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Senate Coverage -- (February '06)
Thomas ^ | 2-1-06 | US Congress

Posted on 02/01/2006 6:09:12 AM PST by OXENinFLA

Since "Free Republic is an online gathering place for independent, grass-roots conservatism on the web. We're working to roll back decades of governmental largesse, to root out political fraud and corruption, and to champion causes which further conservatism in America.", I and others think it's a good idea to centralize what the goes on in the Senate (or House).

So if you see something happening on the Senate/House floor and you don't want to start a new thread to ask if anyone else just heard what you heard, you can leave a short note on who said what and about what and I'll try and find it the next day in THE RECORD. Or if you see a thread that pertains to the Senate, House, or pretty much any GOV'T agency please link your thread here.

If you have any suggestions for this thread please feel free to let me know.

Here's a few helpful links.

C-SPAN what a great thing. Where you can watch or listen live to most Government happenings.

C-SPAN 1 carries the HOUSE.

C-SPAN 2 carries the SENATE.

C-SPAN 3 (most places web only) carries a variety of committee meetings live or other past programming.

OR FEDNET has online feed also.

A great thing about our Government is they make it really easy for the public to research what the Politicians are doing and saying (on the floor anyway).

THOMAS where you can see a RECORD of what Congress is doing each day. You can also search/read a verbatim text of what each Congressmen/women or Senator has said on the floor or submitted 'for the record.' [This is where the real juicy stuff can be found.]

Also found at Thomas are Monthly Calendars for the Senate Majority and Senate Minority

And Monthly Calendars for the House Majority and Roll Call Votes can be found here.


The Founders' Constitution


THE WAR DEPARTMENT (aka The Dept. of Defense)

LIVE DoD Briefings





TOPICS: Government; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: 109th; cspan; senate; senatecoverage; senatefebruary; ushouse; ussenate
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To: Cboldt

Yes...Byrd is on a mission...and he is fully capable of being "angry" on his own..

But, don't you kind of wonder if there are people telling him that IF he wants to get help keeping his seat in WV...he better throw his weight behind any and all plans they have to derail BUSH at all costs???

After all, they can't be really happy with him...when he got up and chastized them for the Alito hearings behavior...

501 posted on 02/17/2006 9:51:47 AM PST by Txsleuth
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To: Txsleuth

Why did Byrd vote against the Patriot Act yesterday?..1 of 3 senators who did...hope it costs him his seat in November..

502 posted on 02/17/2006 9:53:38 AM PST by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to pass on her gene pool....any volunteers?)
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To: ken5050

He actually voted against the motion to proceed to vote...crazy huh???

If you read my last post...I think there are people that are yanking him around...telling him what to do..

503 posted on 02/17/2006 10:21:38 AM PST by Txsleuth
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To: ken5050; Cboldt; OXENinFLA; Bahbah; Mo1; tiredoflaundry; Peach; defconw

FYI....John Warner up giving a speech re: the NSA program...and the dangers of taking the power for those wiretaps aways...but, is also taking the "other side" as well..

He DID say that he and the others in the GANG OF 14, have been dicussing this...and they plan on submitting a plan after the President's Day recess....OH, YEAH!!!!/s

504 posted on 02/17/2006 10:24:17 AM PST by Txsleuth
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To: Txsleuth

Thanks for the update; I was just listening to Whittington's press conference.

505 posted on 02/17/2006 10:25:18 AM PST by Peach
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To: Txsleuth
FYI....John Warner up giving a speech re: the NSA program...and the dangers of taking the power for those wiretaps aways...but, is also taking the "other side" as well... [gang of 14] plan on submitting a plan after the President's Day recess...

Dang. I switched to FoxNews for Whittington, Cheney, Bush on word received elsewhere.

President Bush talking now. Thanks for the heads up on Warner, I'll make a point of reading that far ;-)

506 posted on 02/17/2006 10:29:16 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: Cboldt; Peach; Txsleuth

I was just watching the US women's Olympic hockey team lose to Sweeden in a shootout...bummer

507 posted on 02/17/2006 10:36:55 AM PST by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to pass on her gene pool....any volunteers?)
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To: ken5050 that take them out of medal chances??

508 posted on 02/17/2006 10:39:06 AM PST by Txsleuth
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Weird there is no live thread for the President's talk today - just an observation.

He's taking lots of questions, doing as good a job as he did a few weeks ago in Kansas. Really an extended session. See FoxNews.

509 posted on 02/17/2006 11:36:38 AM PST by Cboldt
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Q Actually, can I ask one more? I'm sorry. On the NSA program, apparently the White House is agreeing to actually look at legislation. Do you know if the White House would agree to legislation that would specifically authorize the NSA program under FISA, and bring it under FISA rules?

MR. DUFFY: Well, I'll decline to get into the specifics about the discussions, but the White House does look forward to working on legislation to further codify the President's authority. I believe that Senator DeWine has offered some good legislative principles in this area, and we look forward to working with the Congress on that. The President believes that he has the authority necessary, but of course we're willing to work with the Congress if they feel that further codification of that would be necessary.

