Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
May 25, 2017
115th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 163, No. 91 — Daily Edition
Entire Issue (PDF)
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Daily Digest Section (PDF)
Thursday, May 25, 2017
S. 692, to provide for integrated plan permits, to establish an Office of the Municipal Ombudsman, to promote green infrastructure, and to require the revision of financial capability guidance, with an amendment in the nature of a substitute. (S. Rept. No. 115–87)
S. Res. 176, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.
S. 722, to impose sanctions with respect to Iran in relation to Iran's ballistic missile program, support for acts of international terrorism, and violations of human rights, with an amendment in the nature of a substitute.
Increasing the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability to Veterans Act: Committee on Veterans' Affairs was discharged from further consideration of S. 12, to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the accountability of employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the bill was then passed, after agreeing to the following amendment proposed thereto:
McConnell (for Moran) Amendment No. 218, to improve the bill by striking section 2, relating to reduction of benefits for senior executives and certain health care employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs convicted of a felony.
Department of Veterans Affairs Bonus Transparency Act: Committee on Veterans' Affairs was discharged from further consideration of S. 114, to amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit an annual report regarding performance awards and bonuses awarded to certain high-level employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the bill was then passed.
Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act: Senate passed S. 585, to provide greater whistleblower protections for Federal employees, increased awareness of Federal whistleblower protections, and increased accountability and required discipline for Federal supervisors who retaliate against whistleblowers, after agreeing to the committee amendments.
National Public Works Week: Senate agreed to S. Res. 181, designating the week of May 21 through May 27, 2017, as ``National Public Works Week''.
Melanoma Awareness Month: Senate agreed to S. Res. 182, designating May 2017 as ``Melanoma Awareness Month''.
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: Senate agreed to S. Res. 183, recognizing the significance of May 2017 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month and as an important time to celebrate the significant contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the history of the United States.
Digital Coast Act: Senate passed S. 110, to require the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to establish a constituent-driven program to provide a digital information platform capable of efficiently integrating coastal data with decision-support tools, training, and best practices and to support collection of priority coastal geospatial data to inform and improve local, State, regional, and Federal capacities to manage the coastal region.
Silver Star Service Banner Day Act: Committee on the Judiciary was discharged from further consideration of S. 917, to amend title 36, United States Code, to designate May 1 as ``Silver Star Service Banner Day'', and the bill was then passed.
Follow the Rules Act: Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs was discharged from further consideration of H.R. 657, to amend title 5, United States Code, to extend certain protections against prohibited personnel practices, and the bill was then passed.
Reunification of Jerusalem 50th Anniversary--Agreement: A unanimous-consent-time agreement was reached providing that following Leader remarks on Monday, June 5, 2017, Senate begin consideration of S. Res. 176, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, with the time until 5:30 p.m. equally divided in the usual form; and that at 5:30 p.m., Senate vote on adoption of the resolution, with no amendments or motions in order to the resolution or the preamble.
A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing that at approximately 3 p.m., on Monday, June 5, 2017, Senate begin consideration of the resolution as under the previous order.
Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act--Agreement: A unanimous-consent-time agreement was reached providing that following disposition of the nomination of Courtney Elwood, of Virginia, to be General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency, Senate begin consideration of S. 1094, to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the accountability of employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, that the committee-reported substitute amendment be adopted, and that there be three hours of debate, equally divided in the usual form, and that following the use or yielding back of time, Senate vote on passage of the bill, as amended, with no intervening action or debate.
Pro Forma Sessions--Agreement: A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing that the Senate adjourn, to then convene for pro forma sessions only, with no business being conducted on the following dates and times, and that following each pro forma session, the Senate adjourn until the next pro forma session: Friday, May 26, 2017 at 8:45 a.m.; Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 7 a.m.; Friday, June 2, 2017 at 9 a.m.; and that when the Senate adjourns on Friday, June 2, 2017, it next convene at 3 p.m., on Monday, June 5, 2017.
Elwood Nomination--Agreement: A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing that the motion to invoke cloture on the nomination of Courtney Elwood, of Virginia, to be General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency, be withdrawn, and that following Leader remarks on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, Senate resume consideration of the nomination, with the time equally divided until 2:15 p.m.; and that at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, Senate vote on confirmation of the nomination.
Nominations Confirmed: Senate confirmed the following nominations:
3 Air Force nominations in the rank of general.
54 Army nominations in the rank of general.
2 Marine Corps nominations in the rank of general.
22 Navy nominations in the rank of admiral.
Routine lists in the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy.
David L. Norquist, of Virginia, to be Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller).
Kari A. Bingen, of Virginia, to be a Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense.
Robert Story Karem, of the District of Columbia, to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense.
Nominations Received: Senate received the following nominations:
Robert R. Hood, of Georgia, to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense.
