In June, A Tale Of Two Chambers

‘While The House Has Been Missing In Action On The Longest Spring Break In Human History, The Senate Has Been Conducting The People’s Business’



SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “While the House has been missing in action on the longest Spring Break in human history, the Senate has been conducting the people’s business alone. We’ve confirmed nominees. We’ve conducted critical oversight. We’ve passed historic legislation for our National Parks and public lands.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/25/2020)

  • SEN. McCONNELL: “The Democrat-led House of Representatives is out of town.… The action is in the Senate. The leadership is in the Senate.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/17/2020)


During June, The Republican Senate Was In Session Every Week, While The Democratic House Met For Only 3 Days

Since The End Of March 2020 The Democratic House Has Been In Session For Only 8 Days

Since the end of March 2020, the House of Representatives has met in legislative session eight times: April 23, May 15, 27, 28, June 25, 29, 30, and July 1. (“Days in Session of the U.S. Congress,” Congress.gov, Accessed 7/01/2020)


The Senate Passed Important Bipartisan Updates And Extensions To The PPP Loan Program, Giving Small Businesses More Flexibility

“The Senate passed legislation [June 3rd] to provide more flexibility to small businesses that have received forgivable loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, giving them more time to use the money just ahead of a deadline to forgive the first round of payments. The legislation passed by unanimous consent and now goes to President Trump’s desk, following House passage of the bill last week.” (“Senate Passes Bill To Increase Flexibility For Small-Business Loan Program, Sending It To Trump’s Desk,” The Washington Post, 6/03/2020)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee Chairman: “I am glad Congress came together to provide much-needed flexibility for small business owners to use their PPP loans as our economy begins to re-open…. The PPP is a pro-worker, bipartisan program that has been hugely successful in protecting 50 million employees and helping small business owners endure this crisis. I will continue to work with the Administration, and my colleagues, to ensure the PPP continues to benefit millions of small businesses and workers.” (Sen. Rubio, Press Release, 6/03/2020)

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): “The Paycheck Protection Program is the single most critical stimulus program protecting Main Street America from the economic devastation of the measures taken to control the spread of COVID-19.” (Sen. Collins, Congressional Record, S.2590, 5/21/2020)

SEN. STEVE DAINES (R-MT): “I’m glad to have secured passage of my bipartisan bill to increase flexibility in the Paycheck Protection Program to ensure Montana small businesses have the relief they need to stay open, support our workers and protect jobs. My bipartisan proposal is the result of listening to feedback from Montanans on what flexibility they need under PPP to make it even more effective. I look forward to getting flexibility for Montana small businesses and workers using PPP signed into law.” (Sen. Daines, Press Release, 6/03/2020)

SEN. CORY GARDNER (R-CO): “We must continue improving the Paycheck Protection Program to meet the needs of Coloradans and their small businesses. I’ve heard constantly from small business owners in Colorado who say the PPP provides essential support to get through this pandemic, but there are important ways the program can better help small businesses. These modifications are a good step, and I’ll continue to work with my colleagues to increase flexibility and ensure the relief Congress provided can be used by those in need.” (Sen. Gardner, Press Release, 6/03/2020)

SEN. THOM TILLIS (R-NC): “I’ve spoken with countless North Carolina business owners, and the Paycheck Protection Program has been a lifeline for them and their employees to get them through this pandemic. I am proud Congress could come together to make necessary fixes to provide flexibility to keep small businesses open and protect the jobs of workers. I’ll continue to work across the aisle on commonsense, bipartisan solutions to provide relief to small businesses and their employees.” (Sen. Tillis, Press Release, 6/03/2020)


The Senate Acted This Week To Extend The Time PPP Loans Will Be Available

“The Senate passed a bill to extend the filing deadline for Paycheck Protection Program loans [on June 30th] … The PPP provides small businesses forgivable loans of up to 10 weeks' worth of payroll to use mostly on paying workers and some other fixed costs. If the businesses follow the program’s guidelines, their debts are forgiven. Money used for other purposes turns into low interest loans with five-year terms.” (“Senate Agrees To Extend PPP Loan Program To Early August,” Roll Call, 6/30/2020)

SEN. COLLINS: “Last night the Senate approved legislation to extend the Paycheck Protection Program better known as P.P.P. through August 8 while we continue bipartisan negotiations on a bill to provide additional assistance to our small businesses that have been especially hard hit by COVID-19 mitigation measures.” (Sen. Collins, Floor Remarks, 7/01/2020)


