Senate Democrats

Reid Remarks To Convene The Senate

“America’s economy is poised to grow and expand. And the last thing it needs is another manufactured crisis – such as a government shutdown – to derail its progress.”

Washington, D.C.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today regarding on Nevada judicial nominee Andrew Gordon, on a continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year and on the 2014 retirement of Senator Carl Levin. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

This evening, the Senate will vote on two judicial nominations: Richard Gary Taranto, of Maryland, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Federal Circuit and Andrew Patrick Gordon, of Nevada, to be United States District Judge for the District of Nevada.

Andrew Gordon, of Las Vegas, graduated from Harvard Law School in 1987 after receiving his Bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College. He is a partner with the law firm of McDonald Carano Wilson, where he has been a partner since 1997. Mr. Gordon handles complex commercial disputes. He also focuses on alternative conflict resolution, and regularly serves as an arbitrator and mediator.

Mr. Gordon also performs a variety of pro bono work, including handling adoption proceedings and representation of an inmate on death row in a habeas corpus proceeding. He has consistently been named as one of the Best Lawyers in America. I have no doubt he will serve the court well, and I look forward to his confirmation.

This week the Senate will also take up legislation to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. I applaud Appropriations Committee Chairman Mikulski and Ranking Member Shelby for working diligently through the weekend to reach a bipartisan agreement on a path forward.

Senator Mikulski and Senator Shelby, two seasoned veterans, have worked hard to get this legislation ready. They are two of our most senior members. They are also two of our most respected members.

The measure passed last week by the House of Representatives is not perfect. Senators will wish to offer amendments. And we are working out a process to consider those amendments.

This week will offer another opportunity for the United States Senate to return to the regular order – an opportunity for this body to legislate through cooperation and compromise. It will also be a test of the Senate’s good will.

America’s economy is poised to grow and expand. And the last thing it needs is another manufactured crisis – such as a government shutdown – to derail its progress.

Senator Carl Levin Announces Retirement

For some public servants, the political fire is lit by their first trip to Washington, D.C. or by a moving and memorable party convention speech. For others, a history of military service leads to a career in public service. For still others, a single issue – such as a proposed freeway through a vibrant community – propels them into politics. But for Senator Carl Levin, serving Michigan families is something of a family business.

Senator Levin’s father, Saul, served on the Michigan Corrections Commission. His uncle, Theodore Levin, was the chief judge for the U.S. District Court for Eastern Michigan. And I was elected to Congress in 1982, the same year as Carl’s brother, Sander Levin, the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

The first time I met Senator Levin, I mentioned that I had come to the House of Representatives with his brother. And Carl said, yes, Sandy is my brother, but he’s also my best friend. That’s something I’ve never forgotten. These two brothers, natives of Detroit, have done so much for the state of Michigan.

Carl Levin is a truly outstanding Senator and an even better man. The senior Senator from Michigan is the longest serving Senator in his state’s history. But he dedicated his life to serving residents of Michigan long before he was elected to the United States Senate.

Senator Levin served as general counsel of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and as assistant attorney general for the state of Michigan. And he served two terms in the Detroit City Council, including one term as council president.

As a Senator, Carl Levin has consistently stood up for Michigan families – whether that meant supporting the auto industry, protecting Lake Michigan, holding credit card companies accountable or securing funding for sons and daughters serving in the United States military.

As Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin is one of the nation’s most respected voices on national security issues and most powerful advocates for the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.

And as chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, he has sought the truth on behalf of American families time and time again. He led investigations of the 2008 financial crisis, abusive credit card practices and the Enron collapse.

Carl’s dedication to the United States Senate is matched only by his dedication to his own family. He has been married to his wife, Barbara, for more than 50 years. They have three daughters and six grandchildren. And I’m sure Carl is looking forward to spending more time with those grandchildren.

But when he retires in two years, the Unites States Senate will be sorry to lose this powerful voice for military service members and Michigan families.