Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014—Motion to Proceed—Continuedby Senator Harry Reid
Posted on 2014-01-16
REID. Mr. President, I spend long periods of time on the floor
compared to most Senators. That is my job. In doing so, I get to know
people more than probably a lot of people. Over these many years, I
have talked about a Senate family, and it really is a Senate family
and, for me, it really is my family. I know I am being way too
protective, and a lot of people say it isn't my business, but that is
how I feel. When people leave, I really feel badly because you get to
know people and you feel comfortable with the people you know.
The reason I mention this today is because one of the people I have learned to really admire and appreciate and joke with and have a good time with is one of the Republican staff members who is leaving. His name is Patrick Kilcur. I have no idea whether I pronounced his name right, K-I-L-C-U-R. I really don't know the name very well, but I have known him for a long time. We call him Patrick. He is a Republican floor assistant. If I have an issue and there is not a Democratic floor person around, I go to him, and he always gives me the answer that is honest and truthful. That is how we are so well served by these people who fill these spots in this wonderful, historic Chamber.
Patrick came to the Senate from Pennsylvania. He is from Pennsylvania. He worked for a famous Pennsylvania Senator, Arlen Specter. He spent time working with him and worked his way here to the cloakroom and became a floor assistant as he is now. He is going to leave to go to work with one of my dear personal friends--Chris Dodd.
I asked Patrick to come spend a few minutes with me this week before he left and we had a nice visit. I talked about my relationship with Chris Dodd. I said what a good opportunity to be working for one of the great orators we have had during the time I have been in the Senate and one of the nicest people a person could get to know--Chris Dodd.
So Patrick will be missed here. I will miss him. I wish him the very best. He is always--I have to be very careful; I don't want to bring him any bad luck. He is engaged now. He is going to have a job. He can afford it. So I really wish him well. I will miss him, but I will say this: At least he has a first name. The people he works with, they don't even call him by his first name. They call him Duncan.
So, anyway, enough of that. I really will miss you. You have had such a [[Page S432]] positive effect here. You are always happy, in spite of the pressure placed on you from people in the well: How should I vote? How much longer? Trying to get people here to go late--how much longer is it going to be? So thank you very much. You have been great, and I look forward to visiting with you and, hopefully, you and Dodd will let me watch one of those movies some time, because Chris Dodd is the leader of the Motion Picture Association of America.
Thanking the Pages Mr. President, another short thing I wish to say. Over the years I have come to admire so very much our pages. They sacrifice to come here. It is not easy for them to come here and go to school for a semester, but they do. This school they go to is no soft school. It is hard. They start school at 6 a.m.--I think it is 6 o'clock--and they go for a couple of hours. I know they are supposed to get up around 5. It is such a good environment. We have gone out of our way to have a pleasant place for them to live, the so-called dorm. They have monitors who watch them so very closely. Their parents don't have to worry about them. It is a good experience. They see what happens on a daily basis in the bowels of government, the Senate, and they all go different ways. They are all juniors in high school. They will go back to their high school and then go on to college, but in their entire life they will never forget their experience here.
I went just for a few days when I was a junior in high school--maybe I was a senior; it was right after my junior year--to Boys State, and I made friends during the five days we spent there, and they are my friends even today, after all those many years ago, and that is the relationship these pages have developed.
So I say to them, thank you very much for the work you do.
I was walking out, as I do, this back door the last night or two, and I see one of the pages. They have a door open, and I see this list of stuff on the wall. So I say: What is that? What they have to know, among other things--each of us can be pretty--what is the right word-- demanding, although I don't know if that is the right word. Senator McConnell and I have these podiums here all the time, but we are the only two. So when a Senator comes to speak, they need a podium. But they have to get the right podium and the pages have to know, when a Senator wants to speak, what podium to get. Is it going to be a low one, middle-sized, half middle-sized, or a big one? Anyway, they have to know that. They have a big chart up there to make sure they don't make mistakes.
They make sure we have water. I don't like warm water. I don't like cold water. I don't like ice. The pages have learned we all have our demands for water--sparkling, half sparkling, half regular, half tap. Anyway, I am so grateful they took the time to leave their homes to come here to go to school, to be students in the Senate.
Flood Insurance Mr. President, finally, we are going to have a vote when we come back on flood insurance. Senators Menendez, Landrieu, and Isakson have worked on this for a long time. Senator Landrieu has been--what is the right word--persistent, and that is an understatement. She has been on this as she can get on something and never get off of it. We have come, over the last several months, within just inches, we thought, of being able to have an agreement and move it to the floor. But she and Senator Isakson have worked hard to get a unanimous consent request to bring it to the floor, and they are always just a little bit short. So I am filing cloture in just a few minutes on a motion to proceed on this matter, and that will be the vote when we get back. If they are able to work out an agreement, then we can always modify having that vote and move forward. As I understand it, there are five or ten amendments they want to have to that bill, and we have all agreed that is OK. So I hope we can do that when we come back, and I thank those Senators for their good work.
Mr. President, could I ask what the pending business is before the Senate.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The pending business is the motion to proceed to S. 1926.
Cloture Motion Mr. REID. I have a cloture motion at the desk relative to that measure.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motion having been presented under rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to read the motion.
The assistant legislative clerk read as follows: Cloture Motion We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, hereby move to bring to a close debate on the 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 for other purposes.
Harry Reid, Robert Menendez, Mary L. Landrieu, Sherrod Brown, Richard Blumenthal, Joe Manchin III, Tom Udall, Patrick J. Leahy, Bill Nelson, Christopher A. Coons, Christopher Murphy, Mark R. Warner, Kay R. Hagan, Amy Klobuchar, Tim Kaine, Thomas R. Carper, Dianne Feinstein.
Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the mandatory quorum required under Rule XXII also be waived; and the vote on the motion to invoke cloture occur at 5:30 p.m. on January 27.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.