The Senate Confirmed Two District Court And Two Circuit Court Judges, Reaching 200 Judges Confirmed Since 2017 And Filling All Circuit Court Vacancies For The First Time In At Least 40 Years

“Trump, with the help of a determined McConnell and Senate GOP majority, has significantly reshaped the judiciary during his first term, and the 200th appointment milestone illustrates how lasting his legacy will be, as federal judges serve lifetime appointments and many of Trump's picks have been young judges who can serve for many years…. The 200 confirmations will also be a permanent part of McConnell's legacy.” (“Senate Confirms Trump's 200th Judicial Nominee,” CNN, 6/24/2020)

“With the confirmation of [Judge Cory] Wilson, Republicans also reached a benchmark vigorously pursued by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): For the first time in more than four decades, there are no longer any vacancies on the nation’s appeals courts, the judicial level where most of the major rulings are handed down.” (“Senate Confirms 200th Judicial Nominee From Trump, A Legacy That Will Last Well Beyond November,” The Washington Post, 6/24/2020)

This is the first time since at least 1981 with no circuit court vacancies recorded. ("Archive of Judicial Vacancies," Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts Website, Accessed 6/24/2020)

  • “Carl W. Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, said it was the first time since the Reagan administration that there were no vacancies among the 179 appellate judgeships authorized by Congress. He noted that the aggressive push by the Trump White House and Senate Republicans had shifted the makeup of three circuits from a majority of judges nominated by Democrats to a majority nominated by Republicans. The effort had also added to the existing majority of Republican-nominated judges on other circuits and increased conservative representation on the liberal Ninth Circuit on the West Coast, he said.” (“With Wilson Confirmation, Trump and Senate Republicans Achieve a Milestone,” The New York Times, 6/24/2020)

Among The Four Was Kentuckian Judge Justin Walker, Confirmed To The D.C. Circuit Court Of Appeals

On [June 18th], the Senate confirmed the 52nd federal appeals court judge of the Trump era to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — commonly known as the second most important court in the land … The outcome was particularly sweet for Mr. McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, since the court’s newest member is 38-year-old Justin Walker, a native of Mr. McConnell’s hometown, Louisville, whom the senator first met when Mr. Walker interviewed him for a high school research paper. Mr. McConnell personally lobbied President Trump to choose Judge Walker, a former intern in his office, for the powerful job.” (“McConnell Nears His Benchmark,” The New York Times, 6/18/2020)

“Walker’s nomination also underscores the influence of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on the conservative transformation of the federal judiciary under Trump …” (“Trump Taps Former Kavanaugh Clerk To Fill Vacancy On Powerful D.C. Appeals Court,” The Washington Post, 4/03/2020)

  • “‘I think you cannot credibly argue that Justin Walker is not a judicial all-star,’ McConnell said in an interview with The Washington Post in advance of the announcement Friday, ticking off his academic and legal credentials. Chief among them are Walker’s clerkships with former Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and Kavanaugh during his tenure on the D.C. Circuit. Both Kennedy and Kavanaugh privately recommended Walker for the D.C. Circuit vacancy in conversations with Trump … Even more active was McConnell. He knows Walker’s grandfather and first met Walker when he interviewed the future majority leader for an article for his high school newspaper. McConnell had previously recommended Walker for the Western District seat and in January, accompanied the judge to the Oval Office to meet the president … Trump, McConnell recalled, came away impressed with Walker during the 15-minute conversation and connected well with him. Walker is the youngest nominee to the D.C. Circuit since 1983, and the first from outside Washington since 2005. ‘I thought it might be a good idea to go outside the Beltway’ for the D.C. vacancy, McConnell said.” (“Trump Taps Former Kavanaugh Clerk To Fill Vacancy On Powerful D.C. Appeals Court,” The Washington Post, 4/03/2020)

The Senate also confirmed John Badalamenti to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Florida and Drew Tipton to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas. (PN1430, 116th Congress; PN1440, 116th Congress)


Led By Sen. Cory Gardner Of Colorado And Sen. Steve Daines Of Montana, The Senate Passed The Bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act, ‘The Most Significant Conservation Legislation Enacted In Nearly Half A Century’

“The Senate has approved a bipartisan bill that would double spending on a popular conservation program and devote nearly $2 billion a year to improve and maintain national parks. The 73-25 vote on [June 17th] sends Great American Outdoors Act to the House, where approval is expected. It would be the most significant conservation legislation enacted in nearly half a century. The bill would spend about $2.8 billion per year on conservation, outdoor recreation and park maintenance.” (“Senate Approves $2.8B Plan To Boost Conservation, Parks,” The Associated Press, 6/17/2020)

