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April 24, 2014

Posts in "Videos"

April 17, 2014

Harry Reid: Bundy Ranch Supporters Are ‘Domestic Terrorists’ (Video)

In one corner, the Senate majority leader. In the other corner, a Nevada rancher disputing the government’s authority to collect grazing fees and restrict access to land for his cattle.

On Thursday, Majority Leader Harry Reid said the armed supporters of the rancher, Cliven Bundy, are “domestic terrorists” at an event sponsored by the Las Vegas Review Journal.

“These people, who hold themselves out to be patriots, are not. They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists,” the Nevada Democrat said. “And I think that we are a country that people should follow the law, and what went up in Mesquite is not very good.

Full story

March 13, 2014

McCain Rails GOP on Ukraine Bill: ‘Don’t Call Yourself Reagan Republicans’ (Video)

Sen. John McCain hammered Republicans on the Senate floor Thursday for refusing to pass by unanimous consent a Senate Foreign Relation Committee bill which would provide economic aid while imposing sanctions on Russia.

“What has happened? Where are our priorities? You can call yourself Republicans, that’s fine, because that’s your voter registration. Don’t call yourself Reagan Republicans,” the Arizona Republican said.

Full story

Graham to Kerry: ‘Let Me Know What I Can Do’ to Help With Boehner (Video)

Following remarks Wednesday from Speaker John A. Boehner saying IMF aid to Ukraine is unnecessary, Sen. Lindsey Graham personally offered assistance to Secretary of State John Kerry as the House and Senate continue to debate the appropriate response to the Ukrainian crisis.

“Hey, John, good job,” the South Carolina Republican was heard saying before Kerry turned off the desk mic. “Let me know what I can do to help you with Boehner.”

Graham’s remarks were caught following a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the State Department’s fiscal 2015 budget. Meanwhile, Kerry travels to London on Friday to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Correction 11:40 p.m.

An earlier version of this report misstated where Kerry is traveling on Friday.

March 6, 2014

Dalai Lama Gives Senate Opening Prayer (Video)

It was a historic morning in the Senate Thursday, when the Dalai Lama gave the Senate’s opening prayer in place of Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black.

Attendance, however, left something to be desired. A good number of staffers were gathered on the floor and in the galleries, but the chamber was by no means packed. Perhaps a dozen senators were present when Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., brought the Senate into session and yielded to the Dalai Lama for the morning prayer.

“We make our world. Speak or act with a pure mind, and happiness will follow you,” he said. “This is my favorite prayer. Daily I pray this.”

Following the opening prayer, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., requested that the Senate recess in order for senators to meet with the Dalai Lama. Full story

February 13, 2014

Senators’ Debt Limit Votes Kept Off Microphones; Reporters Protest (Updated) (Video)

cspan021314 445x278 Senators Debt Limit Votes Kept Off Microphones; Reporters Protest (Updated) (Video)

Updated 4:15 p.m. | In a major departure from procedure during Wednesday’s climactic vote on suspending the federal debt limit, the Senate kept some senators’ votes secret while the nearly hourlong tally was under way — a move that has drawn sharp criticism from Capitol Hill reporters.

The stakes for Wednesday’s vote were as high as they come, with the full faith and credit of the United States, the political future of Republican leaders and another government shutdown showdown on the line.

On an average day, any C-SPAN viewer would know how senators voted in real time because votes are read aloud. (See our post on the six senators who appear to have changed their votes.)

But on Wednesday, the clerks did not name names. Instead of announcing the rolling vote tally as the vote went along on the critical motion to limit debate on the debt limit measure, senators were allowed to cast their votes in relative secrecy. Overlooked at the time, it has since caught the attention of numerous reporters.

Full story

January 8, 2014

Dueling Senate Leaders Lament Obstructionism, Partisanship (Video)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Leader Harry Reid traded floor speeches on Wednesday, accusing the other of partisanship while calling for an end to obstructionism.

The Kentucky Republican criticized the “nuclear option” invoked by the Nevada Democrat in November, but he emphasized he was not trying to “point the finger of blame.”

“My purpose is to suggest that the Senate can do better than it has been and that we must be if we’re to remain as a great nation,” McConnell said. “This is a behavioral problem. It doesn’t require a rules change. We just need to act differently with each other.”

McConnell, who proposed an amendment on Tuesday that would tie jobless benefits to an Obamacare delay, criticized the majority leader for not allowing amendments on the unemployment insurance bill that advanced yesterday.

Reid accused the Republican leadership of distorting the facts.

“Since I’ve been leader, seven out of 10 amendments on which the Senate has voted have been … Republican amendments,” Reid said.

Reid called the remarks a “diversion” from the GOP’s “callous” and “cold-hearted” positions on issues facing the Senate.

 

 

November 21, 2013

Nuclear Showdown: Reid Vs. McConnell (Video)

Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell laid out their best arguments for and against the “nuclear option” to end filibusters of most judicial and executive branch nominees on Thursday.

