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Harry R.
Democrat NV

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  • Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014—Motion to Proceed

    by Senator Harry Reid

    Posted on 2014-01-16

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    Read More about Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014--Motion to Proceed

    REID. Mr. President, I move to proceed to Calendar No. 294, the flood insurance legislation.

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

    The legislative clerk read as follows: Motion to proceed to Calendar No. 294, S. 1926, a bill to delay the implementation of certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 and to reform the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers, and for other purposes.

    Mr. REID. Mr. President, on this issue alone we have been trying for months to move this vote. On our side we have heard constantly, persistently, and always from Senator Landrieu indicating how important this is to her State and to our country. So I would hope we can finally have a pathway forward on this today with a consent agreement.

    It is my understanding Senator Isakson of Georgia is going to come to the floor soon and we will try to do that. I just want to alert everyone to the fact if that isn't going to work out, we are not going to delay this any more. We will file cloture and move on it when we get back from our next work period.

    Schedule Following my remarks, Mr. President, and those of the Republican leader, the Senate will resume consideration of the House message to accompany H.R. 3547, which is the legislative vehicle for the Omnibus appropriations bill.

    The filing deadline for first-degree amendments to the House message is 1 p.m. today. Under the rule, the cloture vote on the motion to concur in the House message to accompany the omnibus will be an hour after we come in tomorrow morning. There have been requests by both Democrats and Republicans to move the vote forward, and if that is possible--I am happy to cooperate with all Senators, if the majority of the Senators would like to do this early--I will be happy to see if we can get a consent agreement to do that.

    We are also working, as I have indicated, on the flood insurance bill and we will continue to work on that.

    Measure Placed on the Calendar--S. 1931 Mr. REID. Mr. President, S. 1931 is due for a second reading, I am told.

    The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will read the bill by title for the second time.

    The legislative clerk read as follows: A bill (S. 1931) to provide for the extension of certain unemployment benefits, and for other purposes.

    Mr. REID. I object to any further proceedings with respect to this legislation.

    The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Objection is heard. The bill will be placed on the calendar.

    Unemployment Insurance Benefits Mr. President, on this side of the aisle, we have not put to one side and forgotten about unemployment compensation extensions for 1.5 million desperate Americans. I wish to just spend a minute or two on this issue, but we have not forgotten this and I want to direct everyone's attention to an editorial in one of America's leading newspapers of today. Here is what it said.

    [[Page S384]] Republican Senators are pulling out every fake excuse they can think of for filibustering an extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. . . . The majority leader, Harry Reid, was mean to us and wouldn't let us offer amendments, they say.

    We have heard that a lot. I am really a mean person.

    Democrats refused to pay for the benefits. It's President Obama's fault because people can't find work because he won't approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

    The article goes on: The truth is the Republican Party simply does not believe that job seekers who have been out of work for 6 months or longer deserve government assistance. The most hardhearted believe cutting benefits will give people an incentive to get back to work. The most cynical are hoping for widespread misery, which they can pin on ``Obama's economy'' for political gain in the elections this fall. Whatever the reasons, nearly five million unemployed people will go without benefits by the end of 2014, unless the party backs down.

    The most appalling demand from Republicans was that benefits be paid for with cuts to other programs.

    That is certainly the truth. The article continues: For example, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire proposed requiring that parents have a Social Security number to receive the child tax credit--a move that would eliminate an important anti-poverty measure for millions of children who are citizens though their parents are not.

    We will have more to say about this. We are not going to leave this issue. This is a cutting-edge issue for the American people. Republicans outside Congress believe this is the right thing to do--the majority of Republicans.

    House-Passed Omnibus The Senate today will consider the House-passed omnibus spending bill, an important bipartisan agreement that keeps our country on a responsible path while preventing another manufactured crisis--and we have had so many of those.

    I cannot say enough about the work of the senior Senator from Maryland Ms. Mikulski. We came to the Senate together. She is someone who identifies with the people of Maryland as no one has ever identified with the people of Maryland, but in the process she also identifies with people around America. That is why she is revered in Maryland. She has been to Nevada, and we love her in Nevada also.

    I don't know of anyone else who could have done what she did, working with the Republicans in the House. I admire her so very much, and I am very happy to have reached the point where we are today. After 3 years of damaging cuts to vital social programs, this bill finally increases investments in the middle class.

    Is it perfect? Of course not. There is so much good to say about this bill. But Senator Mikulski, who represents the State where the headquarters of the National Institutes of Health resides, got an extra $1 billion for them--more than they got last year. It is too bad the Republicans' cost-cutting whacked them $1\1/2\ billion in the year before, but what she did with the NIH is exemplary of what she has done to help America.

    So enough about her, but she has done something no one else could do.

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

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