“The Great American Outdoors Act would fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund each year at its congressionally authorized $900 million amount, making more money available for public lands acquisition and for parks and other amenities at state and local levels. The measure also provides $1.9 billion a year over five years primarily to address deferred maintenance at National Park Service sites. Some of the money would fund maintenance projects for other agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service.” (“Gardner Lands Bill Clears Senate,” The [Grand Junction, CO] Daily Sentinel, 6/17/2020)

“A major public lands bill spearheaded by U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., cleared the Senate this morning … Gardner helped broker the public-lands-bill deal earlier this year when he and Steve Daines, R-Mont., met with Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss the LWCF and maintenance-funding measures. Trump then promised to sign a combined bill and urged its congressional approval.” (“Gardner Lands Bill Clears Senate,” The [Grand Junction, CO] Daily Sentinel, 6/17/2020)

  • “For many conservationists, the Great American Outdoors Act has been a lightning bolt out of the blue, sparked by a tweet from President Trump. ‘I’m calling on Congress to send me a Bill that fully and permanently funds the LWCF and restores our National Parks,’ he tweeted on March 3. He went on to give credit to two Republican senators, Colorado’s Gardner and Montana’s Steve Daines, both of whom had visited the president in the Oval Office on February 27 to urge support for the bill.” (“Outdoor Rec Just Got Its Own Stimulus Bill,” Outside, 6/17/2020)

SEN. CORY GARDNER (R-CO), Great American Outdoors Act Sponsor: “Years of bipartisan work have led to this moment and this historic opportunity for conservation. Today the Senate passed not only the single greatest conservation achievement in generations, but also a lifeline to mountain towns and recreation communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. I call on the House of Representatives to pass this bill without delay in order to provide jobs to the American people, economic stimulus to communities in need, and protections for the great American outdoors for future generations of Americans to cherish.” (Sen. Gardner, Press Release, 6/17/2020)

SEN. STEVE DAINES (R-MT), Great American Outdoors Act Sponsor: “Today, we passed the most important conservation bill for Montana and the nation in decades - one that will increase public access to our public lands, support our national parks and importantly, protect our Montana outdoor way of life. I look forward to seeing it pass the House and getting it onto President Trump’s desk for his signature.” (Sen. Daines, Press Release, 6/17/2020)


Led By Sen. Tim Scott Of South Carolina, Senate Republicans Introduced The JUSTICE Act To Reform Law Enforcement, But Democrats Blocked The Senate From Taking Up Sen. Scott’s Bill

“Senate Republicans unveiled legislation responding to nationwide protests calling for police reform and an end to racial violence, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying the upper chamber plans to vote on the bill as early as next week.” (“Senate Republicans Unveil Police Reform Bill, Setting Up Vote For Next Week,” CBS News, 6/17/2020)

  • Sen. Tim Scott, the chamber's lone black GOP member, has led the charge for the 106-page legislation to install nearly a dozen, major new provisions to address policing concerns highlighted since the May 25 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate will take up the measure next week. ‘We are serious about making a law here,’ he told reporters.” (“Republicans' Police Reform Bill Focuses On Transparency And Training,” NPR, 6/17/2020)
  • “‘We hear you. We’re listening to your concerns,’ said Scott, who recalled his own ‘driving while black’ experiences of being stopped seven times in one year. ‘The George Floyd incident certainly accelerated this conversation.’ Scott was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., James Lankford, R-Okla. and Ben Sasse, R-Neb. to unveil the 106-page legislation. The package of reforms is called the Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act.” (“Senate Republicans Unveil Police Reform Legislation: ‘We Hear You,’” Fox News, 6/17/2020)

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC), JUSTICE Act Sponsor: “Now is the time for reform… The murder of George Floyd and its aftermath made clear from sea to shining sea that action must be taken to rebuild lost trust between communities of color and law enforcement. The JUSTICE Act takes smart, commonsense steps to address these issues, from ending the use of chokeholds and increasing the use of body worn cameras, to providing more resources for police departments to better train officers and make stronger hiring decisions. I want to thank Leader McConnell and the entire task force not just for their hard work on putting this bill together, but for their commitment to finding real solutions.” (Sen. Scott, Press Release, 6/17/2020)

The Senate Judiciary Committee Held An Important Hearing On Police Use Of Force

JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Tuesday, June 16: Hearing: Police Use of Force and Community Relations

