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Charles Schumer
  U.S. Senate Sens Schumer Mc Connell on Senate Agenda  CSPAN  January 22, 2021 6:11pm-6:31pm EST

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morning business be closed. further, that upon the conclusion of morning business, the senate proceed to executive session to consider the yellen nomination as provided under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. schumer: if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 3:00 p.m. monday, january 25.m .
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mr. schumer: now, mr. president, it came to our mr. president, it came to our >> a came to our attention last night that members of the national guard after standing on duty on a ration -- inauguration day at the capitol were sleeping and parking garages and cramped quarters without proper space or ventilation. it was utterly unacceptable. i'm told those around the security at the capitol that it will never happen again and i pledge to every national guard member that will not happen again. the minute i heard about this outrage last night we made sure it was fixed immediately. every member of the guard was found proper accommodations inside and as of this morning everyone was accounted for in taking care of. this morning i went over to the cdc and i spoke to a number of
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guardsmen personally to make sure they were okay. i want to thank senators hassan duckworth kellyanne heinrich for their work on this matter last night as well as senator lujan who went around late at night to make sure things were okay as well. and i want to thank all the members who were concerned and lent a hand. i also want to particularly thank acting sergeant-at-arms jennifer hemingway who when we told her about the situation patrolled the floors of the capitol complex until 3:00 a.m. to ensure that no one was left behind her were not where they belonged andac she was back at r desk first thing today to follow up. werm own enormous debt of gratitude to the men and women who work to keep us safe on january 6 in the days since. a situation like last night will never happen again. now, i've spoken about the
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senate's agenda for the next several weeks. we have three essential items on our plate. one, the confirmation of biden's cabinet and officials.abinet and two legislation to provide desperately needed covid relief, three a second impeachment trial of donald trump. the senate must and will do all three, covid relief, confirmation of nominees and impeachment trial. now the first-orderdu businesses to fulfill our constitutional duty to advise and consent on the president's appointments to his cabinet. this morning the senate will vote to confirm president biden's nominee for secretary of defense lloyd austin. mr. austin will be the first african-american to ever helmed the defense to person -- position in history a powerful.
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mr. austin has a career in the army but those days are behind him. a secretary of defense he promised to empower and lift up the civilian staff and i believe he will be an outstanding secretary of defense for everyone at the pentagon who serve as members and civilian employees alike. the secretary of defense of course has a hugely important task ahead of him. he must once again demonstrates to the world that the u.s. military will always support our land and deter our adversaries and if necessary defeat them. lloyd austin is the right person for the job. he has the experience, the vision to run the largest agency in our government. i look forward to confirming his nomination shortly. afterwards the senate must continue to install president biden's team by confirming secretary of state homeland security and treasury.
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we need republican corporation to c confirm these nominees bute expect that cooperation to continue. the continuity of our national security military and intelligence policy as well as our ability to effectively respond to the current health and economic crisis depends on having these cabinet officials confirmed. now as i mentioned the senate will also conduct a second impeachment trial for donald trump. i've been speaking to the republican leader about the timing and duration of the trial but make no mistake the trial will be held in the united states senate and there will be a vote in order to convict the president. i have spoken to speaker pelosi who informed me that the articles will be delivered to the senate on monday. i've heard my republican colleagues argue that this is
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unconstitutional because donald trump's no longer in office. the argument that has been roundly repudiated and debunked by hundreds of constitutional scholars, left, right and center and common sense. makes no sense whatsoever that a president or any official could commit a heinous crime against our country and then be permitted to resign so as to avoid accountability from future office. makes no sense. regardless the purveyors of this unusual argument are trying to delay the inevitable. the fact is the house will deliver the articles of impeachment to the senate. the senate will conduct a trial of the impeachment impeachment of donald trump it will be a full trial. it will be a fair trial but make no mistake there will be a trial and when that trial ends senators will have to decide if they believe donald john trump
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and cited the insurrection against the united states. now over the course of elections in november and january the american people chose to retire for republican senators and elect a democratic majority to the senate. the senate must now take the basic step of passing in the organizing resolution and setting up the rules for a senate where there are 50 members of either party. luckily we have a clear precedent for what to do in this situation. in 2001 then majority leader lott and minority leader daschle came together and agreed on a set of rules to cover a 50-50de senate. we should follow that precedent. we have offered to abide by the same agreement the last time there was a 50-50 senate. what is fair is fair.
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that is precedent. we can organize the senate today and if both sides agree to abide by the same rules as last time. the republican leader however has made an extraneous demand that would place constraints on the majority constraints that have never been in place before. in fact his proposal would remove the remove the two tool that the republican leader himself used twice in just the last congress to accelerate the confirmation of republican nominees. leader mcconnell's proposal, leader mcconnell's proposal was unacceptable and it won't be the republican leader knew that when he first proposed it. only two days ago mr. president we celebrated the inauguration of the a new president and the turning over of a new leaf. the american people want us to work together and move past the meaningless political gridlock that has plagued us for too
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long. it's time to get to work. the first step is for the republican caucus to agree to follow the same precedent that govern the senate last time around. i yield the floor. >> mr. president. >> the republican leader. >> we go and some of the national guard forces who have been helping protect the capitol complex are being made to rest in parking garages between their shifts. i don't think a single senator feels that except double but i'm glad the situation was resolved and i hope we learn exactly what happened. in that regard i want to thank all the national guard including 300 kentucky guardsman at local and federal law enforcement to help supplement our own capitol capitol police in the wake of january the sixth.