510 posted on 02/17/2006 12:00:11 PM PST by Cboldt
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Text of Senator Byrd's scathing speech from yesterday ...

The "guts" of the speech is an announced intention to call for an independent commission, ala the 9/11 Commission, to investigate the legality of the President's terrorist surveillance program.

511 posted on 02/18/2006 6:49:48 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: Txsleuth
John Warner up giving a speech re: the NSA program...and the dangers of taking the power for those wiretaps aways...but, is also taking the "other side" as well...

I put the full text of his comments in the same thread that has the Byrd speech. It also has Senator Roberts' press statement, which Warner referred to.

Roberts' statement is basically that the administration is open to legislation, and the Intelligence Committee has NOT decided to undertake an inquiry. "If, by [March 7], we have reached no detailed accommodation with the Administration concerning the Committees oversight role, it is possible that the Committee may vote to conduct an inquiry into the program."

Warner echoes that with his, "in consultation with the White House, we will proceed, hopefully, on a constructive and fair and objective, to the extent we can get politics out of it, look at the existing laws and determine such modifications as can be agreed upon. ... I hope we can arrive at some legislative package--and it should not be seen as the administration giving in to the Congress or the Congress overriding. ... each day we let this [legal] uncertainty exist has the potential to further impair the intelligence system. ... the reality is a lot of citizens of clear conscience believe the President may not be acting within the law. We have to remove that. We want every person in the United States to believe our President is acting within the law as we pursue this war on terrorism."

Warner's concluding paragraph indicates the magnitude of the challenge.

I am very pleased to support what the distinguished Chairman PAT ROBERTS said about the meeting yesterday, and that there will be, in a consultative process, an analysis made by the Congress and the administration in resolving this, and possibly we can seek legislation. It will be a challenge because of the question of the degree of knowledge that we have with regard to how collection is undertaken and how we translate that into law. That will be an unusual challenge facing this body, and we are going to have to reach down and search in our souls and put politics to one side and determine that we are acting in the present and long-term interests of this country--that we have to do it in such a way that when it is concluded we have across the board supported the American public to continue to move forward stronger.

43 . DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE NOMINATIONS -- (Senate - February 17, 2006)

There is movement on more than one front, Roberts and Warner discussion relating to legislation, the administration acknowledging the possibility of legislation, e.g., White house presser noting DeWine involvement, Senator Specter mulling over legislation as well, and Senator Byrd (and no doubt others) pressing for an Independent Commission to investigate the surveillance.

IMO, it's pretty messy right now.

It's not the only mess that is coming to a head either. The detention of enemy combatants is brewing HOT, outside of the view of the news. SCOTUS had a (private and scheduled) conference yesterday where the Hamdan case was supposed to be one of the subjects of discussion. Also, we still have no word on SCOTUS decision relating to the Padilla case, word that had been expected to come in January. SCOTUS is struggling with the general issue of war on terror too.

512 posted on 02/18/2006 7:59:50 AM PST by Cboldt
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On the subject of detainees, I posted a thread about the Hamdan case ...

It relates to the Senate in that the case invoves the Graham/Levin amendment about Gitmo detainees. Recent speeches on the floor of the Senate relate to Congressional intent, and it is amazing thatteh 3 co-sponsors of the amendment appear to see OPPOSIT intent regarding the application of the amendment to pending cases.

513 posted on 02/18/2006 10:49:58 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: Cboldt

Thanks for all of this....I will have this afternoon to look at it...for the first time in 3 weeks I have NO babysitting duties this weekend...whew!!!

I saw that Lindsey Graham is going to be on Fox Sunday with Evan Bayh....wonder WHICH Lindsey will show up???

514 posted on 02/18/2006 11:17:16 AM PST by Txsleuth
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Another story on Senators' positions vis-a-vis the terrorist surveillance program.

Roberts told the Times that he does not believe much support exists among lawmakers for exempting the program from the control of the FISA court. That is the approach Bush has favored and one that would be established under a bill proposed by Sen. Mike DeWine (news, bio, voting record), R-Ohio.

White House officials have said their bar for agreeing to any legislative changes would be high. They have signaled they are open only to legislation that would "further codify" in law the authority the president insists he already has without Congress' approval, something officials believe would be accomplished with DeWine's proposal. ...

515 posted on 02/18/2006 12:39:03 PM PST by Cboldt
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Prompted by ->

The following bills and joint resolutions were introduced, read the first and second times by unanimous consent, and referred as indicated: ...

S. 2326. A bill to provide for immigration reform, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the Judiciary.


S. 2326. A bill to provide for immigration reform, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce a bill regarding immigration: the Welcoming Immigrants to a Secure Homeland Act of 2006.

As a border State Senator and the son of immigrants, I have a unique perspective on immigration. I understand the need to provide a secure homeland for my constituents who see the problems caused by illegal entries into our country every day. I also understand the need to welcome immigrants to our country, so that America remains a country where hardworking, entrepreneurial, and intelligent immigrants can prosper. My perspective is the basis for the WISH Act.