  • “The Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday held its first hearing on policing since the May 25 death of George Floyd — a black man who was killed in custody by Minneapolis police — triggered a wave of protests and international outcry for reform of the U.S. police system. … The afternoon hearing looked to cover police use of force and community relations, with nearly a dozen witnesses from civil rights and law enforcement backgrounds.” (“Senate Judiciary Holds Hearing On Police Use Of Force,” NPR, 6/16/2020)


Unfortunately, After Demanding The Senate Take Up Police Reform Before July 4th, Senate Democrats Rejected All Offers For Amendments And Blocked Action On The JUSTICE Act

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC), JUSTICE Act Sponsor: “I am amazed that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle refused to vote for legislation that would provide real life solutions for the American people. If my colleagues had issues with the legislation, they should have accepted that we were willing to give them multiple amendment votes so that we can make the necessary adjustments to get this across the president’s desk. The JUSTICE Act is a first step in the right direction, and it has the power to help to ensure that the list of names of those who died at the hands of law enforcement officers does not grow longer. I hope that the American people see how the Democrats blocked solutions from coming to their communities for the sake of partisan politics.” (Sen. Scott, Press Release, 6/24/2020)

  • SEN. SCOTT: “This legislation spoke to the important issues that have brought us here today…. [B]ut my friends on the other side just said no, not no to the legislation. They just said no. Why am I saying that they didn't just say no to the legislation? It is that, along the way, I sat down with many of them and asked: ‘What do you need?’ Senator Schumer sent a letter, telling, I believe it was, Senator McConnell that there were five things in the legislation that needed to be improved. I said: ‘Let's give them the five amendments.’ I sat down with more Senators, and they said: ‘Wait. It is not just five. There are 20.’ I asked: ‘How about 20 amendments?’ And they walked out.” (Sen. Scott, Congressional Record, S.3171, 6/24/2020)

“Senate Democrats on [June 24th] blocked Republicans from taking up a bill to overhaul policing, calling the legislation flawed and a nonstarter. A motion to open debate on the measure, which needed 60 votes, failed 55-45.” (“Senate Democrats Block GOP Policing Bill, Calling It 'Irrevocably Flawed' And 'Partisan,'” NBC News, 6/24/2020)

THE WASHINGTON POST: “Senate Democrats block GOP policing bill, stalling efforts to change law enforcement practices” (“Senate Democrats Block GOP Policing Bill, Stalling Efforts To Change Law Enforcement Practices,” The Washington Post, 6/24/2020)

LOS ANGELES TIMES: “Democrats block Senate GOP police reform bill” (“Democrats Block Senate GOP Police Reform Bill,” Los Angeles Times, 6/24/2020)

POLITICO: “Senate Democrats block Republican police reform plan” (“Senate Democrats Block Republican Police Reform Plan,” Politico, 6/24/2020)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: “Senate Democrats Block GOP Policing Bill” (“Senate Democrats Block GOP Policing Bill,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/24/2020)

CNN: “Senate Democrats block GOP police reform bill, throwing overhaul effort into flux” (“Senate Democrats Block GOP Police Reform Bill, Throwing Overhaul Effort Into Flux,” CNN, 6/24/2020)

USA TODAY: “Senate Democrats block movement on Republican policing bill in Wednesday vote” (“Senate Democrats Block Movement On Republican Policing Bill In Wednesday Vote,” USA Today, 6/24/2020)

THE HILL: “Democrats block GOP police reform bill amid Senate stalemate” (“Democrats Block GOP Police Reform Bill Amid Senate Stalemate,” The Hill, 6/24/2020)

THE NEW YORK TIMES: “Senate Democrats Block G.O.P. Police Bill, Calling It ‘Inadequate’” (“Senate Democrats Block G.O.P. Police Bill, Calling It ‘Inadequate,’” The New York Times, 6/24/2020)

ROLL CALL: “Senate GOP policing bill stalls as Democrats block it on floor, attention swerves to House” (“Senate GOP Policing Bill Stalls As Democrats Block It On Floor, Attention Swerves To House,” Roll Call, 6/24/2020)

BLOOMBERG NEWS: “Democrats Block Senate Republicans’ Police Overhaul Bill” (“Democrats Block Senate Republicans’ Police Overhaul Bill,” Bloomberg News, 6/24/2020)

CBS NEWS: “GOP police reform bill stalls in Senate as Democrats vote to block debate” (“GOP Police Reform Bill Stalls In Senate As Democrats Vote To Block Debate,” CBS News, 6/24/2020)


