Washington, DC—Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following remarks today regarding the need for Republicans to compromise on a long-term Continuing Resolution:
“No one can count the number of times this chamber has heard calls for compromise. That call has come from Senators of good faith, from every era, from Senators on both sides. Indeed, it’s the very essence of the legislative branch, which was purposefully designed to run on consensus.
“As Senators, we search for the right arguments and the right incentives that will help us strike the right balance – a balance that will let the Senate and the country move forward.
“But there has been no stronger argument for bipartisanship than the series of budget votes over the past few days.
“Last week, the Senate voted on two proposals – one written by Republicans, and one written by Democrats. Some Republicans voted against the Republican bill. Some Democrats voted against the Democratic bill. And in the end, neither passed.
“Yesterday, the House voted on another Republican proposal. Again, some Republicans voted against their own party’s plan, and some Democrats voted for the other party’s plan. This time it passed – but only because it had bipartisan support.
“We don’t know what will happen when that same question comes before the Senate this week, but we know we won’t see a strictly party-line vote.
“The lesson is obvious: Neither party can pass a bill without the other party, and neither chamber can send that bill to the President without the other chamber.
“If you’re looking for a case study in why cooperation is necessary, that’s as clear as it comes.
“It is just as obvious that we cannot meet in the middle if one side refuses to give any ground. Both parties and both houses must be willing to work together. We cannot negotiate without a partner on the other side of the table. And we will not find a solution in stubbornness.
“So I’ll repeat the request I’ve made since the beginning of this budget debate. It’s a request for reasonableness. It’s the same call for compromise and consensus that has always kept this diverse nation moving forward. It’s the same appeal made by one of our greatest Senators – a Senator whose seat the Republican Leader now holds. Kentucky’s Henry Clay said that ‘all legislation is founded upon the principle of mutual concession.’
“If the Senate and House cannot pass a long-term budget that keeps the country open for business, another reality will be very plain for the American people to see: It will be crystal clear which party was willing to work toward a common goal, and which party lacked the courage to compromise.”