Richard Ashooh, of New Hampshire, to be an Assistant Secretary of Commerce.
J. Paul Compton, Jr., of Alabama, to be General Counsel of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Neal J. Rackleff, of Texas, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Karen Dunn Kelley, of Pennsylvania, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs.
David S. Jonas, of Virginia, to be General Counsel of the Department of Energy.
Gilbert B. Kaplan, of the District of Columbia, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.
Michael Arthur Raynor, of Maryland, to be Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
Brett Giroir, of Texas, to be Medical Director in the Regular Corps of the Public Health Service, subject to the qualifications therefor as provided by law and regulations, and to be an Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Heather L. MacDougall, of Florida, to be a Member of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission for a term expiring April 27, 2023.
Callista L. Gingrich, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Holy See.
George Nesterczuk, of Virginia, to be Director of the Office of Personnel Management for a term of four years.
1 Navy nomination in the rank of admiral.
Nomination Withdrawn: Senate received notification of withdrawal of the following nomination:
James Donovan, of Virginia, to be Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, which was sent to the Senate on May 16, 2017.
Messages from the House:
Measures Placed on the Calendar:
Executive Reports of Committees:
Statements on Introduced Bills/Resolutions:
Authorities for Committees to Meet:
Privileges of the Floor:
Record Votes: One record vote was taken today. (Total--137)
Adjournment: Senate convened at 10:30 a.m. and adjourned at 5:23 p.m., until 8:45 a.m. on Friday, May 26, 2017. (For Senate's program, see the remarks of the Majority Leader in today's Record on page S3227.)
THE FARM ECONOMY
Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry: Committee concluded a hearing to examine the Farm Economy, focusing on perspectives on rural America, after receiving testimony from Robert Johansson, Chief Economist, Department of Agriculture; Nathan S. Kauffman, Assistant Vice President, Economist, and Omaha Branch Executive, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; Alec Sheffer, Agri-AFC, Montgomery, Alabama; and Bruce Weber, Oregon State University, and Rural Policy Research Institute, Corvallis.
APPROPRIATIONS: DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Committee on Appropriations: Subcommittee on Department of Homeland Security concluded a hearing to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2018 for the Department of Homeland Security, after receiving testimony from John F. Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Committee on Armed Services: Committee concluded a hearing to examine the posture of the Department of the Army in review of the Defense Authorization Request for fiscal year 2018 and the Future Years Defense Program, after receiving testimony from Robert M. Speer, Acting Secretary of the Army, and General Mark A. Milley, USA, Chief of Staff of the Army, both of the Department of Defense.
PRESIDENT'S PROPOSED BUDGET
Committee on the Budget: Committee concluded a hearing to examine the President's proposed budget request for fiscal year 2018, after receiving testimony from Mick Mulvaney, Director, Office of Management and Budget.
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources: Committee concluded a hearing to examine the nominations of Neil Chatterjee, of Kentucky, who was introduced by Senator McConnell, and Robert F. Powelson, of Pennsylvania, who was introduced by Senator Toomey, both to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Dan R. Brouillette, of Texas, who was introduced by Senator Cornyn, to be Deputy Secretary, all of the Department of Energy, after the nominees testified and answered questions in their own behalf.
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY BUDGET
Committee on Finance: Committee concluded a hearing to examine the President's proposed budget request for fiscal year 2018 for the Department of the Treasury, and tax reform, after receiving testimony from Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury.
Committee on Foreign Relations: Committee ordered favorably reported the following business items:
S. 722, to impose sanctions with respect to Iran in relation to Iran's ballistic missile program, support for acts of international terrorism, and violations of human rights, with an amendment in the nature of a substitute;
S. 1221, to counter the influence of the Russian Federation in Europe and Eurasia, with amendments;
S. 905, to require a report on, and to authorize technical assistance for, accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Syria, with amendments;
H.R. 601, to enhance the transparency and accelerate the impact of assistance provided under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to promote quality basic education in developing countries, to better enable such countries to achieve universal access to quality basic education and improved learning outcomes, to eliminate duplication and waste, with an amendment;
S. 1141, to ensure that the United States promotes the meaningful participation of women in mediation and negotiation processes seeking to prevent, mitigate, or resolve violent conflict;
S. Res. 114, expressing the sense of the Senate on humanitarian crises in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen, with amendments;
S. Res. 18, reaffirming the United States-Argentina partnership and recognizing Argentina's economic reforms, with amendments;
S. Res. 176, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem; and
The nomination of Scott P. Brown, of New Hampshire, to be Ambassador to New Zealand, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador to the Independent State of Samoa, Department of State, and routine lists in the Foreign Service.
THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
Committee on Foreign Relations: Subcommittee on Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions, and International Economic, Energy, and Environmental Policy concluded a hearing to examine the United Nations Human Rights Council, after receiving testimony from Kristen Silverberg, former Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs, and Tom Malinowski, former Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, both of the Department of State; Hillel C. Neuer, United Nations Watch, Geneva, Switzerland; and Ted Piccone, The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.
STOPPING THE SHIPMENT OF SYNTHETIC OPIOIDS
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations concluded a hearing to examine stopping the shipment of synthetic opioids, focusing on oversight of United States strategy to combat illicit drugs, after receiving testimony from Gregory D. Thome, Director, Office of Specialized and Technical Agencies, Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Department of State; Robert Cintron, Vice President, Network Operations, and Tammy Whitcomb, Acting Inspector General, both of the United States Postal Service; Robert E. Perez, Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Operations Support, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security; Thomas Synan Jr., Newtown Police Department, Newtown, Ohio; Thomas P. Gilson, Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner, Cleveland, Ohio; Norm Schenk, United Parcel Service, Inc., Washington, D.C.; Michael Botticelli, Boston Medical Center Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts; and Terry L. Horton, Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, Delaware.
Select Committee on Intelligence: Committee met in closed session to consider pending intelligence matters.
Committee recessed subject to the call.
Select Committee on Intelligence: Committee met in closed session to receive a briefing on certain intelligence matters from officials of the intelligence community.
Select Committee on Intelligence: Committee held closed hearings on intelligence matters, receiving testimony from officials of the intelligence community.
Committee recessed subject to the call.
House of Representatives
Report Filed: A report was filed today as follows:
H.R. 10, to create hope and opportunity for investors, consumers, and entrepreneurs by ending bailouts and Too Big to Fail, holding Washington and Wall Street accountable, eliminating red tape to increase access to capital and credit, and repealing the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act that make America less prosperous, less stable, and less free, and for other purposes, with an amendment (H. Rept. 115–153, Part 1).
Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act of 2017: The House passed H.R. 1761, to amend title 18, United States Code, to criminalize the knowing consent of the visual depiction, or live transmission, of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, by a recorded vote of 368 ayes to 51 noes, Roll No. 284.
Pursuant to the Rule, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 115–19 shall be considered as adopted, in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on the Judiciary now printed in the bill.
Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act of 2017: The House passed H.R. 1973, to prevent the sexual abuse of minors and amateur athletes by requiring the prompt reporting of sexual abuse to law enforcement authorities, by a yea-and-nay vote of 415 yeas to 3 nays, Roll No. 285.
Pages H4575–82, H4590–91
Pursuant to the Rule, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 115–20 shall be considered as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule, in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on the Judiciary now printed in the bill.
Johnson (LA) amendment (No. 1 printed in part A of H. Rept. 115–152) that harmonizes language in the bill with language in the underlying statute; clarifies duties of national governing bodies with respect to implementing procedures pertaining to interactions between young athletes and adults; and makes small technical and conforming changes; and
O'Halleran amendment (No. 3 printed in part A of H. Rept. 115–152) that requires national governing bodies to clearly list dedicated information and resources, which may include sexual assault hotlines and victim support resources, on their official websites.
Costa amendment (No. 2 printed in part A of H. Rept. 115–152) that was offered and subsequently withdrawn that would have struck the word ``reasonably'' from the bill to make the Senate statute of limitations apply rather than the House statute.
Amending section 1214 of title 5, United States Code, to provide for stays during a period that the Merit Systems Protection Board lacks a quorum: The House agreed to discharge from committee and pass S. 1083, as amended by Representative Jody B. Hice (GA), to amend section 1214 of title 5, United States Code, to provide for stays during a period that the Merit Systems Protection Board lacks a quorum.
Meeting Hour: Agreed by unanimous consent that when the House adjourns today, it adjourn to meet at 10 a.m. tomorrow, May 26.
Senate Message: Message received from the Senate today appears on page H4577.
Adjournment: The House met at 9 a.m. and adjourned at 1:16 p.m.
APPROPRIATIONS--FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
Committee on Appropriations: Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies held a budget hearing on the Food and Drug Administration. Testimony was heard from Scott Gottleib, Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration.
APPROPRIATIONS--DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Committee on Appropriations: Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies held a budget hearing on the Department of Commerce. Testimony was heard from Wilbur Ross, Secretary, Department of Commerce.
Committee on Appropriations: Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies held a budget hearing on the Forest Service. Testimony was heard from Sonny Perdue, Secretary, Department of Agriculture; and Tom Tidwell, Chief, Forest Service.
DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE FY 2018 BUDGET REQUEST FOR SEAPOWER AND PROJECTION FORCES
Committee on Armed Services: Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces held a hearing entitled ``Department of the Air Force FY 2018 Budget Request for Seapower and Projection Forces''. Testimony was heard from Lieutenant General Arnold W. Bunch Jr., Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, U.S. Air Force; Lieutenant General Jerry D. Harris, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Requirements, U.S. Air Force; and Major General Scott A. Vander Hamm, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, U.S. Air Force.
FISCAL YEAR 2018 PRIORITIES FOR NUCLEAR FORCES AND ATOMIC ENERGY DEFENSE ACTIVITIES
Committee on Armed Services: Subcommittee on Strategic Forces held a hearing entitled ``Fiscal Year 2018 Priorities for Nuclear Forces and Atomic Energy Defense Activities''. Testimony was heard from Vice Admiral Terry Benedict, Director, Navy Strategic Systems Program; Susan Cange, Acting Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management, Department of Energy; Frank Klotz, Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration; General Robin Rand, Commander, Air Force Global Strike Command; Rob Soofer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy, Department of Defense; and John Zangardi, Acting Chief Information Officer, Department of Defense.
Committee on Foreign Affairs: Full Committee held a markup on H. Res. 351, condemning the violence and persecution in Chechnya; H. Res. 354, condemning the violence against peaceful protesters outside the Turkish Ambassador's residence on May 16, 2017, and calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice and measures to be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future; H. Res. 355, condemning in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in Manchester, United Kingdom, on May 22, 2017, expressing heartfelt condolences, and reaffirming unwavering support for the special relationship between our peoples and nations in the wake of these attacks; H.R. 2484, the ``Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017''; and S. 371, the ``Department of State Authorities Act, Fiscal Year 2017, Improvements Act''. H. Res. 354, H. Res. 355, and H.R. 2484 were ordered reported, without amendment. H. Res. 351 and S. 371 were ordered reported, as amended.
VIOLENCE OUTSIDE THE TURKISH AMBASSADOR'S RESIDENCE: THE RIGHT TO PEACEFUL PROTEST
Committee on Foreign Affairs: Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats held a hearing entitled ``Violence Outside the Turkish Ambassador's Residence: The Right to Peaceful Protest''. Testimony was heard from public witnesses.
VIETNAM: WHY RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND HUMAN RIGHTS ARE CRITICAL TO U.S. NATIONAL INTEREST
Committee on Foreign Affairs: Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations held a hearing entitled ``Vietnam: Why Religious Freedom and Human Rights Are Critical to U.S. National Interest''. Testimony was heard from public witnesses.
IMPROPER PAYMENTS IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: STUDENT AID
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: Subcommittee on Government Operations; and Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Affairs held a joint hearing entitled ``Improper Payments in the Federal Government: Student Aid''. Testimony was heard from Kathleen S. Tighe, Inspector General, Department of Education; Jay Hurt, Chief Financial Officer, Office of Federal Student Aid; and a public witness.
ALL WORK AND NO PAY: CHANGE ORDERS DELAYED FOR SMALL CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS
Committee on Small Business: Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce; and Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations held a joint hearing entitled ``All Work and No Pay: Change Orders Delayed for Small Construction Contractors''. Testimony was heard from public witnesses.
No joint committee meetings were held.
No meetings/hearings scheduled.
No hearings are scheduled.
Program for Friday: Senate will meet in a pro forma session.
Program for Friday: House will meet in a Pro Forma session at 10 a.m.
Bacon, Don, Nebr., E730
Beatty, Joyce, Ohio, E725
Bergman, Jack, Mich., E727
Beyer, Donald S., Jr., Va., E727
Blunt Rochester, Lisa, Del., E725
Bordallo, Madeleine Z., Guam, E720
Boyle, Brendan F., Pa., E721
Brady, Kevin, Tex., E729
Bustos, Cheri, Ill., E727
Carter, John R., Tex., E723
Collins, Doug, Ga., E723
Conyers, John, Jr., Mich., E719
Costa, Jim, Calif., E727
Courtney, Joe, Conn., E729
Donovan, Daniel M., Jr, N.Y., E733
Dunn, Neal P., Fla., E725
Gaetz, Matt, Fla., E730
Huffman, Jared, Calif., E720
Keating, William R., Mass., E726
Maloney, Carolyn B., N.Y., E725
McEachin, A. Donald, Va., E726
Meadows, Mark, N.C., E731
Napolitano, Grace F., Calif., E721
Neal, Richard E., Mass., E724
O'Rourke, Beto, Tex., E728
Perry, Scott, Pa., E724
Polis, Jared, Colo., E728
Rothfus, Keith J., Pa., E721
Royce, Edward R., Calif., E721
Shuster, Bill, Pa., E720
Stivers, Steve, Ohio, E728
Veasey, Marc A., Tex., E723
Visclosky, Peter J., Ind., E729
Womack, Steve, Ark., E719