(Senate - June 26, 2012)

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[Pages S4601-S4602]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. REID. Mr. President, we are currently considering the motion to 
concur in the House message to accompany the FDA bill postcloture. We 
hope to work something out on that so that we can move to it early 
  The first hour of debate this morning will be equally divided and 
controlled, with the Republicans controlling the first half and the 
majority controlling the final half.
  At 11:30 the Senate will proceed to executive session to consider the 
nomination of Robin Rosenbaum to be a district judge for the Southern 
District of Florida.
  At noon there will be a rollcall vote on confirmation of the 
Rosenbaum nomination.
  The Senate will recess today from 12:30 to 2:15, as we normally do on 
Tuesdays, for our weekly caucus meetings.
  At 2:15 there will be 6 hours 15 minutes remaining on the motion to 
concur in the House message with respect to the FDA bill. We hope that 
a significant amount of time can be yielded back and that we can 
complete action on the bill today.
  There is an all-Senators briefing at 5 o'clock. We are going to 
continue--that time will run. We are not going to recess during that 
period of time. That will be in the classified room down in the Visitor 
  We have accomplished a lot. Everyone knows how grateful I am to 
Senators Stabenow and Roberts for working their way and our way through 
that very difficult farm bill.
  We are watching very closely the great work of Senator Boxer, Senator 
Inhofe, the Finance Committee, the Commerce Committee, and the Banking 
Committee on helping us work through the highway bill. There is a 
possibility that we can get that bill done. I think the chances today 
are better than 50-50 that we can get a bill done, but we are still 
looking at Speaker Boehner to help us get that over the finish line. So 
we will see what happens on that.
  As I have indicated, the FDA bill--we will complete that tonight. 
That is a very important accomplishment for us.
  We have the student loan issue, and we are working on that. We hope 
to get that done soon. I think there is a general feeling that we have 
worked out a compromise on that that is acceptable, with the help of 
Senator Baucus, Senator Harkin, and others. Jack Reed, of course, has 
led the charge on that for some time.
  I have talked about the highway bill. We need to get that done.
  The remaining issue is flood insurance, and we are doing fine on 
flood insurance, except I was told last night that one of the 
Republican Senators wants to offer an amendment--listen to this one--
wants to offer an amendment on when life begins. I have been very 
patient in working with my Republican colleagues and allowing relevant 
amendments on issues, and sometimes we even do nonrelevant amendments 
but, really, on flood insurance, are we going to have to start dealing 
as we did with the highway bill for weeks and weeks with contraception? 
Now we have another person who wants to deal with when life begins.
  I don't understand what this is all about, but I want everyone to 
know that this flood insurance bill is extremely important. The big 
pushers of

[[Page S4602]]

this bill are Republican Senators, veteran Republican Senators, and 
they better work on their side of the aisle because I am not going to 
put up with that on the flood insurance bill.

  I can be condemned by outside sources. My friends can say: Let him 
have a vote on it. There will not be a vote on that on flood insurance. 
We will either do flood insurance with amendments that deal with flood 
insurance or we will not do it. We will have an extension. After all of 
the work that has been put into this bill, this is ridiculous, that 
somebody says: I am not going to let this bill go forward unless I have 
a vote on when life begins. I am not going to do that, and I think I 
speak for the majority of Senators.
  Now, if the Republicans will not stand up to the person who is going 
to do that, I am not going to. I have tried my best to deal with these 
issues that have nothing to do with a piece of legislation, but with 
the end of the month staring us in the face we have too many important 
things we have to do. Student loans will be doubled if we do not get 
that done. Flood insurance will disappear if we do not get it done. The 
highway program will disappear if we do not get it done. The FDA bill--
it will create all kinds of problems, if we do not get that done.
  I think this is outlandish. It somebody feels really moved upon to 
talk about when life begins, have them come and give a speech.