Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
September 27, 2017
115th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 163, No. 155 — Daily Edition
Entire Issue (PDF)
Daily Digest Section (PDF)
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Veterans Affairs: Senate passed H.R. 3819, to amend title 38, United States Code, to extend certain expiring provisions of law administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Bankruptcy Judgeship Act: Committee on the Judiciary was discharged from further consideration of H.R. 2266, to amend title 28 of the United States Code to authorize the appointment of additional bankruptcy judges, and the bill was then passed, after agreeing to the following amendment proposed thereto:
Inhofe (for Grassley) Amendment No. 1106, in the nature of a substitute.
National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month: Senate agreed to S. Res. 269, designating September 2017 as ``National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month''.
National Defense Authorization Act: Senate continued consideration of the motion to proceed to consideration of S. 1519, to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2018 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year.
Erickson Nomination--Agreement: Senate continued consideration of the nomination of Ralph R. Erickson, of North Dakota, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit.
A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing for further consideration of the nomination at approximately 9:30 a.m., on Thursday, September 28, 2017, with the time until the vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the nomination equally divided between the two Leaders or their designees.
Nominations Confirmed: Senate confirmed the following nominations:
1 Marine Corps nomination in the rank of general.
Messages from the House:
Measures Placed on the Calendar:
Statements on Introduced Bills/Resolutions:
Authorities for Committees to Meet:
Privileges of the Floor:
Record Votes: Two record votes were taken today. (Total--205)
Adjournment: Senate convened at 10 a.m. and adjourned at 6:23 p.m., until 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 28, 2017. (For Senate's program, see the remarks of the Acting Majority Leader in today's Record on page S6192.)
Committee on Armed Services: Committee ordered favorably reported the nomination of General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., USMC, for reappointment to the grade of general and reappointment to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation: Committee concluded a hearing to examine the nominations of Ann Marie Buerkle, of New York, to be Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Howard R. Elliott, of Indiana, to be Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Department of Transportation, Walter G. Copan, of Colorado, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, who was introduced by Senator Gardner, and Timothy Gallaudet, of California, to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, who was introduced by Senator Wicker, after the nominees testified and answered questions in their own behalf.
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources: Subcommittee on National Parks concluded a hearing to examine encouraging the next generation to visit National Parks, after receiving testimony from Lena McDowall, Deputy Director for Management and Administration, National Park Service, Department of the Interior; Yennie Solheim Fuller, Niantic, Inc., San Francisco, California; John Leong, Kupu, Honolulu, Hawaii; Angela Fultz Nordstrom, NIC Inc., Brentwood, Tennessee; Tim Rout, AccessParks, La Jolla, California; and Will Shafroth, National Park Foundation, Washington, D.C.
FOREST MANAGEMENT TO MITIGATE WILDFIRES
Committee on Environment and Public Works: Committee concluded a hearing to examine forest management to mitigate wildfires, focusing on legislative solutions, including S. 605, to amend the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 to discourage litigation against the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management relating to land management projects, S. 1417, to require the Secretary of the Interior to develop a categorical exclusion for covered vegetative management activities carried out to establish or improve habitat for greater sage-grouse and mule deer, and S. 1731, to address the forest health crisis on National Forest System land, after receiving testimony from Senators Hatch, Thune, Tester, and Daines; Jessica Crowder, Office of Wyoming Governor Matthew H. Mead, Cheyenne; Lawson Fite, American Forest Resource Council, Portland, Oregon; and Collin O'Mara, National Wildlife Federation, Reston, Virginia.
Committee on Foreign Relations: Committee concluded a hearing to examine the nominations of Kathleen M. Fitzpatrick, of the District of Columbia, to be Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, and Daniel J. Kritenbrink, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, both of the Department of State, after the nominees testified and answered questions in their own behalf.
Committee on Foreign Relations: Committee concluded a hearing to examine the nominations of Richard Duke Buchan III, of Florida, to be Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador to Andorra, Richard Grenell, of California, to be Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, Edward T. McMullen, Jr., of South Carolina, to be Ambassador to the Swiss Confederation, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador to the Principality of Liechtenstein, who was introduced by Senator Graham, Jamie McCourt, of California, to be Ambassador to the French Republic, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador to the Principality of Monaco, and Peter Hoekstra, of Michigan, to be Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, who was introduced by Senator Stabenow, all of the Department of State, after the nominees testified and answered questions in their own behalf.
THREATS TO THE HOMELAND
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: Committee concluded a hearing to examine threats to the homeland, after receiving testimony from Elaine C. Duke, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security; Christopher A. Wray, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice; and Nicholas J. Rasmussen, Director, National Counterterrorism Center.