The Senate Made Significant Progress On This Year’s National Defense Authorization Act

“On [June 29th], the Senate [resumed] floor debate of its version of the defense authorization bill… The annual bill, which adjusts military policy and in fiscal 2021 would authorize $731.6 billion in funding for national security, is one of a handful of must-pass bills Congress handles each year. It has been enacted 59 consecutive years, typically with substantial bipartisan majorities.” (“Less Time, Less Drama: Congress Steps Up Work On NDAA,” Roll Call, 6/29/2020)

  • “The Senate on [July 2nd] agreed to vote on a half dozen amendments to its version of the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 4049, breaking a logjam between Democrats and Republicans as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell teed up the endgame for the $741 billion defense bill this month. On the floor, Armed Services Chair Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) secured an agreement to vote ‘at a time to be determined’ by McConnell on six amendments…. McConnell moved to cut off debate on the bill Thursday, teeing up a vote to wrap up the bill when the Senate reconvenes …” (“Senate Strikes NDAA Amendment Deal, Tees Up Endgame,” Politico Pro, 7/02/2020)

SEN. JIM INHOFE (R-OK), Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman: “What this bipartisan bill does is straightforward: care for our troops; preserve peace through strength; and defend this great nation. This is our sacred constitutional duty. That’s why Congress has passed an NDAA every year for the last 59 years in a row – always on a bipartisan basis. Now, I look forward to working with my colleagues to make it an even 60 years.” (U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Press Release, 6/23/2020)

The Senate Armed Services Committee held eight markups of the bill, considering 391 amendments and adopting 229 bipartisan amendments. The committee approved the bill by a vote of 25-2. (U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Press Release, 6/11/2020)

  • Wednesday, June 10: Closed Markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.


The Senate Passed A Bipartisan Bill To Ensure Veterans Are Getting Quality Care From VA Providers

The Senate passed by unanimous consent S. 123, the Ensuring Quality Care for Our Veterans Act. (S.123, 116th Congress)

  • “This bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to contract with a nonfederal organization to conduct a quality management review of hospital care or medical services furnished by each Veterans Health Administration (VHA) provider whose license was terminated by a state licensing board based upon care or services provided in a non-VHA facility. If a review determines that the standard of care was not met, the VA shall notify the individual who received such care or services.” (S.123, 116th Congress)
  • The Ensuring Quality Care for Our Veterans Act is sponsored by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and cosponsored by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Boozman (R-AR), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK). (S.123, 116th Congress)

SEN. JONI ERNST (R-IA), Ensuring Quality Care for Our Veterans Act Sponsor: “Whether at a VA facility in Iowa or anywhere across the country, my fellow veterans deserve the best quality care possible—it’s the least we can do for these war heroes. Part of this effort is ensuring those treating our nation’s veterans are thoroughly vetted and are providing proper treatment and care. During these trying times in our nation, getting this commonsense, bipartisan bill unanimously through the Senate provides a glimmer of hope for our veterans and their families.” (Sen. Ernst, Press Release, 7/01/2020)


The Senate Passed A Bipartisan Bill Ensure Funding Is Available To Help Americans Brought Back To The U.S. Due To The COVID-19 Pandemic

The Senate passed by voice vote S.4091, the Emergency Aid for Returning Americans Affected by Coronavirus Act. (S.4091, 116th Congress)

  • “The legislation temporarily raises the cap for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) repatriation program from $1 million to $10 million to ensure adequate funding is available to help those who have recently been brought back to the U.S. as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also includes language designed to ensure only those with proper training and personal protective equipment engage directly with those repatriated due to COVID-19.” (Sen. Grassley, Press Release, 6/29/2020)
  • The Emergency Aid for Returning Americans Affected by Coronavirus Act is sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and cosponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). (S.4091, 116th Congress)

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA), Emergency Aid for Returning Americans Affected by Coronavirus Act Sponsor: “Helping our fellow Americans who’ve returned to the United States is a critical responsibility of the federal government. The current global health crisis has made it necessary to repatriate thousands of people, and we ought to make sure the resources are there to help individuals and families in the short-term so they can get back on their feet. Our bill does just that.” (Sen. Grassley, Press Release, 6/29/2020)


