Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 25, 2015

Posts in "Harry Reid"

April 22, 2015

Tough Talk on Trade Between Wyden and Reid

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Wyden said Reid has been blunt with him over their trade policy legislation disagreement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ron Wyden did not sound surprised by Minority Leader Harry Reid’s call Tuesday for him to slow down progress on Trade Promotion Authority legislation that was being marked up Wednesday afternoon.

“Sen. Reid and I have talked often about this, and he’s already a straight-shooter. You know, he and I have been working together for over three decades,” the Oregon Democrat said of his colleague from Nevada. “Nancy and I are just very fond of Senator Reid and Landra.”

Full story

April 9, 2015

David Krone Departing Reid’s Office, Former Sergeant-at-Arms Taking Over

Krone is leaving Reid's office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Krone is leaving Reid’s office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:53 p.m. | The long-rumored departure of David Krone as Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s chief of staff is official.

“David is like family,” Reid said in a statement. “We have been through so much together and through it all I relied on his wise counsel and strategic insight. He inspired tremendous loyalty in our staff who felt, as I do, that whatever challenges arose, David always had your back.”

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 11:39 a.m.
Harry Reid

April 7, 2015

Harry Reid Still ‘Sightless’ In Right Eye (Video)

Reid is holding out for more. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Reid said in Nevada this week that he’s blind in his right eye. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid went through multiple surgeries, but vision has not returned to his right eye.

In an interview with Fusion that aired Tuesday, the Nevada Democrat told anchor Jorge Ramos that he’s “sightless” in the eye that was injured in the New Year’s Day exercise band accident. But Reid said he has moved beyond the concerns about not being able to see in the eye. Full story

April 1, 2015

Meet the New Boss. Not the Same as the Old Boss

Schumer, right, is not like the other Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Relationships are everything in the Senate, and Charles E. Schumer, the presumptive top Democrat in the next Congress, has them down pat.

“Most senators have been there a while. … They do have these strong relationships, and they’re deep relationships, because they spend a lot of time together,” said former Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del. Kaufman spent decades observing the chamber as a top aide for Joseph R. Biden Jr., and served alongside Schumer after being appointed to Biden’s Senate seat from 2009 to 2010, after Biden became vice president.

But even in the clubby atmosphere of the Senate, Schumer’s network is particularly deep. Of the 43 Democrats, and two independents who caucus with them, who are not named Schumer, roughly a third were recruited directly by the New Yorker when he ran the party’s campaign arm. Full story

March 31, 2015

Senate Democrats Fall in Behind Schumer

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 24: Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., talks with a reporter before the Senate policy luncheons in the Capitol, February 24, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Schumer talks with a reporter before the Senate policy luncheons in the Capitol last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Charles E. Schumer said last week he had the votes to be the next Senate Democratic leader. By Tuesday, it was clear the New York lawmaker’s colleagues had united behind his bid for the post.

Four days after current Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced he would retire in 2016, a source close to Schumer confirmed he’d received “personal commitments” of support from each of the 42 Senate Democrats who plan to return to Capitol Hill in the 115th Congress. Full story

March 27, 2015

Harry Reid Biography: The CQ Profile

Senate Minority Leader Reid announced on March 27 that he is bowing out of the Senate at the end of his current term in 2016, ending months of speculation. His 33-year congressional career has spanned five presidents and countless Senate floor debates with rival Republicans.

Reid made his retirement announcement in a three-minute video posted on YouTube and Twitter. On the day he was first sworn into the House in 1983, Time magazine’s cover story explored the advent of the personal computer, which was “beeping its way into offices, schools and homes.”

In the flat, dry voice familiar to a generation of CSPAN viewers, Reid alluded to the New Year’s Day accident on an exercise machine which broke some ribs, bruised his face and forced him to undergo eye surgery. The accident kept him away from the Senate floor for a month and led to increased speculation that he would not run again.

“This accident,” Reid said, “has caused Landra [his wife] and me to have a little down time. I have had time to ponder and to think.”