GAO REPORTS ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING OF NATIVE AMERICANS
Committee on Indian Affairs: Committee concluded an oversight hearing to examine the Government Accountability Office reports on human trafficking of Native Americans in the United States, including actions needed to better report on victims served, after receiving testimony from Gretta L. Goodwin, Director, Homeland Security and Justice, Government Accountability Office; Tracy Toulou, Director, Office of Tribal Justice, Department of Justice; Jason Thompson, Acting Director, Office of Justice Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior; Nicole Matthews, Minnesota Indian Women's Sexual Assault Coalition, St. Paul; and Cindy McCain, Arizona Governor's Human Trafficking Council, Phoenix.
SBA RESPONSE TO 2017 HURRICANES
Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship: Committee concluded a hearing to examine the Small Business Administration's response to the 2017 hurricanes, after receiving testimony from James Rivera, Associate Administrator for Disaster Assistance, Small Business Administration; Daniel Davis, JAX Chamber, Jacksonville, Florida; and Steven K. Lawrence, University of Houston Bauer College of Business, Houston, Texas, on behalf of the Texas Gulf Coast Small Business Development Center Network.
PREVENTING VETERAN SUICIDE
Committee on Veterans' Affairs: Committee concluded a hearing to examine preventing veteran suicide, after receiving testimony from David J. Shulkin, Secretary, and John D. Daigh, Jr., Assistant Inspector General for Healthcare Inspections, Office of Inspector General, both of the Department of Veterans Affairs; Craig J. Bryan, The University of Utah National Center for Veterans Studies, Salt Lake City; and Matt Kuntz, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Helena, Montana.
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. 3281, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to facilitate the transfer to non-Federal ownership of appropriate reclamation projects or facilities, and for other purposes (H. Rept. 115–334).
Guest Chaplain: The prayer was offered by the Guest Chaplain, Pastor Dennis Jokela, Chaplain, Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department, Kalamazoo, MI.
Suspensions: The House agreed to suspend the rules and pass the following measures:
Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2017: S. 327, to direct the Securities and Exchange Commission to provide a safe harbor related to certain investment fund research reports; and
Protecting the safety of judges by extending the authority of the Judicial Conference to redact sensitive information contained in their financial disclosure reports: H.R. 3229, amended, to protect the safety of judges by extending the authority of the Judicial Conference to redact sensitive information contained in their financial disclosure reports.
Suspension--Proceedings Resumed: The House agreed to suspend the rules and agree to the following measure. Consideration began Monday, September 25th.
Recognizing that for 50 years the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has worked toward stability, prosperity, and peace in Southeast Asia: H. Res. 311, amended, recognizing that for 50 years the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has worked toward stability, prosperity, and peace in Southeast Asia, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 413 yeas with none voting ``nay'', Roll No. 540; and
Agreed to amend the title so as to read: ``Reaffirming the 40 years of relations between the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the shared pursuit of economic growth and regional security in Southeast Asia.''.
Meeting Hour: Agreed by unanimous consent that when the House adjourns today, it adjourn to meet at 9 a.m. tomorrow, September 28.
Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017: The House considered H.R. 3823, to amend title 49, United States Code, to extend authorizations for the airport improvement program, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, and to provide disaster tax relief. Further proceedings were postponed.
H. Res. 538, the rule providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 3823) was agreed to by a yea-and-nay vote of 223 yeas to 190 nays, Roll No. 539, after the previous question was ordered by a yea-and-nay vote of 223 yeas to 187 nays, Roll No. 538.
Pages H7540–47, H7551–52
Senate Referrals: S. 1866 was held at the desk. S. 1028 was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce. S. 504 was held at the desk. S. 1057 was held at the desk. S. 870 was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means and the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Senate Messages: Message received from the Senate by the Clerk and subsequently presented to the House today and message received from the Senate appear on page H7540.
Adjournment: The House met at 3 p.m. and adjourned at 8:06 p.m.
THE ARMY'S TACTICAL NETWORK MODERNIZATION STRATEGY
Committee on Armed Services: Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces held a hearing entitled ``The Army's Tactical Network Modernization Strategy''. Testimony was heard from the following U.S. Army officers: Lieutenant General Bruce T. Crawford, Deputy Chief of Staff, G–6; Gary Martin, Program Executive Officer, Command, Control and Communications-Tactical; and Major General James J. Mingus, Director, Mission Command Center of Excellence.
OVERVIEW OF THE FAMILY SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM
Committee on Financial Services: Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance held a hearing entitled ``Overview of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program''. Testimony was heard from public witnesses.
BURMA'S BRUTAL CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE ROHINGYA
Committee on Foreign Affairs: Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific held a hearing entitled ``Burma's Brutal Campaign Against the Rohingya''. Testimony was heard from Michael F. Martin, Specialist in Asian Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress; and public witnesses.
RWANDA: DEMOCRACY THWARTED
Committee on Foreign Affairs: Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations held a hearing entitled ``Rwanda: Democracy Thwarted''. Testimony was heard from Donald Yamamoto, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, Department of State; and public witnesses.
