U.S. Senate

Senate Unanimously Passes Historic Coronavirus Relief Package

The Senate passed a substantial emergency relief bill on Wednesday night that would provide aid to small businesses, hospitals, and Americans suffering from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The Senate passed H.R. 748, the CARES Act, with 96 votes in favor of the bill and no senators opposed to the legislation. The legislation featured unanimous support from Republicans and Democrats. The legislation required 60 votes to pass through the Senate. The Senate coronavirus package costs roughly $2 trillion and is approximately 880-pages long. The Senate shot down an amendment to the bill sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), which would reverse the bill’s generous unemployment benefits. Sens. Sasse, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Rick Scott (R-FL) contended that the legislation would incentivize Americans not to work. The amendment required 60 votes to pass through the chamber. Sasse’s amendment was shot down with 48 votes in favor and 48 against the measure. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rebuffed the Republican senators’ concerns over the bill, contending this will help those who involuntarily lost their jobs. “I don’t think it will create incentives. Most Americans, what they want, they want to keep their jobs,” Mnuchin said. “We need to get this money into the American economy and American workers, that’s the importance of this,” he added. The Senate Cares Act would provide most Americans $1,200 per individual, $500 for most children, and establish a several hundred billion dollar lending aid program for businesses, cities and states, as well as aid for small businesses. The bill also omits many Democrat requests such as mandatory early voting, ballot harvesting, requirements that federal agencies analyze their use of “minority banks,” and provisions to curb airline emissions. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on the Senate floor before the vote that the chamber “will stay nimble” to combat the coronavirus. He added that there would be no more votes in the Senate until April 20.

Think about this..  The vote was 96-0 in the Senate!  What a credit to Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) leadership.  Great job Mitch!!  Now, the bill is back to the House where Nancy Pelosi, who can’t spell the word leadership and doesn’t give a damn about American workers, will dilly dally and drag this thing out, while Americans are suffering.  Hopefully, she’ll can get off her pompous ass tonight, or tomorrow latest, and get this thing passed in her chamber, and get it to President Trump’s desk for his signature.

Sen. Chuck Schumer Hit with Ethics Complaints for Threat to SCOTUS Justices

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) faces multiple ethics complaints for threatening Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch on the steps of the high court. Schumer declared at a Center for Reproductive Rights rally last Wednesday that the two conservative judges will “pay the price” if they vote against pro-choice advocates in a case regarding a Louisiana abortion law. “Over the last three years, women’s reproductive rights have come under attack in a way we haven’t seen in modern history. From Louisiana, to Missouri, to Texas, Republican legislatures are waging a war on women, all women, and they’re taking away fundamental rights,” he warned. “I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you, if you go forward with these awful decisions.” Following blowback from Republicans, the New York Democrat offered a non-apology, saying he “shouldn’t have used the words I did” while claiming conservatives were “manufacturing outrage” over the statement. On Friday, the National Legal Policy Center filed complaints against Schumer with both the Senate Ethics Committee and New York bar. “It strains credulity to believe that, regardless of his Brooklyn pedigree, Sen. Schumer, who is a Harvard-educated lawyer, Senator minority leader, and vocal opponent of both Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, did not intend to choose the exact words he spoke as he turned and pointed to the Supreme Court behind him to further emphasize his point,” the NLPC’s complaint reads. “In short, his non-apology is a lame excuse for inexcusable conduct.” The Landmark Legal Foundation, which is chaired by conservative talk radio host Mark Levin, also submitted a complaint to the upper chamber’s ethics panel Thursday. “The Senate must immediately reprimand, if not censure, Sen. Schumer for his outrageous and dangerous attack on Supreme Court Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh,” said the complaint, alleging that the lawmaker’s comments could amount to “improper conduct which may reflect upon the Senate.” In a separate complaint, attorney Joseph Gioconda wrote to New York’s Grievance Committee for the Second Judicial District: “At a minimum, Attorney/Senator Schumer’s statements appear to be improper conduct that reflects upon his character and fitness to practice law in New York.” Schumer’s remarks prompted a rare rebuke by Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, who called the New York Democrats’ threat both “inappropriate” and “dangerous.” “Justices know that criticism comes with the territory, but threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous. All Members of the Court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter,” he said. President Donald Trump also took aim at Schumer, calling for him to face “severe” punishment. “This is a direct & dangerous threat to the U.S. Supreme Court by Schumer. If a Republican did this, he or she would be arrested, or impeached. Serious action MUST be taken NOW!” the president tweeted. “There can be few things worse in a civilized, law abiding nation, than a United States Senator openly, and for all to see and hear, threatening the Supreme Court or its Justices. This is what Chuck Schumer just did. He must pay a severe price for this!” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced a motion last Thursday to censure Schumer, with the support of 14 other Republican senators. “Senator Schumer has acknowledged that threatening statements can increase the dangers of violence against government officials when he stated on June 15, 2017, following the attempted murder of several elected Members of Congress, ‘We would all be wise to reflect on the importance of civility in our [N]ation’s politics’ and that ‘the level of nastiness, vitriol, and hate that has seeped into our politics must be excised,’ the resolution reads.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is FINALLY being called to the carpet for his outrageous, and  WAY over-the-top threatening remarks he made on the steps of the Supreme Court while they were literally in session.  Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) is absolutely right in calling for him to be censured by the Senate, and we support his efforts and call on more Senate Republicans to sign on to his motion.  That’s the very least that happen from the Senate’s side.  And, hopefully these complaints to the NY state Bar and elsewhere will bear fruit.   Most in D.C. have grown accustomed to Chuck’s obnoxious grandstanding, and accept him for what he is; a duplicitous, hypocritical, self-serving, arrogant, obnoxious, extremely liberal, elitist blowhard who loves to talk down to the rest of us peasants over his reading glasses.   But, this time he crossed a line, and needs to be held to account.  As was mentioned in the article, he is a Harvard-educated attorney, and has been in politics for a VERY long time.  What he said on those steps he was reading…and he knew EXACTLY what he was saying.  So, the Senate, and the NY State Bar shouldn’t accept his bs and spin as he tries to dance around it.  He needs to be formally held to account and made and example of.  If you agree, the email BOTH of your U.S. Senators, and tell them you want Chuck to be censured.