Reid’s most lasting accomplishment in his final years as majority leader is bound to be the historic vote on Nov. 21, 2013, to change Senate rules and disallow filibusters on nominations other than those to the Supreme Court.

Democrats had grown increasingly frustrated by Republicans blocking President Barack Obama’s nominees, especially to the high-profile U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. After Reid invoked the “nuclear option” rules change, only a 51-vote majority is needed to end debate on nominations, rather than 60 votes.

“The American people believe the Senate is broken, and I believe the American people are right,” Reid said. “It’s time to get the Senate working again, not for the good of the current Democratic majority or some future Republican majority but for the good of the country.”

Reid has had a mostly cordial relationship with GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, but a “gentlemen’s agreement” they struck early in 2011 didn’t hold. Republicans continued to filibuster procedural motions to slow down bills, and Reid often “filled the amendment tree” — a procedure that prevents the minority from proposing changes to bills on the Senate floor. At the start of the 113th Congress in 2013, they agreed on rule changes so that Republicans would be able to offer a minimum number of amendments on bills while giving up some of their power to force procedural votes.

But in his final year as majority leader, Reid seemed to try to shield Democratic senators who were up for reelection in 2014 from having to vote often on amendments that might give their opponents campaign fodder. He also accused the conservative Koch brothers, owners of a Kansas conglomerate, of “trying to buy America, to pump untold millions into our democracy, hoping to get a government that would serve their bottom line and make them more money,”

This apparent strategy did not work, as Democrats lost nine seats and control of the Senate.

Reid himself has always been a fighter. The son of an alcoholic miner and a high-school dropout mother, he grew up in a small town in the Nevada desert and was an amateur middleweight boxer before college and law school and his entry into politics.

Reid had been elected Democratic leader in the Senate in 2005 after Tom Daschle was defeated for reelection in South Dakota. Two years later, he became Majority Leader, enjoying the cooperation of a House also led by Democrats.  He picked up a Democratic president in 2009. Success was defined by holding his party together, and there were impressive results: Using procedural tools and his talents for horse-trading, Reid helped engineer an economic stimulus package and overhauls of the health care system and financial sector regulation.

But last year landscape changed.

In his first press conference after the election, Reid reflected on the defeat. “What we saw in this incredibly difficult election is that people that should have voted, that didn’t vote, are people who needed a reason to vote. And we have to create an atmosphere where the middle class feels that we’re fighting for them.”

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

By Blogs Editors Posted at 2:44 p.m.
Harry Reid

McConnell Praises ‘Son of Searchlight’

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has had no shortage of battles with his Democratic counterpart Harry Reid of Nevada over the years, but when the minority leader announced his retirement Friday, the Kentucky Republican offered kind words.

“Nothing has ever come easily to this son of Searchlight. Underestimated often, his distinctive grit and determined focus nevertheless saw him through many challenges,” McConnell said in a statement. “They continue to make him a formidable opponent today.”

Full story

Reid, Durbin Endorse Schumer as Next Leader (Updated) (Video)

Schumer and Durbin are moving out. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Durbin, left, Schumer, second from right, and Murray, far right, are all candidates to fill Reid’s shoes. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:36 p.m. | Some senators and aides may have barely awoken after a late-night budget vote-a-rama by the time not only had the chamber’s minority leader announced his retirement, but the gears were turning toward a succession plan.

In announcing that he would retire at the end of the 114th Congress instead of seeking another term, Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., could have set off a contested race for the top spot in a leadership hierarchy that’s seen very little movement.

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 9:34 a.m.
Harry Reid

March 25, 2015

Harry Reid, GOP Senators Join Forces to Approve Highway (Updated)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:11 p.m. | Harry Reid’s bid to push a new highway through Nevada before he faces the voters next year has a powerful Republican ally — James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma.

The minority leader’s re-election fight is sure to be one of the most contentious of 2016, but under the Dome, the push for an extended Interstate 11 from southern Arizona to Interstate 80 in the northern part of the Silver State is a bipartisan affair.

