Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today on the floor of the U.S. Senate regarding Republican leadership’s stalling on the bipartisan Climate Security Act of 2008, which addresses the root causes of global warming while strengthening our economy and national security:
“Yesterday, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to proceed to debate legislation that will stem the tide of global warming. This strong bipartisan vote came only after Republicans forced us to file cloture and use up two days of Senate time. Republicans forced us to waste two days before a vote that they overwhelmingly supported.
“Now, our Republican friends are forcing us to burn another 30 hours of procedural time before we can begin debate. That’s two filibusters and more than three days of valuable Senate time wasted – all for a vote that most Republicans supported.
“Why would Republicans set these roadblocks to progress? The American people’s guess is as good as mine.
“I have said time and again that Republicans have every right to vigorously debate and oppose legislation with which they have legitimate disagreements. This is how the legislative process is supposed to work: The majority introduces a bill. The two sides engage in debate and in many cases, reach some form of compromise. A vote is taken, and whichever side musters a majority of votes is the winner.
“Republicans have every opportunity to debate this bill in public and to negotiate in private. They have always been welcome to come to us with ideas for compromise. Their legislative right – and obligation – is to argue and cajole in an effort to convince our members to join their side.
“But the unprecedented Republican filibustering we’ve seen renders the legislative process impossible. Their only goal seems to be running out the clock – like a basketball team with a lead in the fourth quarter. The only difference is Republicans don’t have the lead. They may think that they are scoring political points, but they are leaving our country to suffer.
“At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I say again to my Republican friends: Debate us vigorously if you disagree with us – but don’t stand in the way of progress. Stop running out the clock. Engage in the legislative process so that we can start making the American Dream affordable to our country’s struggling working families once again.”