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your congresste in your country appreciate all you've done to secure the capitol and the inauguration. later today i'll have the honor of meeting a number of my kentuckians live in helping out here at the capitol. it's going to be the highlight of my day. in the near future congress needs to spark a transmission towards us more secure presents keep in the capitol said cannot and will will require huge numbersre of uniformed troops ad emergency fencing should remain in place forever but the inauguration behind us we should find the right middle ground between the unacceptable left three weeks ago and extraordinarily short term measure put in place since that time. in the meantime we need to make darned sure that we look after the men and women who look after us. mr. president on a totally different matter what business proceeds on the florida democratic leader and i continue to flush up as dark sure at this
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50-50 senate. when leaders lott and docile wrote a similar agreement 20 years ago there wasn't a need at all to reaffirm the basic standing rules of governing legislation here in the senate. we would safely assume that no majority would break this rule are short-term gain. floor remarks surrounding those 2001 discussion specifically cite the legislative filibuster is an important and unquestioned part of the backdrop that laid the negotiations on the finer details. we assumed no one would ever take that step. after-the-fact leader docile the democratic praisesl the filibusr for the crucial role. present died in his this distinctive feature of the senate on many occasions. democratic colleague
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literally over the last several years when they were in the minority more than two dozen signed a bipartisan letter in 2017 saying our republican majority should not break or rule by brute force. let me say that again. two democrats signed a bipartisan letter in 2017 saying our republican majority should not rate this rule. i agree. i didn't do it. president trump was not happy with that in the tweeted against me numerous times because i didn'to do it. putting an end to the legislative filibuster. the democrats used the compromised. they were happy to insist on a 60 vote threshold for practically every major bill i took up. we will continue to request a democratic colleagues reaffirm
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the standing rule of the senate which they have been happy to use on many occasions, i can attest. we are going to truly replicate the 2001 agreement we need to reaffirm the crucial part of bits that lay beneath it. yesterday shared her proposal for the pretrial senate impeachment process that appears to be headed our way and will be headed our way monday. the senate rules that when the article arrives we started trial. this impeachment began with unprecedented process in the house. the sequel cannot the the senate process that denies former trump's due process or damages the senate or a big presidencyel itself. senate republicans strongly believe we need a full and fair process where the former
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president can mount a defense and the senate can properly consider the factual, legal and constitutional questions at stake. for that reason we suggest the house transmit this article next thursday and that's apparently going to be next monday. the former president trump's answer in the pretrial brief i suggest it be due february 4 in the former president preet trial brief bdu i suggested on february 11. that timeline would have provided the senate more support time before we step fully into the unknown of the trial which by the way would have been a substantial benefit to the incoming i administration and allow them to get more of their cabinet confirmed which we are cooperate as best we can to expedite. finally mr. president on one
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final matter regarding those nominees and president biden's nominee for cabinet on wednesday avril haines was confirmed as director of national intelligence. we hope to be able to consider tony blinken to be the secretary of state asked again today we are considering floyd -- lloyd austin president biden's nominee to serve as secretary of defense. i voted to approve a waiver that would allow yesterday notwithstanding the cooling off period after a military service and i will be voting in favor of his confirmation. i'm voting yes because the nominee is clearly qualified and they should give latitude to fill their terms of qualified mainstream people of their choosing. at the same time the senate should request -- reflect on the fact that we will have two executive demonstrations issuing
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a waiver to a four-star general and former centcom commander to lead the pentagon. the armed services committee held a hearing last week to examine the waiver and the current state of civil military relations at the pentagon but expect the committee will continue to pay close attention to this important issuess in the months ahead. we willti investigate restoring balance at the pentagon for the longer we keep waiting it exempts for good reason. the control of the military is a fundamental principle of our republic and we do not want high-ranking military service to become a prerequisite for civilian leadership of the department of defense. it's not just about a simplistic fear that the military will end up running itself. the contrary many experts worry that military leaders approved rate being nonpolitical may not prepare them for the job were
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armed services admit the rough-and-tumble and executive in the executive branch and here in congress. put another way they are taught from the beginning tuesday out of politics entirely but you do want the secretary of defense who is willing to engage in the issue-based discussions that we have related to the department. nevertheless i voted today to confirm the clear patriot with an impressive career but i will cast that go with the understanding that heren new new secretary defense specifically commits to balancing the civil military relations empowering civilian leaders at the pentagon and playing an active role in inherently political budget process to give our forces what they need. our competition with china and russia are the other threats we face and demand nothing less.
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under the previous order the leadership's time is reserved. morning business is closed and under the previous order the senate will proceed to an executive session to consider the following nomination which the clerk will report. send nominations lloyd james austin of georgia to be secretary. >> under the previous order there'll be 1010 minutes of debate equally divided in the usual forum. >> mr. president? >> the senate from rhode island. >> it's a my understanding chairman emhoff -- and hop is en route to provide his comments and i did want to begin by thanking him for his tremendous leadership. mr. reed: in order to expedite
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the vote, let me proceed. mr. president, i rise to express mr. president, i rise to express >> mr. president i rise to express my support for the confirmation of lloyd austin to be the secretary defense of the united states. general austin has an exceptionally qualified with a longer in the u.s. military's served in the highest excellence of the army as the commander of u.s. central command. his character and integrity are unquestioned and he possesses the knowledge andls skills to effectively lead the pentagon. the united states faces many complex security threats but if confirmed as the secretary of defense general austin will we the department during a time when you strategic priorities have shifted to the oak is increasingly