The Senate Passed A Bipartisan Package Of Bills On Priorities For Indian Tribes

The Senate passed by voice vote S. 886, the Indian Water Rights Settlement Extension Act, with a substitute amendment offered by Sens. Tom Udall (D-MN), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Mitt Romney (R-UT) that incorporates four more bills: S. 2365, the Health Care Access for Urban Native Veterans Act of 2019, S. 279, the Tribal School Federal Insurance Parity Act, S. 1875, the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Completion Act of 2019, and S. 1207, the Navajo-Utah Water Rights Settlement Act. (S. 886, 116th Congress; U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Press Release, 6/04/2020)

SEN. JOHN HOEVEN (R-ND), Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Chairman: “This package of four bills includes important priorities for Indian Tribes, including provisions to improve access to health care for tribal school employees and Native veterans. The package includes legislation providing parity for all tribal school employees to access health benefits provided to federal employees. The second bill enables Native veterans living in urban areas to access medical care through Indian Health Service-funded Urban Indian Organizations. The other pieces of legislation authorize funding for water development projects important to Tribes, including extending the Aamodt water settlement to 2028.” (U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Press Release, 6/04/2020)


The Senate Confirmed The Special Inspector General For Pandemic Recovery, To Help Oversee Implementation Of The CARES Act And Other Government Recovery Efforts

“The Senate on [June 2nd] confirmed Trump-appointee Brian Miller as the special inspector general to oversee the taxpayer-funded coronavirus pandemic recovery fund.” (CBS News, 6/02/2020)

  • “Miller worked for nearly a decade as the inspector general of the General Services Administration, overseeing major waste, fraud and abuse cases.” (Politico, 6/02/2020)

“As special inspector general, Miller will oversee a $500 billion Treasury fund and is tasked with conducting audits and investigations on the purchase and sale of loans and loan guarantees related to the CARES Act. That law mandated the creation of Miller’s role as an independent watchdog within the Treasury Department.” (CBS News, 6/02/2020)

  • “Along with a budget of $25 million and a staff of more than 100, Miller will oversee how the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve deploy $454 billion to create upwards of $4 trillion in lending facilities aimed at keeping financial markets operational and offering larger businesses enough bridge lending to make it through the sharp recession caused by COVID-19. The inspector general will also track another $46 billion provided to the airline industry and companies considered ‘critical to maintaining national security.’” (“Senate Confirms Miller To Be Pandemic Inspector General,” Roll Call, 6/02/2020)


The Senate Continued Its Unique And Important Work Of Confirming Numerous Other Nominations Throughout The Government

“The Senate confirmed Gen. Charles ‘CQ’ Brown Jr. as the next chief of staff of the Air Force on [June 9th], setting the stage for the veteran fighter pilot to become the first black service chief in U.S. military history.” (“Senate Confirms General To Lead Air Force, Clearing Way For First Black Service Chief In U.S. History,” The Washington Post, 6/09/2020)

“The Senate has filled two empty seats at the Pentagon... On [June 2nd], the Senate voted 75-15 to approve Victor Mercado to be assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans and capabilities. That was followed by a [June 3rd] vote, 78-17, to confirm James Anderson — currently confirmed for the role Mercado will take over — to be deputy undersecretary of defense for policy.” (“Senate Confirms Anderson, Mercado To Defense Policy Jobs,” Defense News, 6/03/2020)

The Senate confirmed the Director of the National Science Foundation. (PN1343, 116th Congress)

The Senate also confirmed Michael Pack to be Chief Executive Officer of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. (PN1590, 116th Congress)

The Senate also confirmed a U.S. Attorney for South Carolina and a U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of New York. (PN1616, 116th Congress; PN1434, 116th Congress)

And the Senate confirmed two Governors of the U.S. Postal Service. (PN1344, 116th Congress; PN1614, 116th Congress)


In June, Senate Committees Held 30 Hearings On COVID-19 And On Oversight Of The CARES Act



Thursday, July 2: Hearing: Review of Operation Warp Speed: Researching, Manufacturing, & Distributing a Safe & Effective Coronavirus Vaccine



Thursday, June 18: Hearing on the nominations of Lieutenant General Daniel R. Hokanson to be General and Chief of the National Guard Bureau and Gustave F. Perna for reappointment to the grade of General and to be Chief Operating Officer, Project Warp Speed.



