Washington, DC - Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid delivered the following remarks at a Democratic Unity event with Democrats from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Remarks as prepared:
“Yesterday, Senate Republicans gathered to unveil a new slogan and recap the last seven months. Looking back to January, they suggested this has been the “most productive 1st session” in the last ten years.
“If you’re an Exxon lobbyist, a right-wing judge or a White House Leaker, then yes, this has been a productive session.
“But if you’re a working family, struggling to afford health care and looking for help from Republicans in Congress, you must be wondering whose side they are on.
“For 101 days the United States Senate has been open for business. And for 101 days Republicans have put special interests ahead of American families.
“They found over thirty days to debate right-wing judges, but wouldn’t give one day to making health care affordable or to improving our schools.
“They were willing to come to the Capitol in the middle of the night to intervene in the Schiavo matter, but they wouldn’t set aside the needs of their special interest friends so that we could support our troops and guarantee Veterans health care.
“They even forced through a budget Protestant ministers called “immoral” – - one that cuts funding for education, nurses and initiatives that help the poor. Why? So they could give billions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations and those with the most.
“Republicans see the last seven months and think they deserve a pat on the back. But their record is nothing more than cause for alarm.
“Americans are losing faith with Republicans in Congress, and it’s clear to see why. Working families don’t need a new slogan; they need new leaders committed to progress.
“It’s an abuse of power to have the ability to help the American people but to choose to do nothing instead. That’s the choice Republicans have made – - but Democrats believe it’s time for change.
“We’re committed to reform, and a common-sense agenda that makes progress for America’s families. One that builds a strong economy….strengthens retirement security…and does a better job of protecting Americans from the threats we face.
“As you’ve seen in the past months, it’s Democrats who led the fight to give our Veterans the health care they need…
“Democrats who fought for real energy goals…
“Democrats who wanted to fund rail security and our first responders…
“And it’s Democrats who worked to strengthen Social Security and protect it for generations to come.
“America can do better than a Republican Congress that ignores the needs of families. When the Senate returns in September, let’s hope we give the people what they deserve.”