Prepared Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
Executive Business Meeting
January 24, 2017
Good morning and welcome to the first markup of the 115th Congress. I would again welcome Senator Feinstein as our new Ranking member as well as our new members: Senators Sasse, Crapo and Kennedy. Welcome back to the Committee Senator Hirono.
It’s an honor for our Committee to be entrusted with so many policy areas under our jurisdiction, ranging from sexual assault survivors’ rights to issues of national security. And we accomplished remarkable things in the 114th Congress. We held 99 hearings and reported 30 bills – 24 of which were passed by the Senate and 17 of which became law.
Among the major bipartisan statutes reported by our Committee were the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, the Defend Trade Secrets Act, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, and the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. During last year’s markup of the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act, we also added a Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights, which the House later passed with some minor changes and the President signed. These legislative successes are a product of the hard work and dedication of Committee members on both sides of the aisle.
There also are a number of bipartisan measures that our committee reported that remain unfinished business for the 115th Congress, and which remain priorities for me. I look forward to working with Members on both sides to finish this important work.
Turning to our agenda today: Senator Sessions’ nomination to serve as Attorney General is on the agenda for the first time. I understand from the Ranking Member they’re requesting that his nomination be held over for one week.
By Committee rule, any Member can hold the nomination over. So, of course, I’ll honor that request. And I note for the record that we have a quorum so his nomination will be held over for one week. I look forward to reporting his nomination out of Committee next week.
There will be plenty of time to debate his nomination next week. I just wanted to note that we held a full and fair hearing for Senator Sessions two weeks ago.
The first day of our hearing lasted from 9:30 in the morning until nearly 8:00 at night so that everyone had ample time to ask questions. I appreciate everyone’s cooperation.
We allowed more time for Members to submit questions for the record than the Committee did for Attorney General Holder. Members submitted those questions and we’ve received Senator Sessions’ answers.
Next, we have some organizational business to attend to, as this is our first Committee Business meeting of the 115th Congress. Our staffs are still working on Committee Rules for this Congress, so we’ll turn to those next week.
This week, we’ll approve an authorizing resolution for our Committee funding. Senator Feinstein and I have already agreed on this.
Finally, we’ll adopt Subcommittees and Membership. The Subcommittees will be the same 6 Subcommittees that we had in the last Congress. These have been circulated.
With that, I’ll turn to Ranking Member Feinstein.