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Grassley Statement at Executive Business Meeting

Prepared Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
Executive Business Meeting
June 8, 2017
We have one bill and several nominees on today’s agenda, so I’ll make some brief remarks. I’m also going to take a point of personal privilege this morning.
Several nominees are on the agenda for the first time today, and I understand the other side would like to hold them over. They include two district court nominees:
- David Nye for Idaho
- Scott Palk for the Western District of Oklahoma
These nominees were nominated by President Obama last year and we held a hearing for them then. When they were re-nominated by President Trump this year, I gave Members who were not on the Committee last Congress an opportunity to ask them written questions if they wanted to, just like I did in the past for President Obama’s nominees. I look forward to voting their nominations out of Committee next week.
Also on the agenda for the first time are:
- Vishal Amin, to be Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator
- Stephen Boyd, to be Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs and
- Francis Cissna, to be Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
All those nominees are held over.
Ripe for consideration this week are the following nominees:
- Noel Francisco, to be Solicitor General
- Makan Delrahim, to be Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division and
- Steven Engel, to be Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel
I’m pleased we’re voting on Mr. Francisco to be Solicitor General today. He has an impressive legal career. He clerked for Justice Scalia. He’s spent time both in the private sector at law firms, and in the public sector at the White House and the Department of Justice. He’s been named one of Washington DC’s Super Lawyers as well as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.
He also has experience arguing before the Supreme Court. And I’ll note that his client won in each of the three cases he argued. It’s important for the Office of the Solicitor General to have its leader in place, so I’m pleased that we’re voting on this nominee today.
We’re also voting on Makan to be Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division. Makan is well-known to this Committee. He served as Senator Hatch’s staff director for a number of years.
Makan immigrated to this country as a 10 year old who didn’t know any English. He’s well-prepared to lead the Antitrust Division. He’s served as the Commissioner of the US Antitrust Modernization Commission as well as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division. I’ll be supporting his nomination today.
Finally, we’ll be voting on Steve Engel to be Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel. This important office functions as legal advisor to the President and executive branch agencies.
Mr. Engel is also well-qualified for this job. He clerked for Justice Kennedy, he’s spent time in the private sector at law firms, and has worked in the Office of Legal Counsel for several years as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General and counsel to the Assistant Attorney General.
He’s supported by former Attorneys General and former Deputy Attorneys General as well as dozens of his colleagues. I also look forward to voting on his nomination today.
Turning to legislation, the only bill on our agenda is S. 782, the PROTECT Our Children Act of 2017. Senator Cornyn is the lead sponsor, and I am a cosponsor, along with our ranking member. Senators Blumenthal, Hatch, Leahy, Whitehouse, Klobuchar, and Coons also are cosponsors. The bill would extend an existing program, known as the National Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program, for five more years. This program helps law enforcement personnel fight crimes against children on the Internet.