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May 28, 2015

Posts in "Harry Reid"

May 19, 2015

Next Yucca Mountain Debate Will Wait for the Floor

Alexander, R-Tenn. is interviewed by CQ Roll Call in his Dirksen Building office, February 2, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Alexander’s move heads off a committee fight on Yucca Mountain funding, but could lead to a debate on the Senate floor (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate’s next big battle over funding for nuclear waste storage in Nevada will wait for the floor.

The chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water has decided against including money for Yucca Mountain in his bill, putting off the debate until the bill is approved by the committee and is subject to an open amendment process on the floor.

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May 14, 2015

Reid Rips Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush Over Yucca Mountain

Reid insists Yucca nuclear waste storage project will stay dead after he's gone. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Reid insists the Yucca nuclear waste storage project will stay dead after he’s gone. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Harry Reid is using Yucca Mountain as a club against Republican presidential candidates hoping to win his home state in 2016.

In an email blast late Thursday, the Nevada Democrat ripped Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida in particular on the mothballed nuclear waste storage project he has spent decades blocking. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 4:45 p.m.
Harry Reid

May 7, 2015

McConnell, Reid Agree on One Thing: Don Ritchie Rocks (Video)

Ritchie, left, shares a laugh with Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ritchie, left, shares a laugh with Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., are frequently at odds. One thing they do agree on is the good job Donald Ritchie has done in his many years in the Senate Historical Office, including in his role as Senate historian since 2009.

On the floor Thursday morning, McConnell called the retiring Ritchie “one of the smartest guys around here” and said, “I don’t think any of us would want to face him on ‘Jeopardy.'”

And Reid said the historian was one of the few people who could quell his rowdy caucus. “Every week I begin my caucus by calling on the Senate historian and he talks to us about so many fascinating things. … And quite frankly, it shuts up my caucus. When he shows up, they suddenly are attentive,” Reid said.

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May 5, 2015

Reid Threatens to Short-Circuit Trade Bill (Video)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Reid and McConnell are again battling over the Senate schedule. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Does Minority Leader Harry Reid have the votes to throw a monkey wrench into President Barack Obama’s trade agenda?

The Nevada Democrat indicated as much to the Huffington Post in an interview published late Monday, though he was not as explicit about his intentions Tuesday morning on the floor of the chamber.

“McConnell said he wanted to move to trade in the next two or three weeks, and I’m going to — maybe he can, but I don’t think he’s going to have an easy time doing it, because I will not let him do that. We’re not going to lay over, as I said, until we have some way to move forward on FISA and the surface transportation bill,” Reid said in the Huffington Post interview. “He has some decisions to make and he’s going to have to work around me and the caucus.”

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April 29, 2015

Harry Reid Likens GOP Budget to Nepal Earthquakes (Video)

Harry Reid isn’t exactly mellowing in his final two years as minority leader before he heads off into the sunset.

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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.”

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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.”

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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

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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.”

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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

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