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Harry R.
Democrat NV

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  • Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act—Motion to Proceed

    by Senator Harry Reid

    Posted on 2014-09-16

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    REID. Mr. President, I move to proceed to Calendar No. 409, S. 2432.

    The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will report the motion.

    The legislative clerk read as follows: Motion to proceed to Calendar No. 409, S. 2432, a bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for the refinancing of certain Federal student loans, and for other purposes.

    Schedule Mr. REID. Mr. President, following my remarks and those of the Republican leader, the Senate will be in a period of morning business until 12:30 p.m. today. During that period of time, Senators will be permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes each.

    Following morning business, the Senate will recess from 12:30 p.m. until 2:15 p.m., to allow for weekly caucus meetings. At 2:15 p.m. the Senate will proceed to rollcall votes on confirmation of the Baran and Burns nominations, followed by several voice votes on executive nominations.

    Order of Procedure Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the time between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. today be under the control of the majority and the time from 4 p.m. until 5 p.m. be under the control of the Republicans.

    The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered.

    A Flawed Approach Mr. President, the 18th century French philosopher Voltaire once said: One day everything will be well, that is our hope. Everything's fine today, that is our illusion.

    There is no better portrayal of the Republican Party's flawed approach to governance than what Voltaire said. Senate Republicans deceive themselves by thinking their obstruction is good for the Nation, that the status quo is helping American families. Meanwhile, the Republicans are out stumping and promising the American people that if they just put Republicans in charge, everything will be better. What are those promises based on? Certainly not recent history.

    Let's take a look at what Republicans in this body have done for American families: Republicans have blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act not once, not twice, not even three times but four times, thereby preventing American women from receiving a fair wage for their work. Remember, this is simply making it possible for a woman who does the exact same work as a man to get paid the exact same amount of money. Republicans have blocked legislation to prevent companies from denying their workers specific health benefits, including birth control, as required by Federal law.

    Republicans also blocked a bill allowing Americans with student debt to refinance their loans at lower interest rates. The student loan debt stands at $1.3 trillion. It is higher than credit card debt. It is higher than any other debt.

    Republicans rejected an increase in the minimum wage, essentially relegating millions of hard-working [[Page S5596]] Americans to poverty. Republicans even refused to give unemployment benefits to the very long-term unemployed. Republicans rejected the Bring Jobs Home Act which would end the absurd practice of American workers bankrolling the outsourcing of their very own jobs.

    Republicans even filibustered an extension of tax credits that help American families. The Republicans have repeatedly refused to pass commonsense immigration reform that keeps families together, spurs the economy, and reduces our national debt by $1 trillion. Let's not forget, Republicans in Congress shut down the Federal Government. Too often Republicans have rebuffed Democrats' attempts to give American families a fair shot. Republicans must know their obstruction is hurting our country. The Republicans must know the status quo is not working.

    Recognition of the Minority Leader The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Republican leader is recognized.

    Navy Yard Tragedy Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, 1 year ago today, just a few blocks from here, a lone gunman slipped into the Navy Yard and tragically took 12 lives. It was one of the deadliest such attacks on a U.S. military base in American history. We have not forgotten those who fell that day in Building 197, and all of us in the Senate send our condolences to their families and everyone who loved them. They are not forgotten.

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