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Washington, D.C. –  U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) today urged his colleagues to keep working until the judicial vacancies are filled during a speech on the U.S. Senate Floor. Last week, Heller and several of his colleagues made a push to turn the Senate on full time, 24/7, for the remainder of the year to combat Democrat obstruction, which has resulted in the confirmation of only eight judges this Congress.

We need to work day and night to confirm those judges that are already on our calendar and have moved out of the Senate Judiciary Committee,” said Heller.The Senate has an incredible opportunity right now to confirm federal judges, who will uphold the Constitution. And we should be here every day, for as long as we need, to ensure all judicial vacancies are filled.”

Video of Heller’s remarks is available here or by clicking on the image below. 


[Click HERE or on the above image to view the video]

Heller’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

Mr. President—

I rise today to discuss an issue that is extremely important to me and to many of my colleagues on this side of the aisle – the issue of judicial vacancies.

Mr. President, I came here to work and am honored that the people of Nevada sent me to Washington on their behalf. 

And one of the most pressing issues that I’ve found since being here is that all too often members of Congress go home before their work is finished.

Now many of you here know that the first piece of legislation I’ve introduced for the past two Congresses is my No Budget No Pay Act. 

The concept is simple, if Congress can’t pass a budget and all of its spending bills on time then it shouldn’t be paid.

Well Mr. President, the Senate should apply the same concept, in my opinion, to confirming judges.

Now Mr. President, I commend our Majority Leader for bringing two more judges to the floor this week, but there is more work to do.

We need to work day and night to confirm those judges that are already on our calendar and have moved out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Senate has an incredible opportunity right now to confirm federal judges, who will uphold the Constitution.

And we should be here every day, for as long as we need, to ensure all judicial vacancies are filled.

Our conference must be willing to work together in order to get the business of the Senate done.

Right now there are 149 judicial vacancies,

And the Senate has only confirmed eight judges this Congress.

That means in nine months with well over 100 vacancies and over 60 judicial emergencies, we’ve only managed to confirm eight judges.

The minority party has undercut the confirmation process of the administration’s nominees and judicial appointments.

When new presidents are elected, they have always been given an opportunity to put their team in place in short order.

Historically, this is not just a common courtesy, it is an expectation of Americans to have a seamless transition of power resulting in a functioning federal government.

One of the eight judges confirmed was Neil Gorsuch, who I am thankful now serves on the Supreme Court.

Justice Gorsuch is an example of the type of judge we have the chance to put in place.

Like with Justice Gorsuch’s confirmation, we need to do all that is necessary to fill these vacancies with great judges like him.

President Trump has nominated many judges and has more to nominate.

For those that he’s already nominated, it’s our duty to carefully review these nominations and ensure that these judges are confirmed in a timely manner.

We must be willing to put in as much time as needed, whether that means working weekends, cancelling state work periods, or working all through the night to get these constitution-loving judges confirmed. 

I know that this is important to all of us, but we need to do better.

Last week, I was proud to partner with Senator Perdue and several of my other colleagues in calling on the Senate to work 24/7 until we get our work done.  

We have a substantial list of important work to complete, including confirming the judicial nominees that the President has sent us, passing tax reform, fixing our broken healthcare system, and funding the government.

The American people elected us to complete these critical tasks.

They elected us to deliver a simpler, fairer tax code and to make sure that our federal judiciary is fully occupied with judge’s whose sole focus is to uphold the Constitution as it was written.

Fellow-Senators--I am calling on all of us to do what the people sent us here to do.

And not let a light schedule stop us from fulfilling our duties.

The American people don’t get to work four day work weeks and neither should we. 

This isn’t France. We need to work a full work week. 

We must make it clear to our constituents, we are fighting for hardworking Americans every single day.

Americans do what it takes to get the job done.

We must do the same.

I yield the floor/I note the absence of a quorum.