The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold an executive session on Wednesday, August 2 at 10:00 a.m. in Hart 216 to consider the following legislative measures and nominations.
Click here for additional information on nominees.
1. S. 374, Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act of 2017, Sponsors: Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)
2. S. 754, Cyber Scholarship Opportunities Act of 2017, Sponsors: Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)
3. S. 1322, American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act, Sponsors: Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)
4. S. 1425, Coordinated Ocean Monitoring and Research Act, Sponsors: Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska)
5. S. 1532, No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act, Sponsors: Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)
6. S. 1536, Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act, Sponsors: Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)
7. S. 1586, Great Lakes Environmental Sensitivity Index Act, Sponsors: Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Todd Young (R-Ind.)
8. S. 1621, A bill to require the Federal Communications Commission to establish a methodology for the collection by the Commission of information about commercial mobile service and commercial mobile data service, and for other purposes, Sponsors: Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.)
9. Nomination of Ajit Varadaraj Pai, of Kansas, to be a Member of the Federal Communications Commission (Reappointment)
10. Nomination of Jessica Rosenworcel, of Connecticut, to be a Member of the Federal Communications Commission (Reappointment)
11. Nomination of Brendan Carr, of Virginia, to be a Member of the Federal Communications Commission (to complete a term and for a new term beginning July 1, 2018)
12. Nomination of Peter B. Davidson, of Virginia, to be General Counsel of the Department of Commerce
13. Nomination of Karen Dunn Kelley, of Pennsylvania, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs
14. Nomination of Elizabeth Erin Walsh, of the District of Columbia, to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service
15. Nomination of Steven Gill Bradbury, of Virginia, to be General Counsel of the Department of Transportation
16. Nomination of Mark Buzby, of Virginia, to be Administrator of the Maritime Administration
17. Nomination of Ronald L. Batory, of New Jersey, to be Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration
18. Nomination of Robert L. Sumwalt III, of South Carolina, to be Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board
*Agenda subject to change
Results of the hearing can be found here.
Executive Session Details:
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Full Committee Markup
Senate Hart Building 216
A live video of the markup and additional information will be available at www.commerce.senate.gov.
NOTE: Bill title for S.1586 changed on 7/28. NTIA nomination removed from the agenda on 8/2.
Chairman John Thune
Good morning and welcome. Today we have a full agenda of eight legislative items and 10 nominations.
From cyber security, to ocean related matters, a concrete checkoff program, and even a measure on FCC data collection, today’s agenda not only illustrates this Committee’s broad jurisdiction, but also the bipartisan nature of most of our work, as every legislative item we will consider today is supported by both Democrats and Republicans.
I am particularly proud of two measures, which I have worked on with Senators Klobuchar and Nelson – my No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act and Senator Klobuchar’s Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act.
Together, these two bills address the prevention and enforcement of human trafficking in the transportation sector and will continue the good work of many who fight to eliminate human trafficking on a daily basis.
Our bills are supported by a wide range of stakeholders including: the National District Attorneys Association, Humanity United Action, the South Dakota Trucking Association, UPS, Retail Industry Leaders Association, Schneider Trucking, and National Retail Federation.
I ask unanimous consent that support letters from these groups be included in the record.
Today we will also consider almost a dozen well-qualified nominees. If confirmed, they will fill a number of key vaccines – including the General Counsel positions at the Departments of Commerce and Transportation, the Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, and we will even finally be able to fully constitute the Federal Communications Commission.
While the Committee has done our work and processed nominees in a timely manner, something for which I am grateful to the Ranking Member and all of you, consideration of nominees by the full Senate has been arduous, even for the most noncontroversial nominees. It appears that the logjam may soon be breaking, however, and the two Leaders may be working on a nominations package for consideration before we recess.
It is my hope that this package will not only include many of the nominees our Committee has approved, but also six telecomm measures this Committee has reported by voice vote, which have been held up as we awaited Jessica Rosenworcel’s re-nomination and confirmation.
These include my MOBILE NOW Act; Senator Klobuchar’s Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act and the Kari’s Law Act; Senator Heller’s FCC Consolidated Reporting Act; Senator Nelson’s Spoofing Prevention Act; and Senator Fischer and Senator Booker’s DIGIT Act.
These bipartisan measures have languished for too long and it is time to send them to the House of Representatives.
A final comment on two items not being considered today – the autonomous vehicle legislation Senator Peters and I have been working on and the nomination of David Redl to be an Assistant Secretary of Commerce.
Self-driving vehicle technology has enormous potential for safety and mobility, and while we had both hoped it would be ready today, getting it right is more important than artificial deadlines. We are optimistic that the Committee will be able to consider the bill sometime this fall.
As to Mr. Redl, we have had a request for additional time to follow up on issues raised during his confirmation hearing and subsequent requests for information from the Commerce Department.
While I believe he is well qualified, and have heard from a number of his supporters, I also believe his nomination will advance more smoothly if Members have the next few weeks to resolve these outstanding issues.
With that, I will turn to Senator Nelson for any opening remarks.
Before we start, Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for your leadership and for working in a bipartisan manner. That approach has enabled the committee to get quite a bit of work done so far. It’s been a real pleasure working with you and I looking forward to continuing that cooperation on some of the bigger issues we’ll face, like the FAA bill, when we return in September.
Today, we have a good package of bills on the agenda. I will briefly touch on a two of them that aim to put a stop to a horrific crime - human trafficking.
Last month, we held a hearing on this topic that highlighted the excellent work that is being done today at both the national and state level.
We know the consequences of human trafficking all too well in Florida. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, Florida ranks third in the country for the number of cases reported in 2016.
However, there are local anti-trafficking groups and task forces such as the Greater Orlando Human Trafficking Task Force and everyday heroes like the Florida truck driver who helped save a trafficking victim in Virginia and now works to train other drivers that are trying to be part of the solution.
The two bills before us today aim to further these initiatives by elevating the issue at the Department of Transportation and helping to prevent and deter human trafficking. I’m proud to be a cosponsor of these important bills, and I appreciate Chairman Thune and Senator Klobuchar’s efforts to advance them.
With that Mr. Chairman, let’s proceed to our agenda.