Senate confirms William Barr as attorney general

The Senate confirmed William P. Barr as the new attorney general Thursday, giving President Trump a new top cop and special counsel Robert Mueller a new overseer. Analysts said they expect Mr. Barr to be a steadying presence — and doubted there will be much of a shift in course from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Both Sessions and Barr are very tough on crime, law enforcement-minded people on issues like drug offenses and immigration, so there is not much light or space between them,” said Jimmy Gurule, a University of Notre Dame law professor who was an assistant attorney general under Mr. Barr during his first term as attorney general, for President George H.W. Bush. Mr. Barr was approved on a 54-45 vote, with only a few Democrats voting in favor, and just one Republican opposed. He was sworn in at the White House on Thursday afternoon, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administering the oath of office. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Mr. Barr’s confirmation “a major victory for justice and the rule of law in America.” During his previous stint as attorney general Mr. Barr took a strict stance on illegal immigration, and pushed for mandatory minimum sentences, just as Mr. Sessions did. That could prove to be an early test for Mr. Barr, after Mr. Trump late last year signed the First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill that trimmed back those sentencing rules. Both Mr. Barr and Mr. Sessions had opposed it, though when asked about the legislation during his confirmation hearing, Mr. Barr promised to “faithfully enforce that law.”

Congrats to AG Barr!

Senate Rebukes Harris and Hirono on Knights of Columbus

On Wednesday the Senate approved a resolution that rebuked two Democratic senators for questioning judicial nominees about their membership in the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal service organization. The resolution, introduced by Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.), affirmed “the sense of the Senate that disqualifying a nominee to federal office on the basis of membership in the Knights of Columbus violates the Constitution of the United States.” The Senate proceeded to affirm the resolution without objection. Last month, Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii), both on the Senate Judiciary Committee, questioned a judicial nominee about his membership in the Knights of Columbus and whether it would affect his ability to fairly judge cases. Brian Buescher was nominated to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska. Hirono sent written questions claiming “the Knights of Columbus has taken a number of extreme positions. For example, it was reportedly one of the top contributors to California’s Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage.” She also asked if Buescher would quit the group if confirmed “to avoid any appearance of bias.” Harris described the Knights as “an all-male society” in her questions, and also asked if Buescher knew the Knights “opposed a woman’s right to choose” and were against “marriage equality” when he became a member. Sasse’s resolution also referenced the anti-Catholic bigotry Democratic president John F. Kennedy faced during his presidency, and cited the Knights of Columbus’s “proud tradition of standing against the forces of prejudice and oppression such as the Ku Klux Klan and Nazi Germany.” The resolution asked the Senate to express its sense “that disqualifying a nominee to federal office on the basis of membership in the Knights of Columbus violates Clause 3 of Article 6 of the Constitution of the United States which establishes that senators ‘shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution[; but] no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.'” Sasse urged his fellow senators to rebuke the anti-Catholic attacks against Buescher. “If a senator has a problem with this resolution, you’re probably in the wrong line of work because this is what America is. This is a super basic point, no religious test. If someone has a problem with this resolution, what other parts of the Constitution are you against: freedom of the press, women’s right to vote, freedom of speech? This isn’t hard. No religious test for serving on the federal bench. We should, in this body, rebuke these anti-Catholic attacks,” Sasse said. After the resolution was affirmed, the Nebraska senator said he would report back to Buescher “that he can ignore those questions that he received about whether or not he would resign his membership in the Knights of Columbus.”

