KEEP STUDENT LOANS AFFORDABLE ACT OF 2013--MOTION TO PROCEED; Congressional Record Vol. 159, No. 102
(Senate - July 17, 2013)

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[Pages S5717-S5718]
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  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I move to proceed to Calendar No. 124.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will report the bill by 
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       Motion to proceed to Calendar No. 124, S. 1238, a bill to 
     amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to extend the current 
     reduced interest rate for undergraduate Federal Direct 
     Stafford Loans for 1 year, and to modify required 
     distribution rules for pension plans, and for other purposes.


  Mr. REID. Following my remarks and those of the Republican leader, we 
will proceed to executive session to consider the nomination of Fred 
Hochberg to be president of the very important Export-Import Bank. At 
10 a.m. there will be a cloture vote on the Hochberg nomination.
  Following that, if cloture is invoked, we will have, as a result of 
some rules changes made earlier this year, 8 hours of debate. I doubt 
seriously if the Democrats will take any of their time, so we should be 
able to finish that sometime soon and have a vote on his confirmation, 
if we invoke cloture.
  We then have left on the calendar for this week the Secretary of 
Labor and the head of the EPA. So we should be able to finish that 

                           Senate Friendships

  Mr. President, I am so glad to see the Presiding Officer in the 
Chair. For those who perhaps are not aware, Senator Levin is a long-
time Member of the Senate, and he has decided not to run again, which 
is very sad for the State of Michigan, the Senate, and the country, but 
that is the decision he made.
  I had the good fortune--and he has heard me say this before, but I 
will say it again because I will never forget this--of coming to the 
Congress in 1982, with Senator Levin's brother--his older brother--and 
so the first time I met Senator Carl Levin I was contemplating whether 
I should run for the Senate, after having served in the House. At the 
very beginning of our visit--a visit in Senator Levin's office--I said 
to him: I know your brother. He and I came to Congress together a few 
years ago. Carl looked at me so intently and so seriously and said: 
Yes, he is my brother, but he is also my best friend. Well, having 
three brothers of my own, that was something that always stuck with me.
  Senator Levin is our Presiding Officer today, and it doesn't happen 
very often, so we appreciate that. Our more senior Members don't 
preside as often as the more junior Members.
  I also want to say, with this man in the chair, that we just had one 
of those rare occasions where the senior Senator from Michigan and I 
disagreed. The disagreement we had had nothing to do with us and 
everything to do with positions we had taken. We need not get into what 
the difference was--it was something dealing with the Senate and had 
nothing to do with our personalities--but I will say, as a result of 
the efforts of Senator Levin, I am sure he is as pleased as I am with 
what happened here in the Senate in the last couple of days.
  For a number of reasons, not the least of which is the input of the 
Senator from Michigan, we have now started a new era--I hope a new 
normal era--here in the Senate where Senators, instead of talking past 

[[Page S5718]]

other, start talking to each other. So I want to publicly state I 
appreciate the Senator from Michigan for many different reasons.

  Senator Levin has been a long-time protector of our military, as the 
chairman of the Armed Services Committee. I am not an expert on what is 
happening in that committee, but I do know that during the more than 
three decades I have been in Congress no one has been more vigilant and 
caring about the men and women who serve in our military. So I admire, 
appreciate, and have great affection for the Presiding Officer.
  The burdens we as leaders here in the Senate have--and I was 
reflecting on this as I was walking in here this morning--whether it is 
the Armed Services Committee or the things I am called upon to do, are 
so minimal compared to the burdens of the President of the United 
States--whoever the President of the United States happens to be. But 
let's focus on Barack Obama. Every day he gets up for a briefing about 
what is going on around the world, and there are so many things going 
on around the world that are so difficult--for him, for us as a 
country, and for the world. The problems we have here at home, as the 
leader of the superpower that we are, he has to deal with every day.
  I had a visit with the President yesterday on the telephone. After we 
worked out an arrangement here in the Senate that was pleasing to 
virtually everybody, he called me and said: Thanks. I know it was a lot 
of hard work--and all that stuff. But I commented to him: We all 
realize the burdens that you bear. And I think we do. If we pause and 
think for a minute, it is easy to understand the heavy burdens this man 
  We all know what a fine human being he is, and we have watched him, 
as we have seen all Presidents change before our eyes, this vibrant 
young man who served here in the Senate with us, with his coal-black 
hair, and now, after a few years, that hair is similar to that of 
myself and Senator Levin. He is still vibrant and strong, but he has a 
lot of burdens on his shoulders. Having worked with him as closely as I 
have, I have such understanding of what I think he goes through--at 
least somewhat of an understanding and some empathy for what he goes 
  Maybe somebody at the White House will pass him a copy of this 
exchange between the Presiding Officer and myself and they will tell 
him how much we in the Senate, Democrats and Republicans--the 
Republicans may disagree with him politically, but I don't think you 
can find a Republican who doesn't admire him as a good human being.

                       Reservation of Leader Time

  Mr. President, would you announce the business of the day?
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the 
leadership time is reserved.