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John I.
Republican GA

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  • Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013—Motion to Proceed

    by Senator Johnny Isakson

    Posted on 2014-01-15

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    ISAKSON. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

    Mr. ISAKSON. Madam President, I just had a conversation with the distinguished Senator from Louisiana with regard to the flood control bill. I am the Republican sponsor of that bill and am very adamantly in support of that bill passing.

    Senator Menendez is the principal sponsor from the Democratic Party. Senator Landrieu, myself, and Senators all over this country who have coastlines and rivers and flood issues are all very concerned. I want, as much as anybody in the world, to expedite that bill going from where it is now to the floor, so we can expedite its processing.

    I have been working with some who have objections to the bill or objections with part of the bill to get an agreement on amendments with the leadership on the Democratic side, so when we do that debate, we have a fair number of amendments that are equally divided in terms of the time and the vote threshold is at 51 votes.

    I am close to getting there, but I am not there yet. So if a unanimous consent were propounded right now, there would be an objection, maybe even from me to let everyone know I am for this bill. I want this bill to pass. But I [[Page S341]] want to make sure that those I have been working with to lift their holds are accommodated in terms of their opportunity to debate a germane amendment to the flood bill that is relevant to flood control.

    So I come to the floor for only the purpose of education, to let everybody know that I am the Republican sponsor and am deeply involved and engaged in the passage of this bill. I also have respect in regard to those who have differences of opinion or have some technical corrections they want to make. I want to work to get those incorporated into an agreement before we get a UC, so when we have the UC, we know what the amendments are, we know what we are going through, and we can expedite the handling of this legislation and deal with the problem that is affecting many homeowners all over the United States of America in flood map areas.

    I yield the floor.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.

    Ms. LANDRIEU. Madam President, may I say, before the Senator from Georgia leaves, how appreciative this coalition is of his leadership. He has been literally--I am not making this up--extraordinary in his time and effort to work through the final amendment process because this process has been going on for over a year.

    We just did not start talking about this last week. He has given over a year of his time, and as the chief cosponsor he has been phenomenal. I think he would agree with me--if he doesn't, then we could respectfully disagree--that it is time now for the Members that have been hearing about this and have been told about this for weeks, weeks and months, to get their amendments to Senator Isakson so that we can make some decisions about how many amendments we can have. We could have four. We could have six. We could have ten. We can have a 51-vote threshold. We are ready. The Democratic side has, for the most part, cleared the amendments we know about.

    So the Senator is terrific. I thank him for coming. I do not intend to ask unanimous consent at this point. The leaders are still working together, Senator McConnell and Senator Reid.

    I know the Senator from Georgia is trying to work through this. Would that be a generally good description of where we are? Mr. ISAKSON. The Senator is correct. In fact, to be precise, there were seven concerns about the legislation when the first UC was propounded on our side, five of which involve potential amendments that need to be made to the bill or in their opinion need to be made. In the case of two of those, in working with the leadership on the Democratic side, they are acceptable and would be included in the base bill.

    There are three that would be allowed to be debated with the time equally divided on the floor. They have asked for a 51-vote threshold. There is the potential, as we all know, for a point of order. But amendments and points of order would be the only issues that I am aware of in all of those conversations. I continue to work at this very moment to get a final agreement so we can get a UC.

    But we are just not there quite yet. I am going to continue to try to work toward that goal.

    Ms. LANDRIEU. I am aware that we are not quite there yet. But I am also aware that the clock is ticking, that it is Wednesday, that we may be out of here on Saturday, and we need to pass an appropriations bill. This is something that also deserves a tremendous amount of attention.

    I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum and ask that the time in quorum calls be equally divided.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

    The clerk will call the roll.

    The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

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