Washington, DC— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delivered the following remarks this morning on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“We talk a lot about Senate procedure in our debates, and that’s often appropriate. But it’s also often complex.
“The issue before us today, however, is not complicated. It is, in fact, quite simple. It is clear. And it is critical to thousands of American lives and livelihoods.
“The issue before us is this: this coming Sunday night – less than 72 hours from now – tens of thousands of Nevadans and more than a million Americans who rely on unemployment insurance and health benefits will lose them.
“Unemployment is rampant in every single state in the country. In Nevada, it’s 13 percent. So many of those unemployed lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
“Those opposed to helping our fellow citizens at their time of greatest need want to talk about process.
“But if you can’t afford to feed your children, you don’t care about process one bit.
“If we don’t act, those benefits will expire – but the need to buy groceries doesn’t expire.
“Those benefits will expire, but the need to heat their homes and put gas in their cars doesn’t expire.
“Those benefits will expire, but the need to take their medicine, or support an aging parent, or take care of their children doesn’t expire.
“The catch here is that these benefits do not need to expire. We have the ability right now to extend them for just a short time until we work out a longer-term solution.
“It is irresponsible not to. It is immoral.”