EXPLORING SOLUTIONS TO REDUCE RISKS OF CATASTROPHIC WILDFIRE AND IMPROVE RESILIENCY OF NATIONAL FORESTS
Committee on Natural Resources: Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing entitled ``Exploring Solutions to Reduce Risks of Catastrophic Wildfire and Improve Resiliency of National Forests''. Testimony was heard from Greg Chilcott, Commissioner, Ravalli County, Montana; and public witnesses.
HOW TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO GI BILL APPROVED APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS AND HOW THESE PROGRAMS BENEFIT VETERANS
Committee on Veterans' Affairs: Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity held a hearing entitled ``How to Improve Access to GI Bill Approved Apprenticeship Programs and How these Programs Benefit Veterans''. Testimony was heard from Major General Robert M. Worley II, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), Director, Education Service, Veterans Benefit Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs; and public witnesses.
No joint committee meetings were held.
Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry: to hold hearings to examine rural development and energy programs, focusing on perspectives for the 2018 Farm Bill, 9:30 a.m., SH–216.
Committee on Armed Services: to receive a closed briefing on North Korea, 10 a.m., SVC–217.
Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs: to hold hearings to examine evaluating sanctions enforcement and policy options on North Korea, focusing on Administration perspectives, 9:30 a.m., SD–538.
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation: Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security, to hold hearings to examine Transportation Security Administration modernization, focusing on improvements to aviation security, 10 a.m., SR–253.
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions: business meeting to consider the nominations of Patrick Pizzella, of Virginia, to be Deputy Secretary of Labor, Janet Dhillon, of Pennsylvania, and Daniel M. Gade, of North Dakota, both to be a Member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Carlos G. Muniz, of Florida, to be General Counsel, Department of Education, 10:45 a.m., S–216, Capitol.
Committee on the Judiciary: business meeting to consider S. 1766, to reauthorize the SAFER Act of 2013, and the nominations of Amy Coney Barrett, of Indiana, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit, Joan Louise Larsen, of Michigan, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit, William L. Campbell, Jr., to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee, Thomas Lee Robinson Parker, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee, and Eric S. Dreiband, of Maryland, and Brian Allen Benczkowski, of Virginia, both to be an Assistant Attorney General, Halsey B. Frank, to be United States Attorney for the District of Maine, D. Michael Hurst, Jr., to be United States Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, Jeffrey B. Jensen, to be United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, Thomas L. Kirsch II, to be United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, and William J. Powell, to be United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia, all of the Department of Justice, 9:30 a.m., SD–226.
Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, hearing entitled ``Examining Insurance for Nonprofit Organizations'', 9:30 a.m., 2128 Rayburn.
Committee on Foreign Affairs, Full Committee, markup on H. Res. 422, urging the adherence to the ``one country, two systems'' policy as prescribed in the Joint Declaration between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and the Government of the People's Republic of China on the Question of the Hong Kong; H.R. 425, the ``FTO Passport Revocation Act of 2017''; H.R. 1196, the ``Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act of 2017''; H.R. 2658, the ``Venezuela Humanitarian Assistance and Defense of Democratic Governance Act of 2017''; H.R. 3320, to direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization, and for other purposes; H.R. 3342, the ``Sanctioning Hizballah's Illicit Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act''; H.R. 3445, the ``AGOA and MCA Modernization Act''; H.R. 3329, the ``Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2017''; and H.R. 1660, the ``Global Health Innovation Act of 2017'', 10 a.m., 2172 Rayburn.
Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, hearing entitled ``Rulemakers Must Follow the Rules, Too: Oversight of Agency Compliance with the Congressional Review Act'', 9:30 a.m., 2141 Rayburn.
Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Full Committee, markup on H.R. 1159, the ``United States and Israel Space Cooperation Act'', 9 a.m., 2318 Rayburn.
Subcommittee on Research and Technology; and Subcommittee on Space, joint hearing entitled ``The Great American Eclipse: To Totality and Beyond'', 9:30 a.m., 2318 Rayburn.
Program for Thursday: Senate will continue consideration of the nomination of Ralph R. Erickson, of North Dakota, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit, and vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the nomination at 10:30 a.m.
Diaz-Balart, Mario, Fla., E1274
Doyle, Michael F., Pa., E1279
Frankel, Lois, Fla., E1280
Green, Al, Tex., E1278
Higgins, Brian, N.Y., E1276
Huffman, Jared, Calif., E1275
Jackson Lee, Sheila, Tex., E1273
Johnson, Henry C. ``Hank'', Jr., Ga., E1273
Kelly, Mike, Pa., E1274
King, Peter T., N.Y., E1275
Murphy, Stephanie M., Fla., E1277
Noem, Kristi L., S.Dak., E1280
Norton, Eleanor Holmes, The District of Columbia, E1277
Panetta, Jimmy, Calif., E1274
Poe, Ted, Tex., E1280
Schakowsky, Janice D., Ill., E1276
Veasey, Marc A., Tex., E1280
Westerman, Bruce, Ark., E1276
Wilson, Joe, S.C., E1277
Zeldin, Lee M., N.Y., E1276