Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent the following letter today to Republican Senator Mitch McConnell calling on him to work on a bipartisan basis to address the urgent problems facing the nation’s economy. In the letter, Reid notes that should Republicans choose to block comprehensive legislation to help reinvigorate the economy, he will press forward with an extension of unemployment insurance and aid to the domestic auto industry to help protect millions of workers during the lame duck session of Congress next week.
The full text of the letter is below:
November 14, 2008
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Mr. Leader:
I am writing to again see if Senate Republicans would be willing to work on a bipartisan basis to address the urgent problems facing our nation’s economy.
As you know, millions of American families are struggling to make ends meet. Unemployment has increased, foreclosures have exploded, retirement savings have eroded, and consumer confidence is at an all-time low. Businesses are suffering from declining sales, and many are preparing for a significant downturn. In response, economists of all political stripes have called for Congress to pass an aggressive economic recovery package.
In my view, the adoption of a robust recovery package should be the top priority of the upcoming lame duck session. That is why I intend to seek consent on a bill to create jobs, prevent large tax increases and cuts in state services, strengthen our nation’s manufacturing sector, and assist those struggling to find a job.
Based on our conversation earlier this week, however, I understand that you currently oppose such a package and that Senate Republicans are prepared and able to block such legislation. This is disappointing and I hope you will reconsider.
Unless I hear from you to the contrary, I plan to press forward with two provisions of that package – an extension of unemployment benefits, which passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 368-28 and legislation to protect the millions of workers at risk from the possible collapse of our domestic auto industry. These two provisions both address especially urgent needs and seem most likely to win your support and the support of your caucus.
I would hope you would procedurally allow the necessary votes early next week.