Senate Democrats

Senator Harry Reid’s Remarks at Stakeout

Reid emphasizes need for Checks & Balances and the work of the American people

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

The Republican leadership reminds me a little of the Roman Emperor Nero, who is famously accused of fiddling in the hills over Rome while the city burned.

We have gas prices well-above two-dollars, and a need for a real energy plan. But instead of coming up with one, the President continues to do nothing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

We have a pension system that faces financial challenges today. But instead of focusing on that, Republican leaders insist on a Social Security privatization plan that will actually make the situation worse.

We have troops serving in Iraq, and the Defense Authorization bill before the Senate. But instead of focusing on this critical legislation, the Majority Leader wants to go to judges.

There are so many issues before the American people, yet the Republican leadership wants to focus our time on radical judges like Priscilla Owen and Janice Rodgers Brown. These judges don’t deserve our attention, the American people do.

The Republican leaders’ refusal to focus on the issues of the American people represents the abuse of power at its worse. The American people have entrusted us with power so that we can tackle the challenges facing this country – not so that we can advance our own political agendas.

It’s now clear that the Republican leadership in the Senate is caving to the right-wing. They’ve put a radical agenda ahead of the American people, and they won’t rest until they have the ability to pack the courts – including the Supreme Court – with whoever they want.

Well, Democrats are united in an effort to stop them. And let me be clear: we’re not fighting for some “gimmick.” We’re fighting for checks and balances and limited government and the right to free speech in the United States Senate.

Each day, I’m encouraged by the number of responsible Republicans I’ve heard from. As the moment of truth draws near, I hope they have the courage to stand with us.

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