Tuesday, June 2: Hearing: Implementation of Title IV of the CARES Act



Wednesday, June 3: Hearing: The State of Transportation and Critical Infrastructure: Examining the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic



Tuesday, June 9: Hearing: Wildfire Management in the Midst of COVID-19

Tuesday, June 16: Hearing: Impacts of COVID-19 on the Energy Industry

Wednesday, June 24: Hearing: Impact of COVID-19 on Mineral Supply Chains

Tuesday, June 30: Hearing: Examine the Impact of COVID-19 to U.S. Territories



Thursday, June 4: Hearing: Infrastructure: The Road to Recovery



Tuesday, June 2: Hearing: COVID-19 and Beyond: Oversight of the FDA’s Foreign Drug Manufacturing Inspection Process

Tuesday, June 9: Hearing: Unemployment Insurance During COVID-19: The CARES Act and the Role of Unemployment Insurance During the Pandemic

Thursday, June 18: Roundtable: Paid Leave Proposals in the COVID Era

Tuesday, June 30: Hearing: 2020 Filing Season and IRS COVID-19 Recovery



Thursday, June 18: Hearing: COVID-19 and U.S. International Pandemic Preparedness, Prevention, and Response

Tuesday, June 30: Hearing: COVID-19 and U.S. International Pandemic Preparedness, Prevention, and Response: Additional Perspectives



Thursday, June 4: Hearing: COVID-19: Going Back to College Safely

Wednesday, June 10: Hearing: COVID-19: Going Back to School Safely

Wednesday, June 17: Hearing: Telehealth: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tuesday, June 23: Hearing: COVID-19: Lessons Learned to Prepare for the Next Pandemic

Tuesday, June 30: Hearing: COVID-19: Update on Progress Toward Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School

  • Witnesses included: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Robert Redfield, Director, CDC; Dr. Stephen Hahn, Commissioner, FDA; Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health, HHS Department



Tuesday, June 9: Hearing: Evaluating the Federal Government’s Procurement and Distribution Strategies in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Wednesday, June 24: Hearing: The Role of the Strategic National Stockpile in Pandemic Response



Wednesday, July 1: Oversight Hearing: Evaluating the Response and Mitigation to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Native Communities



Tuesday, June 2: Hearing: Examining Best Practices for Incarceration and Detention During COVID-19

Tuesday, June 9: Hearing: COVID-19 Fraud: Law Enforcement’s Response to Those Exploiting the Pandemic

Tuesday, June 23: Hearing: The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, Coronavirus, and Addressing China’s Culpability



Wednesday, June 3: Hearing: Perspectives from Main Street: COVID-19’s Impact on Small Business

Wednesday, June 10: Hearing: Implementation of Title I of the CARES Act



Wednesday, June 3: Hearing: Review of the FY 2021 Budget and FY 2022 Advance Appropriations Request and Oversight of CARES Act Supplemental Appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs


Thursday, June 11: Hearing: Combating Social Isolation and Loneliness During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Senate Committees Held Hearings And Votes On Nominees For Positions Such As OMB Director, Deputy Secretary of Energy And Deputy U.S. Representative To The U.N., On Nominees To Be Members Of The FCC, NLRB, And EEOC, On Several Judicial Nominees And On Nominees To be Inspectors General



Wednesday, June 3: Hearing on the nomination of Russell Vought to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Thursday, June 11: Business Meeting to consider Russell Vought to be Director of OMB.

Wednesday, June 24: Hearing: Nomination of Derek Kan to be Deputy Director of White House Budget Office



Tuesday, June 16: Hearing on nominees to be Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation, Member of the Federal Communications Commission, Commissioner and Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs, U.S. Department of Commerce.



Tuesday, June 9: Business Meeting to consider the nomination of Mark Menezes to be the Deputy Secretary of Energy.



Wednesday, July 1: Business Meeting to consider nominations to the Tennessee Valley Authority and 27 General Services Administration Resolutions.



Thursday, June 4: Hearing on nominations for Deputy Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations, U.S. Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition Of Chemical Weapons, and nominees to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Asian Development Bank, and the United States Agency for International Development.



Wednesday, June 3: Executive Session on nominees for Assistant Secretary of Labor and for the National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Science Foundation, and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.



Tuesday, June 2: Hearing on the nominations of Russell Vought to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Craig E. Leen to be Inspector General, Office of Personnel Management.

Wednesday, June 3: Hearing on nominees to be Governors of the U.S. Postal Service and to be Associate Judges on Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Wednesday, June 10: Business Meeting on nominations to Office of Management and Budget, U.S. Postal Service, Office of Personnel Management, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Federal Labor Relations Authority, Federal Communications Commission.

Tuesday, June 30: Hearing: Nomination of The Honorable Derek T. Kan to be Deputy Director, Office of Management and Budget.



