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January 31, 2015

Posts in "Harry Reid"

January 26, 2015

Harry Reid Released From Hospital After Eye Surgery

Reid returned to the Capitol last week. He had eye surgery Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Reid returned to the Capitol last week. He had eye surgery Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:35 p.m. | Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is out of the hospital after successful eye surgery and already trolling Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Spokesman Adam Jentleson said the surgery was “successful” but there is no definitive verdict on whether the Nevada Democrat will regain sight in his right eye damaged in a New Year’s Day exercise accident.

Full story

January 23, 2015

McConnell Shows He’s the Boss

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The honeymoon may be over for Mitch McConnell.

The Kentucky Republican’s open-process experiment took a turn Thursday night when the newly minted majority leader showed his patience has its limits, as he forced a series of votes to table Democratic amendments and refused to allow their sponsors a minute to explain them.

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January 22, 2015

Nevada Senators Blast NFL Over Under-Inflated Footballs

Reid held his first press conference of the year Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Reid held his first press conference of the year Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Nevada’s senators had stern words Thursday for the National Football League in the aftermath of findings that the New England Patriots made use of under-inflated footballs.

“As the Senator from the only state where sports betting is legal, it is imperative the integrity of the game never be questioned. When individuals break professional rules to gain unfair competitive advantages, everyone associated with the game is impacted,” Republican Dean Heller said in a statement. “This type of behavior should never be tolerated.”

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Wendell Ford, Longtime Kentucky Senator, Dies at 90

Ford, left, made sure to attend Grimes' election eve rally in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ford, left, made sure to attend Grimes’ election eve rally in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kentucky political legend and purveyor of Southern wit Wendell H. Ford has died.

Ford, 90, had been undergoing treatment for lung cancer.

A Democrat, Ford served in the Senate for 24 years before retiring at the end of his fourth term in 1999. Prior to being elected to the Senate, Ford served as Kentucky governor, lieutenant governor and did a stint in the state Senate.

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January 21, 2015

Harry Reid to Undergo Eye Surgery

Reid makes his way through the Senate Reception Room after the senate luncheons on his first day in the Capitol since injuring himself. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Reid makes his way through the Senate Reception Room after the Senate luncheons on his first day in the Capitol since injuring himself. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is scheduled to have eye surgery on Monday, a result of his New Year’s Day exercise accident.

“On Monday, as a necessary step to assist in recovering full vision in his right eye, Senator Reid will undergo surgery on his right eye at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C.,” said Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman. “Senator Reid was notified that this surgery will be necessary following a doctor’s appointment yesterday.” Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 4:19 p.m.
Harry Reid

January 20, 2015

Harry Reid Back at Capitol, Will Miss State of the Union (Updated)

Harry Reid

Reid makes his way through the Senate Reception Room Tuesday en route to the senate luncheons on his first day in the Capitol since injuring himself in a exercise accident. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:04 p.m. | Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid returned to the Capitol Tuesday to lead the Democratic Caucus lunch, but he won’t be making it to the State of the Union address.

Richard J. Durbin, the Senate minority whip, said the Nevada Democrat was given a standing ovation at the lunch by his colleagues. Full story

January 14, 2015

Harry Reid Absent, but Still in Charge

(Courtesy Reid's Office)

(Courtesy Reid’s Office)

As Senate Democrats headed to Baltimore for their retreat, Minority Leader Harry Reid wasn’t with them — but he will be listening in.

Even without a physical presence, the Nevada Democrat is still making the daily decisions about running the caucus — and an aide said late Wednesday he is likely to return to the Capitol next week.

Full story

January 9, 2015

Reid Pushes On Despite Injuries, Reiterates 2016 Run

Reid mets with members of the Senate Democratic leadership at his residence in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy Reid's Office)

Reid meets with members of the Senate Democratic leadership at his D.C. residence earlier this week. (Courtesy Reid’s Office)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said an accident he suffered last week that left him with a concussion and broken bones would not affect his ability to lead his caucus and he reiterated his intention to run for re-election.

“I’ve been elected [by Senate Democrats] to run the Senate for two years and I am in the process of getting set up for the next go around,” Reid said in a Friday interview with KNPR in Las Vegas, his first since the accident.

Reid, who is 75, was hurt when a resistance band he was exercising with snapped. The band hit him in the face and he fell, which left him concussed, with broken bones in his face and ribs. Full story

January 7, 2015

Former Sergeant-at-Arms Drew Willison in Line for Reid Chief of Staff

Willison joined Reid's staff in 1997. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Willison joined Reid in 1997 and spent 10 years on his staff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Drew Willison is in line to replace David Krone as chief of staff for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, but Krone told staffers in a memo Wednesday that he’s staying put for now.

The expected staff shift in the Nevada Democrat’s office, first reported by Politico, was confirmed to CQ Roll Call by a source familiar with the plan to place Willison — who spent more than a decade working for Reid on energy and environment projects — at the helm.

Krone also confirmed in the memo that he has discussed with Reid the possibility of managing Reid’s 2016 re-election campaign and Willison taking over.

“Notwithstanding this article and all of the rumors, I will continue in my role and am not departing,” stated Krone, who has worked for Reid for six years.

“Of course, with Senator Reid up for re-election, he and I have had many discussions about his campaign and who may manage it. He and I have discussed me taking over this role and possibly Drew Willison replacing me as chief-of-staff; however, we have not finalized anything in this area,” he continued, promising staff would be informed of any changes.

Willison is a longtime creature of Capitol Hill, with a policy-heavy résumé that is unique among the sergeants-at-arms of the post-9/11 era. When he was appointed to the post in spring 2014, a Reid spokesman said the job required an “element of diplomacy” to handle the unique needs of the 100 senators, and that Willison was extremely qualified.

