Senate Democrats

Reid & Dorgan: Democratic Priorities Are the American People’s Priorities

Senators Call on Congress to End the Partisan Fights and Address Crucial Issues Facing American Families

Washington, DC - As Congress returns from the Memorial Day recess, Democratic Leader Harry Reid and Senator Byron Dorgan joined together today to call on the Republican majority to end their partisan power grab and join Democrats in addressing the agenda of the American people. Instead of continuing to pick fights over radical judges, Democrats stand ready to address the issues that American families face every single day.

“We’ve spent weeks and weeks debating radical judges. But we haven’t spent a single day debating a health care plan, or a jobs plan, or an education plan that will help hardworking Americans,” said Senator Reid. “Radical judges don’t deserve our attention. The American people do. Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor have jobs. They have health care. They’re doing just fine.”

The two Democratic Senators discussed the need to reform Washington and to make it work for the American people once again. Democrats want to end the partisan bickering that neglects American families and instead come together in the commonsense center. Democrats are focused on strengthening our national defense, rebuilding our economy, providing families with affordable health care, making America energy independent, and securing our retirement.

“Instead of catering to one extreme faction within their Party, I wish the Republicans would join Democrats in facing head on some of the real challenges to our country,” Senator Byron Dorgan said. “We have a positive, common-sense reform agenda to fix real problems that the American people face every day — the exporting of American jobs, the high cost of prescription drugs, high gasoline prices and a whole host of others. We ask the President and the majority party in Congress to join us.”

Reid and Dorgan were joined by Sherry Strother, a registered nurse from Prince Georges County. Strother shared with the Senators her concern that not enough was being done in Washington today to help middle-class families with rising health care costs, skyrocketing college tuition and a sluggish economy that makes meeting ends meet harder and harder everyday.

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Remarks of Senator Harry Reid, Democratic Leader

As prepared for delivery:

If you want to see how out-of-touch Republicans are, just look at their plans for the Senate this week.

They’ve put radical judicial nominees back on the agenda.

Democrats believe we should move in a different direction. We believe the people’s issues – not partisan issues – should be on the Senate’s front-burner.

Radical judges don’t deserve our attention. The American people do. Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor have jobs. They have health care. They’re doing just fine.

We should be talking about the problems facing Sherry Strother and her family, but for the six months we’ve been in session, these problems have been ignored.

We’ve spent weeks and weeks debating radical judges. But we haven’t spent a single day debating a health care plan, or a jobs plan, or an education plan that will help hardworking Americans.

Just today, we learned that thousands of low- and middle-income families are paying more for college because they no longer qualify for financial aid thanks to a change in the rules.

Instead of debating radical judges, the Senate could be looking into these changes and finding ways to help these families pay for school.

Democrats believe it’s time that issues like education were put back on the Congressional Calendar.

That is why we’re offering a reform agenda for America’s families.

I hope that Republicans of good faith will join Democrats in turning away from partisan politics and take up the work of the American people.

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