McConnell lost the battle when Democrats voted to effectively change the rules and prevent filibusters on all nominations except those to the Supreme Court.

 

November 20, 2013

Key Moments in the Military Sexual-Assault Debate (Video)

As Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s legislation removing the military chain of command from sexual-assault prosecutions gained support, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., pushed back on the Senate floor Wednesday, arguing that sexual-assault cases should remain in the military’s chain of command.

Levin and McCaskill are pushing other changes as well that Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, has said will make the situation better for sexual-assault victims in the armed forces.

Votes on the competing proposals could come Wednesday evening, but no time had been set by mid-afternoon. Full story

November 7, 2013

The Best Floor Moments from the ENDA Debate (Video)

Following a key procedural vote Monday bringing up the Employment Non-Discrimination Act for a vote today, the Senate is set to vote this afternoon to prevent discrimination by employers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Watch Roll Call’s best moments from Senate floor debate this week:

As of Wednesday evening, no opponents of the measure had spoken on the floor. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., became the first member to do so Thursday morning. Coats expressed concern about protections for religious institutions that are opposed to same-sex relationships.

November 4, 2013

Kirk Makes First Floor Speech Since Stroke on ENDA (Video)

Nearly two years after suffering a stroke, Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., on Monday made his first speech on the Senate floor since December 2011.

Kirk, who underwent rehabilitation for more than 11 months before returning to the Senate in January, took the floor in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prevent discrimination by employers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

By JM Rieger Posted at 6:22 p.m.
LGBT, Republicans, Videos

October 4, 2013

Has Strong Shutdown Rhetoric Violated Senate Rules? (Video)

The debate surrounding the government shutdown has been white hot in the Senate over the past few weeks, leading some lawmakers to complain about a lack of decorum.

Indeed, twice over the past two days, senators reminded their colleagues of Senate rules.

“I think we’ve all here in the Senate kind of lost the aura of Robert Byrd, who was such a stickler for Senate procedure,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday morning on the Senate floor. “I think we’ve all let things get away from us a little bit. The Senate is a very special place with very particular rules.”

Longstanding Senate precedents tied to the Senate’s original rules require senators to speak through the presiding officer, as noted in “Riddick’s Senate Procedure.”

“Senators in debate should address each other through the Chair and in the third person,” the book of precedents explains.

Additionally, Senate Rule 19 states: “No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”

Interestingly, Reid may have been reminding himself of those rules and precedents. The Nevada Democrat, who has sparred with tea party darling Sen. Ted Cruz over the past month, criticized the Texas Republican on Thursday for influencing  House Republicans’ political strategy.

“The latest plan came from the junior senator from Texas [and it] is to cherry pick parts of the government he likes,” Reid said. He added that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., “is following Cruz’s idea specifically. Sen. Cruz is now joint speaker. He lectures the House on occasion, as he does people over here.

Reid’s reference quickly drew criticism, particularly because Cruz was not on the floor at the time to defend himself. Full story

October 3, 2013

Senate Chaplain Asks God to ‘Save Us From the Madness’ of Shutdown

After congressional leaders and the president failed to reach an agreement on the government shutdown last night, Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black used his opening prayer Thursday to hammer members of Congress.

After asking God to “save us from the madness,” Black said in his deep, authoritative voice, “Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable.”

Black has served as the Senate chaplain for more than 10 years and echoed criticisms of Congress’ inability to strike a deal to end the first government shutdown in 17 years.

 

July 24, 2013

The New Senator From Amtrak? (Video)

RC ARCHIVE46 113004 445x313 The New Senator From Amtrak? (Video)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Chris Coons is following in the footsteps of two predecessors, including the current vice president, taking up the cause of Amtrak.

The Delaware Democrat has filed an amendment to the Transportation-HUD spending bill to boost Amtrak funding by $113 million, bringing the total for the account up to $1.565 billion. The amendment doesn’t include an offsetting cut to another part of the bill, likely causing an issue for the top-line spending level.

Senators have just begun to process amendments to the $54 billion fiscal 2014 appropriations measure.

In announcing his plan Wednesday, Coons quoted from remarks made earlier this year by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., at the funeral of New Jersey Democrat Frank R. Lautenberg.

“If it wasn’t for Frank, Amtrak wouldn’t be what it is today,” Coons quoted Biden as having said.

Full story

July 1, 2013

How a Budget Resolution Doesn’t Go to Conference

Senate Democrats frustrated by Republican objections to forming a House-Senate conference committee on the budget have made a cartoon anthropomorphizing their long-suffering budget resolution.

It’s sort of the “How a Budget Resolution Doesn’t Become A Law” version of “How a Bill Becomes a Law.”

In the animated video “I’m Just a Budget,” the said budget resolution sings a song about why he hasn’t been able to go to Congress 100 days after the Senate passed him.

It features Senate floor cameos from Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, offering their pleas for “regular order,” followed by quick clips of Sens. Randy Paul, R-Ky., Ted Cruz, R-Texas; and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., saying “I object” to unanimous consent agreements to send the resolution to a conference with the House.

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