Washington,DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today before the conference committee on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“We are fortunate to have two exceptional Senators negotiating this legislation on our side – Chairman Dan Inouye and Chairman Max Baucus. They have worked tirelessly with their Republican counterparts, Senators Chuck Grassley and Thad Cochran, who may not have agreed with all components of this legislation but approached the process with the seriousness it deserved.
“At this hour of crisis for our country, we have given the American people reason to be confident that their government is up to the challenge of taking the bold and responsible action to begin the road from recession to recovery.
“From the outset of this process, President Obama urged us to set aside partisanship and together pursue common ground. And I am confident that our mutual goals for economic recovery are far greater than any small differences we may have.
“President Obama set three goals for his economic recovery plan: saving and creating American jobs; providing tax relief to working families; and laying the groundwork for long-term prosperity by investing in our schools, roads and workforce.
“As the President’s legislation made its way through the House and Senate, changes were made. Amendments from both sides of the aisle were adopted. Some initiatives were removed, while others were added.
“But those three critical goals – jobs, tax relief and long-term investment – have endured in the agreement we now have reached.
“All of us – Democrats, Republicans, House and Senate – are working toward the same goal. We all want to see our states recover quickly. We all want to put people back to work.
“The American people understand that the legislation we send to the President’s desk will not solve this crisis over night. We cannot say for certain when this crisis will end, but we do know for certain that this is when recovery must begin.”