I believe we can welcome immigrants to a secure homeland by addressing five areas.

First, we must improve security at our international borders. On November 17, 2005, I introduced the Border Security and Modernization Act of 2005, S. 2049. That bill calls for improvements to our port of entry infrastructure, increased Department of Homeland Security, DHS, and Department of Justice personnel, new technologies and assets for border security, increased detention capacity, and additional Federal assistance for States. I believe these actions will provide the necessary increased security at our borders.

Second, we must improve enforcement of our immigration laws. The WISH Act addresses this situation by increasing the number of DHS personnel who investigate human smuggling laws, employment of immigrants, and immigration fraud. My bill also increases penalties for violations of immigration laws and provides for a system to verify a worker's employment eligibility.

Third, we must create a new guest worker visa that is easier to obtain and lets individuals who want to come to the United States to work know that if they are hardworking and industrious, we want them in America. The WISH Act creates such a visa, which is valid for up to 9 years if the guest worker remains employed. After the applicant has worked in the United States for 6 of those years, he or she may apply for permanent resident status. An applicant's spouse and unmarried minor children may be admitted to the United States with the guest worker. To ensure that such visas are issued only to legitimate guest workers, my bill requires applicants to provide information on his or her criminal history, gang membership, immigration history, and involvement with groups that have engaged in terrorist acts, genocide, persecution, or plans to overthrow the United States. It also provides for the completion of all necessary background checks.

Fourth, we must account for the millions of undocumented aliens residing in the United States. I believe that the vast majority of these aliens are honest, hard-working individuals who are contributing to our country in positive ways, so the WISH Act allows them to obtain the guest worker visa I just mentioned without leaving the United States if he or she pays a fine. This will allow for these aliens, and their immediate families, to remain in the country doing the work they already do. In order to provide for their timely and orderly transition into legal guests, my bill requires undocumented aliens to apply for this visa or leave the United States. Failure to take one of those actions means they will be removed from the United States and will be unable to return. For aliens who have been working in the United States for at least 5 years before enactment of the WISH Act, my bill allows them to apply for any visa, adjustment of status, or immigration benefit except adjustment of status to that of a permanent resident after they have worked as legal guests for 5 years. However, such applications may not be granted until the alien has returned to his home country.

Lastly, we must create a more welcoming environment for students and visitors to our country. Before the horrific events of September 11, 2001, the United States was a preferred place for foreign students to attend school. This was beneficial to our country because students came to the United States to study, but they stayed here to work. They did business with colleagues they met at U.S. schools. Our country was obtaining some of the most brilliant minds not only from within our borders but from across the world. Unfortunately, restrictions and limitations put on visas in recent years have forced many of the business leaders of the next generation to attend school in other more welcoming countries. To reverse this trend, the WISH Act allows full-time foreign college and graduate students to work and travel while studying in the United States and provides for foreign students who graduate from a U.S. college with honors to stay in the United States to work after graduation.

I am personally involved in this issue both because I represent a border State and because I remember the day, when I was 5 or 6 years old, that my parents learned that the lawyer who advised them about citizenship was wrong and my mother was an illegal alien. Federal officials came to our house to arrest my mother while my father was at work. It was a frightening situation for my entire family that occurred through no fault of my mother, who had lived in America for more than 30 years as an exemplary citizen and who was told by an attorney that she was an American.

I believe that we can, and must, do our best to prevent situations like this from occurring in the future. I believe that the measures in the WISH Act, together with the measures in my Border Security and Modernization Act, will play an important role in that effort, and I am pleased to introduce this bill today.

I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the RECORD.

There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows: ... [It's long, and no link to text other than below]


Domenici Unveils U.S. Immigration Reform Bill : February 17, 2006

516 posted on 02/19/2006 11:56:05 PM PST by Cboldt
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To: Mo1; Howlin; Peach; BeforeISleep; kimmie7; 4integrity; BigSkyFreeper; RandallFlagg; ...

Monday, Feb 27, 2006
2:00 p.m.: Convene and begin a period of morning business.

3:00 p.m.: Resume consideration of S. 2271, the PATRIOT Act Amendments bill.

Previous Meeting

Friday, Feb 17, 2006

The Senate convened at 10:00 a.m. and adjourned at 1:25 p.m. No record votes were taken.

517 posted on 02/20/2006 11:01:31 AM PST by OXENinFLA
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They have the whole week off?

518 posted on 02/20/2006 11:06:15 AM PST by Bahbah (An admitted Snow Flake and a member of Sam's Club)
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To: Bahbah

I like their work schedule

On a month .. off a month

on a week ... off a week

519 posted on 02/20/2006 11:08:47 AM PST by Mo1 (Republicans protect Americans from Terrorists.. Democrats protect Terrorists from Americans)
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To: Bahbah; Mo1

Don't complain..they can't do any damage when they aren't in session..they should take MORE time off, IMHO..

520 posted on 02/20/2006 11:12:30 AM PST by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to propagate her gene pool. Any volunteers?)
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