Cloture Motionby Senator Harry Reid
Posted on 2013-12-13
REID. Mr. President, I have an announcement. I realize everyone
is tired, anxious, and some are a little concerned about everything.
I have had, especially late last night and early this morning, conversations with Republicans and Democrats as to what we should do this weekend.
The next set of votes will come shortly before noon today. Then we will have another set of votes this afternoon. Absent consent, the Senate will vote late Saturday, about 10:30 or thereabouts, on confirmation of Jeh Johnson to be the Secretary of Homeland Security.
The Senate has already received a budget bill from the House. We expect momentarily to receive the Defense bill from the House. I wish to have the Senate process these important bills as quickly possible. I plan to move to proceed on these bills as soon as we can. That would be as soon as we handle the pending nominations that are now before this body.
Thereafter, there are certain things we need to do before Christmas break. We need to do those two important bills, the budget and defense. We have to do the Chair of the Federal Reserve system. There is an Under Secretary of State that is very urgent, according to John Kerry. We have a Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Under Secretary of Department of Interior, the head of the Internal Revenue Service, and the remaining judge on the DC Circuit. There have been requests from everybody--I shouldn't say that--lots and lots of people to do other things, but we are limited as to what we can do before next weekend. There are some other nominations that we are happy to discuss with individual Senators.
So it would be my suggestion that we go ahead and do this vote; during this vote, and prior to the next series of votes, I will meet with the Republican leader to see if there is a way we can give some time, especially to the staff, over the weekend. These people have worked extremely hard, and I haven't heard a complaint from a single one of them, quite frankly.
I went up last evening and visited the court reporters. We have 18 court reporters, and up on the 4th floor they have been sharing--for a little respite--two beds and taking naps, or at least trying to lie down and rest for a bit. They are working in 15-minute shifts, and they have been doing that for days now. So if we can work that out, I would be happy to do that.
My goal is we would wind up at the same place on Monday in the evening as we would wind up if we did all this stuff over the weekend. So I am happy to be as cooperative as possible. Christmas is on its way, and there are certain things we need to have done. There are lots of other things we need to do, but we are probably not going to be able to do those.
So I have laid out for everyone a broad scope of the schedule. I will meet with my friend the Republican leader and see if there is some way we can do this; otherwise, we will just proceed on.
The good news is that following the vote this afternoon, we wouldn't have anything until tomorrow night under the schedule as now listed.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate be brought to a close on the nomination of Heather Anne Higginbottom, of the District of Columbia, to be Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources.
The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.
The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk called the roll.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber desiring to vote?