Dem. Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) are nauseating, self-righteous, religious bigots.  Kudos to Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb) for calling them out like this publicly on the floor of the Senate and getting this resolution passed.  Excellent!!   🙂

Lindsey Graham elected Senate Judiciary Committee chairman

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was elected Wednesday to serve as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman. The role was previously held by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who announced in November that he would be stepping down. Grassley became the Senate Finance Committee Chairman on Wednesday, according to a news release. “I’m honored to be selected as chairman of the Judiciary Committee,” Graham said in a separate news release. “I will do my best to continue down the path charted by Senator Grassley of having a fair and vibrant committee process.” He said that “the confirmation of conservative judges will be one of my top priorities as chairman.” Graham said he looked forward to collaborating with fellow lawmakers, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., “to make this new Congress successful.” Feinstein is the ranking member on the committee. Earlier Wednesday, Graham revealed that under his leadership, the committee plans to probe allegations of government surveillance abuse amid ongoing concerns over FBI and Justice Department efforts to surveil Trump campaign advisers during the 2016 race.

 

Arizona Governor Expected to Appoint Jon Kyl as McCain’s Replacement

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is expected to name former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl to fill Sen. John McCain’s Senate seat for the remainder of McCain’s term. McCain passed away from brain cancer last month after about a year-long battle. Gov. Ducey, in a tough re-election fight this year himself, pledged to wait until McCain was laid to rest before naming a successor. News broke Tuesday that Ducey will hold a 10:00 a.m. press conference in Phoenix, which is 1:00 p.m. Eastern: “Jon Kyl is a dear friend of mine and John’s. It’s a great tribute to John that he is prepared to go back into public service to help the state of Arizona,” posted McCain’s widow, Cindy, leading up to Ducey’s announcement: The tweet gave apparent confirmation to rumors that Kyl will receive the appointment to fill the remainder of McCain’s current term in the U.S. Senate. The seat will be up for a vote next in 2020.

Sen. Kyl (R-AZ) is a wise/prudent choice to serve out the reminder of the late Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) term.

Chuck Schumer votes against Trump judicial nominee…because he’s white

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer faced a stern rebuke from congressional colleagues for citing skin color in voting against a white federal judge nominee earlier this week. Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor Wednesday that the nomination of Marvin Quattlebaum, a white lawyer who is a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough in Greenville, S.C., “speaks to the overall lack of diversity in President Trump’s selections for the federal judiciary.” He complained that many of Trump’s nominees have been white males. He also complained that Republicans previously held up two black judges nominated under the Obama administration for the position— which The Post and Courier notes has long been vacant. “It is long past time that the judiciary starts looking a lot more like the America it represents,” Schumer said. “Having a diversity of views and experience on the federal bench is necessary for the equal administration of justice.” The senator said that with Quattlebaum’s nomination, the Trump administration was “taking a giant step backwards” in terms of diversity. Quattlebaum was ultimately confirmed to the district judgeship on Thursday, 69-29. Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, slammed Schumer for his statements. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Thursday it was actually Schumer’s vote against Quattlebaum that was “a massive step backward.” While Schumer “is not a racist,” Graham tweeted, “this was an absolutely shameful reason to vote against a very qualified nominee like Marvin Quattlebaum.” He added, “Voting against a highly qualified nominee because of the color of his skin does nothing to bring our country and nation together.” Sen. Tim Scott, also a Republican serving South Carolina and the GOP’s sole black senator, tweeted, “Perhaps Senate Democrats should be more worried about the lack of diversity on their own staffs than attacking an extremely well-qualified judicial nominee from the great state of South Carolina.” Schumer asserted that the only reason Quattlebaum was nominated for the unoccupied position was because the state’s Republican senators didn’t return their “blue slips” — a blue form used by senators to voice approval or disapproval for a home state nominee — for Obama nominees Alison Lee and Don Beatty in 2013. Democrats have said that Republicans used blue slips to block about 18 of Obama’s nominations, arguing the denial of a hearing for a nominee without two blue slips was fine with Republicans then. Democrats said the policy shouldn’t change just because the person who sits in the White House is different. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., countered on Twitter that Lee’s nomination “was withdrawn because of a significant bond issue” and Beatty eventually was appointed as the Chief Justice of the state’s Supreme Court.

And who, exactly is the real racist here?  Exactly…  Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is notorious for shamelessly playing the race card.  Looks like it may have backfired just a little this time..  Regardless, another very qualified Trump nominee has been confirmed, despite the outrageous, hypocritical, and offensive political posturing by Chuck Schumer.  Congrats to this new judge!