Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 4, 2015

Posts in "Harry Reid"

August 24, 2015

Reid Dismisses ‘Longshot’ Prospects for Iran Deal Filibuster

Reid was given a lifetime achievement award Tuesday for his environmental efforts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reid is increasingly bullish about protecting the Iran deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid told reporters gathered in Las Vegas that filibustering a bill to disapprove of the nuclear deal with Iran would be a “longshot.”

Still, the Nevada Democrat has far from given up hope on rounding up not only the 34 votes needed to sustain a veto from President Barack Obama, but the 41 needed to thwart the GOP-led Senate from getting the disapproval legislation through the chamber at all.

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‘Moneyball’ for the Power Grid: Reid Says Metrics Key

UNITED STATES - MAY 4: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks with Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, a native of Nevada, at Nationals Park in Washington before the game against Philadelphia on Friday, May 4, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Reid compared utility companies ignoring renewable energy to a baseball team benching Harper. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid kicked off his annual clean energy summit Monday in Las Vegas by comparing utility companies that undervalue renewable power to an ill-managed baseball team.

“Nevada and electric utilities should learn from ‘Moneyball.’ Just as Major League Baseball was stuck in the past, electric utilities continue to rely upon business models from past centuries. Companies you will hear today are developing new energy technologies and services of which Thomas Edison never dreamed,” the Nevada Democrat said. “This challenge should begin by properly valuing rooftop solar, properly valuing energy efficiency and properly valuing other distributed sources of clean energy. Ignoring these resources or treating them as a burden makes as much sense as the Washington Nationals benching Bryce Harper.”

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Why Harry Reid Needed to Announce Iran Deal Support When He Did

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Reid announced his support for the Iran deal Sunday, one day before hosting Obama in Las Vegas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced Sunday he would support the international nuclear agreement with Iran and work to ensure it survives a GOP-led disapproval effort, the Nevada Democrat avoided what could have been an awkward Monday.

Reid is hosting dignitaries at his National Clean Energy Summit at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The list of speakers is headlined by President Barack Obama, as well as Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz — a key U.S. negotiator on the Iran deal. After the event, Obama and Reid are scheduled to attend a Democratic fundraiser to benefit former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, the Democrat with Reid’s backing to succeed him in 2017.

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August 18, 2015

Democrats to McConnell: Start Budget Talks Now

Reid and McConnell Democratic agenda

Democrats want Republicans to agree to budget talks now rather than wait until a government shutdown showdown. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Democrats have united to say Republican leaders should not wait until after Labor Day to get going on budget talks.

“With the existence of a clear and urgent deadline for action, we believe it would be unwise to wait until after the Congress returns from the August state work period — just 23 days before the end of the federal fiscal year — to begin talks on a path forward,” wrote the entire Democratic Conference in a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “We cannot afford to wait, only to let delay and inaction bring us to the brink of another totally predictable and completely preventable crisis.”

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August 4, 2015

McConnell Says No Shutdowns as September Agenda Takes Shape (Video)

McConnell says there won't be any shutdowns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell says there won’t be any shutdowns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Democrats are warning a new shutdown showdown looms in September, even as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated there wouldn’t be any government shutdowns on his watch.

“Let me say it again: no more government shutdowns,” the Kentucky Republican said, when asked how he intended to adhere to his pledge made numerous times. “We have divided government. … At some point we’ll negotiate the way forward.”

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August 3, 2015

What’s McConnell’s Next Move on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan? (Updated)

What McConnell called the Obama administration's "war on coal" was a key theme in his 2014 campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

What McConnell called the Obama administration’s “war on coal” was a key theme in his 2014 campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:55 p.m. | The Obama administration’s final Clean Power Plan unveiled Monday sets aggressive goals for reducing carbon pollution — but the first challenge on the road to implementation will be working around Republican opposition on Capitol Hill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been cautioning state governments against developing their own implementation plans as prescribed by the Environmental Protection Agency, and on Monday he swung the door wide open to a legislative response.

“We can pursue other avenues, like [Congressional Review Act] resolutions and further appropriations riders, as these regulations are published and as they wind their way through the courts. But here’s the bottom line about today’s announcement: if the Obama administration were actually serious about advancing renewable energy, then it would follow the example of what leaders like Sen. [Lisa] Murkowski has been achieving in the Energy Committee,” McConnell said. “She’s showing how we can make big strides on energy diversification, that we can do it in a bipartisan way, and that we don’t have to punish the middle class to do it.”

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July 21, 2015

Democrats Delay McConnell Highway Bill Deal (Updated) (Video)

McConnell laid out a path for a long-term highway bill and the Ex-Im Bank to reach Obama's desk before the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell laid out a path for a long-term highway bill and the Ex-Im Bank to reach Obama’s desk before the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:25 p.m. | Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s highway deal with Sen. Barbara Boxer hit a pothole Tuesday, as Democrats helped torpedo a vote to advance the 1,030-page bill about an hour after senators received it.

In a bizarre turn of events, Boxer ended up voting to filibuster bringing up a bill she helped negotiate, while saying she hopes to get on the bill by Wednesday.

“Keep our eye on the prize,” she said in floor remarks.

