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US Senator Bill NelsonU.S. Senator Bill Nelson - Update
January 30, 2013

Senate Rule Changes 

The Senate adopted S.Res.15, a resolution providing a Standing Order to improve procedures for the consideration of legislation and nominations in the Senate (78-16) and S.Res.16, a resolution amending the Standing Rules of the Senate relative to conference motions and bipartisan cloture motions on the motion to proceed (86-9). Senator Nelson voted for both resolutions, which expire at the end of the 113th Congress.

S. Res. 15 reduces post-cloture debate time for sub-Cabinet and District Court nominations from 30 hours to eight hours.

S. Res. 16 reduces the number of debatable motions to go to conference from three to one. In addition, debate on this motion is limited to only two hours. S. Res. 16 also shortens the time to begin debate on a bill. In the last Congress, cloture was filed on the motion to proceed and after cloture was invoked (with 60 votes), 30 hours of post cloture time remained. There are now two options leadership can take to shorten the time period it takes the Senate to even begin debate on a measure:

For more information
Lynn Bannister: Director of Outreach
111 North Adams St
Tallahassee, FL  32301
850-942-8415 / 850-942-8450 (fax)

•  Stipulate four hours of debate on the motion to proceed provided if the majority and minority each are guaranteed two amendments; or
•  If the majority and minority leaders, along with 14 other Senators (split between majority and minority) present a cloture motion on the motion to proceed, the vote will occur one hour after the Senate meets the next calendar day (instead of two). If cloture is invoked, then the vote on the motion to proceed will occur without further debate.

Senate Passes Hurricane Sandy Relief

On January 28, Senator Nelson joined the majority and voted in favor of HR 152, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, which will provide $50.5 billion in aid for Hurricane Sandy recovery. This legislation includes funding for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund and will support the federal government’s recovery efforts through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Small Business Administration, and the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Interior, and Commerce. President Obama is expected to sign the bill immediately.

Supporting Permanent Tax Relief for Floridians

Senator Nelson is cosponsoring S.41, which would make the state and local sales tax deduction permanent. Earlier this year, Congress extended the state and local sales tax deduction through 2013. Without a State income tax, Florida taxpayers lose out on one of the most important tax breaks available in the code--the itemized deduction for state and local income taxes. This bill seeks to permanently level the field for Floridians, reducing the uncertainty surrounding annual tax extensions.

Haiti Earthquake Resolution

Senator Nelson introduced S.RES.12, a resolution recognizing the third anniversary of the tragic earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010, honoring those who lost their lives, and expressing continued solidarity with the Haitian people. The resolution also expresses continued U.S. support for the long-term reconstruction efforts in Haiti and urges the President to continue to work with the Haitian government and civil society to improve economic development, attract private sector investment, pursue judicial reform, enhance the rule of law, reduce incidences of gender based violence, develop a civil registry, and reform land tenure policies.

Russian Adoption Ban

Senator Nelson cosigned a bipartisan, bicameral letter to both President Obama and President Putin expressing deep disappointment over the Russian government’s recent decision to ban all adoptions of Russian children by American families. The letter to President Obama asks him to make this issue a priority in his personal dealings with President Putin and to instruct our nation’s diplomatic corps to raise it with Russian officials at all levels of government. The letter to President Putin urges him to allow any case that was initiated prior to the ban’s enactment to be fully processed under the previous bilateral agreement.

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