09:45 AM Dirksen Senate Office Building 106
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold an executive session on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 9:45 a.m. in Dirksen 106 to consider the following legislative measures and nominations.
Click here for additional information on nominees.
1. S. 1693, Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017, Sponsors: Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Shelley Capito (R-W.Va.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), along with 25 cosponsors.
2. S. 1668, A bill to rename a waterway in the State of New York as the “Joseph Sanford Jr. Channel”, Sponsor: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
3. Nomination of Dana Baiocco, of Ohio, to be a Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission for a term of seven years from October 27, 2017
4. Nomination of James Bridenstine, of Oklahoma, to be Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
5. Nomination of Neil Jacobs, of North Carolina, to be an Assistant Secretary of Commerce
6. Nomination of Bruce Landsberg, of South Carolina, to be a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board for a term expiring December 31, 2022
7. Nomination of Raymond Martinez, of New Jersey, to be Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
8. Nomination of Nazakhtar Nikakhtar, of Maryland, to be an Assistant Secretary of Commerce
9. Nomination of Diana Furchtgott-Roth, of Maryland, to be an Assistant Secretary of Transportation
10. Nomination of Leon A. Westmoreland, of Georgia, to be a Director of the Amtrak Board of Directors for a term of five years
*Agenda subject to change
Results of the markup are available here.
Executive Session Details:
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Full Committee Markup
Senate Dirksen Building 106
A live video of the markup and additional information will be available at www.commerce.senate.gov.
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Chairman John Thune
Good morning. After today’s executive session, we will be holding a very important hearing focused on the Equifax and Yahoo! data breaches. As such, I am going to keep my remarks brief so that we can turn expeditiously to that important discussion.
But first, today’s agenda includes two legislative items and eight nominations.
The first agenda item, Senators Portman and Blumenthal’s Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017, is cosponsored by almost half of the Committee and seeks to address online sex trafficking while maintaining key operational pillars of the internet ecosystem.
Our earlier Committee hearing on this legislation featured powerful and thoughtful testimony outlining the need for this measure, and I am pleased that the Thune-Nelson-Blumenthal Substitute we are about to consider resolved the final technical changes needed to garner the support of many stakeholders, including the Internet Association.
Today’s eight well-qualified nominees will, if confirmed, fill a number of key vacancies including – Administrators of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; Assistant Secretary positions at the Department of Transportation and Department of Commerce; and memberships on the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Amtrak Board of Directors.
While these nominees have diverse backgrounds – including two Members of Congress; current and former members of the Armed Services; and distinguished careers in public service, academia, business, and the law – they all share the common desire to serve the American people to the best of their abilities.
I am hopeful that these accomplishments and their shared desire to serve our nation will be considered as we advance their nominations today.
With that, I will turn to Senator Nelson for any opening remarks.
Mr. Chairman, we have a full agenda today, but I am pleased that the committee will be advancing the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act today. What is happening to children and women around this country amounts to modern day slavery – and the cost of further inaction is simply too high. These shady and highly profitable website operators know full well how their sites are being used. The bill we are moving forward today will help shut down these despicable websites that promote sexual trafficking.
Additionally, we have eight nominations before us today, some of which are controversial.
In fact, last week, we had a hearing on a NASA nominee that was as contentious as any nomination hearing this committee has had, and far more contentious than has been the case historically for a NASA administrator.
I have come to believe that the position of NASA administrator is one of the most challenging positions in the entire federal government. And it is a position where a failure of leadership can quite literally mean the difference between life and death.
The NASA administrator must be a skilled executive capable of managing a portfolio of many of the most challenging technical projects undertaken by humankind.
The NASA administrator must have a strong scientific or technical background. And the NASA administrator must not be political. This is the point that my colleague Senator Rubio was making, when, after being asked about his concerns over the administration’s nomination of a politician to head NASA, he said “I just think it could be devastating for the space program.” And he said further “It’s the one federal mission which has largely been free of politics and it’s at a critical juncture in its history.”
Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I believe Congressman Bridenstine falls short in all three of these areas.
With that Mr. Chairman, let’s now proceed to our agenda.