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tv   Interview Niels Lesniewski  CSPAN  July 26, 2019 6:12pm-6:20pm EDT

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suicide epidemic, particularly in the western u.s. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern saturday morning. join the discussion. host: a senior senate staff writer with roll call, niels lesniewski. the chamber holding three votes monday on whether to override the president's vetoes of resolutions blocking u.s. arms sales to saudi arabia. niels lesniewski, why did the president veto those resolutions? reporter: the president believes that this is, generally speaking, an undue interference by congress in his conduct of foreign policy, also believes that the arms sales themselves, specifically are vital for national interests, particularly
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regarding u.s.-saudi relations and security in the middle east. and in the persian gulf. and so the vetoes were to be expected but congress has been on a bipartisan basis frustrated with the president and his administration's handling of relations with saudi arabia, involvement in the support of the saudi-led campaign in yemen, and it was sort of a debate that we know the way this is going to end with these resolutions, the vetoes being sustained, but it's an exercise that members of both parties wanted to go through. host: we mentioned it's part of a very busy week in the senate and your roll call piece, the headline reflecting. that the headline saying next week the senate will consider a budget deal, confirm judges and two senior officials. who are those two top officials?
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reporter: what we're looking for is for the deputy secretary of defense norquist to win confirmation. obviously the secretary of defense, mark he is per, was confirmed -- esper, was confirmed and took the job last week. now they're going to confirm the deputy secretary of development the other position that is out there, that mcconnell views as a key position for confirmation, is the u.s. ambassador to the united nations, kelly kraft, who is trump's nominee for that position. she's the current ambassador to can dand probably, importantly as well -- to canada, and probably importantly as well, she lives in kentucky and she and her husband are major supporters of mcconnell and his political operations. host: also a part of that, 19 district judge nominations, the majority leader filing cloture on those. why are these a priority for
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mitch mcconnell and how will they get it done under senate rules? reporter:s rules make it doable now because, remember, we only have an allowance in the senate for a couple of hours of debate, once cloture is invoked and debate is limited on each one of them. so what we could see is a long, long series of votes on those district judges. but it's a priority for mcconnell and president trump to just continue to fill these vacancies. president trump enjoys, i believe, touting the record of the number of judges that he has gotten confirmed and it's something that mcconnell wants to remake the federal judiciary. now, i would say there is some chance that there's an agreement to yield back time so that there is not, say, a vote-a-rama or a long sequence of votes every couple of hours.
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because a handful of these nominees are actually people who were selected by democratic senators and recommended to president trump by democratic senators. there's a choice for a seat that's based in the chicago area , that dick durbin and tammy duckworth would have been involved in selecting. and there's a few others like that. so this may not take as long as it appears. host: lastly, the two-year budget deal passed in the house. this is the 324 -- $324 billion agreement between the white house and congressional leaders, raising the debt ceiling through 2021. it passed in the house, 2/3 of republicans voting against it there. how about the in the senate? any roadblocks ahead? reporter: it doesn't seem like there's any actual road blocks. the question is how many senate republicans will actually vote for it. i would expect that the members of the appropriations committee on the republican side will vote
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for it. i imagine most democrats will vote for it. one thing, though, is there is the possibility of some attendance issues on the democratic side, because of course there are democratic presidential debates in detroit in the middle of the week. but ultimately i don't think this is going to be any real complicating factor for it. the only thing to watch out for, as you well know and as viewers would well know, is because there is a time agreement that is going to be needed, you could see a situation where a senator, like ranled paul of kentucky, or -- rand paul of kentucky, or another conservative stipstappeds up with some sort of demand to get an amendment vote. we may have to go through that exercise and see that happen in the senate. but ultimately i think this is going to get through without much trouble. host: let me ask you as we close about september and the headline, your piece with jennifer in c.q.
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for appropriations bills, now comes the hard part. does this agreement make it much, much easier for those bills to be finished before the end of september? >> it certainly makes it a lot easier. jennifer and i were speaking earlier this week with a lot of the appropriators on both sides of the hill and they're eager to get to work. senator lamar alexander from tennessee told the both of us that he was meeting for dinner with dianne feinstein, who is the ranking democrat on the energy and water appropriations subcommittee that he chairs. they are eager to get to work and basically have these bills ready to go by the time august recess is done. so for those subcommittee clerks and the senior members of the appropriations committee staff, particularly in the senate, there's not really going to be an august recess.
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so i would imagine that the folks who work in senior roles for senator shelby and senator leahy, if they go to the beach, they better have good internet access when they get there. host: we'll keep an eye on it. from niels lesniewski, senior senate reporter for c.q. "roll call," he's on twitter. thanks so much for joining us. reporter: thank you. cred red fdic -- [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] >> jerrold nadler held a news conference earlier today to discuss the robert mueller report. and mr. mueller's testimony this week in front of congress. he said his committee is still considering whether or not to recommend articles of impeachment against president trump. this is half an hour.


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