Willison joined Reid’s staff in 1997 to assist the Nevada Democrat’s work on the Environment and Public Works Committee and eventually earned a spot as staff director for the Appropriations Energy-Water Subcommittee. When Reid became majority leader in 2007, he appointed Terrance W. Gainer to be the chamber’s chief law enforcement officer and invited Willison to join Gainer as deputy.

During their tenure, Gainer gravitated towards security matters, while Willison honed in on the day-to-day operations for the team of more than 800 full-time employees and 200 contractors that operates on a budget of about $200 million. The administrative role was a natural fit for Willison, who once dreamed of becoming a city manager and holds a master’s degree in public administration from Ohio State University.

Willison briefly left the Hill during the 112th Congress to go to work for Battelle, a nonprofit that operates national laboratories for the Department of Energy, but he told CQ Roll Call in an April 2014 interview that he “missed the Hill.” When Reid asked Willison to come back after the deputy that took his place retired, he agreed. Gainer hand-picked Willison to replace him when he retired.

Prior to his 15 years in the Senate, Willison served stints at NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency. In the spring interview, Willison claimed a genuine love for the Hill. “If this is the work you enjoy, this is where you want to be,” Willison said.

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.

Related:

Drew Willison, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms With a City Manager’s Touch

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

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By Hannah Hess Posted at 3:39 p.m.
Harry Reid

January 6, 2015

A Battered Reid Stays on Message (Video)

After missing the opening of the Senate, a battered Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in an online video message that Democrats would continue to fight for the middle class.

“We understand the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer [and] the middle class is being squeezed literally out of existence,” Reid said.” And we are going to do everything we can to fulfill the expectation the middle class has.”

Full story

Durbin to Fill In for Injured Reid as Senate Convenes (Updated)

Reid mets with members of the Senate Democratic leadership at his residence in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy Reid's Office)

Reid meets with members of the Senate Democratic leadership at his residence in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy Reid’s Office)

Updated 11:33 a.m. | Incoming Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is working from his D.C. residence after sustaining a concussion and other injuries in a workout accident last week.

“Senator Reid is in Washington but on orders from his doctors he will not come into the office so that his injuries can continue to heal. He has been diagnosed with broken bones in his face and three broken ribs, as well as a concussion,” spokesman Adam Jentleson said in a statement. “Despite his injuries, he has been working every day, holding meetings with fellow Senators and staff. Senator Reid has spoken with President Obama multiple times since his injury and will continue to keep a busy schedule in the coming days.”

Democratic Whip Richard J. Durbin of Illinois will fill in for the Nevada Democrat during the opening proceedings on the Senate floor Tuesday. Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 11:23 a.m.
Harry Reid

January 2, 2015

Reid Suffers Broken Ribs in Workout Accident (Updated)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:10 p.m. | Sen. Harry Reid’s office says the incoming minority leader has been released from a Las Vegas hospital after he sustained injuries in a workout accident at his home in Nevada on New Year’s Day.

“Senator Reid has been discharged from the University Medical Center hospital in Las Vegas and is headed to his home in Henderson. He will return to Washington this weekend to be ready for the Senate to convene on Tuesday,” Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said in a statement. “He spent the day with his wife, Landra, talking to fellow senators, friends and staff and preparing for the Senate’s return. He sends his thanks to all those who sent warm wishes and is ready to get back to work.”

The Nevada Democrat’s office said earlier Friday that Reid was injured when “A piece of equipment Senator Reid was using to exercise broke, causing him to fall and break a number of ribs and bones in his face.”

Full story

December 18, 2014

Reid: Yucca Mountain Project Will Never Be Built

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Harry Reid claimed another victory Thursday in his never-ending fight to kill the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project — and ensure it stays dead.

The Nevada Democrat touted a new Nuclear Regulatory Commission report.

“The latest study released by the NRC acknowledges one of the major weaknesses of the effort to resurrect Yucca Mountain: the federal government does not have the water it needs nor control of the land necessary to build a nuclear waste dump in Nevada,” Reid said in a release.

The NRC report, released Thursday, also noted “the land is not free of significant encumbrances such as mining rights, deeds, rights-of-way or other legal rights.” Full story

By Humberto Sanchez Posted at 5:53 p.m.
Harry Reid

December 16, 2014

Democrats Close Out Majority With Wins on Nominations

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Reid said that the Democrats could have accomplished more during the lame-duck session. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“This will be the last vote of this Congress,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced shortly before 9:30 p.m.

The Senate’s end-of-session mechanics kicked into high gear Tuesday, with the chamber confirming a slew of President Barack Obama’s judicial and executive nominations and clearing a one-year retroactive extension of lapsed tax breaks that will resolve the issue for just weeks.

Reid, who will become the minority leader in the 114th Congress, told reporters he thinks the Democrats could have seen more accomplished in the lame-duck session.

“There’s a lot more we could and should have done,” Reid said, adding, “We did OK this time, but we’ve had better.”

Full story

Heller Pledges Yucca Mountain Will Stay Dead Despite Leaving Energy Committee

The Yucca Mountain fight continues as committee assignments for the 114th Congress raise questions about what's next. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Yucca Mountain fight continues as committee assignments for the 114th Congress raise questions about what’s next for the issue. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., pledged that a proposal to build a nuclear waste depository at Yucca Mountain would remain dead, even though he is stepping away from the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to join the Finance Committee.

“I don’t think it changes the dynamics,” Heller said of his new committee assignment for the 114th Congress.

The Nevada congressional delegation, led by outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has been effective using every means available, including the power of the purse and regulatory agencies, to prevent the project from resurfacing in the state.

Full story

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