Nominations, Ratification of Important Tax Treaties Up Next in Senate
‘The Senate is getting started on another busy week in which we’ll complete more important business for the American people. We will confirm a number of well-qualified nominees as well as a number of treaties that pertain to international commerce and keeping our economy strong.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding this week’s agenda:
“The Senate is getting started on another busy week in which we’ll complete more important business for the American people. We will confirm a number of well-qualified nominees as well as a number of treaties that pertain to international commerce and keeping our economy strong.
“First, the nominations. Later this afternoon, we’ll build on two and a half years of confirming talented, capable jurists to our federal courts and vote to advance the nomination of Judge Peter Phipps for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Phipps is a graduate of the University of Dayton and Stanford University Law School. His impressive professional record includes time in private practice, a clerkship on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and fifteen years of decorated service with the Department of Justice.
“At the DOJ, while handling sensitive and high-profile cases in the Federal Programs Branch, Judge Phipps left a lasting impression on colleagues and opposing counsel alike. Litigators who worked both with him and against him have written the Senate to praise his, quote, ‘piercing intellect, deep knowledge of the law… and personable relations with everyone in the courtroom.’ A number of his former DOJ colleagues attest that his ‘ability to master complex issues quickly made him the sort of lawyer other lawyers would turn to with questions or for counsel.’
“And -- listen to this -- Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense to President Obama, has worked with Judge Phipps in the past and has great things to say about his -- quote -- ‘legal acumen, dedication, attention to detail, and integrity.’ He says ‘I believe that Peter will serve with honor and highly recommend his confirmation.’ Given all this it is hardly surprising that, when Judge Phipps was first nominated to serve as District Judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the Senate confirmed him by a voice vote.
“This body saw what everyone else had seen: An impressively qualified, intellectually excellent individual who firmly understands what the job of a judge does and does not entail in our constitutional system. So I’m sorry that this nominee who earned a voice vote to his current position will now require a cloture vote this afternoon. But nevertheless, I look forward to voting to advance his nomination today and voting to confirm him later this week. I urge all my colleagues to join me.
“Following that nomination, the Senate will tend to another of this body’s unique responsibilities -- the ratification of treaties. For the better part of the last century, the United States has engaged in bilateral tax treaties with foreign trading partners. These measures cultivate robust trading relationships and put in place important clarifications to ensure that American businesses can avoid double tax burdens.
“Today, America is engaged in about 60 such treaties -- with major allies and developing partners alike. Together, they account for trillions of dollars in foreign investment across the country. And this week, there are several more awaiting consideration. The Senate needs to act on treaties with Spain, the Swiss Federation, Japan, and Luxembourg.
“I’ve heard from job creators in my state of Kentucky about the importance of creating more certainty by getting these treaties approved, and I expect my colleagues have heard similar things from employers in their states as well. So these measures should be taken up and ratified without delay. On behalf of American workers and entrepreneurs, I hope each of my colleagues will join me in voting yes this week.”
Related Issues: Nominations, Taxes