Minority Leader Harry Reid and Boxer had called for a delay so Democrats could read the mammoth bill, and senators blocked bringing it up, 41-56 vote, well shy of the 60 votes need to advance.

McConnell had touted his breakthrough as a plan that should have been attractive to the House, and suggested supporters of the Export-Import Bank would have a chance to offer an amendment to revive its charter.

After the vote failed, McConnell said the Senate would have to be in session this weekend in an effort to complete the highway bill before the August recess, and Reid said he’d be “fine” doing so. Full story

July 10, 2015

The Obama and Reid National Monument (Updated)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Reid called a monument designation in Nevada “a defining legacy” for Obama. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

UPDATED 3:40 p.m. | President Barack Obama’s move to designate a trio of new national monuments includes “a defining legacy” of his time in the White House.

At least, that’s the way Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sees it. The Nevada Democrat has long championed one of the designations, the preservation of roughly 704,000 acres at the Basin and Range in his home state.

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June 24, 2015

Harry Reid Awarded for Environmental Efforts

Reid was given a lifetime achievement award Tuesday for his environmental efforts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reid was given a lifetime achievement award Tuesday for his environmental efforts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the vaulted atrium of the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, D.C., more than 500 people gathered Tuesday evening for the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund Capital Dinner.

The highlight of the evening, attended by activists, environmentalists and members of Congress, was Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who was given a lifetime achievement award for his efforts in promoting environmental conservation and championing attempts in Congress to address climate change. Full story

June 23, 2015

McConnell: Move Kentucky’s Jefferson Davis Statue to a Museum (Video)

A statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy and a Mississippi senator, has a prime spot in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy and a Mississippi senator, has a prime spot in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rather than wait for outside pressure, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday the statue of Jefferson Davis prominently displayed in Kentucky’s state capitol should be moved to a museum — but he wasn’t quite ready to propose moving the Jefferson Davis statue out of the U.S. Capitol.

The Kentucky Republican noted Davis’ sole link to the Bluegrass State is he was born there, but then moved to Mississippi and went on to become the president of the Confederate States of America.

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June 19, 2015

After Charleston Shooting, Washington Short on Answers

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.,  watch President Barack Obama speak about the Charleston shooting before holding their news conference in the Senate Radio/TV Gallery on budget negotiations Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senators watch President Barack Obama speak about the Charleston shooting before holding their news conference in the Senate Radio/TV Gallery on budget negotiations Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In the wake of the shooting Wednesday night at a South Carolina church that left nine people dead, many in Washington were calling for change that doesn’t appear to be coming quickly.

Legislators offered condolences throughout the day Thursday in statements and speeches. And some — mostly Democrats — reiterated as they have after past mass killings that it’s time for action on guns. Full story

June 17, 2015

Senate’s Defense Endgame Expected Thursday

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans McConnell and Cornyn are setting up a defense appropriations showdown Thursday with Democrats.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is setting up to make the case that Democrats are flip-flopping on national security.

With the debate time on the defense authorization bill set to expire late Wednesday, the Kentucky Republican indicated in opening the day’s session that votes are likely to be rolled into Thursday. And as soon as the authorization is off the floor, it will be in order to consider his motion to limit debate to take up the Defense Department’s appropriations measure.

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June 2, 2015

McConnell Goes Down Swinging, Hard, on Freedom Act (Video)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress are frequently told to hold their noses and vote for something, to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was having none of that Tuesday.

Minutes before being rebuked by the chamber, which shot down his preferred amendments to the USA Freedom Act and then overwhelmingly passed it, 67-32, the Kentucky Republican went to great lengths to spell out just how bad a bill it was. Full story

McConnell and Reid Feud: ‘He Doesn’t Get to Schedule the Senate Anymore’ (Video)

Reid and McConnell traded barbs Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reid and McConnell traded barbs Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate’s leaders traded unusually harsh and personal words on the floor Tuesday afternoon, just before a clear majority rejected Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s arguments against an overhaul of lapsed Patriot Act surveillance authorities.

“As my good friend, the majority leader, frequently reminded me over the last few years, the majority leader always gets the last word,” the Kentucky Republican said during the exchange. “And look, his fundamental complaint is he doesn’t get to schedule the Senate anymore and he wanted to kill the president’s trade bill, and so he didn’t like the fact that we moved to the trade bill early enough before the opposition to it might become more severe.”

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Reid Keeps Filibuster in Pocket, Says McCain Is Wasting His Time With Defense Bill (Video)

McCain is adamant that the defense policy bill should be bipartisan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCain is adamant that the defense policy bill should be bipartisan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., thinks Armed Services Chairman John McCain is going to be wasting his time managing the defense authorization bill on the floor over the next few weeks.

While Reid said Tuesday he and his caucus would not stand in the way of starting debate on the bill, he stopped short of saying Democrats would not filibuster it on the floor.

“I like [McCain] very much. He’s opinionated. I am once in a while,” Reid said. “When he first saw what they had done to the defense authorization bill [funding structure], he went sky-high, ‘How can they do this? It’s wrong!’ Now he’s joining with them in doing this. I think that until they do something with getting rid of sequestration, it’s a gesture in futility what they’re doing.”

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