Washington, DC— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today after his meeting with Senator-elect Al Franken:
“I am pleased to welcome Senator-elect Al Franken to the United States Senate. Senator-elect Franken ran a hard-fought, issues-based campaign and I know he will work hard for the people of Minnesota. But don’t take my word for it. This is what former Republican Congressman Vin Weber had to say about our newest Senator: ‘…when people find out he’s a smart guy who is serious about issues and a hard worker, they will be very pleasantly surprised.’
“Much has been made of the expectations of Al Franken joining the United States. I expect Al to work hard for the people of Minnesota, who have gone far too long without full representation. I expect him to help deliver the change this country demands as we work to strengthen our economy, ensure all Americans can access and afford quality health care, and make our country more energy independent. I am confident Senator-elect Franken will make a difference, but we will need more than just his presence to effectively address all of our nation’s challenges.
“The challenges we face are not Democratic or Republican in nature. They are America’s challenges and they are too great to be solved by partisanship. Moving America forward will still require the cooperation and collaboration of Democrats and Republicans alike. The last eight years have shown us that the American people want us to work together. Democrats aren’t looking at Senator Franken’s election as an opportunity to ram legislation through the Senate.
“In turn Senate Republicans must understand that Senator-elect Franken’s election does not abdicate them from the responsibility of governing. That is why we have and will continue to offer Senate Republicans a seat at the table. It is up to them to decide whether they will sit down and work for the common good or continue to be the Party of No.”