio
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Thune
     Toomey
     Vitter
     Wicker
  The motion was agreed to.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The majority leader is recognized.


                     Appealing Ruling of the Chair

  Mr. REID. I raise a point of order that the vote on cloture under 
rule XXII for all nominations other than for the Supreme Court of the 
United States is by majority vote.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the rules, the point of order is not 
sustained.
  Mr. REID. I appeal the ruling of the Chair and ask for the yeas and 
nays.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Is there a sufficient second?
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, parliamentary inquiry.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Republican leader will state the 
parliamentary inquiry.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Is it correct that under the bipartisan provisions of 
S. Res. 15, adopted earlier this year, postcloture debate time on a 
district court nomination is limited to 2 hours before an up-or-down 
vote is required under the rules?
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Pursuant to S. Res. 15 of the 113th 
Congress, postcloture debate on district court nominees is limited to 2 
hours.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Further parliamentary inquiry, Mr. President.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator will state it.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Is it correct under the provisions of S. Res. 15, 
adopted earlier this very year, that postcloture debate time on any 
executive branch nomination other than those at the Cabinet level is 
already limited to 8 hours before an up-or-down vote is required under 
Senate rules?
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Pursuant to S. Res. 15 of the 113th 
Congress, postcloture debate on any nomination to the executive branch, 
which is not a level 1 position as set forth in title 5 of the U.S. 
Code, section 5312, is limited to 8 hours.
  Mr. REID. I appeal the ruling of the Chair and ask for the yeas and 
nays.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Is there a sufficient second? There is a 
sufficient second.
  The Republican leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, one other parliamentary inquiry. When 
the Senate's rules were amended and a new standing order on 
consideration of nominations was established earlier this year, the 
majority leader and I engaged in a colloquy to announce that no further 
rules changes would be considered unless under the regular order and 
through the action of the Senate Rules Committee.
  Would the Chair confirm that currently the rules of the Senate 
provide that a proposal to change the Senate rules would be fully 
debatable unless two-thirds of the Senators present and voting voted to 
invoke cloture, which would mean 67 Senators voting in the affirmative 
if all 100 voted?
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Republican leader is correct.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Further inquiry: It is my understanding that 
prevailing on appeal of the ruling of the Chair would

[[Page S8418]]

change Senate precedent on how nominations are considered in the Senate 
and effectively change the procedures or application of the Senate's 
rules.
  How many votes are required to appeal the ruling of the Chair in this 
instance?
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. A majority of those Senators voting, a 
quorum being present, is required.
  Mr. McCONNELL. So I am correct that overturning the ruling of the 
Chair requires a simple majority vote?
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Kentucky is correct.
  The majority leader has appealed from the decision of the Chair.
  The question is, Shall the decision of the Chair stand as the 
judgment of the Senate?
  Mr. REID. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The yeas and nays are requested.
  Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 48, nays 52, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 242 Ex.]

                                YEAS--48

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Chambliss
     Coats
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Enzi
     Fischer
     Flake
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson (WI)
     Kirk
     Lee
     Levin
     Manchin
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Portman
     Pryor
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rubio
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Thune
     Toomey
     Vitter
     Wicker

                                NAYS--52

     Baldwin
     Baucus
     Begich
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Johnson (SD)
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Landrieu
     Leahy
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The decision of the Chair is not 
sustained.
  The Republican leader.


                     Appealing Ruling of the Chair

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I make a point of order that 
nominations are fully debatable under the rules of the Senate unless 
three-fifths of the Senators chosen and sworn have voted to bring 
debate to a close. Under the precedent just set by the Senate, cloture 
is invoked at a majority. Therefore, I appeal the ruling of the Chair 
and ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Chair has not yet ruled.
  Under the precedent set by the Senate today, November 21, 2013, the 
threshold for cloture on nominations, not including those to the 
Supreme Court of the United States, is now a majority. That is the 
ruling of the Chair.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I appeal the ruling of the Chair and ask for the yeas 
and nays.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Republican leader appeals the decision 
of the Chair.
  The question is, Shall the decision of the Chair stand as the 
judgment of the Senate?
  The yeas and nays have been requested.
  Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays are ordered.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 52, nays 48, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 243 Ex.]

                                YEAS--52

     Baldwin
     Baucus
     Begich
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Johnson (SD)
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Landrieu
     Leahy
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--48

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Chambliss
     Coats
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Enzi
     Fischer
     Flake
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson (WI)
     Kirk
     Lee
     Levin
     Manchin
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Portman
     Pryor
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rubio
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Thune
     Toomey
     Vitter
     Wicker
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senate sustains the decision of the 
Chair.
  The majority leader.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, what is the pending question before the 
Senate?

                          ____________________