The junior senator from Nevada, Republican Dean Heller of Nevada, sponsored the legislation and wrote a letter backing it in May 2014.

In addition to Reid, the highway is also backed by Republicans John McCain and Jeff Flake, both of Arizona — as well as Inhofe, the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. McCain is also up for re-election next year.

Full story

March 18, 2015

Harry Reid Thanks Rand Paul for Eye Injury Advice (Video)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid thanked Sen. Rand Paul Wednesday for his medical advice about the ongoing recovery from the New Year’s Day accident that caused serious eye damage.

The public expression of gratitude came on the Senate floor with the Kentucky Republican and prospective presidential candidate presiding over the chamber. Reid, D-Nev., recalled for those watching the well-documented New Year’s Day exercise accident that led to significant facial and eye injuries.

Reid has worn sunglasses frequently in the Capitol since the accident.

Full story

March 11, 2015

Reid: No Amendments Until GOP Strips Abortion Language (Video) (Updated)

Updated 5:18 p.m. | Legislation to combat human trafficking appears sure to die on the Senate floor.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., reiterated Wednesday that the bill will not get through the Senate without the removal of language that would apply the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funding for abortion services, to the bills fee-funded programming.

“Everybody can debate how that got in there, OK?” Reid told CQ Roll Call. “I believe that we should pass this human trafficking [bill]. I support this legislation, but we’re not going to have an abortion provision in the bill.”

Full story

March 3, 2015

McConnell’s Turn to Iran Legislation Surprises Democrats (Video) (Updated)

Updated 7:21 p.m. | In between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress and Netanyahu’s meeting with Senate leaders, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced plans to move full speed ahead with legislation to give Congress a say in any potential nuclear deal with Iran.

Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., announced the details of a bipartisan bill Feb. 27 that would require the Obama administration to transmit any agreement from the international P5+1 talks to Capitol Hill for a 60-day review period. Full story

Harry Reid Sticks Up for Capitol Police Leadership (Video)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, asked Tuesday about lingering concerns over the Capitol Police Department’s handling of a controversial State of the Union night car chase, said the force does a “masterful job.”

The Nevada Democrat, who put himself through law school working as a Capitol Police officer, called himself a “stalwart defender and protector” of the force, saying they have “a job that is very, very difficult. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 6:09 p.m.
Harry Reid

February 25, 2015

Harry Reid Decides to Take Yes for an Answer

Harry Reid decided he could take Mitch McConnell’s offer to give him exactly what he wanted after all.

Reid’s decision comes a day after an odd sequence where Majority Leader McConnell of Kentucky offered up a “clean” Homeland Security funding bill shorn of immigration provisions, only to have Minority Leader Reid of Nevada spurn the offer in lieu of a capitulation by Speaker John A. Boehner.

Boehner, R-Ohio, hasn’t yet said he’ll swallow a clean bill, but with House Republicans insisting the Senate act first, it appears the path for averting a shutdown is now crystal clear: McConnell and Reid will try and pass a clean bill as soon as they can muster it — probably Thursday — and then the House will have the hot potato with effectively a take-it-or-own-the-shutdown proposition. Full story

February 23, 2015

Senate Democrats Show Limits of GOP Spending Strategy

Reid and McConnell Democratic agenda

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Republican leaders seized control of the Senate, they quickly targeted must-pass appropriations bills — not shutdown showdowns — as their best tool for reining in the Obama White House.

Two months into the 114th Congress, they have run smack into the limits of that strategy.

The immigration fight that has stalemated the fiscal 2015 Homeland Security spending bill, leaving the department days away from a possible shutdown, makes clear the high hurdles that remain for getting bills to President Barack Obama’s desk.

Even worse for Republicans, Senate Democrats found a strategy that has left the GOP feuding with itself over who needs to make the next move.

This wasn’t how it was supposed to go. Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...