Thursday, June 4: Executive Business Meeting to authorize subpoenas relating to the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation and consider the nomination of Justin R. Walker to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit

Thursday, June 11: Executive Business Meeting to authorize subpoenas relating to the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation and consider the nomination of Cory T. Wilson to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit

Wednesday, June 17: Hearing on nominees to be district judges for the Central District of California, Eastern District of Wisconsin, Southern District of California, and Western District of Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, June 24: Hearing to consider nominations to be District Judges for the Western District of Michigan, the Northern District of Illinois, the Southern District of Illinois, and the Eastern District of Virginia.

Thursday, June 25: Executive Business Meeting to consider nominations to be U.S. Marshals for the Eastern District of Michigan, the Western District of Virginia, and the Western District of Tennessee; and to consider S.685, Inspector General Access Act of 2019.

Thursday, July 2: Executive Business Meeting to consider nominations to be District Judges for the Central District of California, the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the Southern District of California, and the Western District of Pennsylvania; and to consider S.3398, EARN IT Act of 2020.



Wednesday, June 24: Hearing: Nomination of Peter M. Thomson to be CIA Inspector General


And Committees Held Oversight Hearings As Well As Hearings On Other Important Subjects Ranging From Intelligence To Monetary Policy, Arms Control, Trade Policy, Infrastructure, Housing, And Next Year’s Inauguration


Wednesday, June 24: Legislative Hearing to review S. 3894, The Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2020.

Wednesday, June 24: Business Meeting to consider the United States Grain Standards Reauthorization Act of 2020.



Tuesday, June 16: Hearing: Oversight of FCC Spectrum Auctions Program



Thursday, June 4: Hearing: Crisis in Hong Kong: A Review of U.S. Policy Tools

Tuesday, June 9: Hearing: Oversight of Housing Regulators

Tuesday, June 16: Hearing: The Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress

Tuesday, June 23: Hearing: Oversight of the Export-Import Bank of the United States

Tuesday, June 30: Hearing: The Digitization of Money and Payments



Wednesday, June 17: Hearing: Examining the Federal Aviation Administration’s Oversight of Aircraft Certification

Wednesday, June 24: Hearing: Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission

Tuesday, June 30: Hearing: Safety on Our Roads: Overview of Traffic Safety and NHTSA Grant Programs

Wednesday, July 1: Hearing: Exploring a Compensation Framework for Intercollegiate Athletes



Wednesday, June 17: Hearing: Responding to the Challenges Facing Recycling in the United States

Wednesday, July 1: Hearing: Better, Faster, Cheaper, Smarter, and Stronger: Infrastructure Development Opportunities to Drive Economic Recovery and Resiliency



Wednesday, June 17: Hearing: The President’s 2020 Trade Policy Agenda

Tuesday, June 30: Hearing: Censorship as a Non-Tariff Barrier to Trade



Wednesday, June 17: Closed Briefing: Assessing Arms Control: New START and Beyond



Thursday, June 4: Business Meeting to consider the motion to issue subpoenas.

Tuesday, June 23: Hearing: Improving Public Service: A Review of Recommendations Made by the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service

Thursday, June 25: Hearing: CBP Oversight: Examining the Evolving Challenges Facing the Agency



Wednesday, June 24: Legislative Hearing to receive testimony on S. 2165, S. 2716, S. 2912, S. 3019, S. 3044, S. 3099 & S. 3100.



Tuesday, June 2: Hearing: Is the DMCA’s Notice-and-Takedown System Working in the 21st Century?

Wednesday, June 3: Hearing: Oversight of the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation

Tuesday, June 30: Hearing: The Judicial Conference’s Recommendation for More Judgeships



Tuesday, June 30: Hearing: Joint Congressional Committee On Inaugural Ceremonies



Tuesday, June 9: Hearing: Building a More Resilient VA Supply Chain

Wednesday, July 1: Hearing: Recruitment, Retention and Building a Resilient Veterans Health Care Workforce



Wednesday, June 3: Closed Briefing: Intelligence Matters

Wednesday, June 17: Closed Briefing: Intelligence Matters

Tuesday, June 23: Closed Briefing: Intelligence Matters

Tuesday, June 30: Closed Briefing: Intelligence Matters

Wednesday, July 1: Closed Briefing: Intelligence Matters

Thursday, July 2: Closed Briefing: Intelligence Matters



Related Issues: Small Business, Judicial Nominations, Law Enforcement, Veterans, COVID-19, Economy, Senate Democrats, Back to Work, Nominations, America's Military