Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following remarks today at a press conference with Congressional Democratic leaders on the progress made in President Obama’s first 100 days in office and the accomplishments of the 111th Congress. Click here for a video of the accomplishments in the 111th Congress. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Over eight long years, misguided policies and misplaced priorities pitched our country sharply in the wrong direction.
“I am encouraged that in the brief time we have had so effective a partner in the White House as President Obama, we have taken so many strong steps, so swiftly, in the right direction and for the right reasons.
“The work we have begun – in the face of extraordinary challenges and in the context of unprecedented crisis – will strengthen America and move her forward.
“With the President’s support and his signature, we are creating and saving millions of jobs for those who face losing a paycheck at a time they need one the most.
“With his help, we guaranteed equal pay for millions of American workers, and guaranteed health care for millions of American children.
“With his leadership, we are cutting taxes for hardworking families; we are investing in affordable health care, clean energy and education; and we are punishing the predators who take advantage of those desperate just to hold on their homes.
“I am especially grateful for the very first act this new Senate passed. Through one of the most important conservation efforts in more than a generation, we protected more than two million acres of wilderness, more than a thousand miles of scenic rivers, and thousands more miles of new trails for future generations to enjoy.
“I wish we could say that Republicans chose to work with us on each one of these efforts. It would have been good for the country if they had. But we still extend an open hand across the aisle. We still reserve for Republicans a seat at the table.
“Many will use today to evaluate the early months of this new Congress and the Obama Administration. Yet, as Winston Churchill said, ‘This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.’
“I believe our time is better spent telling the American people how we intend to spend the next hundred days, and the hundred days after that, and the hundred days after that.
- We want to work together, Democrats and Republicans alike, to put the jobless back to work and make sure those who need care the most can afford to stay healthy.
- We want to work not as partisans, but as partners in preserving the American dream for those, like so many in Nevada, in danger of losing their home.
- We want to work with the understanding that to the brave Americans who half a world away wage two wars on our behalf, it is immaterial whether the leaders who will give them all the resources they need to succeed in their mission are labeled liberal or conservative. Surely, our troops who are on deployment after deployment spend more time counting the days until they can see their loved ones than they do counting the political points scored by either side.
“It is my sincere hope that in the coming weeks and months, we will work together to find common ground – not against each other and against the interests of the American people.
“Many stories have been written in recent days about this milestone. But what will endure – what will define this Congress and this Presidency – is how we will choose to write the rest of the story of our recovery, prosperity and security.”